If you are just getting started on Facebook I would say there are two things you should keep in mind. First and foremost, you need an effective Facebook strategy for your brand. This is going to take time and work. It won't happen overnight.
Get your strategy up and running and then get ready to break out your credit card. I believe that in order to create a successful Facebook marketing strategy you need to put some money behind it.
The Facebook ad platform may seem a bit overwhelming if you're just jumping on there for the first time. That's why I'm going to break down how to advertise on Facebook using promoted posts.
Let me start by justifying why you need to know how to advertise on Facebook.
Facebook's overall gains as a public company. Why do you care? Because this means that Facebook has created a business model that is continuously looking to gain more money.
How are they doing that? Largely through advertising revenue.
Why are more people advertising? Facebook has continuously updated their algorithm throughout the past year to determine what content gets shared more frequently and at the top of users' news feeds. Facebook is making sure that the user has a good experience and connecting and interacting with the content on their feed. Therefore, the algorithm is making sure content that is more engaging and relevant to the user is at the top of the users' feed. Makes sense.
Now that you know why, here's a basic step-by-step guide for how to advertise on Facebook using promoted posts:
1. Make sure you have an effective Facebook strategy in place. This is key. I would suggest spending some serious hours getting your Facebook strategy up and running before advertising. What are some of the objectives of your Facebook strategy? To increase brand awareness? Get leads to convert on a landing page? Make sure those objectives are laid out clearly and processes, aka engaging posts, are in place to help obtain those objectives.
2. Determine what part of your Facebook strategy you want your advertising to help enhance. Which of those initial objectives were you looking to push? Let's say it were to drive more traffic to a landing page and ultimately get more conversions. In your Facebook strategy that post may show up with some minimal copy, a call to action to a shortened link and an engaging photo. It should anyway. I would suggest creating several different posts like this. Vary the copy and the image. Make sure these posts are naturally implemented in your overall strategy. It's going to look a little strange if you have several posts back to back ultimately pushing for the same thing.
3. Now that the front end of the promoted post strategy is in place, you are ready to start using the advertising platform. Deep breath. (Important side note: while you can simply click on "promote this post" at the bottom corner of the post in your timeline, if you're looking for specific results, like most things in life, it's not that easy.) The Facebook ad platform is a great tool which offers a lot more than just these simple targeting options, so go into the back end. You should be able to get to the ad platform by clicking on the little wheel at the top right corner. Select the company you want to advertise and then click which type of ad you want to create. Click the option in the middle, the "promote page posts."
4. Create your ad. Select one of the posts we discussed in step 2 that you want to promote. Leave the Sponsored Stories box checked ("Help people discover your business through their friends.") This box will account for those metrics highlighted in the graphic to the right: The Sponsored Page Post Action and Like stories.
5. Targeting. This is where the fun begins! Before creating any kind of inbound marketing initiatives for clients, I like to make buyer personas. Buyer persons are fictional stories about who the ideal customer would be for that client. These fictional stories include lifestyle aspects as well as traditional demographics. These buyer personas come in VERY handy when selecting who to target your promoted posts to.
6. Determine your budget. Depending on what your Facebook advertising objectives are will help you determine how much money you want to spend. If you are just starting out I would strongly encourage setting a low, daily budget. Make sure you are comfortable using the platform and have the time set aside to monitor your campaign daily. Once you are happy with your results, then adjust your budget accordingly.
7. Bidding. I almost always use the cost per click (CPC) bidding option. Switch to advanced pricing, click "optimize for clicks," then hit "manually bid." You can have Facebook automatically bid for you, but I like to be in control of what I pay. Facebook will usually give you a suggested range for bidding on your ad. Generally I will pick a cost that is at the higher end of that suggested range. That doesn't mean I will necessarily pay that much, but by bidding higher Facebook will give my ad priority. If it performs well, I won't end up paying as much as I bid. If it doesn't perform well, it may be time to create a new promoted post.
8. Repeat. Create several ads. Generally I suggest creating two to three ads (depending on objectives) and putting a multitude of different targeting options behind each ad.
9. Analyze. The whole point of creating several ads is to closely analyze which promoted post is getting the best results. The objective is the key metric to watch. For example, the other day I had two of the same promoted post ads running to two different targets. The objective was more conversions on the landing page which was included as a link in the post copy. While one ad had a a higher page photo view count, the other ad had more clicks through to the landing page. Guess which ad I paused and which one I kept running? #nobrainer
There are many ways you can make the Facebook ad platform work for you. In my experience, I have found promoted posts to be one of the more successful Facebook advertising options. What's been your experience?