How To: Facebook Ads

By February 6, 2013 How To, Resource No Comments

This information was last updated February 2013

There are a few ways to get started showing Facebook ads for your page or website:


Either of these two places on your admin page;

Create an Ad for Facebook

Or sometimes you will see an ad from Facebook encouraging you to build an ad:

Advertising on Facebook

Once you have clicked through, the first decision you will have to make is – where will the visitor go when they click on your ad – to your Facebook page or to your website?

Destination Facebook Page

This choice is good to encourage engagement within social media, increase your likes, or drive traffic to a particular post or promotion. This is a good option because the Facebook audience usually prefers to stay within the Facebook website.

Destination Website

This choice is good to increase visits to your website, but we have  seen a big bounce rate in some clients because Facebook users aren’t always aware they will be leaving Facebook, and once they see that they are, they might click back on their browser – which can mean a waste of money for you.

Results vary by client – so if you are interested in driving traffic to both your Facebook page and your website, it could be worth testing both.

The next decision you will need to make is whether you want to create an ad or whether you want to promote an existing post.

Showing ads on Facebook
Creating an ad
This means you will enter a headline, text, image, and the ad can say whatever you want. You will also need to choose which tab of your Facebook page you want people to land on. *e.g. timeline, photos, competition, etc.
Promoting a Post on Facebook
Promoting a post
This means your ads will be your Facebook posts –this can be a particular post you like, or you can choose an option to keep them fresh and up to date with new posts

After you have chosen between creating an ad or promoting a post, you will have the option to show additional ‘mini’ ads to friends of your fans – they will see an ad when somebody ‘likes’ your page or comments on your posts. These will still cost you money, but are a good way to increase your likes. Facebook Ads showing friend interaction

Choose Your Audience

Next you need to choose who you show your ads to and here are some tips;

  1. Facebook recommends smaller audiences rather than large. If your business isn’t appropriate for a certain audience (e.g. people under 30), then by excluding this section of audience you won’t waste money showing ads to them. Think about who your most relevant audience is.
  2. You will start with location/age/gender which will give you a broad audience
  3. By choosing precise interests or broad categories, you will cut down that bigger audience into people who are only interested in those things. E.g. cooking, dancing, etc.
  4. You probably want to use the radio buttons to show your ads to “Only people not connected to (your page)”
  5. You might try and use relationship status to be a ‘vague’ indicator of stage of life cycle. E.g. perhaps single people might be a younger demographic, perhaps married people might be more likely to have children. (Obviously these are broad stereotypes).
  6. You can narrow or choose by education – if you are targeting certain professions, this could help you find them. E.g. if you are selling business software, you might target people who studied business at university.


Choose Your Bidding Type

The next step can be confusing – payment and bidding types. Note that this advice is written as of February 2013 and that Facebook regularly changes its rules. Please email us if you think we need to update this information;

Choosing your country, currency, etc. is very easy. It only starts to get hard when you need to choose your “optimisation”.

Facebook Ads pricing

Here Facebook has divided their audience of users into 3 types.

  1. Engagers – people who comment or share things a lot.
  2. Clickers – people who prolifically click on things
  3. Likers – people who like lots of things, you all know people who do this!

The optimisation options reflect these three audience types.

  • If you choose to optimise for engagers, you will be charged by a CPM model, and be shown more to the engager audience
  • If you choose to optimise for clicks – you will be charged per click, and be shown more to the clickers. If you want to send visitors to your website rather than your Facebook page, it is best to choose this option.
  • If you choose to optimise for impressions – you will be shown to the prolific likers ( a like does not count as a click), and be charged a CPM

(CPM = Cost per thousand impressions).

Quickly – Make Lots!

Once you have entered all your payment details (credit card etc), your ad will be going live, and there is something you will have to immediately do:  make more versions of the ad.

(Note that sometimes your ads might take up to 24 hours to be approved and sometimes can be approved almost immediately).

This is because, unlike other ad platforms, Facebook judges an ad performance by how many impressions it has had and it will show the ad with more history more often. It does not have an option for even rotation, so if you so much as wait even 15 minutes before making your next ad, your first ad will have such an advantage that your second ad won’t show as often and will also be more expensive.

Facebook recommends making up to 4 versions at once, because you can’t add new versions later (they won’t be able to compete against your original ads).

To make a new version, simply expand your ad in the interface and choose “Create a Similar Ad”. Then you can leave nearly all fields the same, but change one thing in each – e.g. a new headline or image.

We recommend editing the ‘name’ of your ads when you are in the campaign tab so you can easily compare performance and remember what each ad is. By default they will be called Ad 1, Ad 2, etc. You can change to – Headline includes X, Picture of Dog, etc.

Want to test new ads?

Inevitably you will want to create new ads. How do you know when to? Well, apart from business reasons such as new promotions, you will also want to consider it when/if;

    • Your Frequency is reaching 10. This means the average person in your target audience has already seen your ad 10 times.
  • Your click through rate isn’t great – a good CTR according to Facebook is 0.04% – if you are way below this, you should try new ads.

When you want to create new ads:

Create a new ad for Facebook

  • Pause, don’t delete, old ads. This will delete your data and history.
  • Don’t choose ‘create similar ad’. Instead, click the green button in the top right, and this will create a new ‘campaign’.

Monitoring Price

The price of your ad will vary depending on its performance and the number of other people bidding on the ad spots. It won’t give you an exact price to bid, but it will give an estimated ‘bracket’. You want to make sure you aren’t dropping below the bottom of that bracket – if you are, it’s time to increase your bid.
Please feel free to email us any specific questions you might have or suggested changes to this advice.

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