When business owners first create a Facebook page, many are disappointed to find their page isn’t hit with a flood of new followers and a rush of likes immediately.
While your business’s page can be a rich source of interaction with your customers, this cannot happen if your customers are not aware that the page even exists. If you want to drive traffic to your page, increase engagement, and boost business, you must start off by promoting your page.
There are many ways to go about promoting your page, from including your page link in your email signature to setting up a widget on your website. Today, I want to walk you a particularly effective strategy: promoting your Facebook page through a paid Facebook advertisement.
Facebook’s Promote Your Page features enables you to create ads for your page that appear in the News Feed and sidebar of potential customers. Here’s an example of how it might appear in a News Feed:
Step One: Getting Started
After logging into your Facebook account, visit the advertising dashboard by clicking here. Select the “promote your page” option, and make sure the page you want to promote is selected.
After clicking “continue”, make sure your account information is correct before scrolling down to Create Your Ad Set.
Step Two: Targeting Your Audience
Here, you’ll be presented with a number of different targeting options.
Custom Audience. By choosing to create a custom audience, you can target ads using your own existing data. If you have a list of customer emails, phone numbers, Facebook user names, or mobile advertiser IDs, you can use this information to create your audience by uploading a file with this information, copy and pasting a list, or importing a customer list from MailChimp.
Tip: If you’re an existing business, then it’s likely you have some data that you can use in this way, so this is a great way to build your Facebook page initially. It may mean exporting it from your shopping cart, or for brick-and-mortar businesses, you can ask customers for their emails or phone numbers when they check out.
With custom audiences, you also have the option of targeting people who visit your website. To do this, you’ll be provided with a Custom Audience code to include on your website, which will start building your audience instantly by tracking visitors and actions.
Creating a custom audience also gives you the option of tracking app activity, which will include people who take a certain action on your app, such as adding items to their cart. To track this, Facebook will provide you with an SDK that will automatically add users who perform this action to your Custom Audience.
Target by Demographics, Interests, and Behaviors. If you don’t have a website, business app, or customer list handy, a simpler option may be to target by interests and demographics. You can select the location, age, gender, and language of the audience you want to reach. You can also specify interests, as well as behaviors, such as people who have a certain job role, people who use a certain internet browser, or people who use a certain mobile device.
You can even target by purchasing behaviors, choosing to target audience members such as consumer electronic buyers, fashion buyers, and health and wellness buyers. This is a great place to start if you’re not entirely sure who your customer base is. Read through the entire list of options provided by Facebook and see what seems like the best match for your business.
After setting up these parameters, you’ll have the option of choosing what kind of connections you want to target. You can opt to target all users, users who are already connected to your business, or users who haven’t yet connected to your business. You can also opt for the “advanced connection targeting” option, which will let you include or exclude users who are connected to certain pages, apps, and events.
Best Practices for Targeting an Audience with a Facebook Ad
Setting up effective targeting criteria is one of the most important steps in this type of campaign, and can mean the difference between winning thousands of new followers and wasting lots of money.
- If you are a local business, restrict your targeting criteria to people located in and around the city you do business. Not sure how far people are willing to travel to get to your location? Ask customers for their zip codes when they check out. You can plug this information into a tool like BatchGeo, which will give you a better idea of the best target radius around your business.
- If you are an international company, only target countries where you receive the most customers. Check your Google Analytics to see where purchases are coming from on your website.
- Target people with interests related to your business. While it may cost more to target a smaller group, you’ll end up with a higher quality audience. Ultimately, it’s not the number of followers you are aiming for; it’s the number of relevant
- To determine your audience’s interests, envision your ideal customer. Who is he or she? What things might draw that person’s attention? You can also run a survey with existing customers to get a more accurate picture.
Step Three: Setting a Budget and Schedule
You can specify how much you want to spend per day, or for the entire campaign. You can also opt to have your ad ran continuously, or set a start and ending date. Alternatively, by choosing “Advanced Options”, you can arrange to be charged per each impression.
Best Practices for Setting a Budget and Schedule for Facebook Ads
- It’s wise to smart with a smaller amount to test the ad, and increase it later. $5 is a good amount for most small businesses. Keep tabs on what’s happening, make adjustments, and then increase your budget accordingly.
- For business owners with a smaller advertising budget,you should choose a finishing date for your advertisement that accommodates how much you can spend, rather than allowing the ad to run indefinitely.
- Experiment with both setting a total budget and bidding to determine which earns the most cost-efficient results for your particular campaign.
- One week is a sufficient amount of time to allow your ad to run. If you run your ad for one week and see positive results, you can consider running it for longer. If not, go back to the drawing board and see what you can change to improve your return.
Step Four: Creating Your Facebook Ad
You can create your ad by uploading up to six images and customizing the text and links you want to include. To your left, you’ll be able to preview how your ad will appear on users’ desktop newsfeed, mobile news feed, and right column.
Best Practices for Creating Your Facebook Ad
- Ads with images receive much higher engagement than those without, so be sure to include eye-catching, engaging images that will make your business shine
- Add multiple images to your ad, which will allow you to experiment and determine which images perform best. If you don’t have the time to test out many variables in your ads, the images are the best place to focus, since they do play such an important role in the success or failure of your campaign.
- Try variations on the text. Just because images are crucial doesn’t mean you should ignore the text, so if you can, write multiple versions and keep an eye on performance.