Facebook is looking to make advertising on their platform increasingly easy for you, given a decreasing organic reach. That being said, historically, with so many changes to their advertising policy, Facebook advertising could feel like a moving target so below are three quick steps to help you start your own campaigns. But first will start with some definitions:

Organic Reach (definition): Organic reach refers to how many people you can reach for free on Facebook by posting to your Page. 

Average organic reach of posts is approximately 6% as of a few months ago. Facebook lowers the organic reach capability for brand Pages they say in order to balance out the personal versus commercial content on the users’ News Feed. To avoid losing your social media audience, Facebook allows business owners to invest in Facebook post promotion.

According to the November 2014 statement by Facebook, “Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.” Facebook announced that it would begin curtailing the reach of brands’ unpaid, or organic, posts that the social network’s algorithms consider “overly promotional.” The change will not apply to all of a brands’ posts, just the less creative ones that fit certain criteria, like pushing people to buy a product, install an app or enter a contest or sweepstakes.

Basic Facebook Post Ad Types:

Boosted Posts: Ease of use. You set time you are running ad and amount and you can target groups by interests, location, ages and gender. All boosted posts still have to be approved by Facebook before appearing higher on users’ News Feeds. You don’t need to go into the ad manager and “create an ad”. You can boost a post right from the page (click the button on the post that says “Boost Post”).

Promoted Posts (Ads): Much more targeted than boosted posts (can be an unpublished post meaning the ad does not appear on your page unless you select “Boost Post”). Easy access and setup of ads through your Ad Manager link, which you can find in your left side of your Facebook news feed.

One question that comes up many times is, “Should I boost a post or place an ad?” Technically, a “boost” is an ad in the sense that it is paid exposure…it’s just a very simple and direct approach to reaching a much broader audience than your post’s organic reach. You place your post, you hit a button and your target your audience. Very easy.  Just keep in mind though, that you will have access to more advanced targeting and a call to action when placing an ad vs. a boost, and it’s all about targeting.

Here are the three main steps in creating you campaign on Facebook:

  1. Establish Your Goals (Facebook will have you select one of the below goals when you go in to create an ad)
  • Clicks to Website: Send people to your website.
  • Website Conversions: Increase conversions on your website. You’ll need a conversion pixel (code) for your website before you can create this ad (tells you what happens after they click to your website).
  • Page Post Engagement: Boost your posts.
  • Page Likes: Promote your Page and get Page likes to connect with more of the people who matter to you.
  • App Installs: Get installs of your app.
  • App Engagement: Increase engagement in your app.
  • Offer Claims: Create offers for people to redeem in your store.
  • Local Awareness: Reach people near your business.
  • Event Responses: Raise attendance at your event.
  • Video Views: Create ads that get more people to view a video.
  1. Choose compelling content and graphics and make sure your graphics meet Facebook’s guidelines.

Ads that have more than 20% of text in their image won’t be approved to run on Facebook. It’s a good idea to check your graphic first using the Facebook Grid Tool

Too much text can look like spam and make people think that your ad is low quality. Make sure to use the headline and body of your ad to tell people more about why you’re advertising and what you want them to do.

And if you are not a graphics artist, a really nice free tool for graphics to try can be found at Canva.com

3. Testing: Try different images / content and ad types and then look at analytics, aka “insights”, in response to the tests.

Analyzing insights is extremely important in upping your advertising ROI. Test, test, test and make adjustments throughout to create something that not only interests your target audience, but compels them to action. There are probably four main reasons an ad doesn’t perform well:

  • Content and image are not compelling
  • Targeting is off
  • Wrong type of ad
  • Subject matter is a stinker (hopefully this is not the case….but it happens)

This is just a starting point. As you progress with Facebook advertising you’ll gain your own feel of what works for your business. If you want to learn more about social media strategy, advertising, marketing and more for your small business, attend one of our workshops or call 732.842.8685 for more information about how the ASBDC New Jersey at Brookdale Community College can help you and your small business.

About the author
Pasqualina DeLucia is the Assistant Director of the ASBDC New Jersey at Brookdale Community College.