Facebook likes making money

– Not one of my surprises. But you may be surprised to learn the company also seems to appreciate hard work and research just as much as a healthy advertising budget. After years of managing Facebook advertising for Incite Response’s clients, I’ve discovered there are tried and true ways to make a Facebook ad budget stretch.

Surprise #1: Set it and forget it is the kiss of death a.k.a. the assurance of poor results. Facebook has several tools which make A/B testing much easier than it used to be. When you spend the time to use these tools or just check on your ads every few days and make small adjustments, Facebook will reward you with a lower cost per result. For example, image choice is quite important. Will more people like your Facebook page if the ad image is illustrated, a slide show with music, a video, an amateur photo, a professional photo, a stock image or a carousel of images? From experience, I could probably tell you which to choose based on your industry and product, but the only way to know for sure is to try them all and see. The words you choose are just as important as the image as is the length of your message. Taking the time to create an ad based on research instead of guessing could cut your cost per result in half or more.

Surprise #2: There is such a thing as over-targeting. Facebook has some pretty impressive means of allowing an ad creator to reach the right people. Savvy businesspeople already know the quality of your fan base makes a difference in how effective Facebook is in helping your branding and sales efforts. Targeting based on age, gender, profession, income, relationship status, geography and more are all very useful, but if you are too granular, your cost per result will go up, not down. As an exaggerated example, if you’re selling Oreo cookies, targeting people aged 25 – 30 years of age with an income of $100K+ a year is unnecessary and a bad idea.

Surprise #3: By default, Facebook ads show in more places than just on Facebook. Facebook ads can run on Facebook, Instagram and Facebook’s Audience Network which consists of varying and ever-changing apps. Although you can choose to shut off any of these options, running your ads on all available platforms does increase your ad’s success. The why behind this is simple – it’s what Facebook wants and so it puts a little more oomph behind ads that comply.

Now that you’re armed with a few pointers, you’re ready to begin growing your fan base, increasing your reach and boosting sales. If you have questions along the way, I’m happy to help. Write to me at [email protected].