Over 50% of America is on Facebook. As a result, using a Facebook Page is now a proven strategy for acquiring and nurturing prospects and customers. However, the first step is to build an audience for your Page. You can do a lot with free methods, but at some point, you may want to accelerate things with Facebook Ads. The objective of this blog post is to give you 5 easy steps to do this and to not break the bank for your small business. As the former head of small business marketing at Facebook, I know that using Facebook Ads can be intimidating. They are powerful but not completely straightforward to use. I’ve used these 5 simple steps for my own company, Fivestars, and know that they work and can be tackled with only a few minutes per day.
1. Determine Your Audience
The first step for figuring out how to make Facebook Ads work is to determine your audience target. Facebook Ads allows you to use things like location, age, and interests to target your ads. For location, input the parameters of your business. If you are national, just use United States. If you are local, input your city or your zip code. For age, think about the right range and input it in there. I would generally go broader here. Put in the minimum age someone should be to purchase your product and maximum. The targeting option that is not obvious is interests. There’s a field called “Precise Interests”. What a lot of people don’t know is that you can put in there the FB Pages of competitors that have a similar customer target as you and cherry pick their fans. For example, for us at Fivestars, we know that our target audience is local business owners, and companies that do a good job of targeting local business owners include companies like Constant Contact and Vistaprint. These companies have also done a good job in building their Facebook audience. I can simply type in their names into the Precise Interest fields. I recommend testing a couple of different audience concepts and setting them up as different campaigns.
2. Pick a Good Image
Within each campaign, I recommend testing a few different kinds of ads. I would start with 4. The way to do it is to pick 2 images you want to test in your ads and 2 types of copy. This will result in 4 different combinations of ads (image A, copy A; image A, copy B; image A, copy B; image B, copy A). You might just start with variants of your company logo. You might use your company logo and then another version which has red border around it. For some reason, I’ve found simply putting a red border around your image will increase click through rates for you ads quite significantly.
3. Test Copy
For copy, I would recommend keeping the copy quite short and making it a statement that your audience will emphatically agree with that corresponds to the content of your Page. For example, at Fivestars, we build software that helps automate customer loyalty. We make it easy for small businesses to grow their customer base. So I tested “Like us if you want to automatically grow your customer base” vs. “Like us if you want to grow your customer base and get more revenue and referrals.” The clear winner was the shorter version. As I mentioned in step #2, you should pick 2 copy options and 2 image options and test all 4 combinations within each campaign.
4. Review Results
If you’ve done the above steps, you should have at least 2 campaigns that are targeting different audiences, and within each campaign, you should have 4 ads with at least 2 different types of copy and 2 different types of images. You should set budgets for each campaign. Starting with something like $10 per day for each campaign is a reasonable budget. You can let Facebook automatically optimize your bid, or if you have a maximum cost per like you want to achieve, you can do CPC pricing and set it at slightly lower than your cost per like goal, since only 70-90% of the people who click on your ad will actually like your Page. Let your campaign run for a day or two, and pretty quickly you’ll have some results. First thing you should do is check the CTR on your ads. If they are really low–like below 0.04%, you probably need to start over with Step 1. If it’s above these levels, you should see which ad is performing best and turn off the ones that are not performing. Shoot for CTRs in the 0.1% and above. You can also check how much you’ve spent and how many “actions” or Likes you’ve achieved and figure out your cost per like.
5. Regularly Refresh Your Ads
Once you’ve found an audience, image, and copy that works, you’ll need to ride your combination of ads as long as you can, but over time, your CTR will inevitably decline, as people see your ad over and over again, and your cost per like will increase. At this point, you’ll want to refresh your ads with new image and copy. You can try different color borders around your image as a first step. This helps you to combat ad fatigue. As you refresh your ads, you should see your performance improve.
The above steps are not comprehensive, but they are really easy to implement and should get you going on your Facebook Ads campaigns quickly. While it may take you an hour when you first begin, on a daily basis, it should take no more than 5-10 minutes of maintenance daily. Before long, you’ll be accelerating your Facebook Fan count, while not breaking the bank!