Using Facebook Ads & Promoted Posts to Target Your Audience

Facebook Ads BlogIf you’re the manager of your company’s Facebook Page, then you’ve probably noticed some significant changes over the past few months to how your posts are shared with your audience. Love it or hate it, Facebook has been, and will continue to be, a moving target for marketers, and one that we need to constantly stay on top of to maintain relevancy.

If you’re concerned about the reach of your posts, or are just ready to develop a targeted social media marketing strategy to reach your target audience, you’ll want to consider putting a budget toward two areas of Facebook’s tools: Ads and Promoted Posts.

To get you started, here are some of the key differences and potential opportunities for each. If you need some support in ramping up your social media advertising and marketing programs, please reach out to us for help.

Facebook Ads:

  1. Key Difference: Can be used to reach anyone with a personal Facebook profile by identifying target information such as: age, gender, marital status, activities & interests, family status, location, language, and thousands of specific ‘likes’.
  2. Budget: It’s up to you. Set a maximum for the lifetime of a specific period, a maximum daily limit, and/or a cost-per-click or per-impression. Our clients have had budgets range from $100 maximum to several thousand dollars per month limits.
  3. Best Used For: Reaching new target prospects and getting them to Take Action on your page by ‘liking’ (subscribing to your page), sharing with friends, or clicking through to an identified landing page for advanced conversions or more information.

Facebook Promoted Posts:

  1. Key Difference: Used to leverage your existing audience (those who ‘like’ your page) and encourage them to take action. Please note: your Facebook page must have a minimum of 400 fans to participate in the Promoted Posts program. If you’re not there yet, you may wish to use Facebook Ads to help you reach that initial minimum audience level.
  2. Budget: As with Ads, the budget is up to you, but tends to run significantly lower than Ad budgets.
  3. Best Used For:Maximizing the reach of important information to your existing audience. For instance, if you’re promoting an incentive or VIP program, launching a new product/service, or want to be sure that your audience knows about your exciting recent news or award nomination, then this is the ideal tool.
  4. Caution: We hope this is an issue that will be flushed out over time, but the option on Promoted Posts to target ‘people who like our page, and their friends’ has cast far too wide of a net for our comfort level. On client tests, and in researching the experiences of others, we’ve found that this option seems to deliver a higher rate of spam to the page. We recommend targeting only ‘people who like this page’ and giving them a REASON to like, share, or comment on the post in order to promote it to their friends directly.

As with all Facebook marketing and advertising campaigns, you will generally find the best results when providing your audience with unique, fun, interesting, easy-to-consume, and easy-to-share content. Visuals tend to perform better than most text-based content, so take some time to find or design images for those posts and Promoted Posts that will have an impact. Ask people to share, like, or comment; and be sure to measure the results with Facebook Insights reporting.

Congratulations on building your Facebook marketing and advertising program! If you need any help or have questions, we’d love to chat with you.



Your Facebook Ad Didn't Work? Here's Why.

Every once in a while, we meet with a business owner or marketing director who tells us that “Facebook ads don’t work”. And a couple weeks ago, even General Motors agreed with this assessment when they pulled out of a multi-million dollar Facebook ad campaign.

But on thiBillboard Ad Examples one, we have to agree to disagree with GM and some of those naysayers. Of course, with any medium, there are some brands and messages that just don’t work. Ever tried selling a new wedding dress style with a radio ad? Or the amazing musical talents of a local performer through a print ad? Without seeing the dress or hearing the music, it’s pretty tough to get people excited for your product.

The bottom line is, yes, sometimes your brand, company, or market just isn’t the right fit for advertising on Facebook. But when the right pieces are in line, this medium can be one of the most powerful, and least costly, ways of generating awareness and new leads.

Here are a few of the most important factors to consider in determining whether Facebook advertising is right for you:

  • Is your target market on Facebook?
      1. While it certainly seems like everyone and their mother (and grandmother) is on Facebook; you should make sure that your target audience is there, and actively using the medium, before launching a Facebook campaign. How to know for sure? You can send out an email survey to your existing customers asking if they are on Facebook and how often they log on.
  • Are they more likely mobile users or desktop users?
      1. As of the date of this post, Facebook advertising does not translate well for mobile users. They may see some sponsored post updates, but will miss out on the majority of targeted ads (the ads in the right sidebar of a page). So if your customers are active on Facebook, but only from their smartphones (as you’ve found out from your email survey results), this may not be the best place for you to advertise until Facebook finds a better way to work ads into mobile.
  • Is your brand fun? Interesting? Resourceful or Informative? Do people want to hear from you in their free time?
      1. Ok, it’s time to be brutally honest. Do you really have something that people want to spend time connecting to in their spare time? Can you be fun, interesting, or unique in your messaging? If you’re selling complex components of high-tech machinery, this is probably not the best place to do so.
      2. Here is a list of some of the most successful types of brands we’ve developed Facebook campaigns for:
        1. Concert series – fun, targeted by personal interests, great to share with friends!
        2. Bakery – unique & local, easy to purchase from online, targeted by geography and friend networks!
        3. Health products – unique messaging, targeted by lifestyle/age/gender/interests & activities, linked to valuable printable coupons only accessible by Facebook fans!
        4. Upscale Hair Salon – fun, trendy, included great photos & videos, targeted by geography, age, demographics, personal interests & activities, shopping habits!
  • Can you pinpoint your target market by their age, location, job title or industry, relationship status, interests, family status, activities, and/or relationships with others?
      1. Facebook succeeds where most other advertising mediums fall very short – their ads target prospects by their ACTUAL interests, demographics, psychographics, and geography. Where traditional ad mediums like TV and Newspapers can only ASSUME that their viewers/readers fall between a certain age or are likely to be interested in specific activities; on Facebook, you can target prospects based on who they ACTUALLY are and what they’re interested in.
      2. Do you represent a ski area? You can target people who listed ‘skiing’ as an activity, live within 50 miles of your resort, and are within an age range that matches your target audience for an upcoming event. Are you in the wedding industry? Well you’re one of the luckiest advertisers on Facebook, because you can target people who have already put themselves in the buying cycle for a wedding: people who are engaged. You can target them in a specific geography, or based on their age, other interests (Vera Wang, perhaps?), gender, and hundreds of other profile indicators.
  • Is your organization open to unique messaging, testing different calls to action, monitoring results and making on-the-spot changes as needed to improve results?
    1. This is where it all comes down to developing a well-rounded and effective campaign. The person or agency responsible for managing your campaigns must be able to effectively monitor them, make changes where needed, and have the ability to make changes on the main Facebook page and/or your website’s landing pages.
    2. On day 1, you may have no idea what messages, images, or calls to action are going to work. That’s perfectly fine, and it’s the great thing about Facebook advertising, because you can make campaign changes to nearly every element with very short notice. The key to being successful is to keep testing, monitoring, making changes, and testing again; until you have found the perfect mix of image/message/target-market/landing-page-message and call-to-action that deliver the results you’ve been hoping for.

If you have all of the above pieces in place, it’s time to get out there and start building your campaign! But if this list confused you further, or you feel you don’t have all of the elements together, please contact us. We can review your strategy with you and develop one that will provide the results you’re looking for.


Do You Know Your Quality Score?

In the past few weeks, we’ve seen a trend in businesses contacting us to offer assistance with the performance of their Google Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC), stating that they’ve been running campaigns for a while on their own or through a large company, and have seen a large drop in the quality and quantity of their results.

It is in these discussions that we’ve uncovered a scary trend: not only are the Quality Scores falling throughout their campaigns, many were unaware that there was such a scoring system in place.

For that reason, we created this post to help our readers understand their Quality Score, and why it is so crucially important to maintaining, and increasing, the performance of online advertising campaigns.


What is a Quality Score?

Quality Score for advertisers is similar to your Credit Score. Based on factors related to your ad performance history, your Quality Score determines how and if your ad will appear for online searches, what position it will appear in, and how much you will pay for that position in relation to others. A strong score will yield high results and low cost-per-click; while a low score could not only cost you far more for lower positioning, it may keep your ads from being seen altogether.

Quality Score is Google’s way of determining the ads that are most relevant to a user’s search. They use a complex system to determine whether an ad is relevant, targeted, and credible; and whether the location it sends a user to meets those criteria as well. For a complete understanding, click here for Google’s explanation of Quality Score.

How Do I Get My Quality Score?

It’s not readily available on your Adwords dashboard, but your Quality Score can be found in a few simple steps. If you have a consultant managing your Adwords campaign(s), they should be able to provide it for you, and should be managing the score of all of your keywords regularly, making revisions where necessary to improve performance. If you are managing Adwords on your own, here are the instructions on finding your score.

“My Quality Score is Terrible! What Can I do?”

First off, if you have hired a consultant to manage your campaigns, they should be able to provide insight into improving performance. If they can’t do so, or you have been managing your campaigns in-house, now may be the time to hire a professional. But if you’d prefer to improve performance on your own, there are several areas you’ll want to optimize, starting with these high-priority elements:

  • Keywords

    1. 1. Make sure they are highly relevant to your campaigns, messages, and niche topics.
    2. 2. Separate into targeted ad groups and/or campaigns.
    3. 3. Utilize negative keywords to reduce waste and irrelevant searches
  • Ad Messages

    1. 1. These should be highly relevant to the keywords in your ad group, and your landing page message(s).
    2. 2. Should be targeted and direct; leading to a higher likelihood of quality click-through’s.
    3. 3. Should contain high-performing keywords from your ad group.
  • Landing Pages

    1. 1. Each unique topic (in an ad message, ad group, or campaign), should lead to a unique landing page. If you are sending all traffic to your homepage, you are likely experiencing a significant amount of waste in your campaigns.
    2. 2. Landing page copy should be optimized for the highest-priority and best-targeted keywords in your ad group(s).
    3. 3. Landing pages should provide opportunities for prospects to spend time on the page and engage – ie: complete a form, click through to a detail page, download a report, watch a video, etc.

The key to remember is that your Quality Score is very much like your Credit Score. By managing it well, staying on top of updates, and focusing on your priorities, you can achieve your goals at a lower cost. But lose sight of the details or employ a poor manager or consultant to monitor progress, and you could end up paying a lot more for a whole lot less.