Facebook is one of the most popular social networking sites online. Once seen and thought of as a site for teenagers to interact and socialize online, Facebook has come a long way, transforming and changing into a huge opportunity for businesses to attract and reach new audiences, and even communicate with its existing audiences—all in an effort to increase sales and loyalty of customers.
One of the options that Facebook offers business owners to help promote and market their businesses online is Facebook ads. Facebook advertisements run along the side of the page in an effort to reach your target audience. The ads may be all text or be a combination of text and graphics, but typically look similar to an Internet button or banner ad. While some of the rules for creating these advertisements in Facebook apply to any ad, there are also some tips that appeal specifically to Facebook users.
1. Understand the Audience You Are Trying to Target
Facebook users range from tweens to the elderly, so don’t assume that you are reaching a specific age group simply by throwing up a Facebook age. The key to reaching your target audience with your Facebook ad is to create ads in Facebook that speak directly to the people you are trying to reach.
This means that before you even remotely begin to create and design your ad, you first have to talk, think and act like the person you are trying to reach. Think about what graphics, words, headlines or other features of the ad would attract the attention of the person who is most likely to click on your ad.
2. Ask Questions, Pose Problems or Craft Headlines
Facebook is a very interactive form of advertising in promoting your business. In other words, people on Facebook are not there simply to have advertisements thrown in their face. One way to draw the Facebook user in is to pose a question or create a headline for your ad that addresses an issue or problem you know your potential customers are trying to resolve.
3. Keep it Simple
Facebook ads give you a small amount of space and time to create a compelling ad and message. While creating your ad, you'll want to use ways to attract the attention of potential customers, but you also want to keep the message simple. If you confuse your potential audience members, the probability of someone clicking on your ad drops. Find a balance between intriguing your audience but keeping the message simple simultaneously.
4. Make it Look Professional
Facebook makes it relatively simple for a novice to create their own ad. If you do create your own ads, get some opinions from friends and family members to make sure the ads appear professional. If you feel or know that you cannot create a professional ad on your own, then enlist the help of a copywriter, graphic designer or marketing agency to help you.
5. Point the Ad to a Page With a Special Offer
Facebook users like to stay on and complete all transactions via Facebook. They do not like being referred off the site to your website or a landing page when they click on your ad. When you are setting up your ad, have the ad point to your Facebook Fan Page or business Facebook page that promotes the offer your ad is making. This is one of the characteristics that is unique to Facebook users, so it is something you should be aware of when creating ads for the social network.
6. Test Ads
You should also test one Facebook ad against another. For example, establish an ad with the first headline. Run the ad for a set period of time. Then, change the headline, but keep the rest of the ad the same. Measure the results of each ad to see if there are any changes in the number of clicks, sales, etc.
7. Use the Demographic Profile of Your Existing Customers
Never assume that your ideal customers are not on or using Facebook. Even if you are not positive that your ideal customers are on Facebook, use the demographic information you know about your existing base of clients to create ads to attract similar clients that are on Facebook. Again, using this information permits you to create ads that speak directly to the customers that are most likely to buy from you or take the action you want them to take from the ad.
8. Use Different Ads for Different Audiences
You may also have the type of business that caters to different types of audiences. This requires you create different ads for those different audiences. For example, if you are a cosmetic company that has an adult line, a teen line and a line specifically for Latin and African-American women, each one of these groups warrants their own ad. While each group does share some characteristics, each also has features of the cosmetics that are completely different from group to group.
9. Track the Results of Each Ad
Always track the results of the ads you run on Facebook. The Facebook ad tool allows you to see how many times your ad shows up on Facebook. The tracking tools also permit you to track how many people click on the ad. You can even set limitations on how much money you spend to run the ads—setting a daily or monthly limit—so that you stay within your ad budget.
10. Include a Strong Call to Action
The most important aspect of a great Facebook ad is your call to action. The call to action is the statement or question that you include in your ad that actually gets the user to click on it. In essence, the call to action tells the Facebook users what they need to do next. Never assume that they know to click on the button, but instead, figure out a way to tell them or encourage them to do so.
- Budge, Shane, How to Create Effective Facebook Ads (July 24 2011) retrieved at http://www.shanebudge.com/how-to-create-effective-facebook-ads/
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