2 Ways To Make The Most Out Of Facebook Ads

By on November 18, 2014

Starting next year, Facebook will clamp down on the organic reach of posts  that look like ads that sell a product or service, asks to install an app, and other similar calls to action.

Facebook says it is doing this to improve user experience on Facebook. As part of the process, it wants marketers to stop posting promotional content unless they are paid promotions. In short, if you don’t pay, you don’t play. Unsurprisingly, this recent declaration from Facebook has not been received warmly.

Personally, I doubt there is much difference between a simple promotional post and a paid promotion — except that in the latter, Facebook gets paid. I am also not quite clear on how user experience is enhanced when Facebook gets paid for promoting posts.

That regardless, if you’re a business that sells to consumers, it’s undeniable that a large chunk of your consumers are most likely on Facebook. Inevitably, if you want to reach out to them, you have to be on Facebook — even if you have to pay in order to be seen by your target audience on their newsfeed. The question that will mainly burn in your mind, when deciding whether to pay for promotion or not on Facebook, is whether it will be worth it.

The answer is, “yes, it can definitely be” BUT

you need to know exactly what it is you’re doing. If there is anything that you need to do really well, however, when it comes to using Facebook’s paid ads, it has to be this:

Target your audience well.

You need to narrow down your audience to one that is relevant to the objectives of your Facebook Page. You can do this through interest targeting. This allows you to zero in on the kind of audience you’re looking for vis-a-vis their listed activities on Facebook. For example, if you run a photography class or sell cameras, you can target people who have liked photography Pages, have bought cameras and camera accessories, or who love to travel and share pictures of their adventures on Facebook. Here are 2 ways you can do this:

#1: Use Facebook Graph Search

On your Facebook search bar, you can type in “people who like photography” and once the search results show up, you can additionally filter for your target audience by their gender, hometown, college they went to, movies they like, their or any other factor that they have listed down on their respective Facebook profiles. By doing this, you can get a fairly good profile of your target audience and this in turn can help you customize your campaign to what interests that same target audience.

#2: Use Facebook Pages to Watch

I really like this Facebook feature because it allows Facebook Page administrators to monitor, track likes and engagement, and have access to the performance data of Facebook Pages that you’re not an administrator of. When you use Facebook Pages to Watch, not only do you get to see what your competitors are doing, you can also see how their audiences (which is highly likely your audience, too) are responding to them. This can provide you with a great deal of insight as to what can get the people you want to reach out interested in what you have to say and get them to engage with your brand.

What are your thoughts on Facebook’s move to cut down on organic reach of promotional posts in favor of paid promotions? What has your experience been with using Facebook Ads? Let us know by leaving a comment!

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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