There’s so much to go over in the back office of Facebook, but I’ve gotten so many questions about Facebook ads that we’re going to talk about them before we introduce you to your stats. So many people feel that they’re throwing their money away with ads, so here’s to hoping this advice will help you get the most out of your money!
What are ads on Facebook?
When you buy an ad space on a billboard or newspaper back page you’re placing an ad into one set area that will be seen by anyone who looks at it. On Facebook you’re actually entering into a bidding war. You’re at an auction and they’re watching who you’re trying to reach and for how much. Everything you select for the ad from the way it looks to the people you want to see it is reviewed and they give you a placement in the bid. Trying to reach people in Pittsburgh? That’s a very broad audience and if you think of how many other pages in Pittsburgh are running ads you get an idea of just how many people you’re bidding against. This is why you will get an amount per click or like to see how much that ad cost you per person and can then tailor the ads as you learn your audience better. Keep that in mind as we go through the next questions.
What types of ads are available?
The short answer is several. You can create ad campaigns for everything from brand recognition, website visits, to getting people to visit your location. If you’re creating any type of ad campaign from your Facebook page you’re going to have a more limited scope of what you can do. My first suggestion if you want to get serious with ads is to create an account on the Facebook business page. Boosts are easy to do and you don’t have to leave your business page if you don’t want, but having this account gives you more options and will collect data about how the ads are doing.
Why are my ads not performing?
There can be several factors to this. The first thing I tell people is to be sure that your organic audience is there. Facebook themselves will tell you how important organic reach and audience is, and they’re the ones who want you to pay for ads. Because everything on Facebook is based on algorithm, your organic audience gives them an idea of who to randomly select when they auto place your ads. They have everyone listed as an audience so if you have 100 people who like your page and no one has much of a common denominator you’re going to find your ads being placed in front of some really odd people for your brand. Before you spend any money on ads do footwork yourself to ensure you’re going to get the most out of them. Post often, create interesting content, make your mark and blaze a trail to follow.
A second factor is who is listening and responding to you. Again, find your audience organically. This might take some research and it’s going to take you knowing your back office. Once you know who is following your page and what they respond to, it will simplify who you should be choosing to see your paid ads.
The final thing to concentrate on when you start is the area and interests groups within ads. I suggest starting within your home town area. People are more likely to have heard of you, and if they haven’t run across your name soon after they’re more likely to have an interest in you. The exception to this is if you’re playing out of the area. If so, boost a post or run an ad in that area to help get some name recognition going before you play there. You can add special interests and this is where it can be really confusing and why you’re going to want the data from these campaigns.
Is it better to have more or less in categories?
In general you want to have several categories or interests chosen to increase the audience. Here’s the kicker though, if you choose too many Facebook will reign you in and expect more money. While you’re learning try to choose around four categories that really fit you. Try not to be too specific at first. Rock/Alternative Rock, Metal/Heavy Metal, people who like a certain page or large band if it really fits you. Once you’ve found the wider categories you can start working within them to get a better understanding of who wants to see your stuff. There’s also the option of reaching people who are friends of those who already like your page, and if you’re trying to get a release out there or a special announcement send it to those who already like your page. You can even run two ad sets for the same thing. Remember, dumping a ton of money into ads isn’t going to help if you haven’t figured out who to send them to.
This is a lot of information to digest and so much of it I left open to broad terms but I hope it helps you better understand how ads work. Cheap and effective ads are possible, I spend a dollar a day on featured video boosts that reach thousands of people in a six day run. As always, if you have questions or comments you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, comment or send in a message to the First Angel Media page but for now – the tips and tricks:
Don’t rely on just ads. Share your posts into groups and on your own page where people can find you, start a watch party with the new video you just released, ask friends to share it too. If nothing else this will help your reach and help you find categories for future ads.
Run an ad or boost for a few days with one audience, then create a new ad for the next few days and see what works better. That type of side by side comparison can give you a ton of information.
Jana Lee Macheca (aka Lady Jaye) is the owner and editor of First Angel Media as well as professional photographer and writer. Having worked in national and local levels of music media her goal is to provide professional coverage for bands of all levels.