What’s the Big Deal?

Facebook Advertising has grown in popularity and created quite a stir when it was first introduced. However, since the dawn of targeting ads more specifically towards demographics (age, sex, education, etc.) and having tighter restrictions on ad quality, Facebook Advertising has been a viable traffic builder and advertising option for small and large size businesses. To make managing advertisements easier, Facebook created the Facebook Ads Manager. The Facebook Ads Manager helps the user manage and optimize their advertising account on Facebook. When dealing with this program, there are 4 major steps. These steps include creating the ad, managing a budget, tracking performance and improving ads. Each of these steps will be further discussed in the ensuing paragraphs.

Ad Creation

When creating a Facebook ad, the user must identify what their goals are. They need to strive to accomplish something from a campaign, or it will not be beneficial for them. Next, they need to distinguish who their target audience is. As mentioned plenty of times before, targeting a product or service to the right people is crucial. Facebook Advertising allows you to choose a very specific audience that is applicable. On the other hand, if a user wants to target a broad perspective of people, they can do that as well. Facebook Ad Manager gives users an opportunity to choose from a predetermined set of locations, and target which types of people are best suited for the ad within that area. For example, say a user wanted to target 18-34 year-olds in Pawtucket, Rhode Island that like baseball, Facebook Ads Manager will allow them to do so, placing their ad in that particular market. The downfalls to this are that the more specific and narrow the criteria gets, the more expensive it is. After the goals and audience are determined, a budget must be set. How much will a user be willing to spend? By using Facebook Ads Manager, the user is given the option to put a cap on the daily spending. For instance, if a user allocated $100 per day, once $100 is spent, the ad will stop being displayed, thus it won’t cost a dime more. All of these items need to be considered when creating a Facebook Ad campaign.

Managing a Budget

Once a budget has been set, it is important for the user to distinguish what types of costs are involved. Facebook Ads Manager provides ads to consumers every minute. In order for a user’s ad to be displayed more frequently, the more they have to bid on a cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-thousand (CPM) basis. The program uses a bidding system in which the user is given a specified range of bid prices for the types of market they are targeting. As mentioned above, the more narrow this market is, the more it will cost per bid, and vice versa. When a user decides to submit a bid below this range, odds are fairly certain that they will be rejected, and have to try once again. With that said, if a user bids an extreme amount, the bid will odds-on be accepted, thus with such a high bid amount it will be displayed to their target market more frequently. It’s almost like a game, trying to decide what the best price to bid is that gives the user the best results. In most instances, it’s about experimenting. Once a bid has been accepted, the user must allocate a daily spending limit. The parameters for this have been explained above. The final process in managing a budget is determining whether to pay on a CPC or CPM basis. By choosing CPC, the user agrees to pay every time their ad is clicked. Once the amount of clicks equals the daily spending limit, the ad will not be displayed for the rest of the day. (Ex. CPC: $1.50, Daily Limit: $45, Max Clicks Per Day = 30). On the other hand, the user may opt to pay on a CPM basis. What this entails is, for every thousand impressions the user will pay the designated amount of the bid. CPM is often used more commonly than the CPC process. Now that the basics have been covered, the user must determine the length of the campaign. Facebook Ads Manager allows the user to specify the length of the campaign, and turn it on or off at any point in time. If a user decides to stop a campaign, and come back in a year, they can do so. All the information will be there for them, though the ad might be a little outdated and have to be replaced.

Tracking Performance

When a consumer clicks on the user’s Facebook ad, they are directed to either the user’s website, Facebook fan page, or other predetermined destination. By using Facebook Ads Manager, the user is capable of tracking the performance of their campaign. It allows them to see how many times a particular ad has been clicked over the course of a day, week or month. It also gives them the opportunity to see how many impressions have been delivered over that period, and the click through rate for the ad. All of these handy tools can be seen in either a table or graph. Once the user has run a campaign for a week, they can see how well the ads are performing, and if changes need to be made they can do so. A report can be printed out at any given time to review the results of the campaign.

Improving an Ad

As mentioned earlier, at any time if an ad isn’t giving the user the results they are longing for, they can tweak and make changes to it. One way to improve an ad is to make it stand out. It’s important to be creative allowing the user to have an effective campaign. It may also be important to examine who the ad is targeted to. If an ad isn’t getting the right amount of exposure, it may be time to re-think who the user is reaching out to and make changes. Different types of ads can be more effective than others. Creating a flashy ad that stands out will have a much better effect than that of a dull one. All of these items can be taken into consideration when creating or improving upon a Facebook campaign.

What are the Benefits?

The major advantage to using Facebook as a means of advertising is that there are over 400 million consumers that use Facebook, and that number is increasing daily. The customer reach for Facebook is astounding, and can easily be utilized by the user. With such an expansive database of consumers, users can have a successful campaign targeted toward their local clients. With the ability to target locally, very precise consumers, users are able to reap the benefits from Facebook Advertising. This leads to an increase in targeting. Because of its ability to dissect and segment customer information, Facebook has the ability to offer increased targeting for the users. The final benefit to using Facebook is the CPC and CPM option. It allows users to determine whether they are more focused on exposure and awareness (CPM) or focused on adaptation and providing more information (CPC). After deciphering the target audience, this step seems to be very simple. Each of these items is what makes Facebook Advertising beneficial.

Any Pitfalls?

Not everything is perfect, and Facebook Advertising does have its fair amount of imperfections. Facebook has low conversion rates for E-commerce. What this means is that people are using Facebook to talk with friends and socialize and rarely are thinking about buying something when they log into their Facebook account. Most people will log on to their account and ignore most ads that are on their homepage. This links to the next downfall of Facebook Advertising. Many of the ads on Facebook are irrelevant to the consumer, which in turn takes away the exposure from pertinent ads. When a consumer is flooded with inept ads in their home page they will most likely ignore them, including the user’s ad, even if it is relevant to them. The final demise to Facebook Advertising is the CPC aspect. When paying on a CPC basis, it can be very expensive for users to target a niche audience. All of the statements above do have a negative influence on whether or not a user should advertise on Facebook.

Final Thoughts

Although it seems like Facebook Advertising is malicious, it really does have a very positive effect on the consumer. Not everyone will see or click the user’s ad, but over time they will gain the exposure needed to have a successful advertising campaign. It is a great investment for many users. Facebook has come a long way since first releasing their advertising engine. When it first came out, people were very skeptical of the low quality ads that were being displayed and how effective they were when converted. In the past couple years Facebook has made significant progress at improving the model and will continue to grow and be a very influential part of most everyone’s life. Social media has had such an enormous impact on the economy, and with technology the way it is, who knows what will be next?