Targeting Strategies for Facebook Ads, Part One

facebook ad targeting

Since 2006, Facebook has been a wildly popular social media site for staying connected to friends and family all over the world. We share our photos, join group discussions, and post funny jokes in our status updates.

As an advertising tool, however, Facebook is no joking matter. Facebook provides the best opportunity to reach a highly targeted audience of potential customers on the web. Period.

Targeting is by far the most important step in creating effective ad campaigns. Here are five ways that Facebook can get you more leads and more conversions…TODAY!

But Before You Get Started

Facebook offers two interface options for creating ads; the basic version, and the Power Editor. Obviously you’ll want the Power Editor, but to do so you must be using the Google Chrome browser.

Also, you’ll need to set up an advertising account if you haven’t already, which will require a credit card to guarantee payment.

The photos that you will use in your ads are extremely important. They must be of high-quality, and ideally sized at 1200 x 628 pixels to look good on every grid tool 2type of device, whether desktop or mobile. The size for a video should be 504 x 283.

Also know that your images can contain no more than 20% text, otherwise the ad will be considered spammy and won’t be approved. Facebook provides a Grid Tool so you can verify your image before you upload it to an ad campaign.

Facebook has eight different types of ads based on your objective. For purposes of demonstration, we’ll use one of the most common, “Clicks to Website.”

OK, now we’re ready to get started. Let’s go out there and carefully select the people that we want to target in our advertising.

Strategy ONE: Target Your Competitors’ Customers

This one is pretty simple, actually. Use Facebook’s internal search engine to find other popular pages in your niche, and then you can target your ad to the people who have “liked” that page.

1421444594_target-dartFor example, if you sell sporting goods, you could target your ad to anyone who has liked Sports Authority’s Facebook page. Now you know that you’re not just advertising to the general public, but people who are interested in buying sporting goods. It so happens that Sports Authority has over 1.25 million Facebook Fans, so you could make your search more focused by filtering for age, gender, or geographic area, if appropriate for your promotion.

Another way to do this is to search for other pages that your fans have also “liked.” In this case, you would enter “pages liked by people who like (Your Page).” Use the results to target your ad. If you don’t have many Likes on your Fan Page yet, then this might be less effective. It doesn’t take millions of Likes, but you should have several thousand before launching an ad campaign.

Gaining organic Likes is a slow, tedious process. Although some experts disagree, buying Likes is actually a smart approach to Facebook promotions. You can buy Likes directly from Facebook, which is nice but very expensive. Or you can use third-party services to save a lot of money. Just do your research first to see who provides quality Facebook Likes.

Strategy TWO: Custom Audiences

There’s a great tool that Facebook provides in the Power Editor called, “Custom Audiences” which allows you to import your email list of leads, which will they will then compare to their database of Facebook accounts. Not everyone on your email list will have a Facebook account, of course, but most will.

Another way to do this is by having Facebook track your website visitors with a tracking pixel. This is a little piece of code that you put on your site to tell Facebook which accounts are visiting you on the web. You can even create separate audience lists for people who visit specific pages on your site, such as a landing page or a “thank you” page. And Facebook automates it all for you.

You already know that this is a VERY targeted group of Facebook accounts, since they’re already subscribed to your list and/or visiting your website regularly. Now you can promote to them on Facebook, too. “Remarketing” being the buzzword here.

But wait, it gets better…

(We discuss three more techniques in Part Two of this series.)

About This Author

Ian is freelance writer and blogger covering the topics of social media, blogging, and online marketing. Originally from the Chicago area, he now calls South Florida his home, trying to keep the sand out of his laptop as he creates content for several websites and blogs.

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