How to Run Your First Paid Ads on Facebook
So, you’ve got your business up and running.
You dove into the world of marketing your business on social media.
You’ve picked Facebook as one of your social media platforms.
You’ve been building up a great business page full of top-notch content.
And now, it’s time to start getting your content seen by tons of people. And not just “people,” but it’s time to have your content seen by people who will care about it!
Let’s walk through a basic “how-to” of your first paid ads on Facebook.
NOTE: Facebook calls anything that is paid a “Sponsored Post.” You may have noticed Sponsored Posts in your own personal news feed. This just means that a company has paid for people just like YOU to see their ad.
Step 1: Examine your Insights
Facebook has more information on your audience than any other site in the world. Facebook knows you people’s age, gender, interests, income, even times that they are generally online. Facebook knows everything. And now’s a time where you can take full advantage of that!
Be a student of your people. Take a look at your Insights (found in the top bar of your business Facebook page). If you click on the “People” tab on the left side of the screen, you can see details about people that Like your page, and also people who are “engaged with” your page. Meaning, the people who often like, comment on or share your posts.
Take note of whether your crowd is male or female, the age range most of them fall into, and also where they are from.
Step 2: Create an Ad-Worthy Post
Select a GREAT photo or video, turn it into a graphic if you’d like (but you don’t have to!), and write the text of your post. Keep it brief, so that it catches people’s eye as they scroll through their feed. Ideally, a couple of sentences.
Decide now what you are wanting the point of your ad to be: What action are you wanting people to take? Do you want them to come into your store? Buy something online? Learn a fact about your product? Call and set up an appointment?
Step 3: Boost your Post
Click on the “Boost Post” under your photo or graphic. This opens up another window where you can now craft the details of your ad.
On the right side of the window, you will see a mock up of what your ad will look like on a desktop computer, a mobile device, or on Instagram (if you have an Instagram account linked to your Facebook page). Take a look at these mock ups and make sure that they look good and are eye catching. If it looks good, carry on. If you’d like to cancel the boosted post and edit your post first, do that now.
Step 4: Select a Button for your Ad
Likely the first option on the left side of the window is a drop down menu where you can “select a button.” This is a button that people can click under your photo in your ad. You do not have to select one, but having a button there can encourage people to click on your ad and engage with it.
Be mindful of which one makes sense for your ad, and make sure that you have somewhere to send them if they click the button! If there is a link in your post, the button will automatically send people to that link. If you do not have a link posted in your text, you will choose now where the button will take people.
NOTE: Try to never send people to the main homepage of your website, leaving them to flounder around looking for the information that they were hoping to see. If you have had them click on “Shop Now,” then paste in a link that goes directly to your online store. If you have had them click on “Learn More,” paste in a link that goes directly to more information about the product or post.
ALSO: Send them to YOUR webpage! Don’t pay for an ad that links people to an article about you, or some other site that you do not own. Spend your money well and create traffic to your own site.
Step 5: Choose or Create an Audience for your Ad
Here’s where being a student of your audience pays off! You will now choose which type of people will see the ad that you create. Targeting your crowd well is important because each time your ad is seen, you pay money. So let’s target your crowd well and only put it in front of people who are likely to respond to it!
If you are making this certain audience for the first time, click on “Create New Audience.”
You will then name your audience. Only you will see the name, so make it something descriptive of the group you are trying to target this time.
Select a gender and age range that will be most likely to interact with your post.
You can now select a location. If your business has a physical location, you may want to put in your store address. Type in the address and hit enter. You can then select a radius of miles around that address. What this means is that the ad will be served to people who are currently within that radius. So think about how far people are likely to drive for your store or product.
If you do not have a physical store, you can either leave this option blank, or you can take an educated guess. Remember that all of social media marketing is really trial and error, so try a location based on your Insights on your page. Type in the most popular city or area for your product.
You can now select some interests. If someone really enjoys your product, what else might they enjoy? If you are selling organic cakes, you could select “Organic Food” and “Desserts” as some interests.
Save your audience.
Step 6: Decide if your ad will be on Instagram
If you have an Instagram account linked to your Facebook page, here is a simple check box for whether or not the ad will also run on Instagram.
Step 7: Decide on a Budget and Duration for your Ad.
Put in your total budget for boosting this particular post. You can then select how many days you would like for the ad to run. Facebook will divide your total budget by that many days, so it keeps your funds in check.
Step 8: Pay for your Ad.
Either simply select the card that you have previously entered, or enter a card for billing at this time.
Step 9: Boost it!
If everything looks good, boost your post! Facebook will take 15-20 mins to review your ad, and then start running it. As it is running you will be able to check on the results and progress along the way under your boosted post.
This is a very simple way to dip your toe in the water of paid ads on social media. The options are straightforward, allowing an avenue for anyone’s business to gain some visibility.