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facebook-ads-logoYou may not realize it, but Facebook isn’t showing all of your posts. Not even to your fans and followers. Wait, what the h!#$? We talked about this a while back so if you haven’t been paying attention, listen up.

If you are a business, Facebook is a pay to play proposition. If you are just posting on your Facebook page and not boosting posts, only some of your followers are seeing your content. They made this change to encourage (force, really) businesses to start paying to guarantee their content would be shown. As you can see from Facebook’s stock price, it’s working.

In addition to “boosted” posts, you also have the option to display straight-up ads within the newsfeed of a targeted audience. You’ve no doubt seen this “sponsored” content from other businesses while thumbing through your own newsfeed, and while you might blow right past it, there are a surprising number of people who will actually click on ads that are relevant to them.

Taking the Plunge

So should you bite the bullet and go down the road of Facebook advertising? While part of you (and us) wants to trade the Facebook “thumbs up” Like icon for another digit, the answer is that some advertising here can be a good idea. But of course you need to be realistic about your expectations and goals. If you are hoping Facebook is going to singlehandedly bring your business sales to an all new level, you will likely be disappointed. Focus on brand recognition and impressions, with a secondary goal of driving conversions.

So if your arm has been sufficiently twisted and you’re ready to start a Facebook campaign, how do you get started? Here’s what we’d recommend.

1. Selective Boosting – When you make up your social content posting calendar for the month, think about which posts are boost worthy, and schedule them out. There is no need to boost everything. Posts that lead back to your website would be our preference, so there is more opportunity to get a conversion. Remember: boosting a post can also get new eyeballs too so spend 5-10 bucks and boost away. Anther tip – if you have a post that got a healthy response from your followers, boost it to get more and target your followers’ friends. You will likely get even more good karma coming your way.

2. Create Ads with Purpose – Before putting together the text and visuals for an ad, think about what you are trying to achieve. Do you want to advertise a special offer? Build Facebook followers? Announce a new service? Whatever you choose to do, your ad needs to strike a chord for your target audience, and always, always, always go to a landing page that backs up what your ad was about. For instance, if you have an ad with 15% off your products and services, send visitors to a dedicated landing page providing more offer details and explaining how to get it.

3. Target the Right People – Facebook allows you to target ads to specific audiences. Use the tools in the Power Editor to set your ads to your desired demographic and go after the right people.

4. Measure and Modify – This is not a set it and forget it campaign. You need to watch, measure, and change your ads to keep them performing well. About a week after you first launch them (sooner is too soon), check your ad performance and make changes to them so they are continually working in your favor. Create similar ads for the ones that are working and stop the ones that aren’t. Check your budget and ensure it is reaching its full potential.

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