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The most recent development in Facebook Advertising is the controversial inclusion of Ads in the news feed. Facebook has been planning this for quite some time and it is now coming to fruition. This update allows for paid communication to appear directly in users’ main source of social information. These ads will be equivocally designated by a small notice in the bottom right corner reading ‘Featured.’ The format will be equivalent to Sponsored Stories (covered below), simply repositioned to a more visible, and probably more engaging, position. It will be interesting to see how this plays out for Facebook, as there is already a surging clamor concerning the most intrusive placement by the social network as of yet coupled with invariable privacy issues that have plagued Facebook from the start.
The first step is creating a Facebook Page for your brand to interact with fans and customers. Ensure all pertinent information about your business is present and post regularly to entertain and galvanize both current and potential fans. Maintain an amiable and professional voice while monitoring your page closely, responding promptly and earnestly when users post on your Wall.
Evaluate the success and engagement of your page with the Insights data Facebook provides. You will be privy to user insights, including page likes, number of fans, active users, like sources, demographics, and page views, as well as interactions insights, including user feedback on activity and general daily page activity. Monitor your daily and monthly fan volume growth, average number of likes and comments, and number of total page views. Refine your customer persona using extensive demographic data, reviewing what types of people are interacting with your brand and in what ways. Facebook recently updated data on Likes and Reach to improve the accuracy regarding audience location, which is important and useful information to marry with your location based strategies. Finally, the insights discovered will assist you in determining the efficacy of your Facebook advertising efforts, which go as follows.
Once your Page is set up and optimized, start playing around with Facebook’s simple ad creation platform. Consider your business objectives and goals for your campaign; are you primarily concerned with sending traffic to your website, amplifying volume of ‘likes’ to your Facebook page, or both? Whatever strategy you decide to pursue, design your ad to reflect it. Formulate an appealing title, useful body, and compelling image – imagery can make or break a campaign. You only have a very brief window of visibility and interest from the user, so make the most of it by being humorous, emotionally invoking, or aesthetically pleasing with your image.
You can then move along to targeting, which Facebook does as well as anyone given its immense trove of user demographic and interest information. Select your desired audience, exploring the vast amount of categories and classification options that Facebook allows. You can target millions or thousands of people depending on your respective awareness, sales, and fan base goals.
Similar to most paid search platforms, Facebook permits the setting of your own budget, so you’ll never spend more than you dictate. Of course, having a sizable budget will ensure that your ads are receiving plenty of exposure, and as your campaign progresses, you can evaluate and adjust budgets based on what is working. Valid billing information is requisite for your campaigns to begin running. Your ads manager will allow you to view comprehensive data, providing reports easily filtered by campaign, time summary, date range, and format. It will also display a host of metrics, including impressions, clicks, connections (likes), click-through rate, spend, and cost-per-connection.
These are perhaps the most personal Ads on the internet. Sponsored Stories generates a ‘story’ about users’ activity with brand pages that surfaces on the right side of Facebook pages (and now in the news feed as well, as explained above). Eligible activity includes page likes, page comments, check-ins, event RSVPs, page question votes, app usage or game play, and website likes or shares. For example, if my Facebook friend Mark checks in at Subway, I very well may see an Ad notifying me that Mark visited Subway and that I should too (assuming Subway is running Sponsored Stories). This format is contingent on the organic activity that users have with your page, so utilize your resources deftly to encourage interesting story material.
Now you are infallibly equipped with incisive Facebook Advertising acumen. Never again will you have a shortage of friends.