Think Thoughts

Paid Advertising on Facebook

January 4, 2013
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I just read an article about Facebook partnering with a search retargeting firm that adds Google search data into its ad exchange. What does that mean? More information to better target your customers. You can read the article yourself here but, in a nutshell, you can now target customers based on intent to buy. That goes way beyond the demographic information Facebook collects.


We’ve had great success with paid Facebook advertising and we recommend it to clients because you don’t have to make a huge investment to see results. But it can be tricky if you don’t have a game plan in mind. Depending on your goals, there are many different paid options you can choose to distribute your message to Facebook followers. We here at Think Tank Louisville would be happy to help you put together your paid and unpaid advertising schedule on Facebook but if you’re looking to dip your toe in the waters, here’s a brief summary.


Here are your paid advertising options on Facebook: Facebook Ads, Sponsored Stories, Promoted Posts, Offers and Sponsored Results.


Facebook ads are the small squares you see promoting everything from games, clothing to trips. They have a short headline, a small photo and a short blurb. You can set these up pretty easily and have them link to a tab on your business Facebook page or to a page on your website. Ads are scheduled for a certain period of time and can have a daily or lifetime budget. You also have the option of paying per click or per impression. The tricky thing about Facebook ads are the bids. Facebook will suggest a bid range and it is important to monitor your bids, as the rates can change depending on your ads’ popularity.


Sponsored stories are like ads but work a little differently. These are messages that are reaching friends of followers who are engaging with your page. For example, say you click “Like” on our page. We could then set a budget for a sponsored story so that your friends see that you liked the page when they are browsing through Facebook. It’s like word of mouth marketing, only you’re paying to make it happen! So if you have a lot of fans or interaction on your page, this is a good way to go. We usually run ads and sponsored stories at the same time.


Promoted posts are our new favorite. They are inexpensive and make sure your posts reach a majority of your followers and their friends. Say you’ve got decent engagement. Your posts consistently get a good number of likes or comments, and you are keeping the conversation flowing. Then you decide it’s time to throw out a special offer or alert your followers to a big news announcement. Type in your post and click “Promote.” Depending on the number of “Likes” you have, you can set your budget to reach as many people as you want. Facebook gives you an estimate on the reach in the drop down menu. The more “Likes” you have, the higher you can set your budget and reach more people.


You may have noticed some of your friends claiming offers on Facebook. You may have claimed one yourself after seeing it. There are 3 kinds of offers: in-store only, in store and online, or online only. You can add all your terms including a limit to the number of claims, an expiration date, even a barcode to scan at your business location. After you have your offer set up just the way you want it, you can add a photo, a headline, preview the offer and set your budget. Much like the promoted post, Facebook gives you an estimated reach based on your budget. When someone claims an offer, they get an email with all your terms and conditions. Hopefully they will call, click or drop by your store to redeem it. Even if they don’t your message and product will be out there on Facebook for other friends to see.


Sponsored results are a new form of advertising that appears in the drop down when someone is searching for something on Facebook. So, for example, someone starts to type in Zynga in the search bar. The first couple of suggestions are labeled “Sponsored” and are usually one of the more popular Zynga games or pages that company has paid to feature. Currently there is not way to set up sponsored results through the Facebook ads manager so if you’re interested, you’ll need a third party tool.

Facebook has gotten better about guiding you through the paid advertising process but you do need to have some goals in mind. Think Tank Louisville has had great success in using these advertising tools so give us a call. We’d love to help your business!