Facebook Ads: Understand, Set Up, Recycle
by Rudi Gabriel Bedy
Facebook Advertising is used by many companies to promote their Facebook Page, Posts, Events, Apps and product/services websites. Facebook is trying to give advertisers a lot of room to customize the ads and precisely target people who are interested.
It is very important to have an objective before starting the ads, depending on that, you will know what kind of ads you have to choose. The objectives can range from Sales on your website to new Fans acquisition and engagement on your brand page.
The Fans Acquisition and Engagement Ads set up is explained below. For promoting a direct link to a landing page outside Facebook, you have to insert the link in your Facebook Ads setup page and then go further with the tutorial below.
Fully understand and then create Facebook Ads
Facebook introduced a redesign to its ads setup. This eases the process of setting up the ads and campaigns by giving you 3 main options: “Get More Page Likes”, “Promote Page Posts” and “See Advanced Options”. The first two options are templates for those who want to publish fast, but if that’s not the case, then go with advanced options. The later one is preferred by me because I like to be in control of how exactly the money is spent.
1. Setting up your copy
In Advanced Options you have two things you can choose from: Promote your page or Promote an existing posts (see below).
- By choosing to promote a Facebook Brand Page you can enter the copy of the ad, the landing tab (can be the timeline or any other tab) and the image you want to have on the ad.
- By choosing to promote a Facebook Page Post you can choose one post or make it load the latest post automatically.
Below those two options you have “Sponsored Stories”, which uses one of the fans to advertise to his friends that he liked the page or a post from the page.
2. Targeting people located where your business operates – Location Targeting
Going further to the Targeting Options for the ads we will see the Location Targeting setting. If you have a local business or you want to do a event in a specific place, then you have the option to target for most countries at the city level.
This feature is also important for broader location targeting like countries, after all, you want to target the countries where your products are available. Several countries can be targeted here and then be conditioned by the language spoken by the users.
3. Sex and Age Targeting
The next thing to setup is the sex and age of the people targeted. Depending on who you target with your products, you will choose to target only those people who are interested in the products or people who can take a decision into buying that product for them. Let’s say you are selling women perfume and you have a Valentine’s Campaign, you will target men which are in the same age range as the final user, of course you can also target by their relationship and sexual orientation.
4. Choose if you know their Precise Interests and Broad Interest Categories
This is a very precious targeting option. By knowing the Precise Interests of your current customers you can target new possible customers by that specific interest or you can even target people who are interested in competitor products and attract them to your brand.
The Broader Categories option gives you very detailed targeting possibilities, you can target by:
- their Activities (cooking, dancing, gaming, gardening, traveling, photography and others)
- the business industry/area they work in
- their ethnic
- their Family Status (Engagement time, Expecting Parents, Newlywed, Away from Family, Parents, by the age of their kids)
- their Interests (Pets, Cars, Education, News and others,
- by what sports they like
- by what they like to shop online
- by what device and brand they use Facebook on.
5. If your business or product is for a specific Sexual Orientation and Relationship Status
This targeting option goes into details, you can target by their relationship status and by their sexual orientation. Of course you will be able to target only those who publicly stated one of these. If you have special services or products, let’s say for gay men, then you will target men in the Sex Targeting option and interested in man in this section. If you are looking to promote a special Honeymoon offer for engaged people who will marry in a specific time frame, then you have the possibility to target those. Still, you have to be aware that not all people are setting up this kind of information on their Facebook profiles, that means that the number of users being targeted will be low but very precise.
6. Languages, Education and Workplace
There are countries where there is not only 1 official language spoken. A good example is Switzerland where you have 3 official languages. Companies selling in that country, have to be aware of those 3 languages and offer products, services and communication in each of those. The same happens with the ads, you will want to target Switzerland users which speak German and serve them an Ad in German, not French or Italian.
Education targeting is also important for specific brands or for companies which advertise specific training or educational programs. By choosing “College” or “College Grad” you can go further in detail with the College and field of study of the targeted people.
7. Connections and Friends of Connections
An important part of the targeting is the Connections and Friends of Connections option. To keep in mind is that you can target with this, only people from your own pages. That means you cannot target people who are connected to your competitor’s brand page or to any other page that you don’t own. Targeting competitors or other pages can be done only by “Precise Interests” which is explained at point 4.
You can target people who:
- are connected to your brand page (use for sponsored posts)
- are not already connected to your brand
- people who are connected to another page you own
- people who’s friends are connected to one of your brand pages, applications or events.
Keep in mind that the brand pages, applications or events pages have to be connected with the advertising account.
8. Campaign, Pricing and Schedule
What is left after setting up your copy and targeting is to setup a campaign:
- Chose your budget per day or by having a total budget for the entire campaign.
- Setup the duration of the campaign
- Setup for what you want to be charged (CPM/CPC).
CPM (Cost per mille – 1000 views) is good when you have an ad which gets a lot of clicks. In the screenshot almost all the options are CPM.
CPC (Cost per Click) is good when you expect a low CTR (click-through rate). This one you can set up only by choosing “Optimize for clicks” and “Manually set a value for clicks”.
The best thing to do is to test the ad in both cases and see which one get’s the best results with less money.
My preferred setup is total budget/campaign, duration of the campaign and manual CPC setup.
TIP ON BIDDING CPC:
- Be sure to check the suggested bid, choosing the middle price is not every time the best.
- If you look into getting lots of views and click fast, go with the highest bid.
- If you are 100% sure you have a great Ad and you target people who are interested, I recommend going with the smallest bid. If it’s not having enough views, change the bid a bit higher.
- If it has a high number of views but a low CTR, change the copy of the ad.
It is good to have more than one copy for your ads, Facebook will select the best performing one and serve it. This way you will know next time what works and what not.
Create Facebook Ads Templates from Ads that worked well
For specific campaigns I use old Ads that worked well, as templates for the new ads. From those I usually import the targeting, this way it works faster and I get good results. To use an ad as a template you have to:
- Go to and click on a Campaign
- Check which Ad had the best results (Cost/Results)
- Click on the ad to expand it and hit the link where it says “Create Similar Ad”
Below you have an example of a Promoted Post which worked well and the location of the link.
The new window will have all the details of your template ad, that means you’ll have to change it with the new copy and images.
After that, if needed, you can fine tune the targeting. One important thing is to change the campaign name. It’s better to have ads in different campaign groups for analyzing the data after the campaign is over, but also for tracking specific activities you have on your brand pages.
Let’s say you have a campaign which is bringing the user to a sales page on your website and then another one which wants to acquire fans on the Facebook brand page, you will definitely want to measure the sales and engagement on the first campaign separate from the fans acquisition on the second campaign.
Create a name structure for your campaigns to find them fast and keep track of them. You could split them in Awareness Campaigns, Promotion Campaigns and Customer Retention Campaigns or you could split them in Customer Acquisition, Fan Acquisition and Brand Page Engagement. It depends on what the social media objectives of the company are and the number of brands/products/services which you promote from the Facebook Ads account. Important is that you make them simple identifiable.
Be sure to check also:
- “Twitter Cards, simple steps to get them for your website” where I obviously tell you how to get your awesome twitter cards.
- “Facebook Global Brand Pages, you want them but can you afford them?” where I talk about the requirements to get the Global Brand Pages structure on Facebook.
- “Facebook got greedy and it’s not stopping” where I talk about Facebook’s strategy to charge companies twice for the same service.
- “Why Social Media Optimization is important to SEO nowadays” where I explain how SMO influences Search Engine Results.