Facebook is the world’s largest and most popular social media platform, with around one billion daily users, and about two billion active members. So it makes sense to take advantage of this incredible reach and use Facebook to actively promote your business. How? With Facebook Ads.
Just like Hoover morphed from a brand name into a verb, Facebook Ads have become what we mean when we talk about paid social. With its incredible, granular ability to pinpoint and target specific Facebook users, it’s the perfect way to find customers relevant to your business, and target them with adverts or offers to convince them to buy. The more specific you get with your targeting details, the more likely it is your ad will resonate with users.
However, Facebook’s popularity is not an automatic guarantee of ad campaign success. Anyone who’s worked with Facebook Ads before knows that some campaigns perform much better than others. In fact, depending on your audience targeting, you could notice variations in cost-per-click percentages that run into the thousands!
Facebook Ads might seem unpredictable, and it’s true that we don’t always know what caused a spike or drop in the results, but there are steps you can take to ensure your Facebook Ad campaign delivers the best possible results.
Define Your Ideal Target Consumer
It is impossible to overstate the importance of this one. Despite what you may think, “everyone” is not your customer. When it comes to effective Facebook Ads, you don’t need a grenade, you need a sniper. Here are a few things you need to find out before you can create an avatar of your ideal customer:
- Location – This is particularly relevant if you have a physical store or service operation. Facebook Ads lets you target people within specific provinces, cities and post codes, effectively eliminating the need for “spray and pray” tactics.
- Demographics – including education, marital status, income, political beliefs, and so on.
- Online Habits – including what device/s they use to access the internet, and what social media platform/s they use most often.
Test Your Ads
Once you have a very clearly defined ideal customer in mind, the next thing to do is split test your ads. Split testing means running different versions of your ad to see which one is the most effective. Here’s how it works:
- First, your audience is divided at random into non-overlapping groups.
- Each test ad has one distinct difference, or variable, from the others. Only one variable can be tested at any given time. For example, it’s not possible to test two different delivery optimisations and two different audiences at the same time.
- Split testing gathers results from multiple devices, and is based on people, not cookies.
- Each test set will deliver different costs, which are then worked out and compared. The ad with the lowest cost is the winner!
Timing Is Everything
There are definitely better and worse times of the day and week to schedule your Facebook Ads, and your timing can have a significant effect on the number of comments, likes, click-throughs and shares your post receives. Of course, as with all marketing, there’s no silver bullet when it comes to timing, but there are things you can do to stack the odds in your favour.
Here are some best practices in terms of when to post on Facebook according to Sprout Social:
- Wednesday – post between noon and 2pm
- Thursday is the best day – post at 1 and 2pm
- As a general rule of thumb, “safe” times include all weekdays from 10am to 3pm
- Saturday shows the lowest engagement figures of the entire week
- Early mornings and evenings have the least engagement during the week.
As with any science experiment, it’s important to be consistent. Make sure you use the same ad when testing times.
Avoid Ad Fatigue
Ad fatigue is pretty much what it says on the tin. When your audience sees your ads too often, they become tired of them. They get bored, and stop paying attention. This means your ads lose their efficacy over time, which will hurt your ROI.
Here are a couple of things you can do to stop this from happening:
- Add some new interests to your target lists, to expose new people to your ads. But remember to keep these interests relevant to your offer.
- Pause your campaign for 10 days, and then reactivate it. This gives the ad fatigue time to disappear before your campaign starts up again.
Keep Your Friends Close And Your Enemies Closer
In other words, keep an eye on what your competition is doing. Keep tabs on when they get the most shares, likes and comments, then decide whether to copy them, or “zig” when they “zag.” And don’t forget to keep tabs on what the big boys are up to. Find out what social strategies the key players in your industry use, and then run tests to optimise these strategies for your own audience.
(NOTE: Want the ultimate Facebook Targeting Guide? Niel has created a 22-page cheat sheet to improve your ad targeting and conversions on Facebook. Register for Niel’s webinar on how to start and run a profitable digital agency now and claim your guide.)