50 million businesses are on Facebook, but only 6 million of them are using Facebook’s advertising solutions.
If you’re a social media marketer with experience in Facebook Business Manager, you’ve probably enjoyed the rich spoils of this constantly developing landscape. Clickthrough rates are high, cost-per-click and CPM are outperforming paid search advertising (in places, several times over), and Facebook’s familiar aesthetic allows for compelling ad copy and images to act in concert.
In recent months, new products and solutions continue to change the game. New placements like Facebook Marketplace and Instagram Stories allow advertisers to pursue new demographics with a unique visual experience. Store Visits reporting and optimization take digital attribution even closer to real-world outcomes. Changes to Dynamic Shopping Ads, including new overlays, templates, and category support, have refreshed the game for 2019.
At the end of the day, consumers want to interact with brands on Facebook—57% of consumers say social media influences their shopping, and Facebook leads the pack at 44%. And while the platform has dealt with concerns around privacy and ad targeting, Facebook gives brands the tools to meet consumers on the platform that matters most. You’ve got space for the compelling images and videos that can entertain, not just promote. You’ve got a generous amount of screen real estate in places of social importance, including the News Feed, Instagram Stories, and third-party apps. You’ve got built-in tools for social interaction (likes, comments, and shares) that can inherently make your advertising more inviting. It’s cheaper—and often, more effective—to advertise on Facebook than in other media.
If it sounds like we’re excited about the current state of Facebook advertising, you’ve got the right of it. It’s a crucial component of our social media marketing strategy and, alongside community management, organic campaigns, and content marketing, is a huge part of what helps our clients— from small, local businesses to national entities—earn business through social media.
But between all the options and optimizations available, there are just as many ways for a business to fall short in its Facebook marketing as there are leads to be generated. Here are five great tips for boosting your business on Facebook with the transition from 2018 to 2019:
1. Adjust Your Bid Settings
When setting up many campaign types, you can override Facebook’s automatic bidding and manually set the maximum amount you’d like to bid, aim for a target cost, or adjust other settings. The default option allows Facebook to get as many website conversions as it can at the lowest price, but we’ve been specifically recommended by a Facebook insider to set your own bid cap.
The reason? Facebook’s best guess as to your conversion value typically means less aggressive bidding. For maximum conversions, try raising your bid cap to as much as you’re comfortable with, like at or slightly below typical paid search bids. Facebook will still try to bid below this value when possible, but you’re giving it the leeway to earn extra conversions in more competitive audience segments.
2. Tell a Story With Carousel or Collection
Carousel-type ads are extremely popular in the retail space, and for good reason. These ad types align multiple images and links in a single ad, with users given the ability to swipe between them. You can even use the Carousel format to market actual products, leveraging data on what your website visitors are looking at to drive purchases using Dynamic Product Ads.
Rather than featuring multiple products or services, why not use Carousel to tell a story? It’s a non-obvious use of the format, but it’s an easy way to add short-form authenticity and narrative intrigue to your ads. Try using photographs of your business or workflow to tell a story about how much you care, or trace the construction of your product to demonstrate its best qualities, like being locally sourced or responsibly made.
For bonus points in retail or travel, upgrade even further to Collection ads. This creative format leverages your existing product catalog to pair a hero image or video with relevant listings directly below it. The ad opens up into a full-screen Instant Experience that looks fantastic on mobile. The cumulative effect is authenticity, professionalism, and meaningful engagement.
3. Set a Lifetime Budget, Not a Daily Budget
Facebook defaults to asking you for a daily spending limit, and this is a familiar technique from other advertising forms. But a member of the Facebook Small Business team tells us that a Lifetime Budget is the better option.
For one, it streamlines planning. In the ad creation phase, you can input different lifetime budget amounts, as well as start and end dates, to get a picture of how Estimated Daily Reach changes in relation to spend.
But more importantly, from a strategic perspective, it gives Facebook the freedom to chase results. If your daily spending limit has already been reached, Facebook might not be able to leverage a sudden influx of your relevant users or a temporary change in the bidding landscape until the next day. Similarly, by extending your lifetime date range past just one month—think an entire quarter, or longer—you’ll give Facebook more freedom to pursue results at opportune moments. You can always pause a campaign or adjust its lifetime budget along the way, so why not set up the bidding algorithm for better success?
4. Use Conversion Pixels for Better Measurement
Facebook is pretty good about giving you relevant metrics when it comes to measuring the performance of your campaigns. But measure social ROI is still a formidable challenge in our industry, followed closely by the difficulty of connecting social activities to business outcomes.
In truth, there are lots of ways to do this. You can use tracking URLs to track conversions in Google Analytics, use the start of a social program as a marker against web traffic and revenue, or calculate the monetary value of your social media gains compared to traditional media.
Another way is with the Facebook Pixel. This code can be placed anywhere on your website that’s tied to a conversion or desired action (a post-purchase “Thank You” page, for example, or a newsletter sign-up). When that piece of code fires, Facebook is alerted and sees if that web visitor is also a Facebook user. If that person has seen your ad or clicked your ad, the conversion is attributed.
From advanced action tracking to smarter campaign decisions and better audiences (more on that in a second), the possibilities opened by the Facebook Pixel are nearly endless. Your ad campaigns can sort the conversions you’ve earned by device, location, demographic, and creative. You can track key events at every step in the consumer journey, using the data to both understand social media’s value and where your website or digital experience is letting people fall off. It’s a powerful way to not only measure your campaign performance, but to build a persona of your online consumers. Speaking of which…
5. Use Conversion Pixels for Better Targeting
Facebook’s Custom Audiences are a boon for marketers. From a variety of sources—email lists, Page fans, event attendees, and more—you can build a Lookalike audience of the closest matches among all Facebook users. The result, whether you allow the top 10% of matches or only the top 1%, is an extremely relevant audience that closely mimics your existing fans and consumers.
You can also create a Lookalike audience from existing conversion pixels, which means you can send ads directly to the top 1% matches of existing or recent customers. By using different conversion events for different products or services, you can drill down even further and optimize your ads for a specific conversion. Send different messages to folks interested in one product over another; it’s easy with the Facebook Pixel.
Heck, you can even use pixels for remarketing. Do you have pages that represent different levels of the sales funnel, or key landing pages recently launched for a broader marketing campaign? Put a distinct conversion pixel anywhere of importance on your website, build a Custom Audience of those visitors on Facebook, and target messaging directly to their stopping point. Use a successive series of events, retargeting users at every step, to build a complete brand story on social media.
Give Your Business a Boost
Facebook advertising spend continues to grow as new solutions for telling a brand story and measuring success debut. Today is a great time to join the platform or refine your existing techniques. Take these tips to heart as you get started with Facebook advertising or revisit your existing strategy by getting in touch!