If you have a Facebook fan page, then it’s important that you understand Facebook advertising. It can help grow your fan base and help with engagement, not to mention drive traffic to your website. You also need to understand it because Facebook is going to be constantly making ads a more integral part of having a Facebook page. In the past, you might have been able to get away with not having to deal with ads, now Facebook puts a button on every post on your page, which allows you to ‘boost’ it to more of your fans. Bottom line, if you don’t understand how Facebook advertising works, you will either waste a lot of money, or get left in the dust by your competition who does understand it and is taking advantage of it.
BOOSTED POST AD
Let’s start with boosted posts. These are the simplest of all the types of Facebook ads. By clicking the blue button that says ‘boost post’, you get a series of options. You pick your price, which correlates with how many people it will reach and over the course of the next day, Facebook will show that post in the newsfeeds of more of your fans and their friends. This is a good type of ad if you want to promote something to the people who already know about your brand and might be interested in what you are posting.
Why would you want to pay to show your post to the fans that already like your page? Because Facebook has systematically limited the number of fans who actually see your posts in their newsfeeds. It’s typically less than 10%. The reason for this is so that you will have to pay to show your content to the people who already like your page. Ridiculous, I know, but this is Facebook’s world and we just live in it.
For this type of ad and all other types of ads, you need to access your ads manager, on the left side of your Facebook home feed. Once there, simply click the green button in the upper right hand corner that says ‘create ad.’ From there, you will be given a series of options, all of which allow you to create similar ads, but with different goals.
A newsfeed ad allows you to create an ad and have it show up directly in the newsfeed of the people you are targeting. For example, Gillette’s ad showed up in my newsfeed recently as shown below. I am not connected to Gillette’s Facebook page in any way, but they created an ad and I am within the target audience they outlined when they created the ad. This placement of the ad is good for when you want to reach out to new people, but in a more subtle way. Creating an ad that shares something interesting and paying to have it show up in the newsfeed of people who don’t know about you is an effective strategy.
RIGHT COLUMN AD
The third type of ad shows up in the right column of a users profile or home feed, as shown below. When you create ads, you have the option to have them displayed in both the newsfeed and the right column, or you can simply choose one place to put the ad. As you can see, there are a variety of ads in the right column and these change frequently as you click to other pages within Facebook. This is great for a more traditional type of ad. You have a title, picture and about a sentence to write. This can be effective for driving people to an external website.
Having a basic understanding of the differences between these three types of ads will allow you to determine which ad is best for you and what you are trying to accomplish. Facebook has made setting up an ad pretty simple, but you can also dive pretty deep into targeting very specific audiences, but I’ll save that for another day.