Although Facebook is the largest, most popular social network in the world, advertising on Facebook’s platform isn’t usually a guaranteed success. Compared to success rates for other self-serve social advertising platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn, for example, Facebook is the lowest performer.
However, for brands that are looking to make the most of their Facebook ad campaigns, here are six need-to-know tips that can reduce costs and increase your chances of success:
#1 – Stay in the network to reduce costs.
Because the social network wants to provide a better experience for its users, Facebook prefers that ads are linked to properties within Facebook.com, for example, a landing tab on your company’s Facebook page. Because of this, Facebook charges advertisers higher rates for ads that direct users outside of the Facebook.com ecosystem. Advertisers who adhere to these preferences can reduce ad spend by as much as 29%.
#2 – Social ads perform better.
There are two different types of Facebook ads: standard ads that don’t feature any social elements, and social ads. Social ads are easily recognizable because they feature the “Like” button. Users who interact with a social ad on Facebook will see their friends “likes” displayed inline with the ad (provided any of them have clicked it) which significantly increases the trust factor. Social ads are yet another incentive for advertisers to “stay within the network” because ads that direct traffic outside of Facebook.com do not provide any social context.
Here’s an example of a social ad for a local dance club in Baltimore:
#3 – Optimize your ads specifically for Facebook.
This should be an obvious one, but there are a surprising number of brands running unoptimized ads on Facebook which were probably recycled from campaigns running elsewhere. The following best practices are recommended for Facebook ads:
- Images should be sized to 110 x 80 pixels
- Use close-up pictures that fill the whole image space (as opposed to photos taken from a distance or images with a lot of white space)
- Pictures of human faces seem to perform better (not surprising on a site named Facebook, right?)
- Use clear and specific calls to action, for example “Like our page to receive your 20% coupon”
#4 – Sponsored Stories are the top performing ad unit.
Sponsored Stories are a special type of Facebook ad unit that highlight interactions people have had with your brand by featuring them prominently in the Facebook timeline for connected users. For example, if someone likes your Page, their friends may see a story about it in their news feed. These “promoted” interactions are marked as “Sponsored” when you see them in your news feed (and this works the same way in Facebook’s mobile interface). Because they integrate more naturally into a user’s Facebook experience, Sponsored Stories generally out-perform Facebook’s other ad types with an average CTR of 0.05%.
Here’s an example of a Sponsored Story from Starbucks:
#5 – Landing Tabs aren’t dead, just different. And still important!
Landing Tabs are essentially Facebook’s version of a landing page. Brands can create tabs within their Pages that can be customized with HTML, images, links, forms, etc. to look like a branded landing page. With the recent rollout of Facebook’s timeline–now a mandatory part of branded pages–default landing tabs have gone away, meaning that brands can no longer automatically direct all incoming Brand page traffic to a specific tab. However, it’s still important to use landing tabs as a destination for your Facebook ads. The new Brand pages allow you to showcase your important tabs just beneath the Cover image, so special attention should be paid to this area.
Here’s a great example of good usage of this space by Social Media Examiner:
#6 – Keep your Brand Page timeline updated and interesting!
The recent major overhaul to Facebook’s Brand pages, which introduced the now mandatory timeline feature, means that all visitors to a brand’s Facebook page will arrive at the brand’s timeline–the equivalent of arriving at a brand’s website homepage. Now that brands are no longer able to set default Landing Tabs, brands must do a better job of keeping their Facebook presence up to date and their timeline populated with interesting, relevant content. This is a key point for brands who are also advertising on Facebook because ads can no longer point to a specific landing tab.
If you’re considering Facebook advertising for your brand and need guidance, you may want to check out our Social Media Advertising services which also include Twitter and LinkedIn. Our CEO, Hollis Thomases, also regularly writes about social media’s role in advertising as well as for Inc.com and ClickZ–you may find her articles helpful.
Web Ad.vantage is a full-service online marketing company with core competencies in search engine optimization, PPC Campaign Management and online media buying. Visit our Internet Marketing Services section to learn more about our full range of services.
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