Top 4 tips for creating a successful targeted Facebook ad campaign

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It’s no secret that Facebook’s organic reach for pages has plummeted over the last year — or that the free ride is essentially over — but forking over a little cash for ads could do some good. The most efficient way to do this? Through creating a targeted campaign.

Social ads are a great way for businesses to foster consumer engagement and expand their reach, according to Phil Penton, president of Social Integration.

U.S. companies spent a combined $5.1 billion on social media advertising last year, and that number is expected to increase to $15 billion by the end of 2018, according to BIA/Kelsey.

Penton told Inside Facebook:

This is the hottest topic out there. Everyone was out there growing their fans [on Facebook], and spent a lot of time growing their Likes with the thought that they were going to be able to post content for free and their fans would be able to see it. The reality is that if you had 100,000 Likes on your Page, only 10 percent were seeing your posts anyway, which isn’t great to begin with.

Adding that when the “bottom fell out” of organic posts in October 2013, and only 3 percent of fans saw posts, it didn’t matter much. His message to companies and marketers is that the drop wasn’t a bad thing.

He continued:

Facebook’s metrics allow us to key in the right customer that we want to target, so we’re going to spend less, or if we spend more, we’ll target more of the right people, which is more meaningful than just organic content.

Now, how do you create that successful targeting campaign? Penton offers the following four tips:

1. Every page should have an offer.

This should be something a company would train its team on and then target people to like the page.

2. If you don’t have a lot of page fans, you should still run a “like” campaign.

Ask yourself about the kind of targeting you want to have. An example: Penton worked with an automotive dealership that wanted to hire mechanics. He then created a localized Facebook ad that said something like, “We’re hiring, we’ve been recognized in our local city for being one of the best places to work, so we’re going to target craftsman and places where we typically might find mechanics.” Then they drew people to the page that were going to be in their local market (within 15 to 25 miles) to like the page.

3. Make sure your website is mobile friendly.

“It is 2014, after all,” Penton said. “I can’t tell you how many times a URL for a business is listed on a Facebook page and the website isn’t mobile friendly, 70 percent of those Facebook users are mobile.” This is one of the top things Penton continually show businesses. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, ads should be targeted for desktop-only users. The audience is much smaller, it will maximize your dollar and you won’t have people coming to a non-mobile-friendly site and bouncing back to Facebook because it wasn’t worth their time; and

4. Reviews for brick and mortar businesses used to only be seen on mobile, but they’re now also visible on desktop.

Penton’s advice: “Don’t spend $500 in Facebook ads to show people your two star rating. You need to go beyond the stars.” He recommends that business owners read all the comments that are posted and, if there are problems, try to fix some of those problems. Don’t want to magnify something that isn’t working inside your business.

And finally, perhaps as a bonus point, Penton says businesses should not only target, but retarget their website visitors on Facebook, and use Custom Audiences to find key demographics.

Facebook allows you to dive into demographics and do a lot with $25. Where else can you get down to a college kid within a certain age range and only show a pizza ad from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.? To me, that’s using $25 extremely well.

Readers: What other targeting tips do you have?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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