Looking to expand your reach and build awareness for your brand? When thoughtfully deployed, Facebook ads and promoted content will compliment your overall strategy and maximize brand awareness.

In Memoriam: Facebook Page Organic Reach (2007 – 2015)

I’m not one to start off a blog post on such a somber note, but I do think, as social media marketers, we need to pay our respects to organic reach on Facebook. It was a good run. Now, you may be wondering “Hasn’t Facebook killed organic reach many times?” Well yes, it has. But in my opinion, Facebook definitively laid organic reach to rest in January 2015, when it announced that users would see less content from brand pages. The final nail in the coffin was hammered when big blue released its latest Newsfeed algorithm this past April, which stated that Facebook would be prioritizing content from users’ friends and family over that of brand pages.

The long-awaited death of Facebook organic reach has made for some interesting reporting periods here at lotus823. It’s been a real roller coaster when reporting on Facebook stats. With that said, we’ve shifted some of our strategies by introducing advertising as a tactic to increase brand awareness.

By promoting Facebook pages and posts, we’ve started seeing some great results – be it increased likes, reach, or engagement. As an added bonus, paid reach has led to an uptick in organic reach and engagement. With a clearly defined audience and great content, you can get your message in front of the right person, and increase the likelihood that they will return to your page again and again.

Paid reach of a Facebook Page running ads, April 2015 vs. March 2015.

Organic reach of the same Facebook Page, April 2015 vs. March 2015.

Choosing The Ad That Best Fits Your Strategy

Facebook offers no less than 10 advertising products, and they are not all appropriate for your campaign or social media strategy. Choosing the right ad can be tricky if your strategy does not have clearly defined goals. With a desired end result in mind, adding ads to the mix can be a great boost to any campaign.

To start, we’re going to take a look at Promoted Page ads and Promoted Post ads.

Promoted Page Ads

The goal of a Facebook Promoted Page ad is to gain new Likes by positioning your page in front of users who are most likely to become a fan. These ads are especially useful when the brand is not widely known within its industry, or when you want to reach page milestones. To create a Promoted Page ad, head to the Facebook Ads Manager and select “Promote You Page” and select the Page you would like to promote.

Promoted Post Ads

Promoted posts are similar to promoted page ads, but instead of enticing users to like your page, they encourage users to engage with your post or click a link to your website. When creating a promoted post, you can choose an existing page post, or create a new post specifically for your ad.

Note: It’s not recommended that you boost a post directly from your Facebook Timeline.

Targeting Your Ad

This is where the fun really begins. When creating your ad, you can target essentially anyone you want, using any number of qualifying factors such as age, gender, location, education level, income level, and even relationship status. It may seem complicated at first glance. However, if you’ve done your research and know what type of fans you’d like to attract, you can really dial in and get the most out of your budget by selectively targeting relevant users.

Let’s say that we were on the hunt for Summer Interns and we wanted to target college-aged users who live somewhat near our office and have an interest in any of our digital marketing services. Our targeting would look something like this:

In this case, we have a very defined audience, which will increase the likelihood that the right users will see the post. Also, when starting with a small audience, the likelihood that a user is served your ad more than once increases.

Budgeting For Maximum Exposure

Setting the budget and bid structure for your ad is one of the most important and confusing aspects of creating an ad campaign on Facebook. As with most forms of advertising, the higher your budget the more likely you are to receive more impressions, clicks, etc. While this is mostly true, you can play around with your budgets and optimize your campaign without breaking the bank.

Facebook ads can have a set lifetime budget, and/or a daily budget. Ads can also be scheduled with a set complete date, regardless of budget. This allows for advertisers to customize the time period of their campaign and control how much the ad spend will be. Facebook recommends setting a daily budget when you want to run your ad continuously, and setting a lifetime budget when running an ad with a specific start and end date.

Daily Budget

Lifetime Budget

When determining your budget, whether it’s a daily or lifetime budget, it’s best to start small (minimum daily budget for any ad set is $1.00). Starting with a small budget allows you to fine-tune and optimize all aspects of your ad – the creative, targeting, and budgets. Starting small is the best way to get a feel for how users are responding to your ad. Once you have achieved the amount of impressions, clicks, and click through rate you’re happy with, you can adjust budgets accordingly.

Utilizing paid advertising on Facebook is a great way to build awareness and cultivate a relevant audience. With multiple ad formats, virtually unlimited targeting options, and total budget control, Facebook advertising will enhance any campaign. If you don’t have advertising in your social strategies, you may want to retool and get the most out of your budget!

Have you had success advertising on Facebook? Let us know in the comments, or tweet to us at @lotus823!

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