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With over 2 Billion users and 50 million businesses represented, Facebook is a social media platform that is simply too big to ignore. Having a strong social media presence is essential for digital marketing success. Because organic (unpaid) reach on Facebook has declined over the past years, it’s becoming more important to allocate a portion of your marketing budget towards Facebook Ads. As a former Facebook employee, I have assisted with getting ads approved for eCommerce businesses, Health & Wellness, Consumer Package Goods, Service Based Businesses, Ad Agencies, App developers, Local Businesses and more. I have identified the 20 most often missed best practices for Facebook Ads.
Facebook Ad Best Practices #1: Use Pixel
Facebook Ad Best Practices #2: Don’t Boost From Your Page
Facebook makes it easy to boost posts or promote your business right from your Business Fan Page, but this is most often a bad idea. We often see businesses promote from their business page in the same way that they make impulse purchases. They see that the post is performing better than 95% of their other posts, so they throw $20 behind it without a real strategy. Going into Ads Manager/Power Editor to create an Ad is more intentional and often puts businesses in the right mindset that they are about to invest in marketing for their business. give you more control and customization options.
Beyond the psychological aspects, Ads Manager/Power Editor gives you more control and customization options. Building an Ad in Ads Manager/Power Editor allows you to choose from a wider range of objectives, build highly targeted audiences, select placement options, customize the scheduling and delivery of your ad, test multiple creatives, and more.
Many “gurus” will tell you that you need to be using Power Editor. I admit, that Power Editor is my Ad Creation tool of choice – but there is nothing wrong with starting in the Ads Manager, and it’s often all that most small businesses need to use.
Facebook Ad Best Practices #3: Choose the Right Objective
When you are selecting the objective for your Ad Campaign, you are effectively telling Facebook what you want your audience to do when they see your Ad. Most often, this will be your ultimate goal, or what is most important to you. Here are some common examples:
- Reach – I want to reach as many people as possible
- Traffic – I want as many people as possible to visit my website
- Engagement > Post Engagement (Boosted Post) – I want as many people as possible to engage with my post by clicking, reacting, commenting, sharing, etc.
- Video Views – I want as many people as possible to watch my video
- Lead Generation – I want to collect as many email addresses (leads) as possible
- Conversions – I want as many people as possible to go to my website and complete a specific conversion (purchase, add to cart, submit a lead, etc.)
Selecting the right objective for your marketing goals ensures that Facebook is working to get you the best results. The Ad Algorithms will put the ad in front of the people in your audience that it predicts are most likely to complete your desired action based on how others are responding to your ad, and how the audience member typically responds to ads.
Facebook Ad Best Practices #4: Target a Relevant Audience
The success of your Facebook Ads will depend greatly on how your audience responds to them. For that reason, it’s important that you are showing your Ads to a relevant Audience. Facebook provides many ways to target audiences.
If you have a customer list, or Pixel installed on your site, you can remarket to your current customers or website visitors. You also have the ability to target your Facebook Business Page’s fans or people who have engaged with your Business Page. These audiences are all considered “warm audiences” because they are already familiar with your business.
From these warm audiences, you can also use Facebook to create Lookalike Audiences. Lookalike Audiences are created when a Facebook algorithm analyzes a custom audience to determine what things those people all have in common. Once those commonalities are identified, Facebook will build an audience of people who are similar to your source audience. Pretty cool, huh?
And if you don’t have any data to target, you can use Facebook’s in depth targeting options. Within the Facebook Ad Create tool, Facebook provides thousand of targeting options including a variety of demographics, behaviors, and interests.
Make sure your targeting is relevant to your brand, message, and strategy.
Facebook Ad Best Practices #5: Set an End Date & Lifetime Budget
To allow the ads to optimize efficiency, it’s recommended to always set an end date for your Ads. Setting an end date allows the algorithm to predict and plan for spending your budget to get the most results. It’s recommended to schedule the end date 2-4 weeks from the date. This also helps keep your ads refreshed and relevant for your audience.
For much the same reason, the Lifetime Budget allows more flexibility for the algorithm to deliver the ad. With a Lifetime Budget, Facebook can deliver the ad more often on days when your audience is being more responsive to the ad. When you set a daily budget, you place limitations on your ad’s ability to spend, even when it could mean a higher return on your investment. If you have a daily budget to work with, simply multiply that out by the number of days your ad will be running to find your lifetime budget.
Facebook Ad Best Practices #6: Test Multiple Creatives
You always want to test multiple creatives at the Ad-level. When you upload multiple images at the Ad-level, Facebook will automatically serve them all out in the beginning. Then, as your audience begins reacting to the ads, it will determine which ads are performing best and begin serving them out more often for you. Every time you run an ad you should re-test. You can use “recycled” images, or new images each time. Your audience is always changing, and the images that will cause them to slow their scroll will change as well. When you test multiple creatives it gives you the best chance of identifying the type of ad that your audience wants to see.
Facebook Ad Best Practices #7: Limit the Text on Your Images
As a general rule, people do not respond as favorably to ads with high levels of text. This is why Facebook originally had a rule that limited text on images to 20%. That rule has since been eliminated. Facebook is still disapproving images that contain high levels of text, however, ads with low-medium levels of text may still run. Facebook warns that Running ads with low-medium levels of text run a risk of lower delivery and/or higher costs. The best way to determine how much text is too much text for your audience is to test it out on a case-by-case basis. Erring on the side of using small amounts of text.
Facebook Ad Best Practices #8: Don’t Edit Your Ads
Once your ad has begun to deliver, it is recommended not to make any edits to your Ad Set or Ads. Editing can cause delivery issues. The reason for this is because Facebook’s algorithms that are responsible for Ad Delivery rely on historical data to optimize the delivery of your Ads. If you change the rules, then the historical data attributed to that ad is no longer relevant.
The edits that are the most dangerous include:
- Creative – changing the image, video, etc. on your Ad
- Copy – changing the text on your Ad
- Audience – changing the targeting of your Ad Set
Edits that are less dangerous include:
- Budget – changing the daily or lifetime budgets of your Ad Set
- End Dates – changing the end date of your Ad Set
If you want to make “dangerous” changes, it’s recommended that you turn off your existing Ad Set. Then check the box to the left of the Ad Set and select to Duplicate it. You can now make the changes you want to make, and the Ad will start from scratch. This will allow Facebook to build historical data, and optimize with the preferred changes.
If you want to adjust the budget or end date for a campaign, it’s considered less harmful. The rule of thumb is to make as few of these edits as possible. If you notice any significant delivery issues after making edits, it may be an indicator that the changes messed up the algorithm. At that point, the best course of action will be to stop the Ad Set, duplicate it, and start again with your new budget.
Facebook Ad Best Practices #9: Let it Run For at Least 3 Days
Facebook Ads take up to 3 Days to fully optimize. What this means is that costs may be high at first but you will have a sense of how the ad is performing by day 3. As the ad progresses through the first three days, the algorithm will be constantly evaluating the performance of the ad. It will identify what people (from within your targeted audience) are responding consistent with your objective, and attempt to get you the highest results at the lowest costs. Turning off your Ad (or editing it) within that first 3 days prohibits you from truly understanding the performance of the Ad.
After 3 days, you will want to check your ad to ensure a couple things:
- At least 25 results – Within that 3-day period, you will need to see at least 25 of whatever objective you chose. For example, 25 clicks if you are running a traffic campaign, or 25 leads if you are running a Lead Generation campaign. If you have not generated at least 25 results, you may want to change your objective or increase your budget.
- Relevance Score – The Relevance Score will tell you how your ad is performing compared to other similar ads. The Relevance Score ranks on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the goal. A low score is an indication that there may be improvements that could be made to your ad. Often those improvements have to deal with creative, copy, targeting, or budget.
If after the initial 3 days you have concerns about your delivery or costs, it may be worth stopping the Ad and starting a new Campaign, or reaching out for an Ad Audit from a Facebook Marketing Expert, like EIEIO Marketing.
Facebook Ad Best Practices #10: Monitor Analytics & Track Performance
Simplify your Ads Manager and customize your columns to reflect that data that is most important to you and your business, and save those settings. It’s essential to the success of your Facebook Marketing that you are able to understand the analytics for your Ad Campaigns – it’s the only way to know what is working and what should be tested further. If you are using Pixel, this includes returning to check on the Ad’s analytics up to 28 days after the ad stops running.
That’s it for now! We hope you’ve found these 10 Best Practices helpful, and hope you will consider checking out the entire eBook:
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Meg is the Founder and CEO of EIEIO Marketing. Originally from Rochester, NY, she now lives in Phoenix, AZ with her husband and their 4 daughters. Meg has been involved with marketing to moms for over 7 years and has experience working for Facebook within their Marketing Expert Program. When Meg is not managing ads for clients, teaching digital marketing strategy, or furthering her own professional development – she enjoys getting the family out of the house to explore a variety of fun and educational adventures. After the kids are in bed, Meg enjoys binge watching Netflix, fantasy football, and a glass of wine. Learn more about EIEIO Marketing.