As a social media consultant and speaker, Andrea Vahl spends a lot of time on Facebook. But instead of checking out her friends pictures and profiles, she focuses on ads placed by all kinds of businesses. What she sees sometimes makes her shake her head.
"Facebook ads can feel very overwhelming when you first start, and the main mistake I see business owners making is only using the Boost Post option on Facebook," said Vahl, the co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies.
Vahl describes herself as "passionate" about helping businesses understand and leverage the power of social media to actually grow their business. I talked with her about best practices for advertising on Facebook.
Here's what she told me:
Galek: Should I boost my post?
Vahl: The Boost Post option is very 'easy' to use but doesn't optimize the ad in the best way all the time. If you are looking to get more website traffic, then optimize the ad for Traffic in the Ads Manager area.
How do I tell if my ads are costing more than I am making?
The second mistake marketers make is not looking at the ad reports correctly. For example, make sure you are looking at the cost per link click rather than just the overall cost per click to compare which ad performed best to drive traffic.
Should I always stick with my first ad?
The other big mistake that people make is not split testing multiple ads. I often find that one image will do better in terms of cost per click over another and it's not always the one I think it will be. If you are just running one ad, you may not be getting the lowest cost you could be.
How do I target my Facebook advertising?
Right now, one of the biggest trends is re-targeting your ad to your warm audience so that you are being seen more often by the people who are most interested in your business.
You can target your ads to your website visitors, your email subscribers, people who have seen your Facebook videos, and now people who have engaged with your Facebook Posts in some way. When you target your ads this way, you can save money by showing your ads to a smaller, more highly-targeted audience.
Any business can find success with Facebook ads. I've seen all different types of businesses that get good results from Facebook ads, including local businesses, B2C, B2B, online, and offline.
If you can target your audience well with the keywords then Facebook ads can work for you.There's one exception -- if your audience is so specific that you are better off reaching out via different methods, like phone calls then maybe Facebook isn't the best place.
How should businesses get started advertising on Facebook?
Slowly. You should spend about ten to 20 percent of the ads budget in the testing phase. Test different demographic targets and images if possible to see which ads convert the best. Then spend the remaining budget on the ad or two that performs the best.
Do you have any tips and tricks when it comes to the Facebook world? Please share them with me on Twitter.