Facebook ads are a great way to reach a new audience, engage your existing audience, and help drive up both awareness and sales of your products and services. Many entrepreneurs and small businesses have at least experimented with Facebook pages and ads, but few know enough about all of the options and settings to be able to make the most of the tools and optimize for conversions

I spoke to Amanda Bond, owner of the Ad Strategist and Facebook marketing expert, to get her simple tips for optimizing Facebook ad campaigns. 

Strategy  No. 1: Targeting your Instagram followers and people who interact with your profile

"Advertisers who have active Instagram profiles can serve up Facebook ads to their Instagram followers by using Custom Engagement Audiences," Bond says. 

To do this, Bond says, create a Custom Engagement Audience to target everyone who engaged with your business within the past year. By doing this, you're making the most of your spend by ensuring the ad gets served to people who have already expressed some level of engagement in or awareness of your business, even if on another platform. 

But that's not all. While building your Custom Engagement Audience ad, Bond suggests leveraging a few of these "other ninja targeting options" to segment your audience even further:

Strategy No. 2: Making your ads appear as if they're from a friend ("masking ads")

"Everyone hates being bombarded with ad after ad in their news feed and browsing experience," Bond says. "Solve that annoyance by creating text-only based ads that blend in as if they're being shared by a close friend or family member as a status update."

These types of text-only ads feel less promotional, Bond says, which fits in better to the feed and helps you build trust with your audience with a personal approach. She says this works particularly well with brands that are represented by individuals, since their name will appear, making the ad feel even more like a post from a friend:

Strategy No. 3: Creating an ad sequence ? ("retargeting")

"Most advertisers put up an ad, cross their fingers, and hope for the best," Bond says. These advertisers may see an initial influx of traffic to their website, and whether these potential customers ultimately buy or not, they rarely hear from the advertiser again.

"Instead of going rogue after a prospect has expressed interest in your offer, create an ad sequence instead!" Bond suggests. 

To do this, use the Custom Engagement Audiences tactic mentioned above, and then specify that you want to retarget people who have taken a specific action within a set number of days. For example, if someone watched a video on your Facebook page and checked out a specific offer, you can then serve him or her up an ad for the next two days that shows a testimonial highlighting that product in use, encouraging the person to buy. 

You can also layer this strategy, serving up a third ad to people who take two actions but still haven't converted to a customer.