How to Advertise on Facebook

How to Use Facebook to Generate Sales and Build a Customer Base

Viral Shares and Likes.

Twinsterphoto/Getty Images

It seems like everyone these days has a Facebook profile, from great-grandmothers to kids ready to start college. It’s also covering every demographic. Rich, poor, male, female, in every country around the world, Facebook is dominating the social space.

And as the old saying goes, “fish where the fish are.” In short, if you want to advertise your business, Facebook is a fantastic place to start.

If you know what you’re doing, and if you have a plan.

So, whether you’ve been considering advertising on Facebook or the thought has never crossed your mind until now, here is a step-by-step guide to getting started.

1: Create Your Facebook Business Page
You can’t do anything until you take this first step. You need a Facebook Business page. Even if you only have one employee, you, you do not want to advertise on your own page. Do it right, and you’ll reap the benefits. Make sure that you choose the right category, which can range from a company or institution to a band or a cause. Then, complete the information in full, and use the templates provided by Facebook, or find one of your own.

2: Have a Strategy and Objective
Why are you advertising on Facebook? What are your goals? Who are you hoping to reach? What do you want them to do? These are all questions you need to ask yourself before creating Facebook ads. Even something as simple as “I just want people to know I exist” is a place to start. That means you will be running an awareness campaign and can choose your ads and creative accordingly.

So, if awareness is the goal, then you can choose the appropriate objective in the Facebook Ads Manager. There are several options available, ranging from “Send people to your website” to “Get video views.” You may want both. You may prefer something more simple, like “Promote your Page.” Whatever you decide, this will mold the kind of ads and reach you are going to get.

3: Identify Your Demographic
Also known as a target audience, this basically means “who specifically do you want to talk to?” If you’re in the business of making custom leg warmers for girls, you don’t want your ads to target 30 60-year-old men. If you make custom whisky flasks, however, you may very well want that demographic. So, choose wisely. The more specific you get, the better. Run the ads too broad, and you’ll have a very poor click and conversion rate.

4: Choose Your Budget Wisely
How much do you want to spend? Obviously, the more you spend, the more eyes you reach, and the more chance you have of making a sale. But remember three important letters—ROI. What will be your return on investment? If you spend $50 a day in Facebook ads, but only make $40 a day profit, it’s a losing scenario. In the initial months of advertising on Facebook, spend less and carefully fine-tune your ads, your target, your reach, and your conversions. When you are confident that you will always get more money coming in than going out, up your ad spend.

It should translate well.

5: Create the Ads
After all that work, you get into the nitty-gritty. How are your ads going to look? What will they say? What will they instruct people to do? Remember your strategy and objectives from step 2, and create your ads accordingly. Don’t feel tempted to stray from that strategy at this point, you can always adjust it later, and create new ads for your new strategy and objectives. You also have some very small boundaries to work within, so keep that in mind. Facebook ads have strict character counts, and you only have up to 5 images.

It’s time to be concise.

6: Publish and Follow
This is the time to bite the bullet. Everything has been created, you hit “Place Order” and you’re on your way. Now, you want to create a Facebook Ads Report to see just how well you are doing, or not, and how people are responding to your ads. You should also notice a big boost in web traffic, and possibly sales. Of course, if you don’t, it’s time to reevaluate the whole process and start again.

Good luck!