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Utilizing Facebook Ads

Avatar photo by Casey Woods, Executive Director | January 7, 2016
Advertising today looks much different than it did even five years ago. Online advertising reaches more people more quickly than traditional advertising and usually costs less. Its no wonder business have turned to this method and With 75% of the population on social media sites, it’s time for your business to taking advantage.


Facebook ads are an easy way to reach a large group of people. They are completely customizable based on how much you want to spend, who your target audience is, and what you’re advertising (event, website, product). Some of these ads are also sent out over Instagram as well, as Facebook owns it.
Boosting a post- This is the simplest and least expensive way to promote on Facebook, but also offers less customization. To boost a post, simply click the “boost post” button on the bottom right hand corner of your post. From there, you can select your target audience, how much you would like to pay, and how long you would like to run the ad.
Creating a campaign- Creating a campaign is a more timely method, but offers the ability to completely customize your ad and whom it is delivered to. This method requires a minimum budget of $5.00 per day. First, go to the Ads Manager tab on the left hand side of your Facebook homescreen, then click the green “Create Campaign” button.
What is the objective of your campaign? Is your goal to drive people to your website? Is your goal to showcase an event or product? Connect with people in your business’ area? Once you have decided this, select the option that fits your needs best. For example, if you are an event venue and want to advertise for an upcoming concert, the “raise attendance at your event” option would be the best. For this example, we will choose “Send people to your website”
Enter the URL in which you are promoting and hit the “Set Audience & Budget” button
Creating your audience- With more than one billion people active on Facebook, it’s important to tailor your ad’s audience to the people most likely to purchase your items, attend your events, etc.
Location: With the event venue example, we would want to target people in the Emporia and surrounding areas, so location would play a large role. If your business is a retail business shipping to the whole country, you would want to make sure your ad targets people across the US.
Age, Gender, & Language- These can be customized for each ad campaign you create. For example, when Emporia Main Street promotes a pub crawl, we would want to make sure we are marketing the event to those 21+ years of age. Be sure to adjust this based on your target market and other contributing factors. Some events may be geared towards ladies, while others towards men.
Detailed Targeting: Interests- What interests do people who shop at your store/attend your events have? Identify what area of interest your business falls into and capitalize on it by targeting those individuals. For example, a bike shop would want to include “cycling” “mountain biking”, etc.  You can include multiple interests in this section so don’t feel pressured to choose one, however some audiences are broad while others are specific. For example, if you type in “shopping” and then go to choose “online shopping” the ad will let you know that you must choose between the two. Shopping is more general and will include some of the people who also said they like online shopping, while choosing the “online shopping” tag will only include those who have selected that they enjoy online shopping.
Narrow Audience- This comes in handy for certain instances. Are you a candy shop offering deals on Valentines Day? You can narrow down your audience to those who have selected they are “in a relationship” on Facebook. You can even target people by recent life events (Ex: Newly engaged, upcoming birthday, recently moved). These ads can be as broad or specific as you’d like. Just be sure to find a happy medium.
Connections- Depending on the goal of your campaign, you may or may not want to market this ad to people who like your page. This is where you control that aspect. You can choose to market to only people who like your page, friends of people who like your page, or to exclude those who like your page altogether, this goes for Apps and Events as well.
Save your Audience- You just went through all this work, so why not save this particular audience so that you can save yourself sometime next time around? Be sure to save it under a name that makes sense to you when it comes time to create another ad. For example, if you are a concert venue promoting your concert make sure you save it under something distinctive so you don’t accidentally market your next rock concert to country fans!
Facebook gives you the power to determine how much you would like to spend on your campaign (with some limitations).  You can select a daily budget (how much you would like to spend per day) or a lifetime budget (how much you would like to spend over the entirety of the campaign). If you choose daily budget, just note that a minimum of $5 per day is required. (There is another less costly option for ads, that will be addressed later in this article)
Schedule lets you determine how long you would like your campaign to run. It gives you the option to run continuously until your funds run out, or set a time frame. Select the range you would like your campaign to run. Be aware of your total budget. Selecting a daily budget of $5 is fine, but if you use the generic time frame given by Facebook you will spend $155.00. Be sure to adjust the time frame for your specific needs.
Optimization for Ad Delivery, Bid Amount, When you Get Charged, Ad Scheduling, and Delivery type
It is best to leave these features on Facebook’s recommended settings unless you fully understand how they impact your ad. Once all of those are selected click “choose ad creative”
Create New Ad or Use Existing Post- If you have a post on your site that you want to use as your ad, select this option. If you want to upload new images select “Create new ad”
How do you want your ad to look? Facebook’s ad features allow you to use up to 5 photos in a scrolling ad set. For example, if you are a store that carries men’s clothes, women’s clothes, and shoes, you may want to choose multiple imagines. Each image showcases a specific area of your business.
Connect your Facebook page and add text describing your business. You can preview your ad to the right.
Images and Links-
The two check boxes below these are both better left checked. The first box allows for your bestperforming image to show up first in the line up, and the second box allows for your logo to show up at the end of the images.
The blocks below with a 1, 2, 3 refer to the images you will upload. If you only wish to use one image, please scroll up and change your campaign to the single image format.
Click the change image button and upload the image you would like to appear first and choose a headline for this image. You can add a description, but this is optional. Include the URL that you would like viewers to be taken to.
Choose a call to action button: Do you want your viewers to shop? Apply? Donate?
Repeat the process for each of the images you upload.
Review & Place your order
Social media advertising is one part of a well rounded marketing plan.  By taking advantage of targeted marketing options, you can direct your message to those most likely to patronize your business.  Take some time to define the characteristics of your target customer and then determine how you can best utilize social media marketing to reach out to your desired demographic.

About the Author

Casey Woods, Executive Director

Before accepting the director position in March of 2009, Casey worked in both retail and agricultural jobs in the family businesses. A lifelong resident of the Emporia Area, Casey was a ten year volunteer for Emporia Main Street prior to his appointment as director. During that time he served as the board president and chair of the Economic Vitality Committee.

Casey also serves as a partner in PlaceMakers, LLC, a consulting firm that routinely works with both large and small communities, and their businesses, to promote sustainable economic growth through community and economic development practices. Casey consults with businesses, organizations and communities to understand their market capacity and fill vacant spaces. He has been involved in two projects that included crowdfunding as a part of their overall business funding strategies, Radius Brewing and Twin Rivers Winery & Gourmet Shoppe.


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