How To Run Foolproof Facebook Promotions

If you’re not personally on Facebook, you’re practically treated as a leper (fact).

As a result we tend to find that most of our start-up clients are pretty fluent when using their personal Facebook accounts, but pretty clueless when it comes to the workings of a business account. As you may know, the primary difference between a personal and business/organisation/brand account is that the Facebook overlords allow you the option of promoting your page (or a specific piece of content) beyond those who’ve like your page.

Naturally, for someone new to using social media as a business channel, setting up a promotion, monitoring its progress, and assigning hard earned cash to a campaign can be a little terrifying. In fact, given that so many of our clients don’t know where to begin or how to squeeze the maximum reach potential from their Facebook promotions, we thought it was high-time we compiled a simple guide taking you through the steps. We’ve tried to make it lovely and ‘Fluid’ but if there’s something you want to know please ask away in the comments.

Step 1: Create Your Promotion

If in doubt – head to the settings! Simply click ‘create ad’ to get started or ‘manage ads’ to check the progress of your campaign or pause it once it’s running.

Step 2: Choose Your Page

Choose the page you want to promote if you are managing multiple accounts.

Step 3: Which Promotion?

Once you have chosen your page you can choose whether you would like to promote a specific post (i.e. a highly newsworthy story or an app competition) or create a ‘traditional-style’ advertisement by choosing ‘get more page likes’. You can see from our first option ‘promote page post’ we have chosen to promote a post linking to an album of our birthday treats. Bear in mind that according to the laws of Facebook ‘like and share’ competitions are ‘illegal’, but in our mock example you can see how you would promote an app competition or particular update.

In this example we have chosen to ‘get more page likes’ which allows us more flexibility to get our brand across as opposed to content. I say ‘flexibility’; this will test your ‘micro-blogging’ skills with a rather stingy character count! But as you can see with a hard-hitting key-word, to-the-point introduction and a sharp image we’ve created an eye catching Fluid ad quickly and easily.

Deciding which is more effective between promoting a post or opting for more page likes is far from clear-cut, it’s really a case of piloting both and seeing which works for you. If you have set up a particularly desirable competition or your industry generates particularly newsworthy or sharable content then you may find promoting a post works well for you. Equally if you are just initiating your social media presence and you’re a little unsure of content, then you may find you want to stick with an advertisement (i.e. get more page likes) to cement your brand.

Step 4: Choosing Your Audience

Facebook then allows you to select your audience according to age, sex and interests. It’s important to remember here that unless you know your audience inside out then it’s best not to make any assumptions. For example if you’re selling high performance cars and you choose to target your audience at men only, then that my friend, is sexism! But seriously it’s useful to choose your audience with a generous pinch of salt as it’s not actually clear on what basis Facebook assign your interests.

Someone casually liking food brands and claiming their primary interest is eating just because they have a penchant for Crème Eggs won’t necessarily endear them to your farm shop. Targeting your audience does give you some degree of control over your promotion however and it’s certainly worth choosing some general parameters, especially where age is concerned. In the above example we haven’t made any audience choices and therefore have the potential to reach the maximum number of people.

In this example however we’ve been very picky over who sees our promotions and as a result our audience has shrunk significantly. Unfortunately the size of your audience doesn’t correlate with price, which brings us very nicely onto pricing and timeframes.

Step 5: Pricing and Timescales

You have a fairly generous degree of flexibility when it comes to how much you want to shell out on your campaign, and you can either choose a ‘lifelong’ price for your campaign or a daily budget. Annoyingly it isn’t quite clear exactly how many ‘likes’ your page may get (understandably this is naturally unpredictable) so for an early campaign it may be worth starting with a fairly small budget and seeing how this impacts on your audience numbers.

Here we have opted for a 24 hour campaign, but unless you’re advertising a flash sale or something really current, we usually opt for a weekly or monthly promotion. You can pause (and resume) your campaign at any time too, so you aren’t tied down once your campaign begins to run. You also may not be charged your budget per day either, as you will be charged every time someone sees your promotion – we often find the daily cost will be slightly shy of the budget we specified.

Step 6: Managing/Pausing Your Promotions

Once you have successfully established your pricing, your ad will be reviewed before it starts to run. This can take between 5 minutes and 24 hours and after selecting your campaign you will be taken to your campaigns page (this can be found under Ads manager in the settings bar from step 1). From your ads manager campaign you will be able to see how your promotion is performing day by day (see page ‘likes’ on the graph). From ‘all ads’ (beneath ‘Campaigns and Ads’ in the right hand panel) you can then see a list of any previous or paused ads or pause the ad you’re currently running.

We hope that’s dispelled any Facebook fear you might have and given you a clear guide to attempting promotions on your own. Remember, if you have any digital marketing related questions or queries please comment below and we’ll try to answer as best we can!

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  • Written by on 22nd July 2013 at 13:07
  • “Fluid Creativity is an award-winning, multi-service digital agency based in Manchester.”
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