The solid reasons to advertise on Facebook make a compelling case for beginners to take the plunge.

Facebook’s a highly effective platform for your messages. It gives you the power to zero-in on targets, coupled with the freedom to quickly customise ads. The result is cost-effective and agile campaigns.

Need to keep your finger on the pulse? Get on board with Facebook and your advertising can echo breaking local, national and international news. Let’s say everyone’s engaged with a celebrity wedding – your Facebook ads can plug into the buzz before the chat about how it’ll never last has even begun.

New for 2018: a more familiar Face

Worth knowing is that a recent (January 2018) change has seen Facebook reprioritise its News Feed. Content produced by friends and family will be trumping content (posts looking for likes and shares) created by businesses and media outlets. So you’re now more likely to read a post from your friend John Smith than your friend John Lewis. Creating “more meaningful interactions” is the official goal.

What does this mean for advertisers? It’s early days, but for those looking to place ads (not posts) on users’ feeds, the price you pay could rise. The trade-off? A higher-quality, less cluttered- by-clickbait feed. It’s certainly something to watch out for as the change establishes itself. Facebook provides plenty of non-feed placement options too, of course, including valuable space alongside groups and articles.

Taking flight with Facebook

For newbies, starting out might seem daunting. Happily, though, setting up and nurturing ads and campaigns isn’t too much of a challenge. After all, it’s in Facebook’s interests to make things a snap for advertisers.

That said, pitfalls do exist. And simple errors can seriously bash the bang you get for your buck. So arm yourself with the knowledge below, and let’s ensure your Facebook ads are working as hard as possible.

Mistake 1: where’s the goal?

Goal-setting is a real 101 for any kind of marketing effort. Goals focus your efforts and help measure your ads’ efficiency. So always set measurable pre-campaign objectives. Examples of these might be:

  • Number of ‘likes’ garnered by a new page
  • Opt-ins for emails/white papers/more information
  • Click-throughs
  • On-site sales

Of course your goals will be as individual and bespoke as your business or organisation. So if you’re more about brand-building or campaign awareness than sales, your goals should reflect these ambitions.

Mistake 2: Too much call, not enough action

A revolution: your Facebook ads aren’t selling your product or service. They’re selling the click-through (ideally to a simple landing page) that will take your visitors further down the line.

So instead of explaining features and benefits, ensure snappy ads that grab attention and create enough intrigue to snag that click. Fourteen words for an ad post is great. Eighteen’s ideal for your link description.

Your Facebook ads aren’t selling your product or service. They’re selling your click-through

Mistake 3: Picture-imperfect

An incorrectly optimised image can make your ad display like a wonky TV set. Don’t risk damaging your brand. Instead, when it comes to images, photography and, increasingly, video, follow Facebook’s latest optimisation guidelines.

Image content? Don’t be afraid to be bold. Remember, you’re looking to catch attention, so any unusual or unexpected spin can help you stand out. You might consider showcasing the experience your product or service delivers, rather than the item itself.

Deeper into design, one theory is that using greens, oranges and reds assist standout as these colours contrast with Facebook’s blue and white palette.

An ad displaying like a wonky TV set will damage your brand

Mistake 4: Losing that crucial set

Facebook allows you to organise ‘sets’ of ads by your own useful criteria. These might be:

  • Your goals
  • Your target audience
  • Your creative

By keeping sets of ads separated by these criteria, you’ll be better able to test which approach is and isn’t working for you.

It’s tempting to cram sets with an abundance of ads. But limit sets to a maximum of five. These should vary in use of image, headline and link description. By noting each ad’s reach, via Facebook-provided statistics, you can go on to apply these learnings campaign-wide.

Mistake 5: Bracing for a crass landing

Charmed by your razor-sharp Facebook ad, your prospect’s clicked through to your landing page. Great news. At this point, you want to offer your visitor just one simple action. So keep landing pages crisp and to-the-point. They’re the locations for sign-ups and click-throughs; they’re not your regular homepage or for screeds of product listings.

Can Hookson help me create a fantastic Facebook campaign?

You bet. Our experts are on hand to work out the creative and technical solutions to help your Facebook promotions zing off the page. To get started, just give Hookson a shout ­- we’re raring to go.