By John Eberhard

Facebook advertising has become an important part of any online ad presence, rivaling Google AdWords and being in some ways, even better. In this article I will explain some of the basics of Facebook advertising.

If you are familiar with Facebook, their ads now feature a large picture that is the full width of the news feed, a headline, sales text, and call to action button. That call to action button can say things like “learn more,” “download,” “shop now,” or a variety of other things, and when clicked, the button can take the visitor to a landing page off of Facebook. Or it can bring up a form on Facebook, with the viewer’s name, phone and email already pre-populated (making it easier for mobile users to respond).

The picture can be a single image, a carousel of images, or a video.

The ads pretty much look just like a post someone would make, except that it says “sponsored” in small letters near the top.

Objectives

Here are some of the things you can accomplish with a Facebook ad campaign:

  1. Lead generation
  2. Drive people to a shopping cart to buy products online
  3. Get people to like (become fans) of a Facebook fan page
  4. Drive traffic to a website
  5. Drive in-person visits to a brick and mortar store
  6. Get people to install an app

Targeting

One of the unique and most powerful aspects of Facebook advertising is the multitude of ways you can target individuals who are the right target public for your product or service.

Geography: First, of course you can target people who are in a certain geographical area, like your city, or a specific mile radius around a location.

Demographics: You can target people by their education level, by their income or net worth, whether they are homeowners or by their home type, by life events like a birthday or anniversary or their being away from home, if they have a new job or are in a new relationship, newly married, or recently moved. You can target people who are parents. You can also target people by their politics. You can target people in a certain industry or with a specific job title.

Interests: You can target people who have specific interests, like interest in a specific industry, or things like entertainment, family and relationships, fitness and wellness, food and drink, hobbies, shopping and fashion, sports and outdoors, or technology.

Behaviors: You can target users of specific mobile phone brands, people who recently bought a car, owners of specific car brands, people who made charitable donations and in what categories, people who have a specific operating system or use a specific browser, people who are expats from various countries, people who are investors of various types, you can select African Americans, Asians, or Hispanics, you can select people who have made recent purchases and in specific categories such as sports or household or technology, and you can select people who are recent home buyers or recent mortgage borrowers.  

This list will probably give you ideas of how you can target your specific type of client or customer.

Cost

You set a daily budget and can change that at any time. The clicks at this point tend to be cheaper than on Google AdWords, but that is driven by a number of factors including the number of advertisers competing in a specific niche.

Summary

Facebook ads offer some great opportunities to reach your target audience.

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