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5 Tips Before Starting Your First Facebook Advertising Campaign

Written by: Dianna Leyton

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few years, you’ve probably heard about how wonderful Facebook advertising can be. At a relatively low cost to you and your business you can promote your brand or specific products and services. If you’re new to Facebook advertising, beginning a campaign can seem intimidating -- I know it was for me.

So, how do you get started?

Before you hit the "submit" button on your Facebook advertising campaign, it’s important that you have a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish and how you’re going to accomplish it. After all, a goal without a plan is a wish, and a plan without goals, well that’s just not smart thinking.

If this sounds intimidating, don’t worry. We’ve compiled a list of the 5 things you should do before posting ads on Facebook that will help you to plan your very first Facebook advertising campaign.

1. Create a Facebook Business Page Before Posting Ads on Facebook

This may come as a surprise, but you can’t create Facebook ads without a Facebook business page. Thankfully, setting one up takes little to no time at all.

Here's how to set up a Facebook Business page:

Go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/creation/ and click on the create page icon.

You’ll see a pop-up window that will you ask you for the name of your business or organization. It will then request that you fill in the category for the type of organization you’re making a page for.

Now you’ll want to breathe some life into this skeleton page. The first way to really personalize it is by adding some pictures.

Facebook Business Page Profile Picture and Image Dimensions

You’ll want to begin by adding a profile picture that’s going to really showcase your business. Most businesses put their company logo here. Think about how you want potential customers to view your business. If one-on-one relationships with your customers is a differentiator for your company consider putting a face there. If not, using a logo is okay, too. Keep in mind that the dimensions of your Facebook profile picture will be 170 x 170 pixels on your page on your computer and 128 x 128 pixels for your smartphone and will be cropped into a square.

Add A Profile Picture & Cover Photo

Facebook Business Page Cover Photo and Dimensions

After you’ve chosen your profile picture, add a cover photo.

If you’ve decided to add a logo for your profile picture, your cover photo is a great place to put more personal imagery to show off your business. Consider putting an image of your employees or a picture that showcases your operation or brand message. The cover photo gives you plenty of real estate to showcase your message in banner format.

The cover photo is 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall for desktop computers. For smartphones the image will display at 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall. Your image will have to be at least 399 pixels wide and 150 pixels tall.

Next, you’ll be asked to write up a short description about your company business page. This is a great place to quickly highlight what your company does best, how you help customers and customer-focused benefits.

An important thing to note before moving on: A Facebook Business page not only gives you the ability to run ads to promote the business, but essentially creates a digital space where you can develop relationships with customers and potential customers.

Allow your customers to leave reviews on your products or services, respond to them when they have questions or complaints. Show the human side of your business and nurture those relationships on Facebook. While it can be a tedious task when you’re first getting started, it can pay dividends in the future.

2. Understand What You’re Trying to Accomplish

You’ve created your Facebook Business page, and now you can click on the “advertise your business button” right? No. What do you want to accomplish for your Facebook advertising campaign?

Let’s start with a few key questions.

  • Are your advertising dollars going to a brand awareness campaign?
  • Do you want your company’s name to gain more exposure?
  • Do you want to encourage customers from one brand to switch to yours?
  • Do you have an upcoming sales promotion that you want to get people excited about?
  • Do you want people to click the ad and visit your website or visit your Facebook page?
  • Do you want to convert people to sales leads?
  • Are you trying to drive people into taking a specific action? B2B companies will want to get people to a landing page on your website that advertises a helpful piece of gated content or even a free assessment or demo.

    Figuring out what you’re trying to accomplish with your advertising dollar is a very important step to ensuring that you’re spending your Facebook advertising budget wisely.

    3. Understand Your Audience Before Posting Ads on Facebook

    Now that you know what you’re trying to accomplish, you’ll need to understand who you’re speaking to. If you know the results you are trying to achieve with your campaign, you’re more likely to have a general idea of the type of people you’d want to target.

    Let’s say you’re a steel building manufacturing company in Virginia with experience constructing shell buildings to suit and you want to launch a Facebook advertising campaign that gets business owners to attend an informational session you’re holding in the future.

    With your expertise in the market you’ll likely be able to figure out the demographics of the people you want to target. With Facebook, you can define your target audience by age range, specific income level, location, and other common interests.

    Think through these things carefully because you’ll want to refer back to these qualities when targeting your audience for your Facebook advertising campaign.

    4. Know Your Goals and Determine Your KPIs

    Now that you know who you’re speaking to, it’s time to really flesh out your goals and learn how to track their success. Let’s go back to our steel building manufacturer example.

    What goals might you in mind? We know that the manufacturer wants to get more business owners to their informational session, so a good goal for her Facebook advertising campaign might be to get a certain number people to register for the session. Now that you have your specific goal, you've established your success measure.

    If you have any experience in holding business events, you know that the amount of people who RSVP for an event generally doesn’t match the number who actually attend. Our steel building manufacturer is a pro and knows that for every 10 people that RSVP only half show up. The manufacturer might also assume (or know from past experience) that for every 10 people who attend the information session, one of those people become a customer. For their particular case, getting two customers that purchase over the coming 2 years would be a success.

    If we work backwards we could determine that one of the KPIs for the campaign would be a certain number of registrations to the event. So, for 2 customers they’d need at least 20 people to show up, which would mean they'd need 40 people to RSVP. The 40 registrations through Facebook advertising would be a KPI to track success for the campaign.

    5. Determine a Realistic Budget for Your Campaign

    So, if you’ve gotten this far, we’ve covered a lot of ground. You know why you’re launching a campaign, you know who you’re speaking to, you have your goals and the KPIs to measure the success of your campaign, and now it’s time to talk budget.

    There are a few factors that come into play when determining your budget. The first is your window of time to achieve your goal. If the manufacturing company has several months to reach their particular goal, they may not need to spend as aggressively. With the luxury of more time they would have more time to experiment with Facebook advertising and tweak things until they’re working at an optimal level. But, if the event is in the next two weeks, they may have to spend more to see results more quickly.

    When setting your budget, you’ll also be faced with determining whether or not you’re going to limit ad spend by day ("daily budget") or by the entirety of the campaign ("lifetime budget"). With a daily budget you’re essentially telling Facebook that you want to spend a certain amount of money every day. With lifetime budget, you’re giving Facebook more free reign to determine through their algorithms the optimal amount to spend each day during the campaign duration.

    What's the best method for your budget? It depends on you and your business needs. You’ll want to experiment with your budget and see how it performs through each method.