The Importance of Facebook Ads and Paid Strategies to Grow Your Facebook Community

Grow Your Facebook Community: Social Media represents an exciting and important opportunity to not only reach your customers but to actually connect and engage with them. Because of this unique ability to connect with your audience, it is important that your social community be as large as possible and grow continually to ensure that the time and effort that goes into a properly executed social strategy isn’t wasted or lost due to people not having the opportunity to see it. A few common misconceptions about social media are that it is “free” and that it works under a “if you build it they will come” philosophy.

The fact is, there are hundreds of thousands of businesses that are all vying for the attention of what amounts to a limited audience with limited time. Since potential customers can only “Like” so many pages and can only spend so much time engaging with brands on a platform that is primarily intended for them to engage with other people including friends and family, it becomes critical to support your social efforts with a thoroughly and properly thought out paid strategy. It is only through investment that you can truly stand out from the crowd and develop the meaningful connections that will drive your social presence forward and create the value it has the potential to offer. This can be a disheartening realization to the business owner that was excited about a “free” advertising platform. But it is important to look at social media as an investment. The exciting part of this is that unlike traditional advertising mediums, it is not a short term investment; it is an investment that will continue to pay off through an ongoing connection with not only the individual customer but through access to their social network as well.

So accepting the reality that social media requires a paid strategy to reach its full potential, what are the best paid outlets for delivering this value? The primary one out there is Facebook ads, a relatively simple platform designed to allow the average business owner to jump in and begin a campaign. However, there are intricacies and hidden knowledge behind this platform that are really needed to develop and manage campaigns that will drive the best possible performance. Without this expertise it is easy to find yourself struggling to extract the most return on investment from these ads. Many factors go into the performance of Facebook ads but the primary areas to consider are:

  • Audience Targeting

    • You must be sure you are reaching the right people and not wasting your impressions on people who are unlikely to respond to your message.
  • Creative

    • It is critical to make sure the message you are promoting resonates with your target audience, if it doesn’t you will spend a lot of money without much results.
  • Segmentation

    • It is impossible to understand what is working and what is not if you do not break up your campaign into different variables that allow you to optimize based on what performs and what does not.

Some tips to drive the best possible performance from your Facebook ads:

  • Think long and hard about who your target customer is and what they typically like. Unlike search ads, you are not targeting keywords that people are searching right then and there, you are targeting keywords that your audience has taken the time to place within their profile over time, think about the TV shows they watch, books they read, things they like, etc. Target based on their psychological profile instead of their actions
  • Experiment with your ad image and ad copy; try different message tones and image types. Try to stick with images that are bold and stand out. Look for images with people in them, as they tend to perform better within this social environment. Whenever possible try to use some type of humorous tone in your copy and include a call to action such as “Like Us” or “Click Now”.
  • Rotate your creative regularly to avoid letting it get stale and allowing your audience to suffer from “Ad Blindness”.
  • Break out your ads into demographic buckets such as Gender (Male vs. Female) and Age (18-24, 25-35, 45+, etc.). This will allow you to see which audiences are responding and make adjustments to your campaign accordingly.
  • Pull your reports and analyze them, try to find what is performing and make adjustment to cater your campaign to those areas. There is a lot of data available to use: use it whenever possible.
  • Consider finding a Facebook ads expert that is adept at utilizing all these different ad parameters and executing against them, you will often find that whatever fee this requires will easily be recouped in the efficiency that this expert can develop for you.

Overall the greatest tip available is to begin accepting that social media isn’t free, assign a budget to it that you are comfortable with, and begin to test different outlets and platforms to drive the connections that will help drive your business forward in the social arena. Once you have your audience, take the time to put it to use by delivering value to them and watch the benefits it can have on your business’s reputation, your customer satisfaction, and most importantly your bottom line.

Since joining Aviatech in 2010, Kelly has played a leading role in adding new services to the agency’s core capabilities, including the development of award-winning advergames and sweepstakes initiatives, digital PR, and paid social advertising. He has overseen the implementation of new technologies to help streamline departmental operations, and supervised a departmental expansion as it grew by more than 50%. Kelly has also contributed to the agency’s thought leadership with published articles and appearances at seminars and client conferences.

Kelly’s former positions include Strategist at Omnicom network OMD, the world’s top global media brand, where he was involved in developing the emerging media department; and Senior Program Manager at Performics while owned by Google, where he interfaced directly with all major social networking sites. His work with Facebook directly impacted the introduction of cutting edge applications to their ad platform. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from DePaul University of Chicago.
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