Facebook probably doesn’t need much of an introduction – launched in
2004, the social network now is the largest social media platform with
more than 1.7 billion monthly active users worldwide. The company
today is more than just a social network – Facebook acquired messaging
app WhatsApp and started its own successful messenger. They also
bought photo-sharing platform Instagram and the virtual reality company Oculus VR.
Since most Facebook users log into the site every day and engage with other users,
brands and content, the platform knows a lot about their users. For advertisers Facebook
is one of the most attractive online channels, because it lets them utilise their rich user
data to target very specific audiences. And since most companies and brands are already
present on Facebook, ads are a great way to build a following and boost engagement for
the content they share.
What Facebook ads look like
Here you have four different choices – you can create an ad that features a single image,
a single video, or multiple images that are displayed either in a carousel format or as a
Facebook also offers a new, more immersive ad experience on mobile. They call it Facebook Canvas. Canvas looks like a normal mobile news feed ad, but once a user taps to open the ad, he or she is taken to a full screen experience (videos, images, text, products) that the advertiser can customise. To learn more about Facebook Canvas, go to canvas.facebook.com .
What objectives can I meet with my Facebook ads?
You can optimise ads on Facebook based on what specific objective your campaign has. Generally, Facebook distinguishes three different kinds of objectives that follow the traditional user journey from awareness to conversion:
Raising awareness : This includes campaigns to raise brand awareness, local awareness and to maximise reach.
Consideration : These are ads that drive traffic to your website, boost the engagement of your posts, increase app downloads or video views and help you collect customer data (leads) to use in follow-up campaigns.
Conversion : These are ads that increase the conversion on your website or online shop, advertise specific products to users who have interacted with your shop before, or get people to visit your local store.
These campaign objectives require you to add a few lines of code to your website, which will then implement the Facebook pixel on your site. If you want to track the actions that happen inside your mobile app as a result of your ads, your developer should implement a piece of code called App Events. Point them to Facebook’s developer site to learn more.
Based on past user behavior data, Facebook will show your ad to those people in your target audience who are most likely to perform the action you want them to.
Here is an example of a Facebook canvas:
What targeting options does Facebook offer?
Facebook offers a variety of targeting options that you can combine to build a specific audience:
Target users by country, county, town / city, or the area around your physical business.
Target users by age, gender, education, and the languages they speak.
Target users by interests, based on profile information, pages, groups or content they engage with. You can choose from hundreds of categories like sports, movies, music, games, or shopping. You can also target users who like specific pages.
Target users based on what Facebook knows about user behavior, such as the way they shop, the phone they use, or if they plan to buy a house or a car.
Target users who like your page or app and their friends.
Target existing customers based on data (e.g., emails, phone numbers) you provide. You can also create Lookalike Audiences – people who are similar to your existing customers.