There have been thousands if not millions of articles written about Facebook advertising, and I want to take this opportunity to deal with Northern Ireland exclusively.
We have been running Facebook campaigns for many years now. I’m constantly surprised at the lack of knowledge out there regarding the potential of Facebook – and Instagram – and how it can help local businesses generate valuable new leads.
First of all, I want to make something clear: Facebook is NOT a PR tool.
Whilst PR can form an engaging part of Facebook as part of an overall content strategy, if you constantly post pictures of “look at me” type content, you are missing out on huge areas of lead generation and new business opportunities.
Social media, and indeed Facebook, is not a “young person’s” platform. The younger demographic would primarily use instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Snapchat and utilise Instagram when sharing peer to peer.
Here are five things to consider when advertising on Facebook:
1. Liking a post is not the same as liking a page
We’ve all been there. A post is generating hundreds of likes but your Facebook page audience doesn’t appear to be growing at the same rate.
This comes from a change Facebook brought in a few years back to stop spam competitions and “fake” likes, and to improve the overall experience for Facebook users.
But there is a way to counter this – even in retrospect.
Simply click on the sentence below the post detailing the number of likes and reactions – up pops a list of people who have interacted with the post.
Then “invite” them to like your page, and they will receive a notification to do just that.
It’s a good way of organically getting people to follow your page.
2. The targeting is superb, but the numbers aren’t accurate-
Facebook trumps Google when it comes to targeting. There’s no better platform for demographic and interest-based identification than facebook. However, did you know there are more 18-year-olds on Facebook than there are on planet Earth? How does this happen?
-Put simply, a lot of teens will set their default age to 18, thinking it’s a pre-requisite to having a Facebook page. Thus Facebook believes there are millions more 18-year-olds than there are.
According to Facebook, there are 1,000,000 people in Northern Ireland on Facebook & Instagram.
This simply isn’t accurate. In reality, there are around 200,000 active individuals on these channels in Northern Ireland. So take the targeting with a pinch of salt. However, bear in mind that the targeting is highly effective, and advertising costs reflect this. And so 200.000 engaged is a huge number in the local context.
3. Campaigns automatically select Instagram as a placement
Facebook owns Instagram, and when creating campaigns using Facebook Power Editor it will pre-select Instagram as a placement. Instagram’s primary audience would be the under 25s and Facebook informs us there are approximately 200,000 people on Instagram in Northern Ireland (see above).
What this means is that unless you wish to target the under-25 market, you would be better deselecting Instagram as a placement and ensuring your whole budget goes on your Facebook demographic instead. Think of context here, and getting a better bang for your buck.
4. The dreaded 20% rule on images
Unfortunately, Facebook has invented a crazy rule stating that text should not exceed more than 20% of an image area. We have never worked out why this rule is there, but it means that text should be kept at a minimum.
Utilise Facebook’s 20% grid template to ensure you fall within their guidelines. Failure to do so may see your ad approved but highly limited in terms of exposure to your market – and yet you will be paying for it.
If creating an ad, we recommend having a title on the image or a logo, and then put any copy in the text spaces allowed accompanying the post.
5. Track your success
Facebook is a phenomenal marketing tool and without question should be used by most businesses. There are pitfalls however, and only trial and error can determine how effective it is for your company.
We suggest you add Facebook pixels to your website so you can track and measure any conversions you receive from your ads. This will give you infinitely more targeting options including re-marketing, which is a great way of showing your product or services to individuals who previously visited your website.