Few people understand the long game as well as Mark Zuckerberg. For years, he got us hooked on the social elements of the platform, gaining a following of billions. Then he persuaded brands to join in, offering them … billions of active users … and encouraging them to build their own fandoms. Finally, he leveraged this community, tweaking the algorithm and altering feeds to enhance monetisation. Nowadays, a brand’s organic content gets very little ‘air play’. If you want prospective buyers to see you, you have to pay for it. Fortunately, you can get started with as little as a dollar. Here are some helpful tips on Facebook ads.
- Dodge the likes
For many beginners, seeing hundreds (or even tens) of likes on your ads seems like a good thing. And Facebook is gifted at getting your ad in front of people that will ‘like’ it. That doesn’t add up to sales though – because it takes no effort or conscious thought. Instead, you should be looking for comments and shares (because shares expose your ad to more potential comments). A person that takes the time to type is more likely to engage and buy.
- Be conversational
Talking to a teenager is frustrating, because all you get back and shrugs, smirks, and one-word answers. You don’t want to evoke this response in your ad recipients. Craft your ad using ‘human language’ that invites them to think and respond. You could pose a question they’ll be eager to answer. Use informal wording and a light, casual tone. Don’t pander by trying to look cool or force slang. Just think of how you’d say this to a friend, and type it up that way. Think ‘I saw this gorgeous sweater at the discount store’ vs ‘Our sweaters are 100% organic, made by women in third world countries, and we donate a percentage to their charity so their kids can go to school’. Which ad would YOU respond to?
- Speak softer
We’ve learned from traditional advertising that we have to sell, sell, sell. We’re used to colourful starbursts and exhortation to ‘Buy Now!’ or ‘Hurry While Stocks Last!’ While this sense of urgency works for the supermarket sale, it can feel contrived on Facebook. After all, your ‘Order Today!’ will be couched between their colleague’s lunch-time selfie and their grandkid’s graduation. Smart tips on Facebook ads recommend a more subtle approach. Ideally, your ad shouldn’t look like an ad at all. It should be more like a regular social post, except it was put up by a brand instead of a person.
- Pick the right visual
Studies show we respond better to ‘living’ images – say a smiling person, or a cute kitten. Use these in your ads instead of just dashing for product pack shots. But make sure the images are relevant. If you’re going to use a puppy, have your product somewhere in the background, or write a caption that ties your product to the picture in a meaningful way. Otherwise it feels like a cheap shot, and will be ignored accordingly.
- Try the A/B
If you followed the fake news debacle, you already know our favourite tips on Facebook ads. Different users saw different versions of the same ads, depending on their demographic target set. Because you can post Facebook ads starting at $1, take the same approach. Run parallel campaigns, then use metrics to see which one works best. Use this information to continually tweak your advertising content.