Advertising on Facebook

Monday, June 18, 2012
by bsperan (flickr)
You've probably heard on the news that Facebook has made Mark Zuckerberg a ton of money. I used to always wonder HOW? I mean it was free to sign up for an account--for personal and business reasons--free to play a lot of the games and chat with friends. SO, how did he make money?

I soon learned about Facebook ads. And now, Facebook is even going so far as to allow pages to pay to promote their status updates to reach  more of their fans. So, as an author trying to promote a book or a freelancer selling copywriting or editing services, what does this mean for you? What do you need to know about Facebook ads?

1. You can spend as much or as little on Facebook ads as you want each month. Most of them are pay-per-click. This means that if people see your ad on the sidebar and they click on it, you will be charged. This could be scary for some budgets! However, Facebook allows you to put a cap on how much you want to spend. If you have a budget of $25 for this type of ad, then you put that limit on your Facebook account. Once you hit $25, your ad will not show up. This is a pretty safe way to try out if a Facebook ad brings you any  more book sales or any clients without spending a lot of money.

2. What does Facebook mean that you have to pay to promote your status updates? If you have a business page, you will notice that when you type in a status or a link or even post a photo, Facebook will let you  know how many of your fans that information has reached. It's usually a pretty low percentage like 15% of your fans had your status update turn up in their News Feed. (As much as we would like to believe that every single person who has LIKED our page sees everything we post, that's just not realistic.) Next to this low and sometimes sad percentage will be the word PROMOTE. If you click on the arrow next to PROMOTE, you will be able to set a limit for how much you want to spend and how long you want your status to be promoted.  If you are paying to promote your status, then you should expect a higher percentage of your fans to see it.

With any advertising dollars, it's often good to start out small and observe what other authors and/or writing services companies are doing. If you set a budget of $20 a month and you notice your sales are increasing or you have two new clients, then great--your ad is probably working. If not, then re-think the ad you created OR the budget you set.

How do you know what to say in your ad? Look on the sidebar when you are logged in to your Facebook page and observe the ads. Which ones make you want to click on them? Use those strategies to create your ad.

It's super easy to create an ad, too. When you are on your business page, look at the sidebar, and you will see where Facebook has already created a mock ad for you and a caption that says something like, "Get more likes." Click on this to get started on your ad.

Now what do you do on that Facebook page once you get people there. . .that's for another day.

If you find that you want to learn more about social networking and how you can use it to promote your career, then consider taking my beginning social networking class, which starts on July 16, or the advanced social networking course, which begins on August 13. To view both syllabus, go to the classroom page.


Margo Dill said...

I wanted to say this morning after thinking about this post that there are also cost per impression choices for advertising on Facebook, too. If you have a specific question, please ask away or consider the advanced social networking class, where we get into this more in depth. :) Thanks, everyone!

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

I am interested to see if anyone has received any benefits from advertising on FB. Many people I have spoken to said they didn't.

Margo Dill said...

Karen--me too.

I got the idea for this post after a listserv discussion with some other children's writers. A couple of them were thinking about doing Facebook ads because you can easily set a limit for any budget. But how much does one have to spend to get the word out on Facebook? And does this equate to sales? I am actually going to do an article about this topic and other marketing ideas where money is spent for the July issue of WOW! So hopefully, I'll have some real answers for you then. :)

LuAnn Schindler said...

I've been tempted to advertise writing and editing services on Facebook, but after reading an article about how many businesses don't feel they've seen a boost in business, I'm not sure if it's worth it. Although I do have a $50 credit coupon to try it...

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