You can achieve some amazing results with Facebook adverts. You can reach a large audience for comparatively little money. You can engage real-time with potential customers and build long lasting relationships with your audience, leading to repeat business and brand ambassadors.
However, if you have been following news about Facebook advertising, you will have heard that many people have got stung recently. Facebook still has large numbers of click farms. These are profiles that are created purely to sell page likes. You can buy 1,000 likes for around £5, but as a sensible marketer you realise that this is pointless and meaningless. Instead you want real people to like your page so you can build an engaged audience. Unfortunately for the unsuspecting Facebook marketer indiscriminate advertising will attract likes from these click farms. This is because the click farms are much less likely to get picked up by Facebook if they like everything that comes up, not just what they are paid to like. This results in Facebook advertisers paying for meaningless links from robots that will never engage with their site.
So how do you avoid paying for likes from click farms when you are trying to build your audience?
Firstly you need to go back-to-basics with your marketing and segment your audience. You should do this anyway for every campaign you run, as indiscriminate advertising wastes time and resources. Set up a very clear campaign with clear campaign goals. Do not build an audience for the sake of an audience.
The joy of Facebook advertising is that you can target very specific people. You can target people by age, location, employment, hobbies and interests. You can also target people by life events, so if you run a wedding business, you can target people who have just got engaged, if you sell baby products then you can target people who have just had a baby. The location tool is also incredibly useful for testing the waters in new markets or for local businesses.
So once you have segmented your audience it is time to target them. Even if your customer base is very broad you can still run a series of parallel adverts that differ from segment to segment, depending on what they will find appealing. This way you can also monitor the responses very closely and use this information for future advertising. You then need to delve into the Facebook adverts manager advanced settings and set up your target audience. It is likely to push the cost of each click up slightly higher, but you will save a lot of money in the long run.
If you do nothing else when you use Facebook advertising, always set the location that you want the adverts to run in. Set your location to specific towns, to Wales, to the UK. If you operate internationally then set a list of countries that you want to advertise in. There are exceptions, but click farms tend to operate from locations such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and, more recently, Mexico. These are the main countries to avoid.
Once your advert is running it needs to be managed professionally. Keep a close eye on the types of people that are liking your page and make changes as and when necessary. Facebook can be an incredibly useful marketing platform, but it can also be a costly disaster. Make sure that you get it right.