Tips for Effective Facebook Advertising

Not sure how to get started with Facebook advertising? Look at the ads that are present in your newsfeed and sidebar right now. Are there any that are attractive to you? Why? What words or types of images draw your attention?

What Kinds of Ads Can I Create?

  • Page Post Engagement: Promote your Page posts
    • Tip: before creating an ad, try simply adding it as a free post to see what kind of performance it gets (post it in a couple of different variations as well – and remember if you’re going to target a specific age or location, use post targeting for the most accurate ‘test’)
  • Page Likes: Get Page likes to grow your audience and build your brand
  • Clicks to Websites: Get people to visit your website
  • Website Conversions: Get people to perform certain actions on your site (requires adding a Facebook pixel to your site). For example, sign up to newsletter, download ebook, etc.
  • App Installs: Get people to install your mobile or desktop app
  • App Engagement: Get people to use your desktop app
  • Event Responses: Increase attendance at your event
  • Offer Claims: Create offers for people to redeem in your store
    • These are exclusive to FB users and you can get their email in exchange for the offer – good for growing your email list
    • Try this on your fans before targeting to larger audiences
    • Good for getting people in the door
  • Video Views: Get people to view your video posts

Which Ad Type Do I Use?

Depending on what you're trying to accomplish, you'll want to pick a different type of ad. If you’re looking for...


  • Use page post ads/video views
  • Target friends of fans or lookalike audience to reach people who will be interested but who haven’t seen content before
  • As a side-effect you may also see increased page likes


  • For B2B, target by job title, age group, interest
  • For B2C target by category and gender (if applicable)


  • This is what you want for real-world actions (sales, leads/emails, downloads, etc.)
  • Most technical because you have to install a tracking pixel on your website in order for Facebook to know if the objective has been achieved. You will likely also want landing pages for this to be most effective, especially a post-landing page, which is where the pixel will go. For example, if you’re trying to get someone to subscribe to your newsletter, your add will direct them to the subscribe page; once they’ve subscribed they will be taken to a thank you page where the pixel is (since they can only get to the thank you page by subscribing you can be confident that the pixel is reporting conversions correctly)

Note: I recommend never to ‘boost’ posts, since the ‘page post engagement’ ad will do the same thing and offer much more detailed targeting settings

How Do I Make My Facebook Ad Effective?

Ad Copy

  • Include a very clear call to action – you have limited characters. Try asking a question. Use attention-grabbing keywords like ‘free’, ‘exclusive’; use dollar signs and percentages. Use time and scarcity to create demand (1 more day, last chance)
  • Use language that appeals to target audience
  • Text can be changed after ad approval

Target the Right Audience

  • This is where knowing your audience/ideal customer comes in really handy
  • Thinking out of the box is a big advantage
  • Create your own custom audience in Ads Manager (i.e. upload your email contacts, it will match emails to FB users). This is highly recommended if you intend to use the same audience (or set of audiences) over and over again for ads. This will also give you some insight into your audience so you can optimize your ads before you start paying for them.
  • Keep in mind that audience targeting only works as well as the information people put into Facebook (some info, like age and gender, is mandatory and can be relied upon), but at least FB will always tell you the size of your target audience
  • Stay familiar with all of the options, as they are updated periodically


  • Keep the image guidelines in mind when selecting photos (even the stock photos – they don’t screen out ineligible photos)
  • ALWAYS add all 6 images (you can change them later, but you cannot ad a new one)
  • Facebook recommends images that are 1200x627px. At minimum, your image should be 600px wide
  • Best practices for images: use faces (smiling women), be simply, no words; avoid colours that will blend in with Facebook, like blue, white, black, grey


  • If there is a link that the user needs to click or your ad is a conversion, consider using Pay Per Click (PPC) – it’s more expensive, but you are only paying for the people who actually clicked as opposed to everyone who saw your ad
  • Also keep in mind that the cost will vary depending on ad placement (newsfeed vs sidebar vs mobile newsfeed). Keep in mind that users are accessing FB more and more from mobile devices, so you may want to focus your $$ there)


  • Watch your ad to see how it’s performing. If some ads are performing poorly, pause them or edit the text/photo that goes with them
  • Ad performance will naturally decline over time; making changes to the audience/text/photo may give your ad a boost
  • Ideally, you don’t want fans to see the same add over and over again – if your frequency is above 5 and the performance is poor consider pulling it
  • You can export your ad performance to an excel spreadsheet for more in depth analysis so that you can adjust current ads or improve future ads. For example
    • Break down ad performance by age, gender, or ad placement
    • See the actual cost per like/comment/share, etc.


Further Reading