Five tips to help you optimise your Facebook ads

As of December 2018, there were over 2.32 billion monthly active users of Facebook and 1 billion Instagram users. However, Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm can make it difficult for Pages to connect with their audience organically.

Luckily that’s where Facebook ads come in. Whilst targeting options have reduced in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook (and now Instagram) remain the best platforms for advertising due to the wealth of data that their users provide on their profiles compared to other sites such as Twitter.

Here are the five top tips to get the most out of your Facebook advertising strategy:

1. Know your audience

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is just trying to reach as many people as possible. Whilst this can be a good thing if you’re running an awareness campaign, it is not the best way to recruit foster carers, for example. Facebook allows you to define your audience in a number of different ways. You can target people based on where they live, where they work, how old they are, if they are male or female, their education level, their relationship-status, the languages they speak and what pages they like to name but a few! To better understand your own audience, take a look at the Facebook Audiences tool which will give you a full insight into the demographics and preferences of your followers. And remember it is cheaper to run ads to people who follow your page!

2. It’s all about timing

Whilst there is no concrete rule for the best time to run your ads (it largely depends on your audience). The general rule-of-thumb is to start your ad campaign on a weekday morning, ideally a Monday or Tuesday. Fridays and Saturdays tend to be the worst days for getting results. Make sure you schedule your campaign in advance to avoid waiting for it to be approved.

3. Test, test, test

Facebook offers a wide range of options when setting up your ad, so it’s important to be testing and evaluating throughout your campaign. To maximise your results, it’s better to split test your ads with smaller budgets where you can make individual changes to see what resonates best with your audience. You can also try changing your ad objective to see what generates the best engagement. Make sure you split test at the ad level, not the campaign level.

4. A picture speaks a thousand words

The success of your ad is primarily down to the image or video you use, so avoid stock images if possible. When split testing your ads, the first thing you should try is different imagery. The key to grabbing the attention of people when they are scrolling through their newsfeeds is to be different. Try testing a sepia or greyscale image! It’s also worth noting that Facebook will show your ad to a smaller audience if your image includes too much text so try to use very little or ideally none at all. Facebook users are watching more video than ever before, 100 million hours every day to be exact! Video ads are a great way to boost your engagement but to beat the mass of competing content in the Facebook newsfeed, it has to grab the attention of the viewer within just ten seconds. Remember only 15% of Facebook videos are watched with sound so captions are a must!

5. Get your landing page right

Whether you’re asking people to sign-up to a webinar or download a brochure, you need to make sure that the infrastructure on your website is setup and easy to. You don’t want to spend time and money optimising your ad, just to have people navigate away from your web page because it’s not user-friendly. You can better track your customer journey through installing the Facebook Pixel which is a piece of code you can place on your website. It collects data that helps you track conversions from Facebook ads as well as helping you to optimise ads, build target audiences and remarket to people who have already interacted with something on your website.

Lynette Dixon is a Digital Communications Officer at Richmond Council


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