I’ve had a couple of people get in touch with me recently regarding Facebook advertising. Facebook are very good at selling these to us and I know that a lot of people are plumping for ‘Timeline ads’. These are things like ‘Boost post’ or ‘Promote page’. Although these may not be the most effective way of advertising on Facebook they are quick and easy to set up.
There are a few ways that you can optimise your spend even on Timeline ads so today I’m sharing a mini lesson from the We Teach Social Facebook advanced course.
How to create ads from the Facebook Timeline
Timeline ads is the term I give to the adverts that are quick and easy to set up from your Facebook Timeline. Facebook very often prompts you to use these tools.
The most common type of Timeline ad is ‘Boost post’. Although these ads are effective they tend to cost more money than if you create them via Ads Manager. You also have less control over who you reach. For a beginner they are a quick and easy solution though so I’m going to show you how to maximise your advertising budget when using them.
Here’s how to set up a ‘Boost post’ ad:
- Before you choose to boost a post make sure that if it is an image it complies with the 20% text rule. Images that you boost are only allowed to have 20% of the area covered in text.
- Facebook have a very useful tool that allows you to test your images before posting (click here to access it)
- Simply upload your image and click on all the boxes that include text. Facebook will tell you if your image complies or not.
- Once you are ready to promote your post click on ‘Boost post’ under the post you want to advertise
- Choose ‘People you choose to target’ from the options on the menu. You can now choose from some limited options. You can target by country or city by gender and by age.
- As well as targeting you are also able to choose your budget here. You don’t need to go for the default value, it will generally offer you a lower cost for a lower estimated reach.
- You will notice as you start targeting the estimated reach of your post will go up.
- Now click ‘Boost’ and Facebook will begin to promote your post to your targeted market.
This option appears at the top right hand side or your page when you log in. Sometimes you might see it elsewhere on your page too.
Promoting your page is a tool to help you get more likes. Similarly to ‘Boost post’ ‘Promote page’ can be targeted.
- Click ‘promote page’
- Once again choose your target market and budget.
- Click ‘promote’.
From the promote post window you have the option of setting a finish date for your ad. I highly recommend doing this as it is easy to let your budget escape from you otherwise.
The third type of Timeline ad you can set up is an ‘Offer’. These work a bit like Groupon or Living Social. You set up an offer, a good deal or a substantial discount and people can avail of this by ‘claiming’ them on Facebook. Each time someone clicks the ‘Claim’ button the offer gets shared to their friends.
Offers can only be used for a physical business; they no longer work for online deals. Those who claim an offer get an email that they can either print out or show you on a mobile device in store.
They are a hugely effective way of spreading the word about your business.
**NOTE** You must have at least 50 Likes on your page to create an offer.**
- To create an offer click on ‘Offer, event +’ tab above your status update box.
- A window will open and you will be prompted to upload an image and insert the details of your offer. If you want your offer to succeed make it something tangible, something aspirational. 10% off won’t attract anyone to your page or business.
- As with the other Timeline ads make sure you target it as accurately as possible to your target market. This will ensure that you get value for money.
- Click ‘create offer’.
The pros and cons of using Timeline Ads
- Quick and easy to set up
- Some targeting features
- Start running ads almost immediately (don’t have to wait for approval)
- Lacks full targeting features
- Hard to keep control of your budget
- Expensive compared to ads created in Ads Manager
- Less flexibility and options than Ads Manager
Timeline ads can be effective but if you are serious about advertising you should take a bit more time and explore both ‘Ads Manager’ and ‘Power Editor’
If you’d like to learn more about Facebook advertising we will be running a course on the topic for We Teach Social in the new year. You can sign up to the We Teach Social list to stay informed about our latest courses as they are launched.