I don’t have the budget for Facebook ads!
Pshhh… If you think this, you likely don’t have enough fans to run up a bill of more than a couple dollars in a day. I’m pretty sure you have a couple of bucks in your budget.
I tried Facebook ads once. I spent $50 and got only five new fans. What a waste of money!
First, you probably could’ve done better. Second, I’m talking about targeting your current fans. The people who would actually click your ads.
Using Facebook Page Post Ads as part of your marketing strategy is efficient, affordable, has little risk and can provide significant reward. I focused entirely on this type of advertising recently and was surprised by the results.
What are Page Post Ads?
Page Post Ads allow you to promote a post that you made on your Facebook Page. It could be a status update, shared link, video, photo, event or anything else you’ve shared recently. You can promote a specific page post or choose to make an ad out of the most recent page post that you’ve created — so your ad is constantly changing as you update your Page.
You can target Page Post Ads at non-fans, but I am going to focus on using Page Post Ads to target your current Facebook fans only.
Why you should use Page Post Ads to target fans
As you’ve probably heard, only about 16% of your fans will see any particular post that you make on your Page.
A big part of this is timing: only half of your fans are on Facebook on any given day, and even when they are on the site they may not be in the window that would allow them to see your post.
A second part of this is EdgeRank: particularly when it comes to Top News (the posts that Facebook determines are important to you), your posts may not be given top billing.
The jury is out on the level of contribution of each of these two factors (I strongly believe that the first makes a much bigger impact than the second), but the cause really doesn’t matter. There is a solution: Page Post Ads.
When you use Page Post Ads, timing makes a much smaller impact on success. No matter when your fans are online, they will be shown your post in the form of an ad.
When you use Page Post Ads, EdgeRank also can’t prevent your fans from seeing your content. In fact, the more fans who see your ads in addition to your posts, the higher your EgeRank. So there are multiple benefits at play.
Why Page Post Ads targeting Facebook fans are efficient
When you run an ad on Facebook — even a Page Post Ad — that targets non-fans, there is a barrier at play. You must sell yourself in 90 characters and an image to take action.
But when you target current fans, the barrier is not there. Your profile photo catches their eye. They recognize your name. They trust you. Current fans are much more likely to click on a link, image or video in your ad.
As a result, your advertising is efficient. You need to spend very little money to generate desired actions.
Why Page Post Ads are extremely affordable
When you run a standard Facebook ad that targets 100,000 or 1,000,000 people, it is very easy to quickly run through any budget. Facebook will have no problem cycling your ad through, running the cash register.
But when you run Page Post Ads that target only your current fans, your audience is greatly diminished. The typical Page that has fewer than 3,000 fans (most are far less than that), Facebook will have a hard time reaching many people in a given day.
I almost always bid on a CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) basis, particularly when getting clicks is easy. If you have 500 fans, only 250 of them will be online in one day. If you bid $.25 per CPM, it will cost a maximum of $.25 to hit those 250 fans four times each. In order to spend even $1 in a day, you’ll need to hit each fan 16 times.
See how hard it is to run up a high bill when you target your fans? It’s a slow process. But one that generates results.
My weekend with Page Post Ads
I’ve run a series of Page Post Ads during the past three days. Each one had a $10 lifetime limit that was set to expire on the current day. But each day, I needed to extend it to the next day because I couldn’t spend more than a couple of dollars with it.
One of the ads I ran promoted a post that I made about my video Timeline: The history of Facebook in less than 90 seconds. It’s run since May 8 with a lifetime budget of $10. Five days later, I’ve only spent $6.20.
I received 19 clicks. If I had used the CPC method, Facebook recommends I bid $1.22 per click. That would have cost me $23.18. Instead, I spent just over a quarter of that.
It was nice to run a campaign that had very little risk. All I wanted was assurance that my Page’s fans were seeing this video. There’s always that concern that they don’t see a priority piece of content, and I never want to reshare it over and over and get annoying. So this was a nice option.
One surprise is that this ad only reached 1,066 people, hitting each person an average of 39.5 times. Facebook had said that my potential audience was approximately 2,200 people (which seems odd since I have almost 3,000 fans). So to reach fewer than half after five days is a bit eye opening, no?
I can tell you that the most frustrating use of Page Post Ads was trying to promote the “Most Recent Eligible Post.” Facebook generally takes about a day to approve an ad, and such an ad will need to be approved every time a new Page Post has been created (the ad isn’t approved perpetually). Since I update once or twice on a given weekday, that meant this ad was in a constant state of approval.
So while “Most Recent Eligible Post” sounds like a swell idea, there’s little reason to use it if you post on a daily basis.
On Facebook advertising success
In the end, you need to get something of value that is at least equal to what you are putting into it. In other words, whether you spend $2 or $2,000, whether the campaign is successful will depend on what you get in return.
Make sure that you have a purpose. It could be driving traffic, generating conversions or simply starting a discussion. For me, the main focus was getting views and shares of my new video, but simply generating more activity (increasing EdgeRank) was important as well.
I’ve used Facebook Page Post Ads before, but focusing entirely on them during the past few days has given me a new perspective. I like having this option because there is so little cost and resultant risk involved, and this group is very likely to give you some sort of reward in return.
I encourage you to try out this approach instead of focusing entirely on using Facebook ads to increase your number of fans. I can also put together that strategy for you, if not run the entire campaign.
Have you used Facebook Page Post Ads to target your fans? What is your strategy, and what kind of results do you get? Let me know in the comments below!