Organic and Paid Advertising Strategies for Reaching Customers and Growing Your Sales

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Last month, in Part 1 of our Facebook for Business mini-series, we discussed setting up your business Facebook Page. We also examined how to find your unique audience among the more than 60 million businesses utilizing Facebook Business already. This month, we will delve deeper into understanding organic and paid advertising strategies and walk you through setting up your own advertising campaigns.

Before we can get started talking about how to set up a Facebook advertising campaign, we must understand what the options are and when to use them. Let’s start by talking about the differences between organic and paid Facebook advertising strategies.

Even with a base level knowledge of social media, you probably know “likes” are a pretty big deal if you want to successfully play the social media game. The more people who “like” your page, the easier it will be to let your current and potential customers know about new services and specials you offer. This is called “organic reach” or the total number of unique followers who see your unpaid posts. Organic reach is important because it will help you find new customers more effectively without having to regularly target them via paid advertising strategies.

However, due to Facebook’s algorithms on how things show up in and are pushed out to the newsfeed, you can’t solely rely on organic reach. Gone are the days of being able to post things to your page and expect all of your followers to see every post you make. According to Facebook Business, “Pages organically reach about 16 percent of their fans on average,” hence why you must have a balanced Facebook strategy that includes organic, boosted and paid campaigns.

Now hang-tight with me here as we explore this next Facebook advertising strategy — boosted posts. Have you ever played Nintendo? If you’ve played Nintendo — or your kids or grandkids have — you’re probably familiar with the game Super Mario or Mario Kart. In the game of Mario Cart, as you race along the imaginary track, dodging banana peels and trying to catch up to your friends Luigi and Yoshi, you can run into different icons that will give your cart a little boost and help you whiz by your competition. Boosted posts on Facebook are no different than those icons.

Boosted posts are a hybrid between organic and paid advertising strategies on Facebook. They are technically an organic strategy, but you do put money behind posts that are doing well out to push them out to more of your followers. This is why people often confuse them with paid advertising on Facebook. Boosted posts are best used when you’ve already let a post organically gain traction and people are showing an interest in it. They are necessary to growing your page. You can also boost your page using these same tactics below, but today, we are going to specifically talk about how to boost a post, not a page.

Here are the basics of boosting a post:

  1. Visit your page.
  2. Select the post you want to boost. Remember, it’s best to select one that has already been running organically for at least a few hours and is doing well. Facebook also has something called the “20 Percent Rule,” which is basically a rule put in place to protect the integrity of the content forced out into the newsfeed. Because of the 20 percent rule, Facebook will not allow you to boost a post that has an image with 20 percent or more text on it. (The less text that appears on your images, the better.)
  3. Click the “Boost Post” icon in the bottom right-hand corner.
  4. Select the audience you’d like to target. Facebook allows you to get pretty granular here. Among other things you can select an age range, gender, interests, people who like your page, friends of people who like your page, geographic regions etc.
  5. Next, select your budget and the duration of your post. Facebook will give you an estimated reach depending on your selection. Don’t worry, once you set your budget you’re in control of how much you want to spend on a boosted post. The budget you select will be allocated across the number of days you decide to run your boosted post. The suggested budgets vary, so you can spend as little or as much as you’d like.
  6. After you’ve confirmed your boosted post, Facebook has to review it to make sure it meets their guidelines. Once your post has been approved, you’ll get a notification letting you know it is running.
  7. Later on in this series, we will talk about how to evaluate your boosted posts so you can optimize them in the future, but for now, sit back, relax and watch the likes and comments roll in.
Now that we’ve talked organic strategies and how to implement them, let’s talk a little more about paid strategies. Simply put, any campaign you have to run through Facebook Ads Manager is part of a paid strategy. What’s Facebook Ads Manager? It’s a Facebook program where you can view, make changes and measure the results for all of your Facebook campaigns, ad sets and ads. To get to Facebook Ads Manager, simply click the caret in the top right-hand corner of your dashboard and click “Create Ads.” Once there, you can choose the type of campaign you want to run, depending on your advertising objective. If you want to drive local awareness, you will want to run an awareness campaign — these ads don’t have to click through to anywhere, so they can strictly drive people to your Facebook Page. Maybe you want to increase traffic to your website. In this case, you’d want to select that as the goal and run a click-thru campaign. If you want to drive store visits or engagement, you can customize the call-to-action button that will run with the ad to include “Call Now” or “Get Directions” and then have the ad auto-populate your store phone number. Using Ads Manager is as easy or complex as you choose to make it. The more comfortable you get with the program, the more you can experiment with all the things it does.

Overwhelmed? Don’t worry, we’re going to get you started setting up your first ad set right now.

How To Set Up Your First Ad Set in Ads Manager:

  1. Go to Ads Manager. A link can be found at the bottom of the Promotions page under the Insights tab.
  2. First, choose your desired objective from the list.
  3. Then choose your campaign name or use the suggested name.
  4. If you have multiple pages for multiple locations, select the page you want to create an ad set for.
  5. Choose your target audience.
  6. Decide where your ads will appear. If you have an Instagram account, you can select here if you want the ads to be shown on Instagram, Facebook or in the place where they are likely to perform best (probably Facebook).
  7. Set your budget and ads schedule.
  8. Name your ad set and select whether you want to run a carousel, single image, single video, slideshow or canvas ad.
  9. Choose your images and ad text. There can be a lot of strategy to this, and it could be a whole other article. Basically, keep things concise, clear and remember the 20 percent rule — it still applies.
  10. When you’re ready, place your ads.
Run a few practice ad sets at a small spend to get familiar with this process and ads manager. The more you do it, the easier it will become and the more creative you can get with things. You’ll start to learn what works and what doesn’t. Before you know it, you’ll be able to dive deeper into optimizing your creative and ad runs.

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You’re all set to hit the gas and grow your business. Facebook advertising is some of the least expensive, most effective and targeted advertising you can do, so get comfortable with it. The good news is, you can always delete or stop running a campaign or post at anytime for any reason. Use your customers’ noses always being in their phones to your advantage, and meet them where they already are. It’s not rocket science; it’s just logic.

Next time, we’ll talk a little more about understanding the results of advertising campaigns like these and using those findings to frame how you talk to and engage with your fans. We’ll also discuss how to handle negative feedback and maybe throw in a Facebook only promotion idea or two. Stay tuned!

Glossary of Facebook-Related Terms

  • Awareness Campaign: These Facebook ads don’t have to click through anywhere they can strictly drive people to your Facebook Page.
  • Boosted Posts: kind of like the power-up icons in Mario Kart; you put money behind Facebook posts that are doing well out to push them out to more of your followers.
  • Canvas Ad: A full-screen ad experience for bringing brands and products to life on mobile.
  • Carousel Ad: Shows multiple images that ultimately click through to the same URL.
  • Cick-Thru Campaign: Directs users to click on a Facebook ad to get to a URL you want them to visit.
  • Facebook Ads Manager: A Facebook program where you can view, make changes to and measure the results for all of your Facebook campaigns, ad sets and ads. To get to Facebook ads manager, simply click the caret in the top righthand corner of your dashboard and click “Create Ads.”
  • Facebook Business Page: Your business’ presence/profile on Facebook — not where you post cat memes and thousands of your vacation photos.
  • Organic Reach: The total number of unique followers who see your unpaid Facebook posts.
  • Post: A status update or message you’d like to share with the cyber-world. Can be text, images, videos or sometimes a combination of the three.
  • The 20 Percent Rule: A rule put into place to protect the integrity of the content that is forced out into people’s Facebook newsfeeds. Because of the 20 percent rule, Facebook will not allow users to boost a post that has an image with 20 percent or more text on it.
  • URL: The address of a page on the Internet.

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