Creating Targeted Ads in Facebook

Now that Facebook and Bing have partnered, social search is becoming ever more prevalent. But when it comes to PPC, you can also leverage Facebook to market your products and services to a highly targeted audience. We’ve discussed the benefits of using Facebook in previous posts, but now I’ll walk you through the few simple steps to getting started.


When you first log in you will see a simple dashboard that gives you a high level view of typical campaign KPIs such as impressions, clicks, budget, CTR, Avg. CPC, and Total Spend. They have included an additional metric that is unique to Facebook, called the Social %.

Social %: This tracks the percentage of impressions where the viewer of the ad also saw that 1 or more friends liked your Page, event or application.

Design Your Ad

  • Copy an existing ad. This is an optional feature that allows you to copy an existing ad from another campaign by selecting the name in the drop down box.
  • Choose your destination URL. This, like the URL used in the main search engines directs customers to a landing page where they are able to find additional information about the topic that peaked their interest when they clicked on your ad.
  • Suggest and ad. Facebook has the ability to suggest a title and content for your ad based on the destination URL that you have entered. Once the content is auto-generated you have the ability to make changes as needed to create the most relevant message for your target audience. Note: If you are advertising a facebook page, your ad title will automatically be the name of that page.
  • Create your own ad. When creating your own ad (and not using the ad suggestion tool), you will need to create a Title and Body Text. You are allowed 25 characters in the title, and 135 in the body text. All facebook ads require an image.

    Please note the following from Facebook: The image should be related to your product/service and, to make it even more compelling, related to your title/body text for the ad as well. Choose an image that is clearly visible when it’s small. Your image size can go up to 110 x 80 pixels. Your ads and the images in your ads will continue to be automatically formatted to fit the appropriate specifications wherever it displays on the site. The image in the ads varies from 100 x 72 to 110 x 80 pixels depending upon the ad format that is shown. Though an image is required, there are template images that you can use such as “Follow us on Twitter” that you can opt to use in place of a logo or other product or site related image.

Target Your Audience

  • Location, location, location. Knowing where your target audience is targeted will help you better market to them. The targeting within Facebook allows you to select users by country, State/Province or by City. When choosing a city you can also choose to include cities in a 10, 25 or 50-mile radius around those that you have chosen to help broaden your reach.
  • Demographics. Like location, knowing the age and gender of your audience will help you maximize your advertising efforts. You can choose to target an age range, or an exact age match, just remember that the more selective you are, the smaller your target audience becomes.
  • Likes and Interests. This section of targeting allows you to narrow your audience based on exactly what the name suggests. This is really one of the biggest pieces of what sets Facebook apart, since you are able to leverage more personal information about what your visitors like and don’t like, and you can compile all of that information to make sure you are honing in on the most profitable groups. Start typing in keywords, and you will see a variety of groups and topics that you can choose.
  • Connections on Facebook. This section goes one level further, and allows you to not only find the people who are interested in topics that relate to you, you can find those who are already involved with related groups, events and applications, or have friends that are involved.
  • Advanced Targeting. You are also able to choose your audience based on some additional, more advanced criteria such as birthdays, relationship statuses, and languages, education levels, and type of work. I’m sure most of you have seen or heard about a friend that saw all engagement ads, and as soon as their status changed to married, they saw the baby ads come flooding in. This is the type of targeting that was utilized for those ads.

At this time you have a highly targeted audience selected that will see your ad upon logging in. You will notice the scrolling bar on the right hand side of the page that keeps a count of your “Estimated Reach” as you add criteria. This will help you have an idea of how many people you have the possibility of reaching, which will in turn give you a very rough estimate of your budget when you take your CPC bid into account.

Campaigns, Pricing and Scheduling

  • Budgeting. After you have created your ad and decided who your audience will be, you must now set your budget. The budget is either set by day (the default), or as a lifetime budget. The minimum start budget is $1/day.
  • Scheduling. After setting your budget, you have to tell the system when you want your ads to run, so you select your start day, and by default the system will run your ad continuously from then on out until you pause your campaigns, or enter an end date.
  • Cost per click pricing. Facebook is kind enough to give you an estimated CPC based on the targeting options that you selected above. The CPC that you set acts as a max bid, which represents the most you are willing to pay, though Facebook says right on this page that you will likely pay less. Like any other PPC account, just be sure to monitor your traffic and return, and optimize accordingly.

Extras – As more and more advertisers are realizing the potential of advertising on Facebook, additional advertising opportunities are being added.

  1. Facebook Deals. The latest is Facebook Deals, which they describe as: Deals gives businesses the opportunity to reward customers when they check in on Facebook, and this helps generate awareness, encourage in-store traffic and build customer loyalty. In addition, if someone checks in to a business that is offering a deal, their friends have the opportunity to hear about it through word of mouth marketing that is generated naturally on Facebook.
  2. Facebook Places. Knowing how important local search is, Facebook has followed suit with Google, and created Facebook Places, which helps enhance the local presence of brick and mortar stores, and encourages their audience to “check in” when they visit one of the locations.

Facebook can be a highly profitable way of reaching your target audience. Take some time initially to search through Facebook to identify the groups and terms that are most relevant to your end goal, and experiment setting up campaigns that are targeted to a broad audience, and test them against campaigns with a more narrowed focus until you find the perfect balance.