Step 1: Evaluate the ad image

A traditional Facebook ad that appears on the right-hand column of the Facebook homepage is tiny (100 x 72 pixels), so it’s important to have a simple image that portrays a clear message. It’s even more important to be thoughtful about the image you choose.

Before selecting an ad image, it’s best to ask the following questions: Will this image be appealing to the users I’m trying to reach? If the image were a standalone display ad, how well do I think it would perform with my target?

Step 2: Perfect the headline

After the ad image, the next place a user's focus is pulled is the bolded headline copy of a Facebook ad. Use the headline to speak directly to your target audience. Try to appeal to their needs, wants and/or desires. Often the best way to do this is by asking a simple question that’s relevant to the message of the ad.

For instance, if you’re advertising your product, instead of using your ad copy to talk about the features of the product, use copy that’s relevant to the benefits of your product. Does your target market include people who often work on deadline and are always in need of more time? Is one of your product’s benefits that it saves time? If so, an example of an effective ad headline would be: “Need a time-saving tool?”

Step 3: Target users by specific interests


The best advice when creating a Facebook ad is to always target using “precise interests.” The more specific, the better. Choose “precise interests” by identifying both broad and narrow interests. One good practice is to include competitors into the “precise interests” section. For example, if you’re Pizza Hut and you’re advertising a really large promotion, target Little Caesars' fans with your Pizza Hut ad.

3. Thinking that Facebook Ads don't Drive Performance

If your brand has done a good job creating well-targeted ads, the ads will drive performance. Carlson mentions this powerful example in his post for Business Insider: A company by the name of PetFlow gets 20 percent of its transactions and 30 percent of its new customers directly from Facebook.

The reason most people believe their Facebook ads don’t drive performance is because they’re most likely not tracking their performance the right way. After creating Facebook ads, the next most important step is to identify the way you’re going to track conversions.

Conversions metrics differ depending on the type of ad that’s running. To track a user-to-fan conversion, or the number of new fans your Page was able to earn as a result of an ad, use Facebook’s Ads Manager. To track an ad’s performance based on the number of sales you acquired, enlist the help of a third-party link tracking company like Improvely.

There is plenty of proof that Facebook advertising can be an effective tool. The key to a successful campaign is to first focus on quality and then create a calculated targeting and tracking plan. Test this advice the next time you create Facebook ads and see if your brand’s faith in Facebook advertising is renewed.

Image courtesy of Michael Onisiforou (Shutterstock)

Editor's Note: Read more of Jim's digital marketing insights in 5 Investments Businesses Can Make in Social Media that Will Pay Big Dividends