Facebook Advertising 101: What to Know

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With the latest Facebook algorithm updates, organic social media results have been slowly declining for years. In fact, according to a report from 2018, organic posts now only reach around 6.4% of a page’s total fans. As a result, Facebook advertising has become a crucial tool to connecting with target audiences – especially in this pay to play world.

The Facebook advertising platform is designed to put messages and content in front of the right group of people that are most likely to invest in a business. For the most cost-effective ad spend that gets the best results, it is important to understand the various types of Facebook ads, targeting opportunities and budgeting before diving right in.


One recommendation for Facebook beginners is to evaluate their strategy before utilizing the blue “Boost” button on an organic post. The main difference between boosting a post and using ads manager are the objectives available. Primarily, the “Boost” functionality serves to extend the reach of an organic post, whereas within Facebook Ads Manager platform, advertisers have more control over campaign objectives and audience targeting, helping deliver more optimized ads. When in doubt, the best practice is to utilize the options and suggestions from Facebook Ad Manager.

Campaign Types 

Facebook offers three types of campaign categories, Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion. Within each category there are specific objectives ranging from brand awareness and reach, increased post engagement or driving more traffic to the website. Facebook tracks audience conversions based on actions taken by users. These conversions are set at the campaign level and range from app installations, video views, messages, catalog sales, store traffic and more.

The first step in launching a successful Facebook campaign is selecting what kind of ad reaps the desired result. What action do you want people to take when they see your ads?

Campaign Objectives 

1. Awareness Objective 

Brand awareness and reach ads are intended to make people aware of your brand, current promotions and incentives or latest projects. This type of ad focuses solely on reaching people that are most likely to recall a business. It gives advertisers the estimated ad recall lift (people) metric with the number of people Facebook estimates would remember an ad if asked within two days.

Chose Campaign Objective

2. Brand Consideration Objective 

This objective gets people to begin thinking about your business and seek more information about it. More specifically, brand consideration ads can range from focusing on traffic, engagement, app installs, video views lead generation and messages.

The traffic goal drives people off Facebook to an external link, such as a website, app, phone call or Messenger conversation. The engagement goal focuses on just that – think Post Engagements including Likes, Comments, Shares, Post Clicks, etc., Page Likes and Event Responses. The lead generation objective focuses on finding potential buyers and customers to put them straight into a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Message ads are intended to generate conversations and dialogue with potential customers through Facebook Messenger, Direct Messages on Instagram, and WhatsApp.

Facebook tends to favor large advertising budgets in that organic reach and results usually coincides with effective advertising.

3. Conversion Objective 

Designed to drive valuable actions on websites, in apps or in Messenger, the conversion objective is perfect for ecommerce advertisers. It requires the Facebook pixel to target website visitors on Facebook, and the Conversions API to share customer actions directly to Facebook from your server.

Custom Audience
Look alike audience

Ad Targeting 

A Facebook ad is only as good as its target pool, so begin by creating and saving audiences in Business Manager. It typically takes between 24 and 48 hours to collect audience data but setting up audiences makes the ad creation process faster and more efficient.

Further target ad delivery with three audience selection tools:

1. Saved Core Audience 

The most common audience type, target people based on specific criteria, such as age, interests, job titles, geography, connections and more. Adjust Core Audiences to be as well-defined or broad as your business services and location.

2. Custom Audience 

Have you ever gotten potential customers to the website, but they don’t make it to checkout? Custom Audiences help advertisers get back in touch with people who have engaged with their business online or off. Information can come from your website, Facebook pixel and CRM lists.


3. Lookalike Audience 

This ad type helps advertisers reach new people whose interests match or are similar to those of a business’ best customers. For an effective Lookalike Audience, consider using a group of 1,000 to 50,000 of your best customers based on total order size, engagement and transaction/lifetime value, then narrow the target area down by country and toggle to the desired audience size. This ad type can take 6 to 24 hours to fully populate and will refresh every three to seven days.

Ad Spend

Ad Spend 

Of course, it all comes down to ad spend. The most important trend to keep in mind the more you are asking from an ad, i.e. filling out an online form or driving traffic from Facebook to somewhere else, the more expensive the ad will be. General engagement ads are typically the most inexpensive because they demand focus on a small user action, such as reactions, comments, or shares.

Of course, engagement is a great goal, but there should be a combination of both top of funnel ads and conversion focused ads, even at a higher cost per result. Lead ads prompt users to share contact details after clearly stating the objective, such as signing up for a newsletter or providing more details on a service offered. Typically, users simply will not enter their information unless actively interested in your company or product. The target audience can also garner higher cost per result if it’s not wide enough – but if all the people within that pool are quality targets, then higher cost is worth it.

Additionally, there are two options for an ad budget: a daily ad budget and a lifetime ad budget. Daily ad budgets spend an exact amount per day, every day, until the campaign ends (so they can add up). Lifetime budgets spend one exact amount during the entire duration of the campaign.

Special Ad Categories 

The Facebook Special Ad Category is a new set of ads related to housing, credit, job opportunities or politics. Designed to comply with the Fair Housing Act and enforce the platform’s Advertising Policies against discriminatory practices in advertising and prevent discrimination based on specific demographics including age and gender.

Getting Started 

Get started with a plan to engage your audience and grow sales by leveraging Facebook advertising opportunities. Contact the Blue Tangerine team today!