Facebook ads remain a bit of an enigma for many advertisers, Still relatively new and developing very fast, there are less common rules to win with Facebook and often it goes to just constant trial and error work. Getting the right approach might be easier if only you can step in Facebook’s shoes for a while and find out who would be their favourite marketer.
How does the Facebook auction work? It’s a very similar to Google process which determines the most relevant and well priced ad which will show most often. The main difference is that you as a marketer must decide the right audience and the auction will happen between ads bidding for the same audience. Hence the importance of choosing a niche, but still big enough audience to show your ads to.
Finding your audience on Facebook can be done in several ways – you can create a lookalike audience based on a list of customers emails. The system will then finds a similar audience of people who share the interests, age and background of your customers. This can work well, if your list is big enough. The bigger, the better.
If you don’t have a big list, choosing interests is the other option, but it must be done intelligently. For example, if you want to target an audience for a business related news website it’s not smart to target people interested in business. I would rather go and find “lookalikes” of my product – other business publications, clubs, societies, celebrities and split the advert sets according to the different categories of interest. While doing research keep an eye of the estimated reach with each category.
Be careful with “fake” interests. If, for example, you are looking to advertise pool accessories, do not simply target by“pool” as an interest. This is usually a Wikipedia page in Facebook, which has thousands of random likes. Instead, you should look for famous brands or magazines dedicated to the topic. Make sure you review every page on Facebook before you add it to your interests. There are “false friends” terms which could mean different things(like pool as snooker and pool as swimming pool). There are extremely popular pages in a certain country, but hardly known to users in your targeted destinations.
Optimise for the results you are looking for.
If your goal is to drive conversions on your website, make it your goal. Just like Google, Facebook offers targeting optimisation depending on your goal. You can adjust to make sure your ad appears to the people who are most likely to take a desired action – download prospect, install an app, watch a video, comment or share. The more positive engagement your ad gets, the higher its relevance score would be. This is Facebook’s equivalent of Google’s quality score and yes, there is a discount for a strong relevancy score, too.
Facebook does not share the score estimation formula. However a bad score is likely to be related to people hiding your ad. You get a question on your screen when you hid an ad from your newsfeed. This is how Facebook estimates if the content they are showing you is relevant for you.
I would like to remind you that although high relevance score is good, it’s not the most important part of your success. If your goal is app installs and you are getting them with a relevance score 1 then it’s okay. However having a very low score might mean that you are not showing to the right audience.
Bidding. This can be automatic or manual (similar to Manual CPC and Automatic on Google). Here you can again choose bidding strategy on advert set level, once you have decided how to optimise on campaign level. Depending on your goal you can choose your ad to appear for maximum link clicks, impressions or unique daily views.
Choosing the right mix of audience building, optimisation and bidding strategy together with your ad format is the way to take the most of the Facebook auction. I would always advice you to think as if you are the platform. If you are Google, your goal is to get the most relevant and useful result to the search query first. If you are Facebook, your goal is to show content the user would like to see. This is based on history of likes, clicks, shares, comments or video watch. In both cases you would like to award the marketer who is helping you achieve your goal. This is who you want to be – your platform’s best buddy!