Not Sure How to Advertise on Facebook? We Break It Down for You

We are delving into Facebook advertising in this blog post. For many businesses, Facebook is your main social platform. It’s the biggest by far in terms of users, with over 2 billion people active each month. Its popularity makes it a great place to showcase your brand but it also means that it can be harder to get your posts in front of the people you want to target. Facebook ads support your organic posts and allow you to reach more people, promote products or offers and direct people through to your website.

If you have dabbled in Facebook advertising you will know that there are a number of ways to spend your marketing budget. But which is the best way and how do you do it?  

To start with it’s important that you are creating regular posts for your social media feeds to engage with your followers and build a community. Once you start advertising you will bring new prospects to your website and social pages so you’ll want to make sure that both are providing them with something that’s relevant, up-to-date and worth their while.

Building organic growth and brand awareness

Growing the numbers of customers and prospects that follow or like your business page on Facebook gives you a strong communication channel for future marketing messages and conversations. There are many  ways to do this and a combination of the options below will help boost your social presence:

  1. Share your page on your own personal Facebook timeline – Ask friends and family to connect and support you. In your post, ask them to like the page and share it with others. To share your page, click on the Share button below your cover photo.
  2. Invite your Facebook friends – Click on Community in the left hand column and then find friends by typing in their name or selecting invite beside their names. Don’t be afraid to ask friends to also share it with their friends, who maybe interested in your business.
  3. Post more often – The more activity on your page the higher your visibility and potential engagement with your followers. Make sure it’s relevant and useful for your audience so they’re more likely to spread the word by commenting or sharing it.
  4. Engage with other Facebook pages – Link and comment on other people’s or businesses’ posts. By engaging with a variety of content you broaden your reach and reach new audiences.
  5. Respond to people who comment – Make sure you’re listening and willing to solve problems, share information or thank the people who interact with you. Position yourself as customer focussed and proactive.

facebook post of event

Your organic social media activity, (sharing blog posts, images, comments, news, events, videos etc) is what gives you the long term presence. Advertising builds your reach by expanding it and growing your online presence more quickly.

There are two main ways to do this:

1. Boosted posts

This is often the first thing people do on Facebook. For many, this is because Facebook prompts you to do this. If you have a well performing post, Facebook will often tell you how many more people you can reach with the same post by putting some budget into reaching a broader audience. Boosted posts can help get more people to like, share and comment on the post you have created.

They can help drive more followers of your page if the content in your post appeals. From within the platform boosting a post is relatively easy. Decide on a budget, audience and a timeframe. Your post remains on your feed but will drop down as you post more. While boosted posts are relatively straightforward, they are not as action orientated as Facebook ads. Ads provide for a more customised promotion and can better deliver on your goals. So, here’s the low down on using ads..

2. Facebook ads

Advertising on Facebook gives you lots of options, with a range of tools to place your message in front of a targeted audience. Facebook ads don’t sit in your Facebook page posts, instead they are delivered around the Facebook platform to ensure people see them. They will be from your page and branded as you, but they appear in many places across Facebook’s platforms.

Facebook ads can be seen in more places such as:

  • Feeds – The news and updates that an individual sees when they go on Facebook. Ads in the Facebook feed perform well across a range of marketing objectives from reach and brand awareness to traffic and engagement or for event responses.
  • Instant Articles –  Within the Facebook app and Messenger, Instant Articles are Facebook’s solution to ensure articles load quicker and therefore have lower abandonment and higher click through.
  • In the right column – Your ad appears to the right hand side of the main feed when viewed on a desktop.
  • In the Marketplace – Facebook Marketplace is for buyers and sellers. Your ad is seen on desktop and mobile when people are browsing.

If you have a short time offer such as a sale, competition or an event, your ad will promote it for the period of time you specify. When your campaign is finished, it simply stops being delivered and seen.

For more information on how ad placements deliver on your marketing goals visit the Facebook Business Help Centre

Creating a Facebook ad

The key thing in Facebook advertising is to keep your ads concise and focused. Your goal is to encourage someone to click through to your website in order to buy something, learn more, download a white paper or get a call back etc. Make sure your ad is visually appealing, the offer is easy to understand and motivating. Bring your value proposition to the fore – this means telling people the solution you provide and why you do it better than others. Include a call to action and make sure that the page they land on, is consistent with the ad.

Use of striking images or video is a great way to catch your audience’s attention. You can capture these on your phone but make sure that the image quality is high. Choose from a number of creative formats such as:

  • Photos of products or a carousel of images that each have a different message, call to action and link.
  • Videos that promote an offer or share a great customer testimonial.

And remember, it may take some time to find out what works so commit to trialling different ad formats, messages and audience targeting to see what drives the most engagement.

Choosing a target audience

The audience you reach can be as broad or narrow as you like. If you are a local business, promoting locally will allow you to reach people in the areas around your business and make your marketing budget work harder in a concentrated area.

Targeting interests is a good way to broaden your reach. To do this effectively you need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. It’s important to remember that Facebook is where your customers are. But they are not necessarily looking for you. So you need to find them based on their profile and interests. This is different to Search Engine Marketing, where your audience is already looking for your product. Your strategy in SEM is to bid on keywords to make sure you gain a higher ranking than your competitor in search results. By contrast, on Facebook, your audience is not necessarily searching for your products and services so you need to target them based on ‘who they are and what they are into’ not ‘who you are’.

Let’s look at an example:

If you are a builder who specialises in home renovations, your Facebook targeting might include interests like ‘design’, ‘home and garden’, ‘family’ etc. Targeting ‘residential builder’ might be more likely to find people who are looking to work in the industry.

You can also specify an age range (anything between 13 and 99 years) and gender, to improve your outreach further.

Setting your budget

Set a budget based on the needs of your business. The exact cost of showing your ad to someone in your audience will be determined by an auction system and Facebook will not spend over the maximum budget you set.  Over the time period of your campaign you can work out a total spend in advance and then use this to establish your return on investment. Lastly all Facebook advertising is charged in US dollars.

thumbs up symbol Facebook

Measuring your success

Digital advertising has the unique advantage of being totally measurable. Depending on your advertising goal, you can measure the results of your campaign based on the actions it resulted in. Take your total campaign spend and divide by the total number of visitors that clicked on it to give you the Cost per Click (CPC). Or look at Cost per Conversion (CPCo) to see how many people successfully met a goal you set, e.g. downloaded something, requested a callback or filled out a form on your website. If some ads performed better than others, compare the creative, the offer and the target audience you used. This information will help you to better understand your audience and the content that is most likely to deliver on your marketing goals.

Add the Facebook Pixel to your website

Installing the Facebook Pixel to the landing pages of your website allows you to see when a customer took action after seeing your Facebook Ad. If you have access to the code of your website you can do this yourself following Facebook’s guide or enlist the help of a developer. The pixel helps you understand what’s driving traffic and it also means that Facebook gets better at delivering your ads to an audience who are more likely to take action.

Social Ads in BOMA

You can create Facebook and Instagram ads via the BOMA app, alongside organic posts on your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter pages plus the ability to send email campaigns. BOMA delivers your ad direct to Facebook and Instagram, keeping all your digital marketing under one roof! When your campaign is underway you can look at the performance insights on likes, shares and clicks to understand the effectiveness of your ads.


About the Author: Liz Studholme is the Marketing Content Manager at BOMA.


BOMA is a marketing tool for Business Advisors. Communicate with clients and prospects with ease from one platform. BOMA gives you expertly written advisory articles and free images so you can create emails, newsletters and social posts in minutes.

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Find out how BOMA can help with your digital marketing.