This is a weekly Friday installment from Stuzo documenting consumer engagement tips and tricks, both for day-to-day community management and for large-scale custom engagements. Hopefully this post will spark an idea for your brand or client, and if it does, be sure to let us know in the comments.

Facebook Ads Best Practices | Stuzo InsightsAt Stuzo, we build custom large-scale consumer experiences that are designed to engage, drive participation, and really Wow! our clients’ users. And while we offer many services around community participation on both the strategic and tactical levels, we don’t directly execute on the media-buy for ad campaigns within Facebook. That said, because the paid media portion of the social strategy plays such an important role in the success of the large-scale consumer experiences, we do provide advisory services in relation to the engagement strategy and have a library of best practices associated with advertising on Facebook. Below, you’ll find tips on targeting, copy & creative, landing pages, and more, but in reality, the below is simply a framework for you to build into. There are no Facebook Ad best practices for specifically what imagery to use, exactly what words to include in the call-to-action, and precisely how much to spend; you will discover all of these things (and more) with extensive Facebook Ad multivariate testing.

Testing is absolutely imperative for the success of a Facebook Ad campaign. Take a scientific approach when testing, meaning try to only adjust one variable at a time to truly see the causality associated with the tweak. Create a campaign that has five ads with nearly-identical copy, but use five different images. In the beginning, make them drastically different, figure out which type of image is getting the highest CTR, and then refine the ads so that they still have different images, but all are of the same high-performing image type. Lather, rinse, repeat.

As mentioned above, Facebook Ads are a primary method of driving users to either your Facebook Page or directly to your Facebook campaign, and that paid media can really spark acquisition, engagement, virality, and uptick of a social campaign on your Page. Are the Facebook Wall, a custom tab, or a Facebook application your only landing page options? Yes and no. Obviously you can direct the user to any destination you’d like, but as a best practice, we always want to keep the user within the Facebook environment. This isn’t AdWords where users are searching for answers or are ready to purchase; a more likely scenario is that your user is looking for photos from a friend’s most recent Caribbean cruise, and doesn’t want to have their social browsing experience interrupted by being bounced to a brand site, ecommerce site, or even social microsite.

Additionally, the Facebook EdgeRank algorithm is beginning to automatically filter the user’s newsfeed, and it’s filtering out updates of Pages that the user doesn’t regularly interact with. This makes the experience more relevant for the user, and less spammy, which are both great; however, it does mean that your Page’s posts may not be making it into your fan’s newsfeed anymore. Obviously, the overarching message here is for your brand to be compelling and engaging on Facebook, then you’ll never have to worry about being filtered out by EdgeRank. To combat the filtering process though, there is a way to bring users back to your Page after your updates have been filtered from their newsfeed. You guessed it: Facebook Ads. So I implore you,  follow the below Facebook Ad Best Practices, test, monitor, measure, refine, test again, and truly benefit from your Facebook Ad spend.

Facebook Ad Targeting Best Practices:

  • Unlike search ads, Facebook Ads give you access to tons of data; use it!
  • If your offering is geographically specific, adjust location targeting accordingly
  • Target users based on their demographic, like gender, based on your offering
  • Targeting users based on psychographic data, like Interests, is essential
  • Social Graph data is powerful; use Connections Targeting to build owned media

Facebook Ad Bidding & Budget Best Practices:

  • Go with CPC over CPM; do you want to pay for eyeballs or for clicks? Clicks.
  • To control budgets, segment campaigns based on target groups
  • It’s better to bid high at first then decrease slowly, rather than the inverse

Facebook Ad Copy Best Practices:

  • Why should I, the user, care? Grab users’ attention within the first words
  • Use a powerful call-to-action at the end of the ad
  • Leverage keywords from your psychographic targeting in your copy
  • Test different versions of copy within your campaigns
  • Space is limited, so be smart; 25char for the title, 135char for the body

Facebook Ad Image Best Practices:

  • Make sure the image is simple and does not include text
  • The image should match the landing page
  • Follow size requirements; no larger than 110px x 80px and 5MB
  • Based on guidelines, images cannot be animated or flash-based
  • Test different borders and different images
  • Track which images perform better

Facebook Ad Landing Page Best Practices:

  • Based on your objective, decide where you’re sending users
  • If the ad is a call-to-action for a campaign, link directly to the campaign app
  • If Page discovery is the objective, drive to a new-user landing tab
  • Keep users within Facebook; don’t kick to a website or social microsite

Facebook Ad Tracking Best Practices:

  • Facebook Ads give only very basic reports and insights
  • Pay attention to the basic KPIs like impressions, clicks, and CTR
  • Break down metrics by target segment to get a clearer picture
  • If ad performance dips, pause it, test a new ad, and resume the original later
  • For deeper analytics and conversion monitoring, use pixel tracking

Facebook Ads Past, Present, and Future:

  • In the past, products like Beacon resulted in user backlash regarding privacy
  • Facebook Ads are an extremely powerful and targeted version of paid media
  • They serve many objectives and can be the viral spark for your social campaigns
  • The Standard ad units are available through the Marketplace self-serve tool
  • Other ad types include the Like unit, Poll unit, Event unit
  • Facebook is experimenting with new Sponsored Stories ad units
  • Sponsored Stories should soon be available through the self-serve tool