Which Facebook Targeting Option Works Best For Your Campaign?

target audience Facebook Ads

We love Facebook’s targeting options, especially because there’s so many of them. It seems like any audience you want to target, you can. We can thank Facebook’s dedication to constantly improving their targeting system for that.

Having all these options are fantastic—you can target just about anyone you want. They can be confusing, however, especially when you’re trying to decide how to target users for new campaigns.

Do you target current customers from your e-mail list, or customers who visited your site? Should you target your current audience or one that you have yet to connect with?

In order to help users figure out which Facebook targeting option works best for each of their campaigns individually, we created this simple guide explaining what each of your targeting options are and when to use them.

Traditional Targeting Based on Demographics, Behaviors, Connections, and Interests

When you create an ad, both through Power Editor and the self-serve create-an-ad tool, this is the targeting option that takes up the most space and often appears first.

facebook targeting options

This is where you target an audience based on a variety of whatever criteria you choose, including age, gender, behaviors, demographics, occupation, relationship status, interests, location, education, income, and more. Just about any criteria you can think of can be found in Facebook’s incredible targeting system—and these aren’t even any of the special, customized features!

What this targeting option (and all its categories and subcategories) provides us with is the opportunity to target users based on what we think our target audience is. You have access to a large number of people, expanding your potential reach, and you can get as specific or generic as you want.

You can also choose whether to target your current fans on Facebook, or those who you are not connected with on Facebook. This is particularly helpful depending on what your campaign goals are. If you are looking to boost your posts and increase engagement, or promote a product you think your fans will like, you can choose to advertise to those already connected with you. If you are looking to expand your reach and connect with new clients, choosing to target those not connected with you is the way to go.

Facebook Targeting Options

You can either use the traditional targeting system alone, or in conjunction with other targeting features to help narrow down your target audience in their exact niche.

Custom Audiences

Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 2.23.24 PM

Custom Audiences is a feature that has been beloved by the Facebook marketing community ever since it was first rolled out. This feature allows you to upload a list of your contacts (most likely people who you have already connected with in some form) up to Facebook. Often these contacts include those pulled from e-mail lists, reliable leads, past and/or current customers, or those who have subscribed to your blog. In most cases, these are people who are extremely likely to be interested or are already interested in your business. In a lot of these cases, some customers are either on the verge of purchasing or have purchased, and some sort of rapport has been built.

You can run ads and show them just to those exact, specific individuals, whether to connect with them on Facebook if you haven’t already, or to promote your page or products.

Because you are uploading a set list of people, this gives you the chance to deliver highly targeted messages to those who are likely most receptive to them.

These people are likely already interested in you, your business, or your product. This allows you to run an ad campaign to connect with them and remind them that you’re there waiting for them. Custom audiences is perfect when you are looking to connect with current customers on Facebook, increase engagement, and provide an extra push to connect with you off Facebook as well.

For an in-depth explanation of how to create custom audiences, click here.

Custom Audiences from a Website

Custom Audiences from a Website is a branch-off of Facebook’s Custom Audience feature. It’s also been called Website Custom Audiences or WCA.

aud1

This targeting option allows you to target users who have visited your website—even if they didn’t purchase anything or leave behind contact information. You can do this by creating and using a conversion tracking pixel (which you can do all through Facebook’s ad system), which tracks Facebook users that visit your site.

This feature is perfect for reaching out to those who are already familiar with you. You are reaching an audience that is incredibly relevant to what you do.

Facebook’s conversion pixel is fantastic. You can actually target users that even visited a certain page on your site, or users that almost purchased but didn’t (to remind them that there is still something in their shopping cart!). Again, this is all about highly targeted messages, and reaching out to connect with users on Facebook who are interested in your business.

To see how to create a custom audience from a website, you can click here. If you want to create custom audiences from multiple websites, you can see Jon Loomer’s article detailing how to do so here.

Lookalike Audiences

Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 12.19.05 PM

Lookalike Audiences allows you to replicate certain types of already-created audiences to target new users. Among the list now of audiences you can replicate are Custom Audiences, audiences created from a conversion pixel, and your current audience of fans on Facebook.

Lookalike Audiences is one of my favorite targeting tools. Imagine targeting new users that meet all the same criteria as those engaging with your Page or making purchases from your site. You are targeting new members of an audience you know to be profitable. Using this feature is an easy way to reach your target audience.

Lookalike Audiences is the tool you want to use when you want to connect with new users that are similar (at least on paper) to those who are proven members of your target audience.

In Power Editor, you can even choose whether you want your lookalike audience to prioritize similarity or reach in the new audience.

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 2.15.58 PM

An added bonus to Lookalike Audiences? Because you likely know what types of ads, images, and copy convert highest with the original audience it was copied from, you most likely have a strong idea of how to create an ad that will have high conversion rates for its Lookalike Audience.

To view our walk through on how to create lookalike audiences, click here.

Facebook’s Partner Categories

Screen Shot 2014-09-27 at 4.49.53 PM

Facebook’s Partner Categories are described by Facebook as “targeting clusters created by our 3rd party data providers.”

Partner Categories breaks down users’ online and offline activities (allowing you to get a more accurate and also wider reach), giving Facebook advertisers anonymous insight for their targeting efforts. You can target users based off their past purchase history, occupation, political standpoint, household, hobbies, and more. You can set your ads to target very specific groups of people, giving you new criteria to target people instead of Facebook’s traditional targeting options (which, admittedly, are not few and far between as is).

facebook's partner categories

Partner Categories is a great way to target users if you’re looking for a very specific group of people based on their actions. Instead of targeting women of a certain age, hoping that they are mothers, you can actually target mothers based on the age of their children.

To see our guide on Facebook’s Partner Categories, you can view our post here.

You Can Use More than One of Facebook’s Targeting Options

While sometimes it’s best to leave it simple and focus on only one targeting option at a time, combining more than one targeting feature can lead to great results.

Facebook’s Partner Categories, for example, often works well in conjunction with other traditional targeting methods, allowing you to narrow down your audience to those you’re trying hardest to target.

While using every single targeting option available to you all at once isn’t smart (and in some cases, impossible—Lookalike Audiences, for example, can’t be edited much), using different audiences for different Ad campaigns is one way to see big ROIs and expand your reach the best.

Understanding where different groups of users are in the buying cycle can help increase conversions tenfold. New users you’ve never met might purchase, but focusing on a soft sell message is more likely the way to go when connecting with users who aren’t all that familiar with you (or who aren’t familiar with you at all).

Knowing which audience will be most receptive to which messages can be key to success with Facebook’s Ad system.

What do you think? Which targeting options do you find the most useful?

How to Deliver Highly Targeted Ads with Partner Categories

Facebook has rolled out tool after tool after tool to make targeting in their ad system more targeted. Custom audiences, lookalike audiences, and custom audiences from a website are all relatively new and exciting tools. They continue to provide advertisers with new ways to reach their desired audience, and Partner Categories is no exception.

Partner Categories is a targeting tool that gives you a new method of targeting potential fans and customers. It takes a method of targeting long used by marketers off of Facebook and brings it to advertisers on Facebook, too, and involves targeting users off several qualifications that include past purchase history.

Partner Categories can be an incredibly powerful tool, just like Facebook’s other targeting options, especially once you know when and how to use it.

What is Facebook’s Partner Categories?

Partner Categories allows you to target users based on their past purchases, their lifestyle, and by their interest in a category similar to the one your business functions in.

In order to bring us this feature, Facebook partnered up with third party agencies (Acxiom, Datalogix, and Epsilon) to gain the data needed to create it. These partners provide data with users’ activities—both on and offline—to provide the opportunity for more highly targeted results. They do this without invading privacy (advertisers target a specific group with no actual information on the individual); there are no lists of users, and no information on individual users. It’s a group targeted on a qualification.

Partner Categories lets you target users by their occupations, lifestyles, or past purchases. They have continued to add new categories since the release of the feature, and some have been moved in to the “behaviors” section of targeting.

If, for example, you sell trucks, you can target users based on current pick up truck users of a certain income, who may be willing to trade in or upgrade their current model. Now you could even target those who are active buyers and are currently in the market to buy.

If you sell non-slip footwear, similarly, you could choose to target those in the food service industry (most of whom are required to wear non-slip footwear, and for good reason). By choosing to target those who work as wait staff, chefs, or dishwashers (and creating an ad just for them), you may have put your product in front of an audience that is highly receptive to your message.

The possibilities are endless, but you can use direct or indirect partner categories to send highly targeted messages to those most receptive to them, increasing sales and ROIs.

How to Create an Ad Using Partner Categories

Partner Categories is currently only available—like several other features—when creating an ad in Power Editor. While supposedly this feature is or should soon be available to all types of ad creation, I personally don’t have access to it except through Power Editor and it seems like that’s the case all around, at least for now. So Power Editor it is!

In order to get to Power Editor, click here.

Once you’re in the targeting section of creating your ad through Power Editor, you’ll first be asked if you want to choose any existing targeting criteria, or be prompted to use the traditional targeting system of demographics.

Targeting Partner Categories

If you keep scrolling down, all the way at the bottom you’ll see “Facebook Categories” and “Partner Categories.”

facebook targeting

The categories are divided up by which third party data provided the information will come from.

Screen Shot 2014-09-27 at 4.49.53 PM

Some have overlapping categories, so check all of them to see what fits best for your ad campaign.

Facebook's partner categories

You select the categories you want, and run your ad from there. You can select as many as you want, and the numbers on the right hand side will tell you how many people fit into each partner category.

Screen Shot 2014-09-27 at 4.57.42 PM

When to Use Partner Categories to Target Users

Partner Categories may not be a tool you use to target during every campaign you ever run. That’s ok. It’s not one that you have to use all the time, but it’s a great one to have in your arsenal for whenever you need it.

Let’s say, for example, you’re looking to promote new baby food or products for children. It’s possible to target mothers based on their children’s ages, as well as details like whether the mother is working-class and/or a homeowner.

partner categories

Screen Shot 2014-09-27 at 4.57.54 PM

This kind of information can help you delve deeper, creating ads just for mothers who need to see them most. While taking a gamble and targeting women in a certain area, ages 25-40 could land you results, targeting mothers with young children will get you much better results.

Layering Partner Categories, either with other Partner Categories or with Facebook’s Categories can help you focus in for even more highly targeted traffic for your ads, and using other traditional targeting options (like location, demographics, etc) can help fine tune your results.

Let’s go back to the car example. You will obviously choose to target those who are active buyers in the market (Partner Category), refining the search and narrowing that audience down by those close enough by you to purchase from you (traditional targeting options).

Partner Categories gives you access not just to someone’s Facebook activity, but what happens off Facebook. Instead of only being able to target someone who liked Ford’s page, you can actually target users interested in buying now.

While Facebook has managed to collect a lot of information on users, having access to their offline purchasing behavior can make a difference between connecting with someone interested in your product, and connecting with someone who theoretically might be (but maybe isn’t) interested in your product. You can create ads for different groups of people that your product might appeal to.

Let’s go back to the example of non-slip shoes targeting restaurant staff. Other industries often need or utilize non-slip shoes as well, like roofing contractors (definitely don’t want to fall when you’re two stories or more up), house cleaners, and those in food processing, just as a few examples. You could create ads specialized for each occupation, targeting them with Partner Categories, and getting a potentially higher ROIs with a more targeted message.

Partner Categories lets you target users based on life style, purchase history, and more. You are given access to a group of individuals who are more likely to be responsive to a highly targeted message. It gives you one more level of control and accuracy while targeting your ad campaigns, potentially boosting ROIs and sales.

How to Navigate Power Editor on Facebook

power editor

Facebook Ads is a system that can take some getting used to. It takes time and patience to set up campaigns, especially once you’re looking at split testing and/or managing multiple campaigns. Facebook’s Power Editor is designed to simplify that process, and we are extremely grateful for it.

Power Editor is, at its core, a tool to create and manage Facebook Ads in bulk. It is specifically designed for those who do large amounts of advertising on Facebook.

Even if you aren’t someone who runs massive campaigns, Power Editor still has some benefits it can offer you. While it can look daunting at first, it can make campaign creation and management a lot easier.

To see some of Power Editor’s unique features, and why you should use it, see the video below.

How to Navigate the Power Editor on Facebook

Power Editor is currently only available on the Google Chrome browser, with mobile devices not yet supported, so if you don’t have Google Chrome, now would be the time to download it. You can get to Power Editor by clicking here.

First, before jumping in head first, you are going to download all of your campaigns and Facebook Ad accounts. You are prompted to do this, which is good. This will give you the ability to edit and manage all of your campaigns—including recreating past campaigns.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 1.41.19 PM

On the left side bar, you’re going to get options to change what you’re looking at. This bar is the key to navigating Power Editor.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 1.42.48 PM

The Manage Ads button is the first tab, which takes you to a screen where you can flip through Ads, Ad Sets, and Campaigns. As this is a new account, I don’t currently have history of any of these as I haven’t run campaigns yet. We’ll be back to show you how to create and edit ads in Power Editor.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 1.49.44 PM

The next tab is the always important Audience tab. This shows your current created audiences, as well as giving you the option to create more and edit the ones you already have.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 1.50.45 PM

Campaign Dashboards comes next. This gives you a history of your active and recently completed campaigns. Image Library follows, giving you easy access to all of your images used for Ads.

The rest of the tabs take you elsewhere onto Facebook’s Ad system. Conversion tracking sends you to its regular Facebook counterpart, as does billing, reporting, and account settings.

Create Ads on Power Editor

When you go to create an Ad, click on the plus sign under the Ads bar.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 1.55.56 PM

You’ll be asked to file the Ad under a campaign and an Adset, as well as choosing the ad objective and whether you want your buying type to be fixed price or auction.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 1.56.50 PM

After you’ve chosen this, you’ll be taken back to your Ads manager, where you can complete and truly create your Ad.

There are three sections you go through while editing your ad: creative, audience, and optimization & pricing. Make sure to go all the way through each section and fill in all the information needed.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 2.04.33 PM

The creative section consists of fine-tuning your objective. Since I chose clicks to the website, I chose a blog post I wanted to get clicks to.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 2.01.27 PM

At this point, you can choose if you want to use a conversion tracking pixel, and you can either use one you have already or create a new one.

You then decide where you want your ad to appear on the users’ Facebook pages. You can get as specific here as choosing what types of mobile devices your ad will appear on.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 2.02.13 PM

The audience section is devoted to helping you find your target audience. You can choose to use one of your created audiences, or you can choose to create new targeting criteria, possibly using tools such as Facebook’s categories or partner categories, which are only available through power editor. For more information on finding your target audience, click here.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 1.52.34 PM

Under optimization and pricing, it’s time to make the financial decisions. You can choose between CPC, CPM, and Optimized CPM (with the option of default bids or for you to manually set up bids yourself).

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 2.17.09 PM

By choosing to manually set up bids, you can control how much you are willing to spend for clicks, reach, impressions, and actions. This is completely customizable and lets you decide exactly how much you want to spend and what results you’re willing to prioritize and pay for.

On the right side of the create-an-ads section, you can preview your ad at any point. You have the ability to view how it look in every format it could show up in.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 2.23.05 PM

At any point, you can choose to pause or resume your ad by flipping a virtual switch.

If you’re looking to split test, you can replicate an already-created ad and just adjust whatever it is that you’re split testing, whether that’s audience, images, copy, different pages entirely, or placement.

Select the campaign that you want to duplicate, and click the “duplicate” button, which is right next to the “create an ad” button.Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 3.21.25 PM

You can then edit away to your heart’s desire. You can use this for split testing (which we always recommend) as well as to save a couple steps if you’re looking to create a different ad with a lot of the same criteria.

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 3.27.49 PM
An example of brilliant earth split testing images and placement (one ad was in the sidebar and the other was in the Newsfeed)

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 1.39.30 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After you are finished, do not forget to press “upload.” 

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 3.39.37 PM

This can be found where the original “downloads” button was at the top of the page. Doing so could lose you a lot of work (and patience in the process).

Why Use Power Editor

Power Editor was designed to make advertisers’ jobs easier, and it can once you know how to use it. If you’re looking to split test ads, you can do that much easier by duplicating one ad, editing it, and then running both. Split testing can be crucial to overall success with Facebook.

It saves a lot of time and you don’t have to go through the entire process twice. It was created to be a bulk-ad tool, and it works efficiently as such.

Power Editor’s main allure is its features. Power Editor offers features that regular create-an-ad just doesn’t, such as the extremely useful partner categories.

You can get a lot more specific with Power Editor than you can with Facebook’s basic ad tool.

One example of this is Power Editor’s placement options. Placement is important to Ad success. Instead of the “self serve” create an ad options of desktop, sidebar, or mobile, Power Editor gives you the breakdown of choosing even what mobile devices your Ad will show on. You can get a lot more specific and a lot more targeted. Split testing placement is made easier than ever, too.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 2.08.32 PM

Another great example of a feature unique to Power Editor? You actually get to choose bidding strategies. Instead of automatically being paired with optimized CPM, you get to choose whether you want optimized CPM, CPM, or CPC. More than that, you can manually break down exactly what you want to pay for, and how much.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 2.19.36 PM

Power Editor can be daunting at first sight, but once you get the hang of it, it makes ad creation and management much simpler. Especially if you are looking to delve deeper and really customize your campaigns, Power Editor could likely be the perfect ad creation tool for you.

Facebook is Getting Rid of Click Baiting

First Facebook makes an announcement that they are banning like-gating; now they are determined to get rid of click baiting as well.

While the like-gating announcement will be more likely to affect a larger percentage of us marketers, understanding the cut backs on click baiting is important, too, and it may affect some of us just as heavily.

Any time Facebook announces changes to the algorithm it is important to take notice.

With both of these changes rolling out, it’s obvious that Facebook is intent on improving the experience for both users and marketers. They want to ensure that users are getting the best content and most relevant content that they can.

While it’s unsure as of yet when this change will start, or if it has already, it’s best to adapt and move on now. We will likely start to see the changes over the next few months, if not sooner, and changing practices earlier will help you stay ahead of the game.

Click baiting is a common practice seen all over the internet, not just Facebook. So why is Facebook getting rid of it, and what does it mean for us? Let’s find out.

Why is Facebook getting rid of click baiting?

Click baiting involves enticing readers to click on your link by explicitly not stating what the story is about.

Sometimes it leaves out crucial information, such as “you’ll never guess which celebrity donated a school in Africa,” leaving you wanting to click just ot know the answer. It often relies more on hype and curiosity than actual interest. It often contains phrases like “you’ll never guess” and “you have to see what it can do.” While tons of articles on Facebook utilize click baiting, you can go to the Huffington Post on AOL anytime you want to see an example off the top of your head. They are almost certain to have at least one example of click baiting waiting for you.

click baiting
A lot of articles on Huffington Post are guilty of click baiting.

A lot of the time, when companies utilize click baiting to get people to click on their links, readers aren’t actually interested—their curiosity was just mildly piqued. Instead of reading through the entire article, they likely only click to see what the big reveal was, and—disappointed or not caring enough to continue—they click away just as fast.

Though readers rarely stay long on these sites, and though they often offer little value to the readers, click baiting as worked for the simple reason that a lot of people are clicking, so more people are getting shown the links.

Click baiting, while sometimes used to capture users’ attention, is more often used as a way to cheat the algorithm. The more people who click, the more people who see your story, and it’s all about building that momentum. They use click baiting instead of great content, but get the same results.

With a lot of people clicking, it’s showing up in more newsfeeds, and that is keeping users from getting content that they are actually interested in reading. It’s important to Facebook for a multitude of reasons that users get the best content for them possible, and the results of click baiting interferes with that.

How is Facebook going to get rid of click baiting?

When this upcoming change was first announced, the question arose as to how Facebook was going to actually detect click baiting. Facebook isn’t going to read and filter out every post individually, but instead rely on other tactics.

According to Facebook’s own announcement, one method of detecting click baiting is to see how long people actually spend reading the article away from Facebook—if they continue reading, it shows that the content is valuable or relevant to them.

If, on the other hand, they click on a link and come right back, it shows they didn’t get the content they wanted to see, or that it wasn’t of value to them.

Engagement on the stories and articles will be taken into consideration as well. Whether people discuss or share the article with their friends, or comment or like the story, will have an impact on how Facebook will rank each article.

Overall, sites that users spend more time on and actually engage with will be ranked higher and prioritized over those that get clicked away from quickly or have little to no engagement on them. Once again, getting that user engagement is going to be more important than ever.

What is the right way to advertise or share your links?

It can be incredibly difficult to capture users’ attention and interest on Facebook, let alone get them to click. It isn’t much of a surprise that some businesses use the click bait method just to get people to click on their link, believing their content is actually relevant to the users and that all they need is a click.

It’s also not surprising that some businesses have been unable to resist the temptation to cheat the system. Social media marketing can be exhaustingly difficult, and it’s hard sometimes not to take a shortcut when you see one.

Facebook has shared guidelines on the proper ways to share and promote your link that don’t involve click baiting.

When sharing a link, Facebook is favoring links shared with a standard preview, instead of a link with attached photo.

What that means is that some brands were attaching photos and a quick description of the link instead of a preview we’re used to seeing. With the attached photo format, businesses often attach an abbreviated link, create their own description, and attach both to a photo. When the user clicks on the photo, it takes them to Facebook’s photo view instead of the article, reducing the chance of driving traffic to the website.  The photo format looks like this:

 

click baiting
A small link at the top with no preview. The photo is uploaded separately, and when you click on the photo, it takes you to a photo view page on Facebook- not the article.

 

While a standard preview link looks more like this:

 

click baiting

Or this:

click baiting
This description and preview shows the reader exactly what they will be seeing.

 

Long story short, Facebook’s research revealed that links with previews were getting double the clicks, and drive more traffic to the website.

In other words, links should be shared in the way Facebook designed for them to be shared, because that’s how they will get the most engagement and traffic to your website. Users share their links the way Facebook designed, and instead of trying to cheat the system, marketers should, too.

This doesn’t meant to stop sharing photos, but it means you should consider what is truly driving traffic to your site.

When you post or create links, make sure the description actually says what it’s about. Instead of attempting to lure customers with “you’ll never guess the super food that helps eye sight,” you can describe your article as “discover carrots incredible benefits on eyesight, and more!”

Instead of users only clicking to your site to hear a quick answer, they will click only if they are actually interested in the content. In the long run this may not get you quite as many initial clicks up front, but it will result in getting your content in front of those who actually want to see it and value it.

Click baiting is nothing more than boosting your numbers through short cuts. It is an artificial result, and even if you were benefiting from it, you probably weren’t benefiting as much as you may have thought. Facebook’s change to the algorithm, just like with the like-gating changes, will ensure that the most relevant users to your business will be the ones who see your content and connect with you. Taking advantage of this will help your business rise, and you can see more of our tips on how to connect with your target audience here.

Those with low quality content but high click rates will potentially be dethroned, giving everyone else a higher chance for their content to appear in newsfeeds.

At the end of the day, that’s really what you want, and that’s what we all started marketing on Facebook in the first place– to connect with those interested in our product and our business.

Facebook Bans Like-Gating: What it Means

Facebook Ads or Twitter Ads

Facebook recently announced that they are doing away with like-gating.

On Facebook, like-gating is the practice of offering incentives for users to like their Page or to use social plugins. Like-gating is also sometimes referred to as “fan-gating.”

Sometimes this is done through contests, where users need to like a page before they can enter for a chance at a prize; sometimes this is done during promotions and campaigns that promise a free sample, or perhaps a product like an e-course, to those who like your page.

Facebook like-gating
An example of a like-gating contest run through one of Wishpond’s apps.

 

At the beginning of August, Facebook informed businesses that they will have 90 days to make the change (though you can no longer start like-gating if it isn’t part of an already running campaign), and on November 5th, any existing like-gating will be disabled. You can no longer offer rewards or incentives to entice new users to like your Page.

Why Facebook is Getting Rid of Like-Gating

Facebook wants users to like—and thus connect—only with brands they are actually interested in following. They claim that this is in the best interest of both the users and the marketers, and in some ways I agree with them.

Liking a page for an incentive and then immediately hiding them from their newsfeed or unsubscribing defeats the purpose for both the users and the advertisers.

While like-gating was an extremely efficient way to reach new members of your target audience, Facebook cutting back on like-gating makes sense.

Instead of having not-so-interested users like a page for an incentive, now you will only have users who are actually interested liking brands on Facebook. This means that users are getting content that they’re actually interested in (which increases your engagement rate), and advertisers are getting users that are actually interested in their brand and product (again, increasing engagement rate).

Targeting should become more accurate, and it will likely be easier for marketers to zone in on who their target audience truly is using Audience Insights.

Especially with organic reach declining, it’s more important than ever to reach the fans that are most interested in your business instead of just having big numbers.

What It Means for You

We all have had a tendency to utilize like-gating, because up until now, it has been a great strategy to get a lot of likes quickly (though not always quality likes, but still). A lot of Facebook apps like Wishpond implement like-gating (either automatically or as an option) in order to increase your fans with each campaign they help you to run.

We will have to get creative with our methods for gaining new likes, but that’s ok, because doing so will likely bring us fans more relevant to our industry. It will be easier to connect with the people we actually want to connect with. Those fans will be more likely to convert.

And for all those who are writing off Facebook contests, don’t. Facebook contests or offers can still be used to glean powerful information, just not likes anymore. You can still offer incentives with a Facebook contest and require that they leave their e-mail or conact information in order to participate. You may not be getting a like, but you’ll be getting one more e-mail subscriber and a more solid lead.

There have been a lot of mixed reactions since Facebook’s announcement on the upcoming ban of like-gating.

Facebook like-gating
17 experts give their thoughts on the like-gating ban, courtesy of Post Planner

 

To hear what 17 experts in the field have to say about how the like-gating ban will affect you, click here.

How to Get The Likes Without Using Like-Gating

Now that Facebook is eliminating like-gating, we will need to rely on other reliable methods to continue to increase our reach and engagement on Facebook.

Fortunately there are a lot of tried and true white-hat methods we can use to get new fans and followers. It will be harder to get big numbers fast, but we’ll all have to get more creative.

Make your content an incentive: No, you can no hold contests and have the allure of a potential prize if you just like your page. You can’t offer direct incentives for those likes. You can, however, make your content an incentive of its own. By making your content so good no one wants to miss it, they will like your page and follow your posts carefully without you having to offer them something extra.

Use Facebook Ads: Facebook’s Ad system is a great way to connect with new fans and leads. They have an ad objective designed to get your page new likes. All you have to do is target users in your ideal target audience that you aren’t already connected with and run a great campaign. With like-gating done away with on Facebook, Facebook Ads could rise even higher on the list of how to get new likes than it already is. By forcing advertisers to get rid of like-gating, Facebook may be trying to force an increase in marketers utilizing their paid ad system.

To discover how to increase your ROIs using Facebook ads, you can sign up for our FB Ads Formula here.

FB Ads Formula
Our FB Ads Formula has helped businesses and entrepreneurs go so far as to quadruple their ROIs.

Focus on the fans you already have: Organic reach is declining, and it’s hard enough to reach the fans you already have, let alone reaching new ones. Create content that is valuable and relevant to those already engaged with your business and page. If you create good enough content, users will share it with their friends, helping new fans like your page.

Use form-gating instead of like-gating: As mentioned above, just because you can’t entice users to like your page with an incentive, it doesn’t mean that you can’t entice them to leave behind their contact information. Not only will they maybe like your page anyways, just for kicks, you’ll also be getting their information to contact them more directly and personally.

Should I Use Facebook Ads or Twitter Ads?

  Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 10.50.23 AM

Once you’ve decided that you are ready to invest in online marketing campaigns to expand your business, you have to decide which platform you want to start with. Or maybe you’ve worked with several platforms but only want to focus on one. Which is why clients ask us all the time if they should use Facebook Ads or Twitter Ads.

Facebook and Twitter’s ad systems have some similarities and some differences. They both give you the option to have your ad appear as content in with users’ content feeds. They both offer the potential viral sharing and branding that comes with advertising on social media. They both encourage engagement on the ad, and your business’s page or profile itself.

At the end of the day, both platforms have their pros and cons. Advertising on both, when possible, can be beneficial, but we’ve compiled a list of all the benefits and disadvantages of each platform, as well as a list of who ranks better in several critical areas.

Twitter Ads

Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 10.48.47 AM

Twitter, taking a note out of Facebook’s book of success, has recently announced remodeling the structure of their PPC ad system.

Before, Twitter would get paid by advertisers whenever a user interacted with their ad, including likes or retweets. Now they are restructuring so that advertisers can choose certain actions, such as whether a user will click through to a certain landing page, becomes a follower, or leaves their e-mail address. Companies will be paying only for results. This is an exciting change to the platform, and we are excited to see it go live.

Pros

  • Advertisers will soon be able to pay only for results instead of any interaction with the ad.
  • Ads can blend in with content seamlessly. It can go unnoticed by users that they are looking at an ad.
  • Adds appear both in the feed content and search content of users based on the similarity of searched accounts.
  • Twitter does your targeting for you. They use algorithms to find your relevant audience, and especially for beginners or those who don’t want to spend a lot of time researching target audiences, this can be a good way to go.
  • Twitter is mobile friendly.

Cons

  • You only get 140 characters to sell the user.
  • Ads don’t always stand out against an overwhelming newsfeed.
  • Twitter does your targeting for you. Twitter’s targeting system is hit or miss. They need to further develop getting the right ads to the relevant audience. For an example, I searched for “food” in the search bar, and the first thing to pop up was an American express ad. I might add it had nothing to do with food.
Facebook Ads or Twitter Ads
Twitter’s not-quite-spot-on ad.
  • Their pricing can be confusing. While you can set a fixed price at the beginning, some users get confused about what they’re paying for and how much they will actually get out of it.

Facebook Ads

Twitter vs Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads, as you likely know if you’ve read our other posts, work with advertisers setting a budget, using highly detailed targeting for audiences, and creating ads with a variety of different objectives.

Facebook Ads has been the hotspot for businesses of all shapes and sizing trying (and often succeeding) to get their campaigns going.

Pro

  • Facebook has 1.3 billion users. It is the largest social networking site.
  • Facebook’s targeting system is second to none in social media.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 1.45.19 PM

  • You can use as many characters as you want in your posts.
  • Your ads stand out. If your ad is in the timeline, Facebook makes your post larger than most, and they are naturally set aside if your ads appear in the sidebar.
  • You know exactly what you are paying for.
  • Facebook and its ads are mobile friendly– to an extent.
  • Facebook is reducing ads in users’ newsfeeds. While this doesn’t sound ideal, it is for you, because they see fewer ads and are more willing to pay attention when they do.

Cons

  • If you don’t know anything about targeting, you can lose money by targeting the wrong audience.
  • Organic reach is declining, meaning newsfeeds are getting congested. Your competition is increasing.
  • Facebook’s ads formatting is limited for mobile users.
  • Facebook Ads can be expensive. As its popularity increases with businesses and marketers, you can bet on prices increasing, too. Online marketing is not immune to supply and demand. Cost is the biggest con on the list.

Comparative Performance in Critical Areas:

Twitter Ads vs Facebook Ads

Now that we know the basic pros and cons of each platform to help users determine if one platform would be better for them as an individual, we need to look at overall results. To determine overall potential for success in general, we need to look at areas such as reach and performance results.

Network Reach: Network reach simply looks at how many users each network has. While Twitter’s 232 million users is an impressive feat, Facebook is sitting pretty at 1.3 billion users. Facebook wins this one by a landslide. Facebook Ads or Twitter Ads

Formatting Flexibility: Twitter gives you a few options. Facebook gives you a ton of them. Both platforms have their own advantage here.

Twitter keeps it easy. You have three choices (to which some groan only three, and others rejoice). They offer promoted tweets, promoted accounts, and promoted trends. It’s pretty basic, and you know exactly where to promote whatever it is you want to get out there. Your promoted content appears in the same place, making the process simple.

Facebook gives you a lot more options, diving into specifics. You can choose if you want your ad to appear in the sidebar or in the newsfeed. You can choose between a variety of objectives, like ads aiming for clicks to website, website conversions (where they actually track this with a conversion pixel), and page engagement. You can promote posts and create Facebook Offers. Their system is flexible—whatever you want to do, they seek to make sure you can do it.

affiliate marketing facebook

 

Unfortunately, for some, it can be too complicated, especially in the past before they narrowed it down.

While Facebook gives you a lot of options, there is apparently such a thing as too many options. Facebook recently had to simplify, scaling back their number of ad formats.

In terms of keeping it easy, Twitter has the advantage here. If you’re looking for more options and flexibility, Facebook does. This decision comes down to individual experience level, how complicated you want to get, and exactly what it is that you want. Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 10.48.41 AMFacebook Ads or Twitter Ads

Mobile Performance: Though Facebook offers a lot more formatting flexibility, some of those options are taken away for mobile usage. Ads in the sidebar work well on desktops, but don’t even exist for their mobile platform. Their ads appear as promoted posts on mobile devices. Though Twitter has an advantage with their in-content and seamless ads, Facebook is still dominating in mobile usage, though that is expected to potentially change with Twitter’s restructuring.Facebook Ads or Twitter Ads

Overall Ad Performance and Results: This is all about results, which can be difficult two compare on two different platforms.

Twitter has higher engagement rates on their ads than Facebook currently does, likely because most of their ads blend into content streams seamlessly.

Facebook, on the other hand, has been noted to have higher percentages of revenue coming from their ads. While Google holds the number one spot for ROI with their ad system, Facebook falls in place at number two, and Twitter follows behind.

Though Twitter is changing things around, Facebook is currently beating them out in terms of ROI and ad performance. Facebook Ads or Twitter Ads

Conclusion: Facebook Ads or Twitter Ads? 

Facebook’s overall performance, as of now, outshines Twitter.

Twitter claims to currently have 4.5 million small business accounts, thousands of which have done marketing on their social media site. Facebook is dwarfing these numbers, claiming more than 30 million small businesses have pages on their site, and more than 1.5 million have advertised with them.

For Facebook’s targeting system alone Facebook would win this battle. Having your ad appear in front of a highly targeted and relevant audience is what will generate you real leads and land you real clients long term. That’s why you’re investing money advertising on social media in the first place!

Incredible targeting system aside, Facebook would be our choice for advertising if you had to pick only one platform. Though Twitter seems to be making big changes to their campaign, they’ll have to play some catch up in order to reach Facebook. Facebook is dominating overall out of the two platforms, and marketers are seeing bigger ROIs coming from Facebook Ads.

Twitter and Facebook are both fantastic platforms for brand awareness, content marketing, and even soft sale lead nurturing. Both offer great potential for engagement, which is a great step to building loyal customers. Both ad systems are strong, too, especially since they both continue to roll out updates to their systems like their jobs depend on it (which they probably do). Right now, though, if you had to chose one, we would recommend Facebook Ads.

For more information about how to be successful with Facebook Ads, you can check out our FB Ads Formula here.

Never Have Your Facebook Ad Rejected Again

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 5.22.07 PM

Nobody likes rejection. It especially stings after you’ve put time, effort, and money into something.

A lot of users have asked us why their Facebook ads are being rejected. Facebook sends an email to users after their ads haven’t been approved, but sometimes they don’t seem to clear up too much.

In order to maintain their own reputation and profitability, Facebook has terms for those who advertise with them.

 

Never Have Your Facebook Ad Rejected Again

Why Your Ad Was Rejected

Have you found your Facebook Ad rejected, either through email or under the Ads manager?

For whatever reason, your ad was most likely rejected because it was not deemed to comply with Facebook’s Advertising Guidelines. It’s a long list, but it’s one that you should definitely when looking to advertise on Facebook. Some products or services, such as alcohol, gambling, or prescription services have more in depth limitations. Some highlights to this list include:

  • All components of an Ad, including text, images, and other media must be relevant and appropriate to the product or service being offered, as well as the audience viewing it.
  • Products and services promoted in the ad must be clearly visible on the landing page.
  • Ads cannot assert or imply a user’s characteristics within categories such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender, disability, financial status, criminal record, membership in a trade union, and/or name.
  • Ads taking users to a landing page must not have a landing page that interferes with users from leaving it or navigating away. We’ve all seen those annoying “Don’t Leave! Stay Forever!” screens that pop up when we try to click away. No one likes them, and I always wonder if I’ll end up with a virus in my computer after seeing one.
  • Ads and sponsored stories in the Newsfeed may not be comprised of more than 20% text.
  • Ads targeting should be used appropriately and never used to provoke users, such as if the National Rifle Associate targeted those with anti-gun laws in their interests with inflammatory messages.
  • Ads for regulated goods and services, such as alcohol, must follow industry codes and laws (no targeting anyone under 21, ABC Fine Wines!). Alcohol advertising is prohibited in some countries.
  • Ads cannot be linked to a sight with suspected malware/spyware

As said above, it’s a long list. This is only a short clip of some of the highlights that would apply to just about everyone. Taking the time to read this list will not only help you make sure that your Ad is approved, but that it will sit well with your audience and be profitable.

Sometimes, though, users pick through every single word of that list only to find that their ads have still been rejected. The most consistent errors—often unintentional—that we’ve seen are as follows:

  • Where your ad leads to: This is easily the biggest reason we seen Ads get denied. What you are advertising in your Ad must be shown clearly, and represented clearly, both in the Ad and on your landing page. Even if they match up you have to be careful. Facebook is strict not just about your ad, but your landing page, too. Your landing page can’t have pop ups. Your landing page cannot interfere with someone trying to navigate away from it. If you are struggling with your landing page, keep in mind your ad can always take users right to your Facebook page, too.
  • Misleading and deceptive content: I bet you can guess what this one covers! Yep, we all guessed it. Showcasing a picture and text describing one product or service and actually offering another on your landing page (or in general) isn’t going to fly. This is often ranks in at the honored spot of biggest problem #2. Are you advertising the best desserts ever, only to really be selling baking and cooking wear? You’ll probably get denied for that, even if in your attempt to keep your Ad short you just reduced what was once a clear message of “Use our baking supplies get the best desserts ever!” Mistakes can stem from good intentions, so comb over every part of that ad carefully and make sure your audience won’t be misled or confused.
  • Taking the CAPS LOCK too seriously: Capitalizing every word, or even an entire word, in Facebook Ads can get your ad rejected. We get it, you’re excited about your product and company, you want to shout it out and share it with the world. We’re excited for that too! But over capitalizing can come off as aggressive or hostile (which you definitely don’t want) in addition to distracting from the rest of Facebook’s site. Facebook puts Facebook’s business first, and they don’t want anyone lowering the quality of their site with distractions. Capitalization in general is ok, but use it sparingly. Emphasize, don’t scream. This is an easy fix.
  • Too much text: This is another one that has gotten a lot of Ads rejected, and especially seems to hit home when it comes to the promoted post. All images in ads may be comprised of no more than 20% text. Adam Gerber has a great article about how to avoid getting rejected for this in his article here.

An appropriate amount of text in the Ad picture

An appropriate amount of text in the Ad picture

  • Inappropriate images: Keep it clean, folks. If you’ve got a picture of a beautiful woman in a bikini and there is very little relevance, your ad will probably be rejected. Even if there is relevance, it might be rejected anyways.

What To Do After Your Ad is Rejected

Still finding your Facebook ad rejected?

If your ad is not approved, Facebook will send you an email letting you know why. You can contact their customer service for more information if you’re still unclear as to why it was not approved. They will often give you the option to edit your Ad so you can submit again to be reviewed.

If you don’t have the option to edit your Ad, which sometimes happens, you’ll need to create a new one entirely.

Do not try to fool the system. Some users have tried to trick Facebook into letting them keep their ad mostly the same, altering things a bit but not really changing what they themselves even know is wrong.

This is a bad idea. Not only will your Ads continue to be rejected, but if you are a repeat offender of consistently submitting Ads that don’t follow the guidelines, you run the risk of having your Page suspended.

When I was in writing workshops in college, there was always one student who got offended at critiques (which was, of course, the whole point of the workshop). They refused to truly edit their drafts and often failed the course. Don’t fail your Facebook Ad campaign out of stubbornness. It may sound silly, but some users do.

Sometimes it’s an easy fix. With the 20% rule, you just have to make the text smaller, reduced, or more condensed. For example, take a look at these Modcloth images. They are very similar, but one would work in an Ad and the other wouldn’t due to too much text.

This Ad would not be accepted due to the 20% text rule.
This Ad would not be accepted due to the 20% text rule.
This Ad would be accepted according to the 20% rule.
This Ad would be accepted according to the 20% rule.

In order to keep your Ad from getting rejected, double-check all the guidelines before submitting it. Sometimes resubmitting will require a minor tweak, like the pictures above, but sometimes it will mean a complete overhaul.

If you need a complete overhaul, as exhausting as it is, it’s worth the work.

In addition to making sure your ads don’t get rejected, you also want to make sure they’re successful. Now that you know how to keep your ads from getting rejected, learn how to make sure they convert every time using our FB Ads Formula.