Facebook Ad 101: Don’t Sell

1 Apr
Cheap Ad Space for Facebook, 2012

(Copy Right Sumayal Shrestha, 2012. Please email for permission to use)

As a social media enthusiast I have watched a small blog use a limited number of Facebook ads to improve brand engagement, increase website traffic and expand audience worldwide by leaps and bounds. At the same time I have witnessed well-endowed organizations burn the bountiful Facebook ads using the traditional approach to mass marketing.

If you have some background in business, you probably know the importance of marketing. You maybe working for the most noble cause. Your product maybe the next best thing after sliced bread (or have we started saying Facebook yet). But it has little value, if no one has heard about it.  As a marketing tool, mass advertising was very expensive and difficult to measure until Google and Facebook offered affordable, accurate and super flexible options.

Today,  if an environmental nonprofit wants to share their wonderful resources about energy efficient lighting, they don’t have to print 10,000 brochures to distribute at 50 events or scrap up a million dollars for TV/radio commercial. They can simply create a webpage and promote it through a Facebook Ad campaign which will allow them to identify the most popular ad copies, identify and target the appropriate audience, and measure the success of the ads for future reference.

5 Facebook Ads Dos and Don’ts

Here are some key strategies I have found effective from my experience using Facebook Ads:

  1. Identify key audience by looking at Facebook Insights, then target and customize ads accordingly. If your biggest audience is female between age 12 to 19. Think about what are they more likely to respond to – image of Brad Pitt (Justin Bieber, Twilight guy etc.) with a caulk gun, or image of a Senator announcing the new caulking bill from a podium ?
  2. According to Facebook Insights,  women between 35 to 44 are more likely to share and spread the word. Most active Pinterest users also belong to this audience group. So, if this group is not the biggest audience, then perhaps you should consider customizing your ad content and reach to target this group.
  3. Always have a trial and error phase (about 1 week) to see which ads are people more responsive too.
  4. Use iconic and active imagery like the Charlie’s Angels holding caulk guns or a hand caulking a window, instead of just a caulk gun or a window.
  5. Try not to sell a product or a project to your followers, instead talk to them and share a story. DC-based food writer, Monica Bhide talks about how invoking an emotion is more effective than selling a product.


Check out these excellent tips about creating and meeting your campaign’s through Facebook Ads:

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