10 things you didn't know you could do with Facebook ads

People seem to physically cringe whenever I mention Facebook ads.

It’s like this overwhelming task that no one wants to face, kinda like taxes or dental appointments. Sound about right?

Well, I have some great news for you. Facebook advertising isn’t as scary as you might think. Sure, it’s a little daunting at first, but once you know how to advertise beyond that little blue Boost Post button (seriously, please stop using that button! Don’t make me beg) you’ll wonder why you ever let an agency control your advertising for you.

If you need convincing, here are 10 things you didn’t know you could do with Facebook ads.

Access Power Editor

You’ve no doubt heard of Power Editor – you may have even dabbled with the tool, but if you’re not using it for all of your Facebook advertising needs, you’re seriously missing out.

It’s not called Power Editor for nothing – it’s a powerful tool and one that you can get some pretty incredible results with. If you haven’t heard of it, or you’re not sure how to access it, after clicking ‘Adverts Manager’ in your sidebar, you’ll find it right here:

10 things you didn't know you could do with Facebook ads

Create Instagram ads

Yep, you can use Power Editor to advertise on Instagram. I haven’t tried this out yet, but I noticed when it appeared on my dashboard and geeked out pretty hard.

Actually, now that I’m on the topic, would it interest you for me to do an Instagram advertising tutorial? Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see this and I’ll create a step-by-step guide.

Track conversions

When you send visitors to your website from a Facebook ad, you can then track their ‘conversions’ to measure the success of your campaign.

What is a conversion? It’s an action someone takes while they’re on your website. Facebook lists their standard conversions, which include website searches, initiating a checkout, purchasing an item or signing up to a newsletter.

You can also create a custom conversion, based on a specific URL on your website.

Not only can you track conversions, but you can optimise your Facebook ads for them. Jon Loomer explains how this works in his beginner’s guide to conversions.

Control your ad timings by the hour

Did you know that you can decide when – down to the hour – your Facebook ad is served to your audience?

This can be really powerful for some businesses (and admittedly not so powerful for others). If you’re a coffee shop, for example, you could advertise to commuters only during the weekday morning rush, getting the right message to the right people at the right time.

It might seem like a small, insignificant feature, but if you use a bit of creativity you can come up with some pretty effective campaigns that are time-specific.

Target your own audiences

This is one feature that you don’t need Power Editor for (although I hope you’re gathering by now that I highly recommend you give Power Editor a try).

Add a little bit of code – called a pixel – to your website, and you can ask Facebook to create an audience of people who visit the website (including specific pages within it). It’s called a website custom audience.

You can target this audience, or create a lookalike based on it, to make sure your ads are reaching people who already know who you are and what you’re about (assuming your website tells them that!).

Exclude irrelevant audiences

What if you want to target people who have visited your website, but you don’t want anyone who’s already purchased your product to see that ad?

It’s possible to exclude audiences – including website custom audiences – so your message only reaches the most relevant people on Facebook.

So before you even think about clicking people who like your Page and their friends again, think about the ultra-specific targeting you’re missing out on.

Create a sales funnel

If you want to get really clever with Facebook ads, you can use them as a sales funnel. What do I mean?

10 things you didn't know you could do with Facebook ads

At the top of the funnel, you want to reach people who are a potential audience for your product.

So, sticking with the coffee shop example, if I’m a coffee shop in central London I’ll write a blog post, something like ‘the ten signs that you’re a coffee addict (and why that’s OK)’. Anything with a wide appeal that’s also relevant to my business. I’ll then advertise to people who live in London and have an interest in coffee. Pretty generic, and I’m not selling them anything.

Whenever someone clicks on that link, Facebook will track them and add them to the website custom audience I’ve set up. So now I know that they definitely interested in coffee, I’ll retarget my website visitors with a lead generation* offer, perhaps a free coffee when they sign up to my mailing list.

I then have a captive audience, who know all about me, and who I can target whenever I like through my email newsletter.

That’s not a very sophisticated example, but it gives you an idea of what you can do if you put a bit of strategy behind your Facebook ads.

*A type of ad where the Facebook user gives a company their contact details in exchange for something.

Split test

Not sure which image will generate more clicks? Which wording will drive more sales?

Test it out!

Facebook allows you to create as many ads as you like with one budget. Say you’re spending £100 on your ad campaign – rather than just creating one ad and spending your full £100 on it, create 10 different ads, testing copy and image variations, and Facebook will do the hard work.

It’ll serve all of your ads to your audience, but as soon as users begin responding, Facebook will prioritise the ones which are performing better. You can pause and resume ads as the campaign continues, so you don’t need to waste money on ads that aren’t doing what you want them to.

Create dark posts

Dark posts aren’t as exciting as they sound, but they can be useful.

They’re essentially unpublished Page posts – so they look exactly the way you’d see them on your business Page, without actually being visible on the Page. When you create a dark post, you will get a permalink, which means you can direct people to the post – but the only way they’ll see it is with the link you provide.

You can advertise using dark posts, but I like to use them for exclusive Facebook content for my newsletter subscribers. Not only is it bonus material for them, but it also helps me to understand what this audience’s engagement is like.

Here are a few more creative ways of using dark posts.

Boost posts using all the features of Power Editor

Still convinced you want to use that Boost Post button?

Well, you can still promote a Page post using Power Editor – only, you get the full range of Power Editor features that you don’t get when you click the blue button that shall not be named.

Don’t worry though – if you’re overwhelmed and don’t know how to get past Boosting a post, I’m here to help!

Get in touch and I can arrange training with you so you can make the most of Facebook ads.

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10 things you didn't know you could do with Facebook ads

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10 things you didn’t know you could do with Facebook ads
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One thought on “10 things you didn’t know you could do with Facebook ads

  • April 26, 2016 at 11:08 am

    This is so helpful! Will definitely experiment with the Power Editor the next time I post. Thanks Lauren!


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