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My first Facebook ad

Facebook replaced my inbox as my first contact point years ago, so I’m quite familiar with how it works and how people use it. I’ve watched companies flounder trying to figure out how to use it to sell to potential customers, and I’ve seen how frustrated users are by the constant barrage of marketing. With all that knowledge, I decided it was time to dip my toe in the waters for my own business.

One of the first things I set up was a Facebook Page so I could share my work, news, and tips with my followers, as well as gain new followers and, hopefully, new business. I had set up a rhythm to posting, trying not to annoy followers by filling up their news feed but also providing value to following me so they stay engaged. I’ll get into how Facebook pages work with your news feed at a later time, but for now, just know that an engaged user means your posts on that page will be published in the news feed of more of your followers.

Setting it up

Now I was ready for a first test. I wasn't going out there to really push the business hard and I wasn't expecting much from the ad. The point of this exercise was to get my hands dirty in the tools Facebook provides and just see for myself what happens. I decided to just try and get my 'Likes' up so that when I make a real marketing push, my business would appear more substantial. I was trying to top 100 Likes and I was sitting around 70. I know Likes aren't as important as they used to be, but as I said, this was really me just playing.

I signed into the Ad Manager and setup a campaign. I figured $20 was fine to throw away on this test so I set an image, message, target market, timeline and max budget and I was up and running.

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That's when it happens. Next to your news feed is a summary of your ad activity. It shows you how many people have seen the ad and, for me, if how many clicked 'Like'. It is, in one word, addictive!

First day, 1 like. Second day, I changed the message a little to focus it into my small target market. Another like.

That's when I wanted to change it again. I know, I know, it's hard to test when you change your ad constantly, so I decided to add another ad to the campaign. The first message showed a price point for my services; the second showed a savings amount. I was already obsessed watching the first ad but having another variable to monitor fed my analytic mind.

The result

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I ended up with 16 Likes for $20. But even better, my knowledge of Facebook marketing is now tangible. I've long known the theory of what works and what doesn't, but it's different actually planning and managing it, and I feel more comfortable working with clients in this area now. Now that my new Web site is up and I have some work people can actually see, I will be launching a new campaign next week. The goal of that will be lead generation and I'll probably share any learnings after that one too.