facebook insightsIs your target market on Facebook? With over 1 billion monthly active users, Facebook is likely seeing frequent engagement from the people you’re trying to reach. Why not reach them there and try to increase revenues too?

For SMBs, selling on Facebook can seem challenging, but there are a few simple steps to get solid campaigns up and running to test, then succeed. Let’s break them down:

1.     Make a product plan

Before starting, we’re going to need a plan of attack. Determine the products or products lines to be promoted on Facebook. This may be related to the audience you can reach, price points, seasonality, or other business factors that will drive more success.

2.     Determine your target audience for sales

Several (some would say unlimited) audiences are available to reach on Facebook. But which is right for you? This is where your analytics can help you determine who is buying, when, and how much they spend (which will help you direct budget toward sales instead of softer metrics such as Likes).

Start by targeting the audience likely to bring in the best ROI and in coordination with the other points. (Note: It’s okay if you don’t target every single potential buyer.)

3.     Plan your promos

Everyone likes a good promo, sale, discount, any extra motivator to buy. Throw in free shipping and I am SO there. What will motivate your potential customers? Facebook is known more for effective branding than generating sales because the audience is a passive viewer of the ad. Give them an irresistible reason to pay attention and even look forward to seeing your promotions!

4.     Brainstorm killer ad copy

Now that you’ve created the killer promotion, we’ll want to communicate it through the ad copy. Text, image, and an external link are our key components to think about. The copy should be compelling and always include a call-to-action to let your audience know what you want them do – for example, “buy and save 20%”. Your image should be clear, and cropped for a close-up of the featured object or person. Promoting a page post can also be very effective because these ads appear in the news feed, so include a promo and offsite links to drive online sales, like this ad does:

Facebook sponsored post

5.     Install your conversion code

In the ads manager, there is a link called “conversion  tracking”. In this area you can generate a conversions pixel to paste into the html of the checkout confirmation page. A pixel is a snippet of code that sends information back to Facebook when someone has viewed or clicked on your ad and then taken a specific action, like purchasing, on your website. With tracking set-up we’ll be able to determine how effective the campaigns are and optimize from there.

Facebook conversion tracking

Hitting the basics right off the bat will help when getting started and provide a framework for optimization for improvement later. Do you have a great formula for success? Share it here!

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Lisa Raehsler is founder and principal strategist at Minnesota-based online advertising agency Big Click Co.