How to Set Up Facebook Ads

Author: Cotner Date: January 10, 2011

Facebook ads are ideal for building brand recognition and driving traffic to your business’ website or Facebook page. Putting up an ad is quick and easy, but the way you set it up determines effectiveness and affordability.

Brian Basilico, president of B2b Interactive Marketing Inc., an Aurora, Ill. consultancy that helps businesses utilize Internet technology for marketing, uses Facebook ads to drive traffic to his Facebook page. “Start off with something small, test it and see what’s working for you,” he says.

Getting Started

In the “Sponsored Ads” section on your Facebook News Feed, click “Create an Ad.” You’ll be prompted to enter information about your ad. First, type the destination URL, the landing page that people will be directed to when they click on your link. That might be a link to your website or your Facebook page.

Title and Description

Facebook will prompt you to create a title and the body text. Facebook has strict rules about ad content—if you don’t follow the rules, Facebook will reject your ad. Rejection criteria include incorrect spelling, grammar, punctuation and capitalization, inappropriate or misleading content and slang terms.


Upload your own image, or click “Suggest An Ad” to pull an image from the website you’re linking to. Facebook will reject misleading and offensive images.


Facebook ads target users based on their interests, age, gender, location, language, employer and other criteria. Basilico, for example, enters criteria like “small business” to target small business owners, and Facebook prompts him to narrow it more. According to Facebook, ads are generally more successful when they’re targeted to small, specific groups of users at a time rather than a broad pool. If your audience is too broad, you may exceed your budget, Basilico says.

Pricing and Budget

To pay for the ads, you can either pay per impression (CPM) or pay per click (CPC). If your goal is to gain brand exposure and recognition, try CPM—the number of times people view your ad. If your goal is to drive traffic to a website, try CPC and you’ll pay for the number of times people click. After one of Basilico’s ads was posted for one day, he had 50,000 impressions, 16 clicks and three new Facebook fans.

You’ll have to set a daily budget, indicating the maximum amount of money you’re willing to bid on each click or every 1,000 impressions, depending on the option you choose. The higher your bid, the more likely your ad is to get shown.

Scheduling and Monitoring

Indicate the time frame for your campaign. Once you’ve set up an ad, you should monitor the results to determine success. You might want to adjust your target audience, rewrite the text or set a different budget. “Online advertising is a living, breathing thing.” Basilico says. “You’ve got to monitor it and see if the results are working.”

Related Resource: Facebook: Getting Your Business Online.

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