21.02 2017 13:51h

Your Complete Guide to Facebook Advertising

Everything you need to know to get yourself heard
Facebook, Advertising, Promoted posts, Social Media

Despite the fact you’ve probably heard  "Facebook is old news", "Instagram and Snapchat provide way more engagement", Zuckerberg’s behemoth remains the most heavily used socia media platform out there.  

And while Facebook’s organic reach has diminished over the last few years, this doesn’t mean you should abandon the channel all together, it just means you need to be a lot more efficient and creative with your efforts.

One of the main tactics you need to consider is advertising, but with all the competition this doesn’t mean sure fire results. You can’t just do a one-time ad campaign, run it for a quarter, with no adjustments and expect to get far, at least not anymore.

Here’s everything you need to know to get the most bang for your ad buck:

Recognising an Ad When you See One

 Facebook has been quite subtle with this one, to the untrained eye, you wouldn’t even know when you’re looking at one. So how do you spot it? Ads have three main elements:

  • Below the brand name, there will be a "Sponsored" tag
  • "Like Page" button in the upper right corner of the Ad
  • A CTA (Call To Action) in the bottom right corner i.e. Learn More, Go to Site, etc.

The one you control as an advertiser, being the Call To Action, Facebook provides you with the following options:

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Download
  • Learn More
  • Request Time
  • See Menu
  • Shop Now
  • Sign-Up

The one you choose, of course depending on your objective for the time.

Speaking of which, what are the different objectives you could use facebook ads to achieve, here are the main ones:

  • Promote your page – Increase page likes
  • Boost posts – Improve reach of your content
  • Increase traffic to your site
  • Increase conversions. Could be for an app, e-book, etc

Which one you prioritize of course depends completely on the stage of growth you’re in. Your ideal sales funnel should look something like this.

Creating Your Ad Campaign

Step 1: Create A Facebook Page

First off, before any advertising, you need to create a Facebook Page, to do so, simply:

  1. Open the dropdown near your profile image, and click Create page
  2. Select the Type i.e. Business, Influencers, Local Business, etc  for you
  3. Add the prompted details i.e. About, Profile Picture, Add To Favorites, and make your way to the most important bit….
  4. Preferred Page Audience, remember as always, the more specific the better.

Step 2: Open Facebook Advertising

Once done, and your page has been optimized and you’ve made a week or two’s worth of posts, you can move onto the next phase.

To open FB advertising:

  • Visit your page, click on ‘More’ beside Message and the other buttons, and select the ‘Create Ad’ option or you could open it up from drop down right beside your profile picture.
  • That should take you to the ad dashboard. Once there, you will immediately be prompted to create a new campaign.
  • The first step in doing so would be to pick the objective, Facebook, made it really simple, laying out all the options.

Step 3:  Create Your First Ad-Set

Great, next you’ll be directed to the ad-set section, the main elements being:

1. Audience

Turn your attention to the bar labeled ‘Estimated Reach’, while it may be tempting to jack this number up as high as possible, you actually want to do quite the opposite. Why? To make sure you’re reaching a specific audience.

So try and bring the numbers down to around 20,000 – 50,000 to start with.

Tip: if you’re audience is still too broad, bring that number down by, instead of constantly adding interests, use the option right below it, to point to co-relations in behavior and interests. E.g. - if you were trying to sell a gymnastics program, target people into fitness, but also those that have a passion for bodyweight training.

2. Placement

If you have an Instagram account linked, the option to promote it on there will be checked as well. But here’s where you can change that. Under placement, you’ll have two options ‘Automatic’ (never do automatic) and ‘Edit Placement’.

You can also select the device you want it displayed on i.e. desktop or mobile newsfeed. May seem irrelevant, but experienced advertisers will tell you that every variable makes a difference. Which one makes a significant difference and what doesn’t? That is what you figure out through split testing.

3. Budget & Schedule

Set expectations based off of your goal.

So if you’re just starting out, you probably want to spend the next year working on building your following. The most common ad types run would be Page Promotion and Post Promotion.

When it comes to setting the budget, you need to think about how much you would be willing to spend for each fan. Start with maybe AED 1 per fan, meaning would be 5,000 AED for 5,000 fans and so on.

Now this is just to give you an estimate, what you achieve could be significantly higher or lower depending on how well the ad was crafted, how targeted the audience was, etc. The point of it is to give you a solid baseline for analysis, and allows you make adjustments.

It’s all trial and error initially. And with that being said, you should be starting off small with your first ad. So perhaps AED 10/day for 2 weeks/14 (AED 140).

Under the optimize for section, toggle between reach and impression for each ad and see which works better.

Once done, monitor regularly, if it’s working for you, keep it going for a month, if not make some adjustment (refer to the section about split testing).

Step 3: Ad-Creation

Now we get to the fun part, actually creating your advert. Two main elements being:

1. Format

You have the option to choose from Carousel, Single, Multiple Images, etc pick the one that of course, best suits your product and what you’re trying to achieve.

2. Page & Text

This is where you upload your image or image for carousels, videos and descriptions. Do follow the guidelines in terms of aspect ratio and such provided.

Fortunately, you no longer need to deal with the maligned 20% rule, wherein the text could cover up more than 20% of the image.

Doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods completely, based on how much text is on your ad, upon upload, Facebook will let you know if the same is OK, Low, Medium or High. The higher it goes, the less views and more expensive your ad becomes.

Once you’re happy with what you see in the preview, hit ‘Place Order’, which should prompt you to add your cards details, And Viola!


Any experienced Facebook advertiser, will tell, you’re likely to fail with your 1st, 2nd, 3rd and maybe even your 10th ad. until you find the right formulae. To succeed at Facebook advertising i.e. not blow a bunch of money, it requires constant monitoring and adjustment.

Split testing, aka, AB testing, is simply the most effective way to make these adjustments. This is done through trying 2 variations of the same ad, to see which one performs better. The same can be applied to web pages as well.

Applying it to the above, you could run the first add for 2 weeks, and then maybe for the rest of the month, you upload one with a slight variation too the copy, image, CTA. But the same demographic and targeting must apply and every variant needs to be tracked and accounted for, so you know what works and what doesn’t.


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