Six Smart Ways to Maximize Your Facebook Spend to Gain New Customers


This article was originally published on SteamFeed.

Few companies face as much backlash as Facebook whenever there’s a slight shift in the wind for marketers. Last year, the social network came under fire for the declining organic reach of brands’ posts, and Copyblogger went so far as to say goodbye to Facebook for good.

It’s clear that the heyday is over for businesses looking to promote their offerings on Facebook for free, but that doesn’t mean the social giant isn’t still a highly effective channel for customer acquisition.

In fact, Facebook is constantly upping the ante to become a more effective advertising platform. In January, it rolled out conversion lift measurement to change the conversation from measuring ad effectiveness with clicks to measuring results with sales. Clearly, Mark Zuckerberg is confident in Facebook’s ability to convert its 1.39 billion users into paying customers.

If you haven’t experienced success with Facebook ads in the past, it’s time to revisit your strategy and learn how to take advantage of some of the social network’s promising features.

Keep reading to learn:

  • Why Facebook is still a lucrative channel for customer acquisition.
  • The most common pitfalls of Facebook advertising that diminish ROI.
  • Smart ways to maximize your Facebook spend and gain new customers.

Why Facebook Is Still Relevant for Customer Acquisition

In the last few years, Facebook has evolved from a fan acquisition channel to a performance marketing powerhouse. The social network has expanded its offerings to include News Feed ads, Facebook Exchange, retargeting, and Custom Audiences, making Facebook a rich playground for direct response marketers. Many advertisers like Amazon and Walmart have begun leveraging its efficient and customizable platform to drive their customer acquisition efforts.

Facebook has also gotten aggressive about breaking down silos between desktop and mobile to compete directly with Google for those direct response dollars. Because Facebook users stay logged in across web and mobile, it has a unique understanding of user demographics, psychographics, and behaviors. For instance, Facebook can target gender with 90 percent accuracy (compared to the industry average of 50 percent).

The Biggest Mistakes You’re Making on Facebook 

With all these recent developments in mind, Facebook is still an appealing channel for businesses looking to gain new customers. But if you’re not seeing results with your Facebook advertising, it could be because you’re making one or more of the following mistakes:

  • Targeting the wrong audience: If you don’t understand your target audience, you won’t be able to tap into their wants and needs and attract them with your offer. Most companies make the mistake of going too broad or too narrow with their Facebook targeting, so consider your budget and the number of people you would ideally like to reach.
  • Using boring, recycled creative: When scrolling through their News Feeds, images are the first things that Facebook users notice. Many companies make the mistake of recycling old imagery from print, TV, or display ads or fail to spend enough time developing fun, engaging copy with an enticing call to action.
  • Falling victim to the “set it and forget it” mentality: A big mistake many companies make is launching a Facebook campaign, then leaving it to grow stale. Just because an ad is working today doesn’t mean it will work next week or next month. Market conditions and audience tastes can change overnight.
  • Using the wrong bidding strategy: Facebook offers a variety of bidding options, ranging from CPC and CPM to OCPM and CPA. Each bidding option is associated with a particular objective, so it’s important to understand each type to drive the best ROI.

How to Turn Your Facebook Strategy Around

If you’re guilty of any of the Facebook faux pas above, you’re not alone. To turn things around and see a healthy return on investment, follow these tips for success on the platform:

1. Take advantage of Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences. The targeting options you select on Facebook can mean the difference between campaign success and failure, so it’s important to test different targeting combinations to find the right audiences.

Facebook’s Custom Audiences allow you to reach current customers by matching their email addresses to their Facebook accounts. You can even reach people who visited your website but didn’t register.

This feature is valuable because you can deliver ads to current customers and even target segments by demographics, interests, and actions. For instance, you could create a different Custom Audience for high-income and low-income customers and tailor your offer to their budgets.

You can also use Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences to target users who are similar to your current customers. Banana Republic used Lookalike Audiences to expand its customer base during the holiday season, and Facebook became its top channel for customer acquisition.

2. Invest in fresh, compelling creative. To stand out in the endless stream of status updates and ads filling users’ News Feeds, you must focus on developing fresh, unique creative with eye-catching imagery. A striking photo, engaging copy, and a tempting call to action are especially critical for direct response advertisers.

3. Engage your audience on mobile. The surge in smartphone adoption has made Facebook’s mobile presence a huge opportunity for marketers. Its Atlas platform allows you to deliver and measure campaigns across screens, closing the loop of cross-device ROI measurement.

Plus, Facebook’s Audience Network lets you extend your Facebook ad campaigns to reach users on other mobile apps. For instance, if you want to reach a consumer on The Huffington Post’s website, you can use Facebook’s Audience Network to reach that same user on The Huffington Post’s mobile app.

To succeed on mobile, you must understand how your audience uses Facebook. For example, if your audience often checks Facebook from home, you can leverage Facebook’s Wi-Fi-only targeting.

4. Use retargeting. Leverage behavioral data from around the web when targeting your audience on Facebook. Its high-performing native ads allow you to reach desktop and mobile users with highly relevant offers after they visit your website, subscribe to your email list, or like your page.

5. Integrate Facebook with other marketing channels. To be truly effective, your Facebook campaigns can’t operate in a vacuum. Instead, you must integrate them with the rest of your marketing plan to create synergy with email, search, and display ads.

6. Monitor and optimize your campaigns. To see solid ROI from your Facebook marketing efforts, you should continually reassess market conditions, analyze ad performance, optimize bids, and reallocate your budget. Use A/B testing on your headlines, copy, calls to action, and images to maximize ad performance, and pause ads with excessive spend that aren’t converting users.

Facebook has dramatically changed the game for marketers in the last few years, but that’s because the entire social media landscape — and how users interact with it — has also changed. Facebook earned $3.59 billion in ad revenue last year, and mobile ads accounted for 69 percent of those dollars. People are clearly clicking on Facebook ads, and with smart targeting and a compelling offer, those people could be your future customers.

Do you plan to use Facebook ads to drive customer acquisition this year? How will you optimize your campaigns to maximize your advertising dollars?

Photo via FACEBOOK(LET) on Flickr.

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