Oh, no… Facebook ads!
Facebook ads have the reputation of being incredibly complicated…and not entirely without reason. Facebook has made things a little easier over the years, but there’s still a bit of a learning curve. But…it’s not so difficult you can’t learn it. All you need to do is take it step by step and not jump in right away.
Before you can start running ads, there are three things you should do. In this post, I’m gonna show you the first thing you can start with that will help you set yourself up to run Facebook ads. We’ll explain the nitty gritty of the ads itself at a later time. One thing at a time!
STEP 1: BOOST A POST FROM YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE
I’m assuming that you have a Facebook page for your author brand. If you don’t, you’ll need to set that up first because without a page, you can’t run ads. The ads are always connected to a page, but you can run ads from multiple pages at the same time.
Pick a good post to boost, for example an announcement of a recent release. make sure the link you’re using works (and if you’re smart, you’ll use a ReaderLinks link so you can track performance). Some posts you can’t boost, like changing your cover pic…but why would you?
Boosting a post means you’re paying Facebook to show that post to more people. We’ll see who those people are later on.
FIND THE BLUE “BOOST” BUTTON
If you’ve picked a post that’s eligible to be boosted, it will have a blue button underneath that says “Boost Post. We’re gonna click that.
You’ll have to make some choices next, but we’re gonna walk through them all.
CHOOSE AN OBJECTIVE
Every boosted post has to have an objective. You’ll want the preselected one: get more people to react, comment, and share. You want more eyes on this post, so that’s our goal.
ADD A BUTTON (OR NOT)
Next, you have the choice to add a button. You don’t have to, but in some cases, this will make it easier for people to click on your link. Usually, the “Learn more” is a good option for others. The “Shop now” can be a little aggressive in our case. If you add a button (and I’m gonna pick the “Learn More here for my example), you also have to put in the link where you want the button to go.
SELECT YOUR AUDIENCE
Special ad category doesn’t apply to us, so the next step is the audience. You have three options here, but for your first time, we’re gonna keep it super simple. Pick either people who have liked your page or people who have liked your page and their friends.
You also have to pick a location. Do you want to target everyone who liked your page and their friends? Or do you want to limit yourself to your biggest English-speaking markets? That would be the US, the UK, Australia, and Canada. Once you’ve selected that third option, it will show you an “edit” option where you can set your location.
For some reason, my FB is glitching here. It’s showing me only Texas as an option and I have no idea why. I tried to delete it, but it won’t let me. Oh well, Facebook. We’ve all been there, right?
SET YOUR DURATION AND BUDGET
It’s time to set the duration of the ad, counted in days. Double check the date your boosted post will end! You’ll also have to set your budget. This is a total budget, not per day, and to make it easy on you, FB even calculates for you what your cost per day will be.
FB also shows you your estimated reach per day. If this number is super low, you either don’t have a lot of likes on your page yet and that’s something to work on, or your targeting location is wrong.
DO A LAST CHECK AND HIT BOOST
All that remains is to check your payment and to double check how your ad will look. You can do that with the “desktop feed” button at the right top and see how it will look on desktop and on mobile as well. When you’re happy with the results, click “boost” at the bottom.
Congratulations, you just ran your first Facebook ad! A boosted post is the simplest form of a FB ad, so yay! You can track the results on your page, as FB will show you how that boosted post did.
Next time, we’ll look at how to set up your Facebook Business Manager, which is not sexy, but hella important.