Facebook continues to be the largest social network in the world, with over 1.1 billion users - most of them checking in daily. With that huge of an audience and an ever changing landscape, it can become extremely hard to reach those individuals and engage with them or drive them to your digital presence. Aside from content calendars, promotions and promoted posts, you as a brand also have the ability to take advantage of their ads platform. This platform was set up to help businesses, brands and organizations generate more awareness and better reach their target audiences.

But how do you use it or how should you use it? Well by following these easy steps below, I hope to educate and aid you in properly setting up your Facebook Ad campaigns. However, if the task proves too daunting or you want to go even further/deeper with your audience - feel free to hit up EFM and our experts will do the lifting for you!

Here are the steps:

1. Identify Your Audience

Much like Google AdWords or Bing Ads, Facebook allows users to finely target their audience by key demographics (age, gender, interests, location) and optimize campaigns for likes, clicks or interactions. For instance, you can target all individuals 18+ that live in the United States who like arts and music. Or you could identify more specific segments, such as men living in Las Vegas, age 30 – 50 who are interested in Fox's new show Cosmos.

How in the name of security is that possible? Well, when a user creates a profile on Facebook they are asked to share demographic information. Also any of the pages they like, interests they discuss on the site also factor into the Facebook search algorithm. Using this information Facebook can display ads only to the most relevant audiences—and the more specific your criteria, the higher your engagement will be.

Step 1 is pretty easy but you will want to make a few buckets to start. Begin with broad audience like "Everyone" and then drill down two additional buckets, more targeted each time. Your second bucket could be "Everyone in these key states" (your top 10 states based on sales, growth or opportunity). Finally, define the third bucket - even tighter on the targeting - such as Males, 30-50, living in Dallas, Texas who like beer and have a HHI of $100-120K annually. As we moved down the next steps, you will be able to refine which of these buckets make the most sense in terms of your objectives and spend levels.

2. Set Your Objectives & Create Your Ads

Once you’ve identified your target, the next steps are to set your objectives and create your ads. So ask yourself a few questions. What do you hope to accomplish with your campaign? Do you want to boost your page likes? Grow traffic to your website? Increase post engagement? Choosing the option that best fits your objectives is crucial to tracking the success of your campaign, so give it careful thought. After that’s decided, it’s ad creation time.

Facebook allows you to upload up to six rotatable images for each ad, along with a headline (up to 25 characters) and body content (up to 90 characters). Use engaging graphics and copy. Think about what will grab your audience’s attention and inspire them to click on your ad. In other words, work with what you’ve got and make it count! While you’re creating your ad, you’ll be able review examples of what your finished product will look like in news feeds and on mobile devices, among other options. Is it clear what your image is? Does your copy make sense and is everything spelled correctly?

So now that you have a clearly defined audience (your three buckets), how do they align with your objectives, or which ones make the most sense for you to use? If you are struggling to make sense of how your targets meet your objective criteria, put them on the back burner for now.

Now get your credit card ready - its time to define the budget!

3. Set Your Budget

After finalizing your ad content, you’ll be asked to determine your advertising budget. Facebook Ads provides a dedicated section for your campaign funds and budget. From there you can adjust things at any time during your campaign. Budget option are very detailed and offer a lot of flexibility to ensure you get the most from your investment. For instance, if you choose the “per day” budget option, your ads will run each day until they generate enough hits to reach your budget cap, upon which time your ads will stop displaying until the next day.

Similar budget options allow you to select a variety of other data ranges. Let’s say you opt for a monthly campaign with a $200 spend. Your budget would be evenly distributed throughout the entire month so as to not run through your budget in the first week. There are lots of choices and tweaks you’ll need to make so take your time to find the right option for your budget and objectives. Once you’ve got that buttoned up, you’re ready to launch your campaign! Facebook will review your ads and let you know when they’re approved—and officially live on the site.

Way to go! You have set up your Facebook Ad Campaign. But you don't have a minute to waste. You know need to stay on top of these ads and make sure they are performing the way you want them too. Are you seeing a spike in fan growth, more shares or driving incremental traffic? If not, it might be time to optimize your ads.

This next step will show you how.

4. Monitor Your Campaign

Through the Facebook Ads Dashboard, you'll find very valuable metrics on impressions, reach, likes, clicks, budget spend, and lots more. This information allows you to determine how your campaign is doing and whether it’s meeting your business objectives. As with any ongoing marketing initiative, Facebook campaigns need to be constantly monitored to ensure the best results.

These ad set up and especially the optimizing of it can prove to be a daunting task to even the most seasoned ad professional. To get the most bang for you buck you definitely should consult with EFM. Our team is hear to help you navigate the social waters and engage a more qualified, engaged brand advocate to you brand. From just a simple social audit we are able to help you understand how your presence can be improved upon, how you can use both promoted and organic means to drive up your audience and traffic - and definitely how to increase your revenue doing it.

Do you know who your audience is and what their social worth to you could be? If not, hit us up and we can get started today!