PR Insider: How to Optimize Your Social Campaign with Facebook Ads

Chase Fitzgerald
Chase Fitzgerald

Earned and owned media no longer work in a vacuum. Sure, we’re PR pros who can get product placement in the right media and demonstrate our social media mastery to spark attention about our message. But, in reality, our network can only extend so far. Although Facebook is a great way to tap into your extended network, there are some tricks you can use to optimize your reach.

There’s a trend of PR agencies assisting in their clients’ media buying, which makes sense. You can get more oomph out of your hit when you advertise it to the publication’s readers on Facebook.

Additionally, you get more love from the publication’s readership when you serve up special offers when they sign up on Facebook. The media write-up might have been the first time that readers had heard of your brand, but it’s your job to make sure it isn’t the last.

Your Facebook ads should have purpose. Give users a reason to click the ad, immediately "like" your page and surrender their email address. Ask them to comment on a particular post. The more friends they bring in right after arriving to your page through an ad, the lower cost-per-acquisition (which should always be below $0.75).

Facebook has its own rules when it comes to advertising. The social network treats ads like it treats every other piece of content on its site: The more people interact with it, the more people it reaches. Here are five tips to optimize your Facebook ad campaign:

> Your ads do not work in isolation.
Facebook scores all ads in a single campaign against each other. If one ad is approved before the others and receives clicks, it is given favoritism by Facebook above the others. Make sure your ads go live concurrently and pause underperforming ads immediately when they begin to show weakness (typically ads below .06% CTR are considered weak).

> Facebook wants to show users good content. Even ads.
The concept behind Facebook’s EdgeRank, the algorithm that determines what content appears in users’ newsfeeds, spills over into Facebook ads. When you have compelling imagery and copy in your ad, and people are clicking on it, Facebook will show it to more people and your cost will actually drop.

> Target the page posts you promote.
Limit paid impressions through post targeting and speak directly to that audience in order to maximize post engagement. If you promote a post and it is not receiving engagement, it will cost you more. If you increase the amount of impressions through paid support, the post engagement should also increase.

> Test your landing page.
When you run a promoted post that includes a link, make sure that link is optimized for mobile viewing. Seventy-eight percent of US Facebook users are mobile, and promoted page posts are appearing on those users’ feed. When you run a Promoted Post to draw attention to your Facebook application, make sure the ad is visible on desktop only (through Facebook’s Power Editor), or contact your developer for a mobile-optimized Smart URL.

> If your 30-day budget exceeds $1,500, Facebook will give you an advertising rep.
If you spend $50/day for 30 days you qualify for Facebook’s Success program. This will give you a weekly call with a Facebook rep to help optimize your ads. Some restrictions apply, but you can check out Facebook Marketing Solutions to see if it’s a good fit for your business.

Try it for yourself. Just like your Facebook content, give purpose to your advertising. Keep a close eye on the cost-per-fan and the overall page engagement. If you’re garnering more fans, but engagement isn’t increasing, you’re not doing it right. Think about the types of audiences that will be more responsive to your content, or reshape your content to get a better response from people who have already shown an interest in your brand.

Chase Fitzgerald is the social media strategy manager for the Max Borges Agency. He can be reached at; follow him on Twitter@chase_f and @MaxBorgesAgency.