By Wes Fossile, Associate Director, Client Growth, Varick
The appeal of Facebook as an advertising channel emanates from its simple, self-serve capabilities as well as it’s ability to granularly target audiences based on known affinities. That said, the simplicity and ease with which a brand can advertise on Facebook can be deceptive.
While Facebook positions itself as a “set it and forget it” platform, that doesn’t necessarily mean advertisers should be hitting the auto-pilot button on these campaigns. Here at Varick, when new or potential clients ask us to audit the effectiveness and efficiency of their existing efforts on Facebook, we typically uncover a great deal of waste. Here are three areas where brands need to be more diligent in their Facebook efforts.
Rethink Audience Network
When setting up a Facebook campaign, advertisers understandably gravitate toward the company’s “recommended” placements option. The problem with those recommended placements is that it disperses placements across the entirety of Facebook’s opportunities, and that includes Facebook Audience Network. Despite the relatively low CPMs seen through Audience Network, our audits typically reveal that these placements do very little to drive campaigns toward an advertiser’s goals. Brands need to be willing to switch off the “recommended” setting within Facebook and roll up their sleeves to focus on the placements within Facebook’s ecosystem that drive real results against their goals.
Move Beyond Standard Reporting
Of course, when you turn off auto-pilot to refine campaigns in a way that will improve results, you need to be able to truly understand where you’re seeing results, right? In this regard, Facebook’s default reporting settings can be problematic when trying to understand impact. For example, it is not possible to cut the data by age and gender while also diving into platform and placement. However, it is possible to overcome these challenges by breaking out campaigns for the specific platforms you are running on. By easily labeling your targeting within your campaign naming conventions, you will be able to gain additional insight that would not be available otherwise.
Once you’re able to understand the results of your Facebook campaigns, broken down according to both placement and audience, you can then begin to truly optimize. With that in mind…
Get Specific with Optimization Efforts
On Facebook, we see far too many advertisers optimizing to engagement—likes, shares, comments, you name it. But if you optimize toward engagement, you’re not optimizing toward the audiences who are most likely to buy your product. Instead, you’re optimizing toward the small percentage of people who engage with everything they see on Facebook.
With optimization, as with placements and reporting, advertisers must resist the urge to fall into the tempting path of least resistance. Get down to conversion-level events. Understand where those most important conversion events are happening within Facebook’s ecosystem, and with whom. Be willing to get your hands dirty. Facebook is a powerful platform for advertisers, but the real competitive advantage on this platform belongs to the advertisers who are willing to switch off the auto-pilot.