Getting started with Facebook advertising to promote your online store

Having moved your business online perhaps in response to the new lockdown, the challenge remains in how to promote your new online presence and drive sales.  

Whether you have an e-commerce website or have recently set up your store on Facebook, Facebook and Instagram advertising provides a highly targeted way to reach out to both your existing fans and find new ones. Also, due to COVID-19, Facebook advertising has never been so affordable and cost effective.

Below is a host of tips and tricks to getting started. Or, join us in the Makes Social Media Work Facebook group where the Maybe* Ad expert Emo is running a series of weekly Facebook Lives taking you through social media advertising from connecting your Facebook pixel all the way to creating custom audiences and developing your ads strategy. 


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Where to start with Facebook Advertising

At the very basic level, any of your posts which have shown to work well on your Facebook or Instagram page can be boosted.  This will extend the reach of your posts and give you a level of control to whom the post is promoted. ‘Boost’ on Facebook or ‘promote’ on Instagram is easy to do and can be done directly from your timeline.  It can be particularly useful to those looking to reach just a local audience. But hey, now you’re online and delivering direct - whats to stop you going much much further?


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How do I get the best out of my Facebook Advertising

Getting on board with Ads Manager via your Business Manager platform will give you tighter control on how your advertising budget is spent. Business Manager allows you to manage your marketing efforts in one place and share access to assets (your page, your ad manager, your data sources) across your team, partner agencies and vendors. 

Don’t worry, this doesn’t have to be complicated and Facebook has a clear guide to walk you through it. 


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Understanding ‘objectives’ for your advertising

Facebook knows a lot about its 2.4 billion worldwide users. There is information about the demographics of their users as well as a strong understanding of their interests and their propensity to engage and behave in a certain way online.  By setting your objectives you are asking Facebook to search for people who are more likely to behave in a certain way, for example; click on links, fill out a form, engage by liking or sharing content and finally their propensity to buy online.


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Understanding ‘audiences’ for your advertising

Facebook allows you to build up your preferred audience in a number of ways.  You can choose to target;

  • Your existing ‘fans’ - anyone who follows your social pages or has engaged on a post in the last year
  • Your existing customers or leads when you upload lists to identify them on Facebook
  • Your website visitors (if you have the Facebook pixel installed on your website)
  • Anyone who ‘looks like’ your existing fans, customer or lead list or website visitors
  • Anyone with a particular profile using age, gender, location and specific interest indicators you can search on within ads manager

When you set up your campaign you can either use Campaign Budget Optimisation (CBO) to set a budget against multiple audiences and allow Facebook to work out where your money will work the hardest.  Or, you can set up a number of adsets to host different audiences which allows you to keep the control and test which of your audiences are working best.


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How do I build the Facebook ad?

Depending on the objective you have chosen for your advertising, there is a range of formats to present your ad. There is no right or wrong answer to the format you choose and often a simple single image can be as effective as a more complex slideshow or instant experience format.  

The good news is you can just follow the templates provided and fill out the information whilst constantly reviewing how it looks.  Or if there is an organic post that has worked well you can just lift it and convert it into your ad. Over time and through testing, you’ll start to see which format, images and which copy works hardest.


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How do I analyse my results?

The easiest way to understand your results is via the Engage tab in the Maybe platform. This gives you the key metrics that matter against the objective you chose for your campaign along with indicators for how well it's performing.  If you want to make any changes, it's easy to click through to Ads Manager from the Maybe dashboard.

Using the report builder you can compare your results from your organic posting and your paid-for advertising. Filters help you take your analysis deeper to understand the sentiment and the topics being engaged on.  It’s also possible to engage on any reaction to your ad directly from the platform’s engage tab.


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Maybe* allows you to identify, group, prioritise and engage with the voices, conversations and social media users that matter to you and your business. You can see which of your social media ads are performing best so you can improve your return on investment. We also provide webinar and remote support for businesses of all sizes through our extensive training tools.

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