Advertisers put billboard ads up in locations where there is lots of traffic – so that lots of people see their ads,  right? Did you know that about 1 in every 5  web pageviews is on Facebook? – A staggering figure.  That has an enormous potential audience for any business, and unlike roadside billboards, with business advertising on Facebook you can be very selective about which Facebook users your ads are shown to, to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck.

The Basics of Facebook Advertising

If you haven’t already got one, you’ll need to create a Facebook page for your business.

Facebook ads

Once you have a Facebook page, you can easily create Facebook ads by clicking the “Create an advert” link which appears on the right hand side of just about every Facebook page (just above the ads), or at the top of your page’s Admin Panel (under the “Build Audience” drop down).

Although your Facebook ads can send visitors directly to your website, it is generally recommended to instead use your ads to promote your Facebook page.  If you can get people to “Like” your Facebook page, then every time you share something on your page it can show up in your fans’ news feed.

Pros and Cons of Advertising on Facebook


  • Facebook offers a huge audience, with over 900 million users (around 2.2 million in New Zealand), around half of whom access Facebook on any given day.
  • You can target your Facebook ads to very specific demographic groups. You can choose the geographic location, age range, gender, and interests of your target audience.
  • You can set either the total amount you want to spend on an advertising campaign, or you can set a daily budget limit.
  • You can run your ads on either a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) or CPC (cost per click) basis.
  • Facebook will recommend a suggested bid range, but you are free to bid outside this range.


  • The shapes and sizes of ads that you can create is very limited compared to AdWords. The marketplace ads have  just one small standard size of image available (100×72 px), 25 characters of headline, and 90 characters of ad text.
  • The ads are shown on the right hand side of Facebook pages and usually don’t attract very high click through rates (CTR).

Performance Tips

  • Ad creative gets stale quickly on Facebook. First recommends updating your ad images frequently to prevent CTR from dropping off too much.
  • Target your ads as precisely as possible to avoid spending money showing your ads to people who aren’t really in your target audience.
  • Create multiple versions of ads to test which ones work best.
  • Test the landing page your ads send users to. Creating a dedicated landing page for your ads may significantly improve the conversion rate.
  • Test features such as “Sponsored Stories”. We have found these to work very well in some markets, and very poorly in some other markets. Test, Test, Test.

Sponsored Stories are special types of Facebook ads that utilize Facebook’s social nature. These ads are shown to the friends of Facebook users who interact with your page, app or domain when they:

  • Like a Page
  • Like or comment on a Page’s post
  • RSVP to a Page’s event
  • Vote on a Page’s question
  • Check in to a place
  • Use an app or play a game
  • Like or share a website

You can choose which types of sponsored stories you want to sponsor to best suit your marketing needs, and it is worth testing them as they can have higher click through rates and conversion rates than the standard ads.

While it is relatively easy to setup and run your own Facebook ads, getting some expert help can make a huge difference to the results your advertising campaign achieves. For example, FIRST was recently able to help one of our clients who had been running their own Facebook advertising campaign, to halve their CPC and triple the CTR that the ads were receiving, ultimately meaning that we were able to produce significantly improved results with the same monthly budget, and helping them to achieve their growth targets much faster.

Contact us if you would like FIRST’s expert help to set up or optimise your business’s Facebook advertising campaign.