(Updated Sept 2016)

If you’ve never created a Facebook ad before now, trust me when I tell you, when you do, you’ll be nicely surprised at just how effective they are. 

This blog is really to get you feeling comfortable and familiar with the process of creating a Facebook ad.  There’s lots more I could cover on this topic but I’ll leave that for other blogs.

First thing you need to do, if not already set up, is create your Facebook ad account and in there you’ll input credit card and vat details.

Facebook has various prompts around your profile or page to create an ad, including the green button ‘Create Ad.’

Creating a Facebook Ad

Setting Your Ad Objective

When you’ve set up your card details, you’re ready to move to creating your first ad.  Hit the green button ‘Create Ad’ that you’ll find on the site or go to Adverts Manager (left hand side of your personal profile homepage).

Then it’s on to determining your ad objective.  Now this is great because it concentrates the mind, meaning you really have to think about what it is you want to achieve with the ad you’re putting up.  Notice the recently added 3 new columns, Awareness, Consideration and Conversion.

Facebook Ad Objective

Let’s say you want to share details about a new product you have and all the details are up on your website.  What you could do is put a snippet of information, a teaser if you like, up on your Facebook page, then create an ad with the objective of ‘Send People to your Website’ (2nd column).

On the other hand, you might have put a post on your Facebook page and you’d like as many people as possible to see it. This time round, you’d select the ‘Boost Your Posts’ option in the ‘Awareness’ column.   If the post has a video in it, it’s the ‘Get video views’ in the 2nd column.

For the example here, I’m choosing ‘Promote Your Page’ as I want to create more awareness about my business through my Facebook page.

Facebook Promote

Setting Your Audience and Budget

Once that’s done, you need to move on to who you want to target and how much you want to pay to do it.   So let’s look at creating the ‘ideal’ audience for your ads. As a  business owner or a social media manager for a company, it’s up to you to know your customer.  It means knowing how old they are, where they live, what their interests are (relative to what you’re selling).

Something to think about is, if you’re a local business looking for local support, does it make sense to target the whole of Ireland – the default setting with Facebook ads? Probably not.  If you leave the default audience to ‘Ireland,’ you’ll  end up spending your hard earned cash on an audience who may never buy from you.

Deep Audience Targeting

First thing you need to do is start defining your audience.  Once you’ve defined an audience, name it then save it.  Makes life easier for you when creating later ads for the same demographic.  For my ad example, I’m narrowed the target audience to Dublin + 28km and within the age group of 25-58.  If I wanted to target people living in specific districts like Swords and Balbriggan, I could do that using the ‘Drop Pin.’

Note: Play around with the Drop Pin so you get a feel for how it works and use if it fits with what you want to achieve.

Dublin Audience

The more defined your audience is, the smaller the number of the ‘Potential Reach.’ is.  Your aim is to weed out those with no interest in your product or service and create what should be a potentially warm new customer group.  Too much defining will prompt a message from Facebook telling you your audience is too small.  If that happens, play around with your age group/gender or interests and you’ll fix that in seconds.

If, as in my example, you’re doing a Promote Page, you don’t want to target those who have already liked your page so select the ‘Exclude People Who Like Your Page.’  When you’ve finished, save and give the new target group a name that makes sense.  It may well be you create several different audiences depending on what you’re selling.

Setting an Ad Budget

Okay, so now it’s money time and I can’t highlight this enough as a need to know but  unless you set a lifetime budget, the Facebook default for an ad run is one calendar month.

As you can see in the screen shot below, you can select either a lifetime budget for your ad or a daily budget.

Setting An Ad Budget

If you select the daily budget, make sure you double check the end date is the one you want.  Now if you do forget, it’s not the end of  the world as you can always cancel/edit any time during the ad run.

Now take a look back at the screenshot for defining my target audience.  You’ll see the ‘Potential Reach’ is 780,000 people, under that is a slider called ‘Estimated Daily Reach.’  As you pop in the amount you want to pay for advertising you’ll see the slider number change.  Bottom line, the more you pay, the more you reach.  Try it, see what I mean.

This is why defining your audience becomes so important.  You need to make every euro you spend on advertising work as hard as possible for you.

Using Images in Your Ad

So, now we’re onto the page creative – and you have choices in how you promote your ad.

Let’s stay with images for now as most small businesses don’t have copyright free or licensed images to use.  The good news is, Facebook has a free bank of images you can use in your ads.  Happy days I hear you say!

Note: Do not make the mistake of thinking you can grab images from Google and use them.  Most images are licensed which means you must buy to use them. 

Ad Creative

Go in to ‘Free Stock Images’ and using a keyword relevant to what you’re promoting you’ll find a selection of images presented to you.  The example I’ve used here is ‘gifts.’

Stock Images

When you have selected the image(s) you want to use, create the text for your ad.  Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to either review your ad (no harm for ad newbies) or go straight to ‘place your order.’

Facebook will then check your ad over to make sure it’s within their guidelines and if all okay, you’ll get a notification and/or email to tell you the ad is live.

That’s it! What I’d suggest you do is you go in, play around with the ad tool, test some ads using small budgets over maximum 2 days. As you get more proficient, there’s lots more you can do …but that’s for another day 🙂

Questions or comments?  Feel free to pop them in below,.

To your success!


Carole Smith July2015 IMG_8334a high resCarole Smith is an online marketer who helps businesses learn how to effectively use the social channels to grow their business.  Her company, SynNeo offers 1-to-1 and group training delivered onsite at your location, via webinars or over Skype.

To contact us for more details T: 353 1 547 7884 E:[email protected]

Share Post