For a long time now, I wanted to try Facebook Ads. My interest peaked when I read Dennis Yu’s ‘How to run an effective Facebook campaign for $5’ article. Many of you may already know Dennis as a master of targeted marketing and analytics. (I friended Dennis when he ‘Liked’ a photo I posted on Maggiano’s Little Italy page.) Dennis’ article gave me the confidence to give it a try knowing that I didn’t have to spend a ton of money to get results. However, I didn’t really have anything to sell or promote; or so I thought!
You may already know that I also have a Facebook page by the same name where I post near-daily updates since this blog lagged, to months, behind actual events. Although I was eager to learn how to use Facebook Ads, I approached it with great apprehension since I knew I would have to give Facebook my credit card info. It was ironic that I readily gave so much of my personal information daily to Facebook, the moment I gave this last bit of financial information to them, it felt like signing over the last piece of my soul (whatever was left after having signed with Microsoft almost 2 decades ago).
Since my Facebook page was about my travels in Vietnam and done all in English, I targeted those in Texas, US who spoke Vietnamese. I figured there’s a lot of Vietnamese people in Texas who would be interested. I was also trying to limit my target so I could afford the budget. I wasn’t sure how the budget ($35) was calculated given my target (3,100) vs. my bid ($0.30) per 1,000 impressions. I found that even if I only want to spend $5 on the 7-day campaign, I still needed to budget at least $35 before it would even be considered for approval. The preview of my initial ad:
Mind you, this was my first Facebook Ads ever so I didn’t have anything to measure by but I didn’t expect much. I ran this ad for about a day and was surprised by the results.
First thing, I didn’t expect any Connections so when I got 1, I was thrilled. The thing that got me wondering was my very low reach level (436) given my target (3,100). Additionally, those I reached, I was crazy spamming them, almost 12 times each (Frequency). I rationalized, if each user had 12 opportunities to click on the ad and hadn’t, it wasn’t going to happen (or the ad was no good). I needed to figure out a way to get more reach, bring down Frequency below 5 (arbitrary number in my mind) and I would get better performance. Finally, I wanted to tune the ad a bit since it was not ‘catchy’ enough. Time to reset the bait!
Deltas included new ad verbiage: concise and to the point with call to action! Additionally, I replaced Vietnamese language criteria with those who liked Vietnam, removed state of Texas and added Vietnam country. This also broadened my target from 3,100 to 23,780.
Pretty much immediately, the numbers started to improve with 9 clicks and 3 more connections (1 from the initial ad made 4). Reach was much higher and frequency was where I wanted. This looked promising so I kept it running into the 3rd day … with continued results.
If this were fishing, I’d say this was somewhat successful with minimal cost, a decent catch and the trip was not yet over. However, there were a lot of potential still for further optimizations such as running more than one ad with different targeting, better photos, catchier titles and wordings with localization. The value proposition was clear: Facebook Ads worked!
This won’t be my last fishing trip out into the blue Facebook ocean. Next time, I’ll be making bigger waves and hauling it in by the boat loads!
Join me on