Friday, February 25, 2011

Short and Sweet Facebook Advertising

My page is here:

When I first opened my shop, I set up GA (Google Analytics). I noticed that the majority of my visitors came from Facebook. I had a fan page with a few friends on it, but nothing much. I wanted a fan page with many fans whom I could interact with, and get feedback from, and show my new listings to. I'd heard paid advertising on Facebook could be beneficial, but I had never taken out a paid ad, and I had NO clue where to start, what to do...nothing. Honestly, I started by googling Facebooks Ads. That's how clueless I was.  I pulled up the form and started entering my information, the photo I wanted for my ad and what I wanted it to say. I'd read some tips for this so I had an idea of how I wanted it to look.  After it started running, I frequently checked my stats to see what worked and what did not. 

Bottom line: 157 fans in one month and rising daily! About 40% of my sales are from Facebook. Today I sold out of an item just from listing it on Facebook and telling my fans how many were selling out, to act now etc....I already have requests to hold some the next time I make more. Also, once you get a solid number of fans, you can pull back on advertising, because now that you have so many connections, you can sit back and let Facebook networking work for you - you'll be surprised.

So, here are my tips for anyone who is considering a paid Facebook ad:

**Do bids per click. Paying for impressions is good if you just want your name out there, but if you want people to take action, as in 'liking' your shop, you want to pay per click. Trust me, I won't bore you with more details but it's the best way.

**Direct your ad to your Facebook page NOT your shop.  Many people make the mistake of directing their ad to their Etsy shop (or where ever) - thinking, ' I want people to see my shop, then they can browse and buy' -but don't do this. People are more likely to 'like' a page, and they don't feel like they HAVE to spend money. And this way, you can advertise to them OVER and OVER again. Also, some people may not have extra cash to spend right now, but enjoy 'window' shopping. If they check out your store now, you have just spent money for that with no result. On the other hand, if they 'like' you page, then they will have your posts in front of them so whey they are ready to shop - there you are! Also, when people 'like' your page, their friends will see the activity with your shop link, and if their friends click on it and 'like', then their friends see it and so get the idea.  This is networking at it's best!

**Use interest targets wisely.  Using my shop as an example, many people would be tempted to put in: jewelry, shopping, necklaces. That's not always best.  I can add 'necklaces' as a target, but that's such a broad term. How will I know they like MY style of necklaces. It won't hurt to add this type of target, but make sure you add in more specific interests as well that will improve your CTR and target people that may actually buy something someday. The best thing to do is to enter in the shop/store names of your competition; use similar 'big name' stores. For example, I could put in 'Hot Topic,' or 'Too Fast."  Chose specific things, not just umbrella terms.  I put in my competition, but also popular TV shows that many of my fans like, music they like...etc... As you gain more fans, it will show you how many of them like certain things. For example, 40 of my fans like True Blood, so I will type that in for a target. You get better stats on this as you get more fans.

**Don't focus on impressions.  Some people just want their ad shown as many times as possible, but this is not the best way for several reasons. Yes, I can use fewer targets and hit more people, but I don't think many men over 50 will be buying my jewelry, so why waste my time and money. Actually, they probably won't click on my ad anyway, and now I've lowered my CTR (click through rate).  Facebook favors ads with higher CTR so you really want to target well with the purpose of viewers taking action, i.e. clicking. For example, Facebook will favor an ad that is shown 2,000 times with 20 clicks over an ad shown 50,000 times with 30 clicks. It's a numbers game and you want a high percentage of viewers clicking through.  This is why it's better to have your ad shown less with more clicks per view than just focusing on your ad being shown as many times as possible.

**Don't forget our overseas friends!   I get many orders from overseas buyers, but not many from say, Iraq. I will enter in United States, United Kingdom, and Australia since that's where many of my buyers are from. See where the majority of your buyers live and use that information to target users. Again, it's about a high CTR and getting the results you want  - like orders.

**Monitor your ad frequently. 
You can check in whenever you want and see how it's performing and trending. I checked my stats after two days and switched my photo. I then checked that after two days to see which photo attracted more clicks. I would then change my wording, and watched that. You see where this is going? I eventually found certain photos and wording that attracted the most clicks.  Play around with it. After you edit, it will say the edit needs to be approved, but that's no big deal, it will be. Edit away!

**Set your budget.
Set your daily limit to the amount you are not willing to go over, this protects you. I set mine around $5.00 a day with a total ad budget of $50.00 or so over two weeks. You can use any budget that works for you.

**Use suggested bid, or a bit unde
r.  This is debatable, but I find it's better to use a higher bid if you want to advertise aggressively. If you have a healthy number of fans and just want to ad a few more, then go lower. For shops looking to gain fans, you want a higher bid. Some people bid at like $.20 per click thinking they will get a good deal. I'm pretty sure all that will get you is bad slots or no impressions (times ad is shown) at all. I've never really talked to anyone who did this successfully and I'd be interested to hear how it went. I'm sure it's worked before, but don't go this route if you're a new shop looking to really increase your fan base quickly. For me, the sales I got from all my new fans paid off my ad costs, and I set my daily limit so it's not like bidding higher cost me more in the end.

**Block your Fans.  Don't forget to set your ad to block targeting people who are already your fans, that's just wasting money - they already 'like' you.

**Play around with it
.  Change your photo, target just women, or both men and women, up your age bracket, add some countries, change your interest targets, see what gets you the most out of your ad. 

**Don't bore your Fans.  Once you get your fans, don't bombard them with listings, they will tune you out. Post normal everyday things like you do on your regular profile, but remember these are potential customers so keep it professional. Tell them about yourself, things you do, funny stories, etc...keep it interesting so they post back and stay connected. Also, if a fan posts on your page, their friends may see the link - remember, Facebook is all about networking and making connections.

**Go for it!  You can set the total ad budget and daily limit so why not, and they won't charge you until the ad is done running. Be warned, they don't send a bill, they just automatically deduct it from your method of payment - they will email you first to let you know. You can also cancel the ad at any time. 

My page is here:
Hope this helps!! Please add your experience, I'd love to hear about it!


  1. Thanks so much! I'm just starting my store (and linking to FB) and I really am flying by the seat of my pants! I really needed this!

  2. Hi, I'm using Facebook ads too and it works well. I have a limit of $1 per day and the fans number are climbing and so are my sales.

    Thanks for your advice, I will try to target what my fans like already. And you know what happens when you bid too low, you get to keep your money and not get any exposure at all.. LOL

  3. Thanks! I did some Facebooks ads about a year ago and they didn't really work very well. I will do it again with your suggestions and see what happens :)

    Also, last time I did it I was able to find a coupon for Facebooks Ads for $100 so it didn't cost me anything to do it. Maybe there are still some coupons out there?

  4. Ad coupons are hard to find sometimes, you can google it and maybe some will come up. All I found were expired ones :(

  5. Hello,
    Just sent u a msg on etsy. Nice article. Will read more in detail-could u plz elaborate on finding ur target market with specific terms??
    Thanks and do connect with me on my art blog for regular features...

  6. thanks so much for the wonderful information! it's much appreciated!!!

  7. Thank you for this, I've never quite understood how it all works, but you've broken it down into what seems easy to understand advice (saw your post in the Etsy forums). Val

  8. Nice summary of your experience. Making me think I need to give it a go.

  9. For an update - I'm almost at 700 fans since about January. Half my sales come from Facebook!