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What Facebook Advertising Can Do Better Than You

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Are you optimizing each of your Facebook fan page posts for length, timing, and relevance — yet still aren’t seeing the results you want? Let Facebook advertising give you a hand.

Here’s how Facebook advertising works. It takes all the information that its 1 billion active members say about themselves and categorizes it. Let’s take all of Facebook’s data about its users’ favorite musical artists, for example.

Favorite Musical Artists of People on Facebook

If you’re a singer-songwriter with catchy hooks like Taylor Swift who wants to win a Grammy by 2015, Facebook ads let you go big and serve an ad to all of the network’s Taylor Swift fans.

Conversely, you can zero in on a subset of fans most likely to do business with you.  If you run a cat rescue organization which will soon table at Swift’s concert in Boston, you can use Facebook to appear in front of the following Facebook users:

Much easier than leafletting outside of the Boston Garden screaming, “Do you like cats?” — don’t you think? If you’ve been struggling to get new fans to your page, making a small investment in the targeting power of Facebook advertising can make a big difference.

Facebook advertising is not just to get new fans. Using Facebook ads can also help your posts get seen by more of your existing fans. Here’s a sad fact: Facebook does not release your posts to all of your fans. Truth! Typically only 16% of your fan page fans see each of your posts — having a totally relevant post sent at the most optimized time does very little to improve this woefully low percentage .

That’s where Facebook advertising comes in. By spending a few bucks to promote your posts, you are able to open Facebook’s gates to promote your posts to more of your fans.  Similar to the Taylor Swift wannabe example mentioned earlier, you can use Facebook to reach all of those who have “liked” your page. Or you can use the targeting power to send a “promoted post” to a particular demographic of your fan base.

You can also take full advantage of the mobile world in which, you, me, and billions of other Facebook users currently live. With a little tweaking, you can direct Facebook to send your ads solely to mobile devices or to send your ad to a user of a particular device (iOS, Android). If you’re a mobile app producer, you can create an ad with an “Install” button that, upon a click, sends a user to your app’s download page on the Google Play or Apple store.

The “custom audience” function of Facebook ads allows you to keep in better contact with those on your email list. Facebook can match your email addresses with their respective Facebook profiles and send an ad or promoted post just to them. Let’s face it: as important as email marketing is, Facebook users spend way more time on Facebook than they do on email. So catch them where you can!

Facebook advertising should not be used in lieu of a consistent fan page posting schedule with messages that resonate with your target audience. Instead, ads on Facebook should be used to extend the reach of your posts and to attract new, qualified fans to your posts (and by proxy, to your business).

Headline photo credit: iStockphoto

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