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Facebook advertising is a great opportunity to increase your brand awareness and boost sales for your ecommerce store. We pulled out some general best practices from successful efforts and offer 6 practical suggestions for running a successful Facebook Ad campaign:

1. Define Your Goals

Before you start putting together your Facebook ad campaign, you need to take a moment to layout some goals you want to achieve. Is your goal to drive traffic to your ecommerce store, build awareness, or promote a specific event/contest? The context of your ad campaign needs to be clearly defined. I would suggest using one or all of the goals below as a starting point:

  • Conversion

  • Engagement

  • Awareness
  • Audience Growth

Take your time in establishing your goals as this will help maximize the impact of your Facebook Ads. 

2. Pick Your Facebook Ad Type

Ads and sponsored stories are the two main types of sponsored content on Facebook.

Ads: A business creates an ad and pays Facebook to deliver it to the people who are most likely to find it useful. For example, you might see an ad for a local gym if you live nearby, or are a certain age and like running. Here's an example of a Facebook Ad we created with Tim Ferriss to promote our Build-A-Business Competition:


Sponsored Stories: Sponsored Stories are posts from your friends or the Pages you 'Like' that a business, organization, or individual has paid to highlight so there's a better chance you'll see them. Occasionally we sponsor stories to promote this blog. Here's a recent example that promotes our showcase of 18 beautiful Shopify stores made in the United Kingdom:

3. Target Your Audience

Ignoring proper targeting practices is like chucking 10,000 darts at the same time to a dartboard, hoping something hits the bull’s eye. That’s just a bad idea. The ability skillfully target your audience is crucial to running a successful Facebook Ad campaign. Consider these variables: 

  • Age
  • Country
  • Gender
  • Precise/Broad Interest
  • Connections

Connections are one of the most effective yet least used variables when targeting. Your click-through rate should increase when targeting your own fans, which is what connection targeting allows you to do. Webtrends did a study of 11,000 Facebook campaigns and found that targeting fans has an average of a 7X higher click-through rate and a higher conversion rate. 

4. Pick Creative Images & Text

The images and text you use to get a viewers attention and convince them to click are vitally important. Here are some best practices with regard to both:

Visuals: Facebook allows you one photo per ad with the maximum size being 110 pixels wide by 80 pixels tall. Use original photos with colors that contrast with the blue color scheme of Facebook, such as yellow or red. Using a simple photo editor will go a long way in your efforts to craft your image. Some good free photo editors are: GimpAviary, and IrfanView. Please don’t just buy any generic stock photo, take the time to pick the right picture.

Text: You have 135 characters to make your mark and woo potential customers. Don’t feel pressured to use all those characters; what's most important is the content. Make sure to include a call-to-action that encourages users to click on your ad. Facebook also suggests using your company name in the ad title or somewhere in the body of the ad. Briefly explaining to the user exactly what you expect them to do when they reach your Facebook page is critical to success. 

5. Optimize: Test Multiple Ads

Once you have your ad(s) you can track their results. Facebook enables you to see when people clicked, how many, etc. See what works and what doesn't for your ecommerce store. 

Research shows two thirds of marketers that use Facebook ads, put up one ad, and don't test it against other images, headlines, ad copies, landing pages, or targeting options. Don’t make the same mistake!! I recommend you to try testing out different ads every few weeks or so. Facebook makes this process easy: Once an ad has been created, you have the option to “Create a Similar Ad” and simply swap in a new picture or text.

6. Engage Your New Audience  

Many businesses go through the time and money with facebook ads but never update their Facebook page. It’s like purchasing a larger microphone but never saying anything. You have an audience waiting to be wowed, make sure you do so with captivating content and conversations. 

Never forget the “social” in social media, it’s about humanizing your business and gaining trust with potential consumers. Remember, picking up a lot of new “Likes” is great but if every other metric remains static, you don't have anything. 

Facebook marketing comes down to the product or service you are providing and your overall goal. Large companies such as Redbull, focus on community engagement rather than sales while Starbucks aims to promote awareness for their contests. It’s always a good idea to research companies in your own industry and learn from their successes and failures. 

Success is not guaranteed but if you follow these best practices and add a touch of patience, you’re heading in the right direction.

Want to sell on Facebook? Here's our guide on how Shopify store owners can easily sell on Facebook