If you've been inspired by our recent post on just how much exposure $5 will get your available pets on Facebook, but aren't sure how to get started advertising on the social network, this post's for you!
Creating your advertising account:
1. If you don't already have a Facebook advertising account, create one here.
2. Once you're done, it will take you right to the page to create an ad. However, instead, first take the tutorial at this link.
3. If you still have questions, call 1-800-601-0077 to get set up.
4. Once your account is created and you're ready to begin building your first ad, go to this link and click on "Manage Your Ads" in the upper right hand corner.
While the basics are covered in the tutorial, here are the steps and tips that will help you get your pets in front of the best audience for the least amount of money:
1. Click on "Create Ad" in the upper right hand corner.
2. Select "Boost Your Posts."
3. If you manage more than one page, select the one you want to promote the post on.
4. If you already have a post you want to promote, select that one. If not, you can click on the plus symbol and create one from scratch. Be aware that Facebook won't let you promote a photo, even if it's on a link, if it has a large amount of text on it.
For now, we'll assume you already have a post ready to promote.
Now click "Continue."
1. In step 1, Facebook will give your campaign a generic name. You may want to re-name it. Just delete what they gave you and type in anything that makes sense to you, such as the pet's name and the date.
2. Scroll down to step 2, "Create your ad set."
3. Ignore the custom audience field for now.
4. Under "location," the default will be your country. For adoption, you usually will want to target within a given distance of your area. Type in the name of your community and select it from the available choices. The default will be a 25-mile radius, but you can edit that as appropriate, to as little as 0 miles to as many as 50. If you want to advertise beyond 50 miles, simply select another community farther away, and target them as well, with the appropriate radius.
5. Select your desired age range and gender. These selections can influence how much your ads cost and how many people will see them, which you should take into consideration. However, you should make your selection based on the best audience for the pet you're featuring instead of cost and reach.
6. Typically, it's not necessary to select language, but if it's important in your community, you can do so here. Be aware this will have a definite impact on reach and cost.
7. Scroll past "Interests" and "Behavior" and select your budget. For right now, leave it on "Per day" and select $5 if it's not already selected for you. Now return to "Interests."
"Interests" is where you'll have the most fun, get the most bang for your buck, and see the most benefit over using the "Boost" button on your page itself.
1. Interests can be another page, a hobby, or any type of activity that someone might post or participate in pages and groups about on Facebook. It can be running, hiking, baseball, knitting, or shoes! You can also select "dogs" or "cats," or big terms like "pet adoption" and "animal welfare."
2. You can add national and local organizations and businesses, including other shelters and rescue groups in your area. Remember if you add national organizations or businesses, your ads will still only be shown to those people in the area you targeted in the location section.
Be aware that pages without large numbers of followers, or interests that aren't already in the database, can't be selected.
3. Play around with this section. Add one interest, and see how it impacts your reach. Often, adding a very popular interest drives up the cost of the ad, which reduces reach. If that happens, remove that interest and see what the result is. Through trial and error, you'll come to a balance of a good audience for your message and a substantial reach at a low cost.
You can see more examples of how careful use of targeting can impact reach and cost here.
4. Note that you can save your audience, so if you are happy with the one you've created, give it a name and save it!
Now, you can go back to the budget.
1. If you're a beginner, it's best to start small -- at Maddie's Institute, we rarely spend more than $3 to promote a post, but once you get the hang of it, you might want to invest more money and let the ads run for a longer time period. For now, though, start small and see how the ad performs.
2. You can set a daily or lifetime budget, and select when you want the ad to run. If you select "lifetime budget," you can actually select the exact times of day you want the ad to run! Note that considering pet adoption is a popular late night activity for a lot of people, so don't shut the ads down just because you figure everyone will be in bed!
3. Optimize for post engagement, and let Facebook select the bid for you.
4. Facebook sells ad space on a bid basis, which means ad costs change constantly. It varies day to day and throughout the day, so if you get disappointing reach for your budget, you can always wait and run the ad later, when prices are lower.
5. Big retail holidays like Black Friday or Memorial Day weekend, and the whole period around Christmas, tend to be very expensive, so plan to avoid them if you can.
Now you'll go to Step 3, still on the same page.
1. Since we're boosting an existing post in this example, there's little to do here except look at all three views: Desktop, mobile and right column.
2. You shouldn't run an ad that doesn't look good on both desktop and mobile, but if the right column view is unattractive or confusing, de-select it. This will impact reach and cost, so be sure to scroll back up to check. Sometimes it increases reach, sometimes it cuts it in half.
3. Once you're satisfied with how your ad looks, and the reach you've obtained, click on "Review order." You can give your ad a name at this time if you want.
4. Click "Edit order" if you see things you want to change, or "Place order" if you don't.
5. Facebook will review the ad and send you an email when they've approved it, and let you know if they didn't. Rejections normally happen because of text on images, and if you're sure the text isn't excessive, there's an appeal link in the rejection email you can click. However, this process can take several days.
6. You can monitor your ad's performance right on the post itself, or through the Ad Manager at the same link you used to create the ad.
Is that all? No! But it should be enough to get you started. We'll share tips and tricks, as well as how-to instructions on more advanced features in future blog posts.
In the meantime, let us know how you do by commenting on our Facebook page!