The 7 Questions Newbies Ask When Running Facebook Ads for the First Time

Facebook ads are a great way to increase the reach of your posts. Long gone are the days of “free marketing” that Facebook once delivered. With only one percent of your fans now seeing organic posts, you need to pay cold hard cash to give your posts greater visibility.

Creating Facebook ads can sound pretty daunting, but it doesn’t need to be! Below are the most common questions I get asked when people are creating Facebook ads for the first time.

Earlier this week, I received a question via my inbox, asking about how Facebook ads work. As social media specialists are now in the position of running Facebook ads for the first time, these questions are turning up more often.

“This may be a really dumb question – but I know you’re the person to ask – if I boost a post in Facebook, and set a daily spend limit for a set period, do I then have to pay additional $$s for each click??”

Related: Got a social media question? Ask Rach!

Below is the a rundown of the most common questions people ask when running Facebook ads for the first time…

How do I create Facebook ads?

There are two ways to create Facebook ads. If you run a Facebook Page, you can “boost” any ad. Otherwise, you can use Facebook’s Ad Manager administrator to serve ads that way. If you’re just doing one or two ads, you might find boosting from your page is all you need.

How much does it cost?

Facebook ads don’t need to be expensive, especially if you’ve got a targetted audience. You set how much you’re willing to pay. It could be $1. It could be $100.

For example, I recently spent $12 AUD on an ad, which reached 1,200 people. For me, this was even better because it targetted just the people who were interested in my product. In terms of exposure, it can be pretty cheap compared to other advertising methods.

Of course, just because those people see an ad, it doesn’t mean they click on the ad to check out my site. Testing a series of ads and seeing which ones work most effectively to convert is the smart way to approach this.

How does running an ad work?

Facebook will ask you how much money you want to spend, over what dates. It will then tell you how many people are likely to see the ad. You could either specify how much you want to spend each day, or how much you want it to spend over a campaign lifetime.

Facebook will keep serving the ad until your budget expires. In this case, you are paying for impressions (i.e.,. every time someone views the ad). This is measured in the Cost Per Thousand impressions or CPM*.

If you use Facebook Power Editor, you can choose to pay every time someone clicks on your ad (which is called Cost Per Click, or CPC). It depends on if you objective is getting people to hear about your brand, or click through to your site (and it’s better to focus on one objective at a time!). Facebook has more info on CPM vs. CPC here.

Fun fact: The M in CPM is referring to the Roman numeral M, which is where M = 1000.

Can I use any images?

Facebook does have guidelines around the images you can use (nothing too saucy or violent), but overall, you can use whatever you would like. If you’re looking for some sweet looking stock images which are creative commons, I’ve got a listing of awesome sites here.

Keep in mind that the ad might be viewed on mobiles, so keep your image easily seen as a large image and thumbnail.

The thing you need to keep in mind with Facebook ads is text: you cannot have more than 20% text on an image. While this is a bit frustrating, there is a helpful tool (here) that you can use to help measure if your image has more than 20% text.

Related: The Best Free Image Sites You Need to Bookmark Immediately

Does boosting a post just increase the percentage of my page fans who can see the post?

Yes, boosting your page increases the number of your fans who see your post. However, it’s not the only thing you can do.

You can also serve your post to another audience with similar interests, to a related page or a similar product.

Where does it get placed on Facebook?

When you boost a post from your Facebook page, it ends up in your target audience’s newsfeed, both on web and mobile.

To get ads in the sidebar, or on Instagram, you need to use Facebook’s Power Editor in Ad Manager.

Can I post an ad without my page fans seeing it?

Sometimes you want to post a Facebook ad, but you don’t want to flood your wall with ads which will be targetted towards new customers. To do this, you can create an ad in Facebook Business Manager using Power Editor.

This is known as creating a Dark Post on Facebook – because it appears like it’s a wall post, but it’s not seen by your existing audience at all.

Got any more questions? Give boosting a Facebook post for a few dollars a go and see how the process went. And let me know if you’ve still got questions!