Monday, 12 July 2010

Thinking about a Facebook ad

I've been thinking that it might be a good idea to do a Facebook advert for our Student Development Facebook page during freshers' week. Having had a quick look at the guidance it looks like adverts can be very specifically targeted. There are three steps to putting one up:
  1. design your advert
  2. targeting
  3. campaigns pricing and scheduling
So I'm after advice, especially if you've used Facebook adverts before. My options under the three steps are as follows.

1. Design your advert

Facebook Content - that's easy, that will be the Student Development page.
Title - that will default to the name of the page.
Body text - the help text is helpful here.

Image - need something that's 'visible when small', the help text tells me.

2. Targeting

Should I make this UK? The help text says 'Choose countries where your target users are located when they access Facebook.' So presumably this comes from their IP details rather than their profile information? I could also limit the 'City' to 'Leicester' - but I assume this would be too specific if Facebook draws this information from profile data?

Age - I'll make this 18 years of age plus. The rest of the demographic information (gender, interested in, relationship and languages) I'm planning to leave unselected.

Likes and interests
I think I'll leave this blank.

Education and work
Education - this is where it gets tricky. I could choose 'At University' (see image, right) but the students I most want to reach may have not yet updated their profile and therefore still be listed as 'At Secondary School'. If I can assume everyone keeps an up to date profile though I could then choose 'At University' and then 'University of Leicester'

Workplaces - I plan to leave blank.

Connections on Facebook
Connections: Target users who are connected to: [Enter your page, event, group or application]. I was thinking of putting University of Leicester Students' Union Facebook page here but the help text says 'Leave this field blank unless you would like to narrow your audience to people connected to your Page, group or event.'.

Target users who are not already connected to: [Student Development, University of Leicester]

Friends of connections - I'll leave this unselected as the help text says the same as for 'Connections' (see above).

3. Campaigns, pricing and scheduling

This includes account currency, account time zone and campaign name, but more importantly the daily budget ('What is the most you want to spend per day?' and programme ('When do you want to start running your advert?'. And the more targeted the advert the cheaper the per click price. For instance, if the advert is very un-targeted the per click price is £0.70 but if I choose 'University of Leicester' in the Education bit the per click price halves - £0.35.

So, what do you suggest?


  1. Stu, I'd run several campaigns using different targeting and I'd apply a greater share of the budget on the ones that are more targetted.

  2. Thanks for the comment :) So are you recommending running the same campaign but duplicate it and then target the 2 versions differently, allocating more funding to the more targeted one?

  3. (cont.) According to the Facebook Ad Guide "Facebook Ads uses a user's IP address and their profile information to determine location." Given the AND in that sentence it might be worth just looking at a location of Leicester and some broad age targetting (I'd go 18-20) across all campaigns. I realise this might exclude some mature students but if you are wanting to ensure that you don't waste budget it might be worth considering just targetting traditional undergraduate freshers.

    I'd just let the ads run for a day or two. Once you've then seen some data you can then make further decisions about what works and if you need to make any tweaks.

  4. Yes more or less. Although you might find it beneficial to run several (not just two) different campaigns, e.g.:

    - people who meet broad demographics
    - friends of people who like the uolstudentdevelopment page but who aren't connected to you yet (on the basis that students will be friends with other students)
    - people who like other uol pages but who aren't connected to you yet
    - friends of people who like other uol pages but who aren't connected to you yet
    - if you want you could try something on the likes and interests as well (e.g. University, Freshers - you'd have to try specific keywords and see what likely target audience it returns).


  5. That's brilliantly helpful. Thanks! Will do all of the above :)