Facebook Advertising

Facebook Advertising 101: Ad Formats & Placements

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When it comes to running Facebook ads, it’s important to choose the best type of ad for your campaign’s specific goals. In Part 2 of my series on Facebook Advertising, I’ll go into the different types of ad formats and placements available for your advertising campaign. Check out Part 1 for a recap on the different types of Facebook ad objectives.

Ad Formats

A Facebook ad format is the way your ad is presented creatively. Each ad objective has different ad formats you can choose from, and not all ad formats are available for all ad objectives.

Different Types of Ad Formats

  • Video Ads– Best used for awareness and consideration ads; videos uploaded natively to Facebook receive 30% more views!
  • Photo Ads- Ads used with photos of your product or company; always use high-res images
  • Slideshow Ads– Upload your own or use photos to create one- you can also add music and text overlay- make sure the first photo in the slideshow is the best to capture your audience’s attention
  • Carousel Ads– Format that shows a number of “cards,” each with a different image and the ability to link to a different destination
  • Canvas AdsFacebook calls canvas ads a “full-screen ad experiences built for bringing brands and products to life on mobile.” They are interactive, fully-immersive ads that eliminate the need to go off the app for information by combining photos, videos, GIFs, text, and CTA buttons, it delivers what some call a “microsite-like experience” that allows people to click, scroll, swipe, and tap to engage with brands right on the Facebook platform.
  • Dynamic Product Ads- Connected to a site’s product catalog, they automatically promote products to people who have expressed interest on your website, in your app or elsewhere on the internet. You upload your product catalog and set up your campaign once, and it continues finding the right people for the right product for as long as you want. (only available in Product Catalog Sales objective)

Ad Placements

Types: Mobile and Desktop News Feed, Right Column, Instagram, and Audience Network (third party mobile app and mobile websites

Recommendations: When running an ad, use all ad placements (unless image or copy isn’t optimized for Instagram) and monitor the performance of each ad placement


Facebook Advertising 101: Ad Objectives

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Closing in on 2 billion monthly users, there are endless opportunities for a business to reach new customers through Facebook ads and they are an excellent way to prove ROI for your various social campaigns.

In my next series of blog posts, I’ll go through the different steps in creating a Facebook ad campaign. First, let’s start with choosing your ad objective.

Step 1: Choose an ad objective

The first step in creating an ad is setting an objective. Each ad objective is designed to target a different stage in the sales funnel. There are three types of ad objectives: awareness, consideration, and conversion.

Awareness Ads

Targeted towards the very top of the sales funnel, awareness ads build top-of-mind awareness and interest in your product or service. These discovery ads are perfect to tell a brand or company’s story and connect with new prospective customers.

How to use Awareness Ads: Use awareness ads to build a base audience and create awareness of your client’s brand. This is the stage where high-quality imagery and creative is key, such as infographics, 15-second videos, and photos that really pop. The idea is to build awareness, which means your ad creative needs to be memorable.

Awareness ads available include: Brand Awareness, Reach

Consideration Ads

The consideration ad type is targeted towards the top-middle of the sales funnel.  These types of ads get people to start thinking about a business, product, or service, and to look for more information about it. Consideration ads are great for most of on-site (and in-app) content, including blog posts, coupons, and email newsletters.

How to use Consideration Ads: Identify your client’s top content and/or goals and amplify them through a consideration ad. Funnel potential customers to a lead-generating blog post, landing page, subscription page, etc. to that lead-generating blog post with an infographic traffic ad.

Consideration ads available include: Traffic to your website, Engagement (Page Likes, Post Engagements, Offer Claims & Event Responses), App Installs, Video Views, and Lead Generation

Conversion Ads

Conversion Facebook ads are targeted towards the bottom of the sales funnel and are aimed at directly increasing a client’s bottom line, encouraging people to carry out a specific action or purchase a company’s product or service. Conversion ads are the easiest to measure results, but also tend to cost much more than the other ad types.

How to use Consideration Ads: Conversion ads are used in conjunction with a Facebook pixel, which is a snippet of code that follows users around the web. This pixel not only enables you to remarket to website visitors, but it also enables you to track behaviors on your site. Tip: Start with broad audience and let Facebook do the work of finding users most likely to convert and then use that info in next campaign

Conversion ads available include: Conversions, Product Catalog Sales, Store Visits

Stay tuned for the next blog post in the series on the different types of Facebook ad formats.

Are Teens Leaving Facebook? Does it matter?

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When meeting with prospective clients, one of the most common questions I seem to hear is “Are younger people even using Facebook anymore?” They’re mostly referring to the recent study that came out that declared teens are leaving Facebook at an alarming rate for newer social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram.

First, let’s look at the numbers. 

According to iStrategyLabs, 25% fewer teens in the United States are using Facebook than they did in 2011. Those numbers, drawn from Facebook’s Social Advertising platform, which are presented in a chart comparing users from January 2011 and January 2014, show that the amount of teens on Facebook aged 13-17 has fallen 25.3%. Those in high school over the same period fell 58.9% and college students on Facebook decreased by 59.1% over the same period. iSL tracks users through Facebook’s advertising interface, in which advertisers can slice and dice segments of users and buy whatever audience demographics they want. In 2011, there were 13.1 million teens available for advertisers to target. This year, there are only 9.8 million users aged 13-17 available, iSL says.

(Source: Business Insider)


But, does it matter?

While these numbers look alarming at first, when you compare them to Facebook’s overall dominance in the social media field, they hardly spell doom and gloom for the social networking giant.

Currently, there are 1.23 billion monthly active Facebook users in the world and 128 million daily active users in the United States. For advertisers, the coveted 18-34 demographic is still strongly active on Facebook, with 66% of 15-34 years old engaging daily on the social network.

The 25-34 age range is up 33%, the 35-54 demographic is up 41% and those ages 55+ on Facebook has increased by over 80% from 2011 to 2014. These are the age demographics that are ultimately buying into the businesses or products being advertised on Facebook. As a business and advertiser, to ignore these rising demographics (ultimately, the age of people making the purchasing decisions) would come at a significant loss.

(Source: Facebook User Stats)

Consider who are you advertising to. 

It all depends on who you are targeting on Facebook. Advertisers covet younger audiences because their taste in products are more malleable. But advertising on Facebook isn’t just about its massive reach with younger users. A big part of Facebook’s advertising is that it has so much information about its users to pull from that you can effectively target ads to those who will be responsive to the content.

At Gossip Genie, the conversion rate for most of our ads for our clients is close to or over 100% because of the specific targeting we are able to do through Facebook. If your target audience is solely younger teens, then maybe this decrease in users will matter to you, but it all depends on who you want to target. And while the 55+ plus crowd may not be as sought after by advertisers as the 18-34 age range, neither are the 13-17 year olds.

Also, consider the source.

The decline in teen users isn’t backed up by any actual Facebook numbers. They were pulled from the advertising platform on the site and therefore aren’t accurate predictors of actual Facebook user numbers.

On the company’s Q3 earnings call in October 2013, Facebook CFO David Ebersman said:

I want to say a few words about youth engagement on Facebook. As we’ve said previously, this is a hard issue for us to measure because self-reported age data is unreliable for younger users. So we’ve developed other analytical methods to help us estimate usage by age. Our best analysis on youth engagement in the U.S. reveals that usage of Facebook among U.S. teens overall was stable from Q2 to Q3. But we did see a decrease in daily users specifically among younger teens.

While there is definitely a decrease in younger users, there are no definitive numbers to back it up. And, according to a study done by Singapore and UK-based market research firm GlobalWebIndex, Facebook is still the dominant, most popular social network on the planet among teens with 67% more active teen users than the nearest competitor, YouTube, which is regularly used by 29% of 16 to 19-year-olds. Twitter is third most popular social network with 26% of 16 to 19-year-olds around the world using it on a monthly basis.

A shift in Facebook’s image.

Many suggest that Facebook’s fading cool factor with teens comes from the fact that the young teen demographic is the first group of people who’ve had their lives documented online from birth. They are keenly aware of their “digital footprint” and are looking for apps and sites where they can share content freely and privately (aka Snapchat where the image is gone in a few seconds or Instagram where their parents probably don’t have a presence).

Does that matter for Facebook advertising? A new report from Creative Arts Agency’s The Intelligence Group suggests that while young people might be using Facebook less than they used to, the social media giant might still be the best place for brands to target them.

The Intelligence Group found that a dominant 55% of the 900 millennials it polled said they would most prefer brands to communicate with them on Facebook rather than rivals YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Facebook’s next closest competitor in the poll was YouTube, which earned 20% of the vote.

Sure, younger teens may be heading to newer things like Instagram, the fastest growing social network, but there are only 150 million Instagram users compared to Facebook’s 1.23 billion. And don’t forget, Facebook owns Instagram now.

As long as you provide value, relevancy, great information, and something you can’t get elsewhere to your specific target market, your presence on Facebook is still hugely important to your brand.

5 Tips to Create a Successful Facebook Ad Campaign

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If there is one thing that I suggest to every client, it’s to take advantage of Facebook advertising. Whether you want to increase the likes on your business page or drive traffic to your website,  Facebook advertising is an amazing vehicle to accomplish those goals. Here are 5 tips to make sure you are maximizing your use of Facebook ads.

1. Make sure you carefully select “Connections” – Facebook defaults to Anyone which will target people that already like your page and if the goal is get new likes, check the the third option “Only people not connected to…”

2. Try it before you commit! Facebook defaults to the option “Run my campaign continuously starting today.” You should test a new ad for a few days and monitor it closely before allowing the ad to run until the end of time. This is a sneaky way for Facebook to make money because it’s easily overlooked when running an ad. If you only intend to spend a certain monetary amount, chose a campaign budget and select the “lifetime budget” option versus the per day option. In that case, you can select “Run my campaign continuously starting today” because once the budget has been used up, the ad will be completed.

3. Do some A/B Testing – It’s great to have one successful ad running but I suggest trying some of the other advertising options Facebook has to



We have had great success with ads about our pages, stories about friends liking our pages and even promoted posts. It’s worth spending a minimal amount on the various options to figure out which works best for your page.



4. Make sure you are targeting enough but not too many people. If you are running a cost per click campaign and you are only targeting a very small amount of people (under 100,000) your bid is going to be very high. Think outside of the box when you are inputting your target criteria. It always helps to target people that “like” your competitors’ pages.


5. Put a call to action in your ad if you are creating “a new ad about your page.” Although you are limited to 90 characters, if you can swing it, ask people to like your page as a part of the copy. It’s also helpful to give your target market an incentive to like your page, if you can.