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Getting started with Facebook Ads (the basics)

We work a lot with ads, and believe that using ads on Facebook is a central part of any marketing plan. We use advanced tools we are currently developing ourselves and Power Editor (we will share more about this in a later post). But before we get there, we want to share our  quick 3-step guide on how to get started with Facebook Ads.


As in every advice I always give, it starts with your goal. What is it? Sales? Branding? Physical traffic? Website traffic? To spread an idea? Signups? Leads? You name it.


I’ll focus on the low-hanging fruit here, and there’s two simple ways to start advertising.

If you’ve already played around with the “Boost Post” option on Facebook –  just click here to skip to the next step.


In your page’s news feed, you should have a variety of posts. Write a post that resonates with your goal. Here’s a (kind of lame) tanning salon example just to illustrate: ”Haven’t seen the sun this week? Come to Sun’s Tanning, where the sun’s up from 08 am till 10 pm. Every day – in Sunset Street 7 here in Oslo.” Add a picture with a sun, or an inviting picture of your tanning salon. Important: pay attention to the amount of text in your photo. Keep it at a minimum. To be precise, at max 20%. Read more about sizes, formats and recommendations in our post here Now, publish the post.

Skjermbilde 2014-03-21 kl. 10.32.09Look at the post. In the Facebook-frame around the post, in the bottom right corner, there’s a ”Boost Post”-button. Click on it. Now, add your budget for this post. Start small, if this is your first time. Next, click on the ”More options”-link below. This is where it gets fun. For audience, choose ”People who like your Page and their friends”, if you’re trying to get a message across to these people. People generally have a lot of friends spread out around the world, so you may very quickly end up with lots of engagement from people way outside of your target. Keep an eye on this in the campaign period.

Alternatively, choose ”People you choose through targeting”, and choose country, age, sex, and a few interests. Select duration, and “Boost Post”. It’ on. Segmentation is key. Chances are you already know the age and sex of your target audience. Use that knowledge.

This post will now show up in the newsfeed of more people than it would’ve if you hadn’t put money into the distribution. I’m sure you’ll figure out on your own which posts are worth sponsoring and which aren’t. To help you out, you’ll see an image like this below the post:

Skjermbilde 2014-03-14 kl. 14.57.36

Blue = organic reach (through likes, comments, shares)
Green = paid (through Facebook Ads)


This is one step further, and it starts at There’s a bunch of great tutorials there, that’ll help you understand how it all works. Click on “Manage Ads”.  Then on “Create an Ad”. You’ll then see something like this, and your Goal from step 1 comes handy.

These are shortcuts to ads that will help you achieve your goal. They should be pretty self explanatory. Choose one of them and start setting it up.

As for the Boost Post-option, it’s about choosing your target, budget and duration. I’ll say it again: Segmentation is key. Chances are you already know the age and sex of your target audience. Use that knowledge. The more precise you are, the more you’ll gain. Segment on sex, age, relationship status, whether or not they like your page, or if their friends do, where they live, native language, what their interests are, their education level, and more. You can even take it a step further and use your company’s email lists for targeting.

I recommend using this tool rather than the Boost Post option described as “a)”, as it gives – among other things – way more fine grained audience targeting than what you get with Boost Post.


Experiment with several ads running simultaneously, cut away the ads with lesser performance, and focus your budget on the successful ads. You may also want to look into Power Editor – another free tool offered by Facebook – sort of one step up – which lets you get even deeper into the the audience segmentation, set up multiple ads and simultaneous campaigns faster, choose freely whether to advertise in newsfeed or in the side tab, and more. I’ll write a post about Power Editor later.

Meanwhile, start playing:)

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