Enhance your Facebook ads (and make them work)

Enhance your Facebook ads (and make them work)

Facebook advertising is becoming increasingly popular, and with the vast amount of advertising options out there today this can become difficult to master as well on top of everything else. What many new marketers are finding hard is creating compelling Facebook ads that actually convert and deliver results. In this article Cody Stallard talks us through how to make your Facebook Adverts work! Cody is an Online Marketing & SEO enthusiast for SMEs.  Cody is now working as the Community Manager for The Wholesale Forums (The UK’s leading networking community & independent advice forum for trade buyers and suppliers). 

Generating results is what any marketer should be focusing on. And, if you’re not generating results then you need to create an audit and find what the issue is. It is estimated that around 90% of marketers use Facebook ads, which is such a huge percentage, however do they all generate the results they want? Hmmm.

I’m going to help you today with just some of the mistakes made when using Facebook Ads and how to improve them.


Bidding (amount and option)

You can’t just throw money at something and expect it to work. Unfortunately it’s not that easy; otherwise everyone would be doing this and getting amazing results every time. Sure, you can throw money at Google Ads and Facebook ads, and get great traffic, however you may also get a tremendous amount of bounce backs from your site, and no converting customers.

However, if your ads are not generating enough impressions or clicks then you will need to take a look at your bidding section and make some improvements here.

There are only two areas you need to look at.

The first is ‘Bid amount’, and the second is ‘When you are charged’.


Let’s look at your Bid amount.

I can probably guarantee that many of you will have clicked the ‘Automatic’ option for ‘Bid amount’, after all Facebook will help you get more clicks at the best price…

That’s not true. Obviously any advertising tools will want to charge you more because they’ll get more money in the long run by promising results. You then end up generating little to no results this way.

Unless you’re generating a terrific amount of results using the automatic option I’d suggest selecting the ‘Manual’ option.

Once you’ve done this you can decide how much you want to pay per click. However, take into account the suggested bid. Sometimes you may not generate great results even though you had bid within the suggested amount. It may be worth it to bid a little higher than suggested.

The second area to look at is when you are charged. There is an option to pay per click, or impression. These two you can really play around with. It’s all about what works for you. It’s always best to try two different ads using both options as a test to see what works well.

If you are still generating very low results there could be a number of areas you need to look at elsewhere, for example your targeting may be too precise, meaning you’re focusing on such a niche area.  This is what we’ll look at in the Targeting section.



Targeting is one that many of us get wrong once in a while. By targeting who you feel is more suited to your niche can end up meaning you’re targeting pretty much no one. Or people that aren’t really interested in what it is you have to offer.

What you don’t want – this goes the same if you use AdWords – is people clicking on your ad for the pure sake of it and not converting. You’ll end up losing money instead of making it.

To target your ads correctly you need to take a look at who your customers are and what they want.

You can find these demographics – such as Age, Gender, Location, and Language & Interests – via your Facebook Insights (Audience Insights) & Google Analytics.


Once you’ve analysed who your audience are you should be able to fill in the following details without hesitation.


This is just some of the basic information you can gather from Facebook Insights, however to find more information about your audience, use Facebook Audience Insights, which allows you to input various information about your desired target audience to provide yo u with useful demographics to help decide who you should be targeting.


For example, take a look at the images below. Anything before the ages 25 and after 54 generates low results. We should filter these from our target audience in our ad settings.




You can also find out what other pages your audiences have ‘liked’ or are most relevant, thus helping you find their interests and knowing who and what to target.


You can access Audience Insights this by logging into your Business Manager, click the three lines next to ‘Business Manager’, go to ‘All tools’ and then Audience Insights.


Okay, you’ve found out about your target audience, however I mentioned earlier that if you’re still not generating the results you want this may be down to your targeting. Try to loosen up a bit in this section.


Great Quality Ads

Just like AdWords your ads need to be the best. You need to ensure they stand out from the rest of the crowd, especially your competitors. This all lies down to how your ad looks and what keywords and copy you’re using.

Facebook is a very visual social network, and its no wonder when you consider 350 million new photos are added to Facebook each day.

Just by taking a look at what others are doing, saying and using in their ads can help determine what is good quality and what is bad.

For example, have you seen a Facebook ad that has no creative in it? Maybe you have some really nice images you could use that are visually appealing…

Perhaps the creative used is low resolution.

What type of ads and what style is being used the most? Perhaps switch this up a bit and have an ad that is different to the norm. We all love to see something different from the rest, and this alone will be refreshing enough to get some clicks coming.

Can you include a call-to-action within the image? Can you remove a lot of text from your ad?

Too much text makes the ad ugly, and this can also limit your Facebook reach. Did you know it takes 2 seconds for a reader to look/ click on your ad? 1.5 seconds is dedicated to visuals, 0.5 is dedicated to your copy.

When focusing on your copy, you can use the data found earlier on about your customers and target audience to write compelling copy to encourage them to click on your ad.

What is it they want, and that you can offer?

Here are Facebook’s ad guidelines for you to follow.


It’s best to note that of April 2016 Facebook changed its 20% rule for pictures in its ads. What this means now is you can use as much text as you like, but it may be limited to who it can reach.

Split Testing Ads


Split testing otherwise known as A/B Testing allows you to analyze any underperforming ads. Just as you would do with Google AdWords, testing 2 variations of the same ad will ensure you get the results you want. What is great is you can split test your Facebook posts and ads.

When you do split testing ads you will need to take a look at the underperforming ad to determine what may have gone wrong and which ad provided the best results according to your goals.

For example, Advert A may be similar to Advert B, but with a different creative. If advert A is the best performing ad you can infer that the image on advert B was the fault as to why that one did not perform well.

Remember, Facebook is a platform that focuses on visuals, and the right appealing visual attracts the right customers. However, there are other factors as to why the ad may not be delivering the best results. The ad copy could be to blame too.

Also, take into account that even though one ad may have provided great results this time, it doesn’t mean it’s going to provide the same results the next time you use it.


What to look for in A/B testing

1) When posting, you need to focus on what the purpose is and what you expect to gain. Answering any questions determines what you share and how you do it.


2) You don’t need to change much in your split test ads; only focus on changing one or two elements so you have a better idea of what created the engagement.

You can see from the above image that the copy has changed for ad B, meaning that the copy is being tested.


3) Test images, headlines, copy and CTA.


4) Experiment with Audience targeting. As mentioned previously throughout this article being too niche in your audience targeting can result in little to no results. No, results, no conversion.


5) Track your results. I tend to use Bit.ly due to its tracking element, and it’s free to use.



It is all trial and error; however if you’re following the tips and advice throughout this article, focus on targeting your audience, and split testing your ads you should have a much better understanding of what should work for you.


Have you got your copy of the Social Media Report?


 Do you want to know what the top digital marketers think are the best platforms for #socialmediamarketing?

Do you want to know where the most effective platform to spend time creating content is?

What about the future? Where are brands placing going to place budget?

Curious to know what 300 Marketers from brands and agencies thought about current Social Media Marketing trends, challenges and what is working for them?

This report is for you, download our free 48 page report on Social Media Marketing today 





Oh what a day! Social Day Birmingham… 27th April 2017 was a day not to be missed if you work in social media or you run a business where you are responsible for the content and social media. Why? because we got together and learnt, we networked, we created and we laughed. And if you didn’t make it don’t worry, i’ve put together a roundup to give you a flavour (just a flavour… you should have been there!) of what went on…. So I want you to grab a cup of tea and relax, soak it up and imagine what it’s like to be part of something so special..

Social Day Birmingham kicked off with Julia Bramble, Julia talked about the importance of human interaction in a digital world. She threw colourful paper around the room exclaiming it was just like the content people share on social media… colourful rubbish. Julia asked us to think about the content we create and to remember the importance of just making more in depth connections with our customers.

Next up came Daniel Knowlton. To kick off his talk Daniel ran a giveaway asking the audience to post up a tweet with a selfie on social media, the winner was to take away 2 emoji cushions and bottle of bubbly, this got everyone creating content and interacting straight away. Daniel then took the topic of Influencer marketing and flipped it, telling the audience how they could become influencers online in their own right by creating incredible content, giving away valuable information for free that actually helps people. Daniel has used this strategy in his business to become on of the top influential digital marketers in the world.

Desi Dobreva talked about how to really use instagram for business sharing her top tools and ideas for growing a following. Desi explained that using hashtags in Instagram posts should be a key strategy. She also talked about the importance of branding in Instagram and social media. A great Instagram feed should be instantly recognisable as your own brand, in your own brand colours and style. To do this Desi explained that you should stick to certain colours and if possible stay away from the selfies! Again make sure you are posting consistently and using the stories and livestream capabilities available in the Instagram App.

After the break we heard from Cas Majid. Cas took us through his 8 steps to social media strategy success. Before he began his step by step talk he reminded us that with social media there are no silver bullets and that everything is different based on the objective of each company. Cas took us though his social media strategy beginning with: Start with the end in mind meaning that we need to have a goal to work towards, you can’t have a strategy without an objective. He then said before jump in we should analyse the platforms to see what fits in best with our objectives. Cas discussed the importance of social listening, curating and creating content and how being consistent is really important. He touched on social media post timing, looking at trends and things happening in the calendar and media as well assesing our values. Lastly Cas discussed the importance of mesaurement and testing.

Victoria Taylor was up next. Victoria spoke about the importance of customer experience. But first she explained what customer experience is: Victoria explained that customer experience is the product of an interaction between a business and a customer over the duration of their relationship, this interaction is made up of three parts:

1.) The customer journey

2.) The business touch-points a customer interacts with

3.) The environments the customer experiences (including digital environment) during their experience

Victoria asked up to think about experiences as mini moments

“All of these elements are mini experiences that someone has with you… you are only as good as the last ‘moment’ that you had with someone, so how do you make each moment memorable every single time? Victoria gave the audience a practical exercise asking them to create a mini moment about their best moment from social day and post it on social media. The 2 winners will receive a copy of Brian Solis book. 

Lucy Hall (yeah that’s me) then came to the front to discuss tools, including visual, video and content creation tools such as Canva, PicMonkey, Bitmoji, Wordswag, PicsArt, Clips, Biteable, Animoto, iMovie, Giffy. Then tools for instagram: Planoly, Tagomatic, Layout. Boomerang. Scheduling tools included: Buffer, Hootsuite, SmarterQueue, Sprout Social, AgoraPulse. We then discussed analytics and passed over the to the audience to give their own tool suggestions which included: SEM Rush… (Stay tuned for a full list of tools discussed during social day – there were lots!)

After lunch we welcomed Andrew and Pete with an energetic performance about content, called ‘contents a beach’ – Equipped with beach balls. They explained the importance of being different and asked the audience to stop creating boring content. They asked us to put more effort into a post after working out that they spent a week on a social media examiner post so why don’t they do the same for their own blog? And since they took the time to create they have seen their business and clients business grow.

Next up came a really powerful testimonial for livestream from the inspirational Mr A Singh (Amrit Singh) Amrit told his livestream story showing how he was also able to use social media and livestream for good with his humanitarian efforts. He also managed to grow a business, He gave his tips for success.

Mike Hacker (Also known as Hax) took us through how to create great video using your mobile phone.. wow this was cool, mike did all his talking through video showing real life examples of how to improve your production including and this tip is good! – ‘Remember to clean your phone camera lenses”… it smudges you know? And if you stand further away from your smartphone the sound quality deteriorates so ensure you use a lapel mic. Some great takeways here, it was like having 2 Hax’s for our money in the room! We were seeing double…

Abdul Shakur discussed social selling and explained that relationships are key, that making your content and message all about the customer is best and reinforced the fact that education, help and nurture will often lead to the sale.

Then came the panel session, all the speakers got together at the top to answer the audiences burning questions. Here are some of the top tweets about that!

So there you have it… It’s not over though, it’s not. I don’t hear any fat lady singing. See you in London. 😉

The A to Z of Social Media

We’ve put together an A-Z of Social Media for SME’s to help you get to grips with some of the jargon and some way’s to use social media for the benefit of your business.


Automation – Automation tools can help and make life so much easier for both business owners and social media managers. The debate and issue around automating your social media content does not appear to be dying down.  Just be sure if you do automate you don’t forget to engage, after all, it’s that in essence is what being social is all about.



Blogging – Blog is actually an abbreviation of Weblog, who would have known that hey? Producing regular content for websites and platforms, often brief but regularly is an important part of social media, and a really quick and easy way to commit to creating original content frequently.



Content – Content is still king around here and producing interesting, fun and engaging content is at the core of any social media campaign.  We are now absolutely spoiled for choice when it comes to how to produce Content, from written text to video and live stream.  How will VR and AR affect the future of content production?



Direct Message – Regardless of the platform the DM is loved and loathed, It could be from your friends or a genuine opportunity but we all hate that person who connects with us on LinkedIn and 5,4,3,2,1 here comes the sales DM.



Engagement – No other E will do, the principal metric that every campaign should benchmark. Regardless of the size of the audience, no matter how big or how small it all comes back to how many users engage.




Facebook – How can we ignore the largest platform, sometimes it feels like the grandfather of social media (remember my space and bebo) no matter, with savvy acquisitions it somehow still manages to keep up with the NKOTB (for reference a close second on f was FFS, as often when we read some posts that’s how we feel)



Geofilter – Overlays based on location for Snapchat and what looks to be a core source of income for the platform.  We also looked at Google+ how did they get that so wrong?




#Hashtag – The definitive way to find relevant messages grouped under the #, also becoming a symbol synonymous with social media.




Influencer – A social media user who can reach and engage an audience, don’t be fooled by big numbers.  An influencer should do just that, hold some influence over those who follow them.



Java – once a great script but now more of the drink of choice to keep us awake as we work into the small hours.




Klout – A metric used to score how good your reach and influence is, loved by some, loathed by others, it’s important to remember it is only one metric. The most important metric is the one set against your company or client brief.



Like – Quick and easy way to show a bit of appreciation for a post, a basic way for users to engage.




Meme – funny Content (most of the time) that often spreads virally. Gene wilder as Willy Wonker is a popular one along with “brace yourself” from Game of Thrones.




Newsworthy – The basic principle that has been applied by editors and journalists for 100’s of years when looking at a story, is it topical? Is it balanced and objective? does it present both sides of the story?



Organic Reach – The total number of people who have viewed your post without having to pay to promote the post. This is also referred to as unpaid distribution.




Podcast – An audio based broadcast, similar to a blog or vlog with audio content, popular due to the ability to listen to content on the move.  A portmanteau of “iPod” and “broadcast”  Really simple way to push your content out onto many platforms with large audiences.  Soundcloud and Itunes to name a few.



Quora – A question and Answer site, many businesses use Quora as an opportunity to showcase their knowledge and build up a personal profile. Due to the share volume of Q&A based content, it will often feature highly in Google search, meaning if you are a frequent “expert” you can gain excellent visibility.




Response Rate – Specific to Facebook, this is the time it takes a page admin to respond to questions. Responding to messages quickly (within 15 minutes 90% of the time) will earn you a badge for your page further giving you credibility and ensuring those dealing with you a level of reliability.



Selfie – come on you know how to do it, suck in those lips. Mobiles were once for making calls, not now, marketers have long used the selfie as part of competitions to create user-generated content, users are required to post a pic at a location or with a product, a simple and cheap way to attract engagement used in the correct way.



Tags – Tagging content with a keyword to help users find information based on a keyword regardless of the format (text, video or picture).  Tagging can also be used on several platforms to bring other users into a conversation through an update, post or picture.   




User Generated Content – The holy grail in publishing but not in Social Media.  This is when all content is created by “users or “public” most will come in the form of comments, posts or updates, many facebook groups have members creating UGC for the benefit of the community.  Brands tend to want users to organically talk about their products, non-paid reviews and the like will also be considered as UGC, any “Fan Sector” sector (comics, games, cars etc) are usually successful with this as so much opinion is generated via users passions.



Viral – When a post goes viral it is considered successful as users will continue to share the content and the audience will grow.  Often viral posts have serious momentum behind them and reach huge volumes of eyeballs in relatively short periods of time.




WordPress – One of the easiest open source web site platforms to use, if you are building a website (they also have options for blogging that are simple to setup and host) be careful, make sure you own the website, yes, just because your names on it, that easy to use online website builder you just created you shiny new site in may actually own it.  Being open source WordPress can be scaled up as and when, and once your own skills have been surpassed you have so much opportunity to find someone to help take it further for all budgets.



Generation X – Yea the forgotten ones! We are not baby boomers and some of us were born on the cusp of Millennials, we have seen both the old school and new school works.  Don’t hate us because we are awesome.



Youtube – With video content continually on the rise we had to include YouTube, with the introduction of live stream will this finally be the platform that Google can take on the other networks.  




Zero Engagement – These are users who just post and don’t engage with others, avoid! Social Media is about being social, you will find those that are opinionated, those that you agree with and those you don’t. When working for a brand or client you just need to rise above and think about what that brand represents, be professional and always remain polite and calm even when dealing with negative feedback and trolls.


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Rethinking the Future of Social Media: Victoria Taylor Live at Birmingham

Victoria Taylor was keynote speaker at Social Day Birmingham in September 2016. Victoria Taylor of Blend Social and Summit Live UK talks about Rethinking the future of social media. We recorded the session and have made it available to our members.
You will hear about:

  • Customer Experience
  • The importance of communication and relationships
  • Storytelling

Watch the video here.

Not a member? Join here. 

Quick Tips To Improve Your Digital Presence

It is no secret that the future is digital, however so many businesses are still behind online. In this blog I’m going to give you some quick tips to help you improve your online presence.

Have a good website

A good website doesn’t have to be expensive. Sometimes all you need is a simple website unless you’re selling online, and you must make sure that it is kept up to date. Make sure you out relevant images on your website and if you don’t have any photos of your own, find great stock images on Pexels, Pixabay and Unsplash.

Consider starting a blog on your website as this can help grow your traffic. Try to blog up to three times a week, but once a week is enough. This can can give help get links back to your website and can improve your Search Engine ranking,

Don’t spread yourself thin

Start small on Social Media and make sure you can handle one platform well. Unless you have a team or dedicated social media marketer create content for each platform, it’s best to keep to one or two platforms.

Reply to comments and questions

Many small businesses tend to forget or overlook comments or replies to their posts, which is completely the wrong thing to do!  Each time you reply to or like a comment (I’m getting scientific here!), a small shot of dopamine is released into the brain and the person experiences a feeling of euphoria, in similar ways to nicotine. People love it when brands mention them!

Unless a comment is spam, you should at least acknowledge it with a like. Make sure to set out times to reply to all comments and questions, and spread these out throughout the day. This keeps your profiles looking active. If you don’t have enough time for this, consider hiring a social media manager,

Sometimes, you will get disgruntled customers commenting on your picture, but don’t fret! Instead, try to resolve their issue. Try getting them to contact you privately and if they don’t, always act in a professional manner.

Schedule posts

Simetimes, we just don’t have time to post every day. We forget and our pages go stagnant. There is a way around this. We love Buffer as a scheduling tool, it’s super simple to use and is free for up to three profiles! There are other options available like Hootsuite and Meet Edgar. On each of these you can input RSS feeds of your own and your favourite blogs and schedule rhem to go out at the best times for your business!

Top tip: install the relevant toolbars for your desktop and mobile browser so you can schedule things quickly as you read them! 

Avoid tacky images

Social Media is very visual, images, videos and GIFs work very well. If you’re not a confident designer, websites like Canva can be really helpful for creating stunning content. Also, there are mobile apps like WordSwag and Typorama – just have a search on the App Store. Avoid using the cheesy stock images that are available, there are some beautiful ones too!

Keep the images you create consistent with your brand guidelines by using the right colours and fonts, and include your logo where possible. Make sure you have images that are the correct size for the platform.

Pin important announcements

On Twitter and Facebook, you can pin your important posts to the top of your profile. This means that everyone who visits your profile will see that post. This is a great way to get more eyeballs on certain pieces of content, advertising a competition and for company announcements.

Be a human!

The most important thing for you to do is be a human. Don’t talk like a robot or excessively use stock images, show off the real thing too. Your audience can tell the difference.

Write your posts in a way that matches your brands voice, how you would talk to your customer face to face. Social Media is all about conversations.

The Importance of Adding Value To Your Social Media Audience

The secret to a successful social media campaign is out! and it’s this simple: Give your audience or community VALUE! Is this obvious to you? Or does that confuse you? – Whatever, it doesn’t matter, offering value is the best way to build a great audience and build your influence on social media! In this post i’ll explain why… but first let’s look at the mistake many businesses make:

Many businesses make the mistake on social media of setting up and just posting the occasional piece of information. They don’t post regularly and they are not consistent. But this isn’t the worst mistake. The worst mistake is sharing posts or content that is all about them! They talk about promotions and products and services. They say things like: Check out our new products! or for a service you can trust give us a call and so on. Blah, blah, blah… right?

Ask yourself…. Would I want to read that on social media? … Would anyone else want to read that? And what would make me want to follow a page or social media account? – Even better… What would my target audience want to hear to make them follow me on social media?

These are some of the most simple questions you can ask, but people forget how important these simple questions are.
In all honesty to get people to engage and to want to follow you, you need to be offering something in return. Some VALUE!!

The best way to look at this is to change your mindset around social media and marketing in general. Don’t think: How can I promote myself  or my business on social media but how can I educate, inspire or offer and additional free services to my audience?

What you want is to get people to want to see and share your content, so they want to follow you, they look forward to your content, they want to engage with you and of course to trust you so much they want to be associated with your brand and buy from you.

Once you have an engaged and listening audience, they’ll begin to trust you – this is how you build influence through social media! – Easy right? So what are you waiting for?

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