Thursday, February 20, 2014

How to Advertise on Facebook for $1 a Day: 9 Tips

YouTube science channel Veritasium made a video that shows that buying Facebook ads based on likes doesn't work.  Click farms will like your page without really liking your page, and that means you're paying for likes you don't want. That's true.

But as I explained to my Facebook friends, there’s another way to advertise on Facebook that will let you circumvent click farm tactics, a way that can target thousands of potential customers and that costs less than a dollar a day.

My friends asked, “How?” I made this video to explain.

There are four basic steps:

1. Be human. Have a Facebook profile, and try to develop a good relationship with your customers, your potential customers, and anyone who is likely to like you or whatever it is you do. Granted, this probably isn't going to work for some ginormous company, but some ginormous company probably isn't going to worry about click farms biting into their advertising budget.

2. Don't advertise for likes. Duh! Facebook gives you other options, so choose one of the other options.

3. Limit your reach. I limit advertising so it only goes to the friends of people who like my page. Now you're probably thinking, “But that includes friends of people from click farms.” Yeah… People from click farms don't have friends, so that’s not something I'd worry about. If you like your own page, your ads will go to your Facebook friends. And if they like your page, it will go to their friends. If you have a small business in a small town, you can do something similar by limiting advertising to your small town and its neighbors.

4. Put something in the Interests field. One book reviewer said that anyone who likes The Big Bang Theory is sure to like my funny, geeky sci-fi novel, Why My Love Life Sucks, so I put that in Interests. Even if a click farm guy has a friend, that friend isn’t going to see my ad unless he or she has also liked The Big Bang Theory, and what are the odds of that?

Screen grab from my Facebook page's Ad Manager showing how I've limited the reach of my ads to the people most likely to be interested in them
So that’s it. You've circumvented those click farm tactics.

Now here are five more tips:

1. Base Facebook ads on your "latest post." This keeps things fresh and lets you try out different things.

2. Don't sell. Inform, help, entertain, ask fun or interesting questions, provide worthwhile content, but don't sell. Okay, maybe once every ten posts or so, but 90% of your posts shouldn’t involve selling.

3. Post visual stuff, and post often. people on Facebook love to see videos, photos, drawings, and that sort of thing, particularly if they relate to real people like themselves--and like you! Posting often means you're less likely to bore your friends and your friends’ friends. I try to post at least once a day, but I really should post more often. Eight times a day would be better. Also, when it comes to words, remember brevity is…
A few words, a nerdalicious face (Gilbert Garfinkle, the geeky hero of Why My Love Life Sucks), some humor, and good targeting make for a promising ad.

4. Ask your friends for likes. Make friends on Facebook and ask them nicely to like your page. This will expand your reach to your friends’ and your friends’ friends. I'm shy, so it took me a while to get around to doing this. When I finally did, I was surprised to see the likes on my page go up from 305 to almost 500. Yes! They like me, they really like me!

5. Like yourself first. Use your Facebook profile to like, comment, and share the posts on your page. The more people interact with your posts, the more the ad connected with that post will get seen. So be one of the people who interacts with your posts.

As for how to keep your budget under $1 a day, set your ad to “bid for impressions.” 

Click farms can manipulate clicks and likes, but they can’t manipulate impressions. 

Facebook will suggest a bid. Mine are usually around 10 cents for a thousand impressions, so setting my budget for a $1 a day gets me up to 10,000 impressions. And it only costs me $1! 

Even with a limited reach, this ad was clicked on six times--and it only cost $0.89.

If that sounds like a good deal, give it a try. And good luck!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Veritasium's Facebook Fraud video

This video has been making the rounds on Facebook, and what it says is true: most of the likes on Facebook pages are fake.

But this doesn't mean you shouldn't advertise on Facebook. Facebook offers one of the most cost effective methods of advertising online. It's cheap, can be targeted to a specific audience, and it can work. The trick is to use it in a way that doesn't waste your money pursuing likes that aren't going to help you.

This is the original video by Veritasium. Right now I'm working on my next post, which will explain how you can make Facebook ads work for you for no more than a dollar a day. It's a method I figured out through trial and error, a method that shows my ads to a very specific audience of up to 33,000 people, for one dollar or less per day. It works for me as a writer and indie publisher, and it can be adapted to work for any indie author, published author, and just about any small business.