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Facebook Ads 101 from an Online Marketing Pro

On Fridays, I host (and record) a live Blab with a fellow freelancer. For those of you who can’t catch it live, want a review or just prefer reading a blog post to watching a video, here’s a recap of my recent chat with Chris Speas – a digital marketer and expert in Facebook ads.

This past Friday I talked to Chris about what’s the best way to find an audience on Facebook, and how to speak to that audience once you’ve found it.

Thanks for joining me for this chat, Chris!

Tell us a little bit about yourself, Chris.

I work as a digital marketer. I do search engine optimization (SEO), social media, content marketing and blog management. My wife tag teams with me and does a lot of writing. I help people get their online presence boosted.

Today, we’re talking about Facebook ads, which you do a lot of for clients. Tell me a little bit more about that.

Facebook has way too much knowledge about each person and a database that knows more about you than you know yourself. I teach my clients how you can target an audience that really wants to hear what you have to say.

If you’re a blogger or a freelancer, the first thing that you should do is build an audience of people who want to hear what you have to say.

If you don’t have an audience going to your blog, a good way to start building one is setting up a Facebook page.

Then you can start generating likes. You can start talking to them on Facebook, and they’ll see your posts showing up in their feed.

It’s a really low percentage at first because of Facebook’s algorithms. You can start targeting your own audience or start targeting other people who might be interested in your content, but are not yet following you.

What’s a good budget for a Facebook ad campaign for a freelancer?

I worked for an e-commerce agency a couple of years ago that was solely built on social media and organic Facebook traffic. That’s changed a lot, and now we have the pay-to-play model.

But if you do it correctly you don’t have to pay a lot. A $50 budget will get you some really good returns. Some people are paying $1 per like, but if you get really specific, you can get that down to 20 cents per like, with some really focused targeting.

Let’s talk about an example of such segmentation. Let’s take Theresa’s example. She’s a homeschooling mommy blogger and she just recently revamped her blog. She’s also fairly sarcastic and funny tells it like it is.

For Theresa, the homeschooling approach would be a good way to attract people who identify with this audience.

Add that tag and look for other similar criteria. When you’re targeting by interest, you shouldn’t try to target all interests. You could target by homeschooling, the vaccination/non-vaccination debate, extracurricular activities, work from home and more.

“Think about what you have in common with other people who home school. What do you talk about with them?”

Sometimes your audience is still large even after you’ve applied all of these filters.

That’s when you layer on the negatives. For example, with health blogs for women, you could easily rule out the people who like McDonald’s or Starbucks. Once you start overlaying negatives and positives, that will narrow down your targeting.

The smaller your audience, the better. The dollars are then spent on the people that most closely relate to what you’re interested in talking about. A $50 spend can get you in front of 50,000 to 100,000 members of your audience

How many likes would be a good result for that?

Shooting for 20 to 30 cents per like is good. If you get around 200 likes for $50, you’re doing well, because those likes were very targeted.

If you have 10,000 likes that you bought and you get minimal interaction from them, Facebook devalues your page and shows it to even fewer people. That’s because Facebook values audience interaction.

Any recommendations about posting through social media management tools?

I really like social media scheduling tools.

There are some really good ones out there, such as Buffer, Hootsuite and Meet Edgar. There are rumors out there (but nothing that I’ve substantiated with data) that Facebook may determine manual posts to be more worthy of attention. That’s just speculation at this point.

Have you thought about running Facebook Ads for your page but aren’t sure where to start? Well, you’re in luck! We’ve put together a Facebook Ads 101 cheatsheet for you. Click here to download it now.

What tips do you have about using images in Facebook ads? I got declined the few times I tried to boost posts because my images had too much text.

If more than 20 percent of your image is covered in text, it will be declined. The rest should be visual.

Your headline should call out to the person you want to talk to. “Hey, freelance writers…”

You don’t want to do the call to action in the photo. You can do that in the body of the ad.

First, identify with them – intrigue them. Get them emotionally involved.

Take a client of mine as an example. They sell goat milk soap. People don’t give much thought to buying natural soap versus chemically-laden soap.

So a good way to get their attention and get them interested was to liken the harsh soap full of chemicals that you get from any supermarket to giving your kid cigarettes.

Would you do that? Of course not!

So why would you wash their absorbent skin with a product that contains so many harmful chemicals. Your audience gets enraged a little bit.

So we used an old 50’s stock photo of a child getting ready to light a cigarette with the text Would you give your kid a cigarette?

[Tweet “Get your audience emotionally-involved, and then they’ll listen to what you have to say. “]

That’s a great example. What were the elements of that ad?

Here’s what it looked like:

On the pictureWould you give your kid a cigarette?

In the headlineParents need to know.

In the body textNot likely. But what if I told you there is a product in your home that could be just as harmful?

You want to understand what matters to people and draw out their emotions with your ads. That’s marketing in general.

Ultimately, we’re trying to teach people about things that they’re not aware of. There’s so much noise out there. You want to stand out and speak with the ones who speak your “language.”

That’s the main takeaway: Don’t forget to actually speak to the people. You’re trying to get them to act and react.

Thank you for joining me, Chris!

Want to watch our Blab for yourself?

Have you ever tried advertising your business through Facebook ads? What were the results?

Chris SpeasChris Speas is highly analytical and logical with his approach to marketing, and takes a holistic approach to moving a brand forward. He thinks through goals and metrics, and implements targeted initiatives to exceed clients’ expectations. He has often been commended for how careful and deliberate he is with a client’s investment in paid search.

Gina Horkey

Gina Horkey


Gina Horkey is a married, millennial mama from Minnesota. Additionally, she’s the founder of Horkey HandBook and loves helping others find or become a kickass virtual assistant. Gina’s background includes making a living as a professional writer, an online business marketing consultant and a decade of experience in the financial services industry.

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