Folksy Ltd

How I learnt to use Facebook Advertising effectively

(davidandrewsxyz) #1

Hi Sellers!

During #FolksyHour the other week, I raised the point of using Facebook Advertising to raise awareness of your brand and driving people to your online store with quite a mixed response. Some people have never tried it, and others would like to know how to use it more effectively.

I’ve had chance to sit down with the head of Facebook Advertising at a business conference, as well attending an event run by Facebook called ‘Boost Your Business’ which was filled with great insider hints and tips of how to do just that. Since putting these into place, my adverts are now more effective than 99% of other similar businesses and am getting people seeing my posts for less than 0.5p each.

DISCLAIMER: This is my own story and does not constitute advice from myself or Folksy. If you choose to follow the same steps I did, I am not responsible for any financial outgoings or less effective results. If you require any further advice, please go to

“Like/Share/Tag/Comment to Win…”
We’ve all seen these posts where businesses try to get the public to engage with their page in order to win a free meal etc. But how many people do you think are engaging with the content because they actually like the brand? If I share one of these posts from a restaurant for example, it will also be seen by my friends in Europe, America and Australia. While your ‘Insights’ might suggest it’s been seen by a lot of people, how many of these would actually visit? And it’s a similar story for online sellers, your stock might appeal to those people who ‘Like’ your page, but what about the people that they’re sharing it with?

So if you can get this kind of advertising for free, why should you pay? Because if you’re giving away a piece of artwork worth £20 to people who might never engage with you again, why not spend £10 on targeted advertising to get your products in front of more people who will care about your products enough to buy them with their own money.

There are a few ways to do this and I’ll break it down into a few different sections so not to baffle your brains!

Promoting your Page vs. Promoting a Post
If and when you decide to start advertising your business on Facebook, you get given the option to promote your page or promote a post. It’s quite tempting just to get your page out there onto people’s timelines, but why should I ‘Like’ your page?

If people see one of your posts promoted in their timeline, showcasing your latest products or showing work in progress, it gives them a reason to click ‘Like’ or at least have a look at your page. With so many businesses looking to get in front of new eyes, it’s important to have engaging content. Every time I update my Facebook page with something that I’m especially proud of, I ‘Boost’ the post for a couple of quid to a new audience.

Selecting your audience
So you’ve got some eye-catching content on your timeline, now you’ve just got to choose who to send it out to. This is the difference between spending your money effectively or wasting it.
Lookalike audiences are my best friend, and certainly my favourite use of all the data that people hand over to websites. This option analyses the people who already ‘Like’ my page and promotes my work to the 1% of people who are most similar. If a majority of my audience are females in Liverpool aged between 40 and 45, Facebook might promote my work to 43 year old females in Merseyside.

You also have the option of creating your own audiences. For example if you’re a printmaker who has just finished a range of posters based on 80’s cult films for a local exhibition, the most effective way to spend your money could be promoting your work to males interested in cinema aged 35-45 within 10km of the gallery instead of all genders, all ages, all across the UK.

Another great use for it is to promote your work to people in the run-up to a craft fair, especially if you’re travelling a long way for it. For example, I’m going from Liverpool to London for a stall at the Crafty Fox Market in Peckham – so a week before I will advertise my products to my target audience in London telling them when and where I’m going to be. (You’ll also find that craft fair organisers are more likely to share this content in order to promote themselves, free advertising!)

Creating an advert from scratch
For this option, you need to go onto your personal page (one of Facebook’s little quirks!) It’s a little bit more work to get your advert published, but if you’ve got an extremely specific audience in mind, this gives you the ability to narrow it down even further using the vast range of options available. It costs absolutely nothing to have a play around with the drop down menus, and you only have to pay when you’ve decided to run it. Well worth checking it out to see how to use everybody’s data to your advantage, because if you don’t, someone else will!

When I’m not cutting up books, I’m a graphic designer and street artist. If I’m out and about spraypainting client’s commissions, I usually take a fairly basic camera and a tripod to film the work in progress. When I get back, I edit it using Windows Movie Maker (all you Apple people can use iMovie) and pop it up on my Facebook page. It’s so easy to create a timelapse video, and I’ve seen some great examples from other artists as well. When creating an advert which includes video, you have the option of having a ‘Call To Action’ which is a message that pops up after the video has finished with a link to another site (such as your Folksy shop!) This is another great tool to use, as anyone who has watched your video all the way through is more likely to be interested in your product and spend money on your work.

There are so many different statistics floating around about how much of internet content is video, and those figures seem to be growing every year. If a picture is worth a thousand words, I would say a video is worth a thousand pictures! Going back to what I mentioned earlier about engaging content, people are more likely to check out your work from a video, and Facebook can optimise your advert to get the most amount of views for your money.

In conclusion
It’s easier and cheaper than most people think to advertise on Facebook, as long as you use it effectively. Don’t acquire ‘Likes’ for vanity reasons, it’s not a numbers game - I’d rather have 1,000 people who buy something from me than 100,000 who just want something for free.

And if you do want to ‘Like’ my page, it’s at !

Peace, love & dinosaurs,
David x

Does anyone ever "Boost" their post on Facebook?
(Liz Clark) #2

Useful info there David, thanks for sharing! It would be good if people could maybe feedback on this thread how their own FB promotions go as they try them. As I said on Twitter during #folksyhour I’ve found things out by trial and error on FB advertising, but this really sums it up well!

(Pauline Hayward) #3

I found that information very useful David, thank you for sharing that. I did do a bit of promoting and boosting my business page a while ago and it did result in a couple of small sales.
I shall pop across to your page soon and take a look.

(Tina Martin) #4

Thanks so much David, just what I needed, so much I don’t understand on FB. Have prined this to refer back to. Thanks again. :slight_smile:

(Helen Dale) #5

Hmm, I’d kind of written off Facebook advertising - but your post has made me think again. Maybe I’ll give it a go.

(Rosesworkshop) #6

Thanks David for writing this article. You may have just provided my 2016 New Year’s resolution :smile:

(Roz) #7

I have never found boosting posts/promoting my page all that successful - maybe I’m not doing it right, I don’t really sell via my Facebook page anyway. However, a couple of times I have paid to promote my “shop now” button which links to my Folksy shop and I am pretty sure it has produced a few orders. You can choose your target audience and I think you only pay if they actually click through to your shop not if they just see the advert but don’t act upon it. You can also set your maximum spend per day - I tend to run it for a couple of days at a time, usually over a weekend and limit my spend to about £2 a day so doesn’t break the bank.

(Claire Mead) #8

Thanks for all the info, I will let you know how I get on

(Karen Ellam) #9

Thank you for sharing :0)

I’ve not yet tried to use the pay for promotion feature as I wasn’t really sure how it all worked.

I understand it a little better now so I might give it a whirl.

Karen :christmas_tree:

(Brenda Cumming) #10

How do you actually PAY for the fb promotions…I am not sure giving my card details via fb is a safe option…maybe paypal would fare better…

(Roz) #11

I pay via paypal

(Samantha Stanley) #12

Thanks David! I think I had twigged that boosting posts is better than advertising the page already but it is nice to have some scientific confirmation that this is true. My page has less than 100 likes, so drawing conclusions from my data is a little bit dodgy to say the least. However, I am frustrated that FB seems to hold back from sharing my posts with about 50% of my likers (who are mostly genuine likers) for no apparent reason than I’m not boosting the post. This figure seems to be accurate as it applies to other FB pages that have subsribers within the 1,000 s that I know of. I can’t really afford to spend £10 a week on advertising (even if some would consider that to be a low figure), so this is a really frustrating aspect of Facebook. However, I still find it a useful place to gather some business so I will carry on using it.

Sam x

(davidandrewsxyz) #13

Hey Sam,

Thanks for commenting :slight_smile:

As mentioned, I only really promote myself when I’ve got something to shout about and even then it’s only £2 a time! A little goes a long way, and you’ll be able to see what works and what doesn’t quite quickly. You can link payment to your PayPal, so maybe only do a bit of promotion each time you receive a Folksy sale?

(Pauline Hayward) #14

I’ve tried a boost my post and it’s made a bit of a difference to my likes and reaches but so far no sale. I’ve targeted people that may visit my craft fair next weekend.

(Sara Leigh Thornton) #15

Brenda, you use Paypal to pay for it :smile:

I pay for a promotion about once every 4 - 6 weeks, and really splash out spending a whole £2 at a time LOL! It works, though :slight_smile: Gives me a couple of days of my post being promoted to my target audience.

Regarding the first post:
I totally agree with all of the OP - this is how I use FB, and it really works. I have always said swapping likes was a waste of time, what’s the point of people liking your page if they’re only doing it to get a like in return? Take your time and slowly build up a following of people who genuinely like your work :slight_smile:

(Samantha Stanley) #17

Thanks David! I need to be sure I’m spending my money wisely to do this. I have £25 a month to spend on my “hobby” and I need to be able to keep myself in silver wire, stones, Murano beads and pearls with that too. £2 a month works out at 8% of my spending money, but I’ve had 3 or 4 sales in the last month so it would not be viable for me to promote each one. It’s like that for some of us here.

Sam x

(davidandrewsxyz) #18

Facebook have just put together this post titled “Start getting holiday sales” which reinforces everything I’ve said above, along with some more technical suggestions for advanced users.

(bluelilymagnolia) #19

I’ve also not found boosting a post very successful. Yes, the reach is good but even if i had targeted audience, they did nothing about it except click on the image may be. I will try promoting the shop as you did and see if that works out xxx thank you all for this little discussion!