Facebook is quickly becoming one of the most effective ways to advertise in the modern world. Connecting you with millions of potential customers and offering up highly detailed, drilled-down targeting options, it’s the perfect way to reach potential residents—as well as their loved ones and family members—in your community’s specific geographic area.
Why Facebook Ads Are So Great
With traditional advertising methods, you can’t really weed out the non-qualified viewers—the people who just aren’t viable potential options for your business. On Facebook, however, that’s the M.O.
Facebook lets you choose detailed targeting options like location, gender, interest, marital status, parental status, employment level, education and more, and you can even select audiences to exclude, so you’re not wasting hard-earned dollars on useless clicks and views.
As more and more older adults become Facebook savvy, the site has also become a prime advertising spot for senior living communities and other organizations that serve the generation. Through this, seniors can now see ads targeted just for their unique needs and challenges (yours included!) while checking out pictures of their grandkids, connecting with childhood friends or just catching up the news.
But setting up a Facebook ad isn’t as simple as more tried-and-true advertising methods. You can’t just call up Facebook and put in an order, nor can you send them over customized graphics and have them get the ball rolling themselves. Facebook ads actually require a lot of legwork on the part of the advertiser—but it’s work that’s well worth the investment in the end.
Setting Up a Senior Living Community Facebook Ad
1. Create a Facebook business page.
Unfortunately, you can’t create a Facebook ad without first having a business page to connect it to. While it may take a little extra time to set up, the good thing is that just having a Facebook page in itself can help boost your visibility and improve SEO rankings. If you haven’t already set up your community’s page, go ahead and do so now.
2. Decide how you’ll manage it.
There are two options for setting up and managing your Facebook ad: the Ads Manager or the Power Editor. The Ads Manager tool can be accessed through your Facebook admin account, while Power Editor is a plug-in you install on Chrome—Google’s proprietary web browser. Though both work just fine, Power Editor is best used if you’re going to be managing several ads and campaigns at once. We recommend using Ads Manager when you’re just starting out and moving up to Power Editor as you gain more experience.
3. Choose your campaign objective.
What’s the overarching goal of your Facebook ad? Is it to send more people to your website? To increase the number of people who contact you or like your Facebook page? You’ll set this as your “objective” when configuring your campaign. Currently, there are about a dozen different objectives you can choose from. “Send people to your website,” “increase conversions on your website” and “collect leads for your business” are among the most widely used.
4. Hone in on your audience.
This is probably the most important step of all—specifying and setting up your ad’s audience. Facebook lets you get super detailed with the audience you do—and don’t—want to see your ad, and drilling down as deep as possible will give you the biggest return on your investment.
It sounds like it’d be complicated, but Facebook’s built-in tools actually make it quite easy. Just choose the location your audience should be in, specify any demographic details like gender, age, etc., and add in any interest or behaviors your target audience members share. You can even upload current customer files or email lists, and Facebook will build a custom “lookalike” audience based on it.
Once you’ve selected all your targeting options, Facebook will tell you your ad’s potential reach. If it says “your audience selection is fairly broad,” you may want to go back and add in a few more details. The more targeted you get, the more you can customize your ad to that audience’s exact needs and challenges.
5. Set your campaign’s budget.
There are a couple of ways you can divvy up your funding for an ad. First, you can select a daily budget, which will allow your ad to continuously run until XX amount of dollars is reached for the day. If setting a daily budget, it must be at least $1 and twice your cost per click.
You can also set a lifetime budget, which lets you set a start date, an end date and the maximum amount you’ll spend across your entire campaign.
6. Create the ad.
At this point, Facebook will suggest a few different ad formats based on the objective you selected when setting up your campaign. There are link ads, carousels, videos, image ads and more, each one with specifics regarding graphics, URLs, text and character limits. If you’re choosing an image-based ad type, be sure to work with a professional graphic designer to give your ad a polished and eye-catching look. See Facebook’s Ads Guide for full details and specs on the types of ads currently available.
7. Track and measure.
To ensure you’re getting the most for your ad dollars, it’s important to test, track and recalibrate your strategies based on metrics. Just log into Ad Manager to gauge your ad’s performance, and learn things like:
- Reach, impressions, clicks, click through rates, costs per click
- Engagement, page likes, page engagement
- Video views
- Website clicks, checkouts, adds to cart
- App installs, app credit spends
- Event responses
Interpreting these metrics can often be hard for beginning Facebook advertisers, so if you’re having trouble or just need help tweaking your campaign for optimal results, give us a shout. Outlet Creative Group is here to help.