Carefully Crafted on February 15

Facebook Advertising: A Case Study

For businesses, time spent online needs to be time well spent. In today’s social world, companies are flocking to Facebook. While each page’s specific  goals are different, the success of their efforts are dependent on the strength and size of their community. That doesn’t mean a page requires 1000,000 or even 10,000 “likes” to be deemed successful, but you do have to achieve some kind of critical mass to ensure you’re not just talking to yourself.

There are a number of ways to grow a page’s Facebook fan base, but posting interesting content is only one piece of the puzzle. We’ve found that highly targeted Facebook ad campaigns can deliver a major boost to a page. Plus, by targeting the ad based on specific likes and interests, you can attract the right audience — people more likely to buy what you’re selling (whatever that may be!).

How can an ad campaign work? There are a few types of campaigns, but if you’re on limited budget and want to grow the number of page “likes,” you should consider a  “Sponsored Page” or “Sponsored Story” ad. For example, if I were to place an ad for the Geben Communication Facebook page, I could advertise the page, or I could promote a recent post (like this B2B social media case study). See how to select either option and a sample ad:

Small Buy, Big Rewards

We recently managed an ad campaign for a client that far exceeded expectations. This was the organization’s first time using Facebook ads, so they wanted to test it with a small buy. To give you some context, this client averages just over 100 new “likes” a month. (We typically post content twice a day and are very focused on generating likes, comments and shares to help grow the page organically.)

Knowing that we only had $250 to spend, we wanted to maximize the investment by creating a highly targeted campaign:

  • The ad was set to reach people in the state of Ohio (it’s a client with statewide reach), in our key age demographic.
  • It targeted people who were friends with at least one other person who already “liked” our client’s page.
  • We also spent a fair amount of time profiling personas, trying to understand what other pages or interests they’d share. The campaign ended up targeting around eight interests (such as politics, travel and education).

The results? That $250 ad campaign generated 1,000+ new likes. That’s less than 25 cents a like. But, even more importantly, because the ads were so specifically targeted, engagement numbers are way up, and the Facebook page is a meaningful component of the organization’s overall marketing strategy. Having built this kind of quality audience enables the client to be more effective with their other efforts, like adding social elements to launch new initiatives and promote existing programs.

If you’ve tested Facebook advertising, share your experience in the comments. And, If you want to learn more about how to build and manage online communities, email heather [at]


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