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Getting Results from Facebook Ads

| November 4, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS, OH — I was really down on Facebook ads when they first became available.  I thought Mark Zuckerberg and his team had a good handle on managing content for people to see, but they were clueless when it came to advertising.

Now that I’m tactically using Facebook ads for my non-radio clients, I have to eat those words!  Their ad platform has improved to the point where I use them to drive specific, direct response for clients who want to sell more cars, houses, wine, books and downloads.  I use them because they work.  And boy, are they ever cheap!

I wouldn’t be bringing it to your attention if I didn’t think it would help you get more meaningful social media results.

For example, I just spent $20 to get a client 20,000 well-targeted impressions in two days.  If your Facebook posts are crafted correctly and you are smart about ad targeting, this can influence real people to take action in real life.  I’m thinking that sort of response might help both your promotions department and the sales department, too.

Heck, that’s so cheap that even if the station doesn’t want to pay for it, a jock or promotion director or sales person might want to take matters into his or her own hands to make things happen.

Now, there are some pretty specific things that I do to get the results I want. First, Facebook offers a few different types of ads.  I only buy their Promoted Posts, which they just renamed “Page Post Engagement.”  I’m not interested in trolling for general “Likes;” I want to get response to a particular event, and I want to get the right people there … whether it’s happening on the air, online or on-site.

It’s simple how Promoted Posts work.  You write a post like you normally would, and you pay for them to publicize it.  There are some tricks to getting your post right, however.  Choose an eye-catching photo.  Write a little bit of copy, starting with what is most important for your followers to know.  If you plan to link to a video or another web page, use a link shortener like  Never, ever, ever post on-air copy on Facebook.

To ensure success, write your post so the benefit applies to the listener.  This is not a commercial for your client or station; it’s an incentive for your fans.  For example, if you’re doing an on-site enter-to-win for a gift card at a local Applebee’s to help them promote new menu items, think about what the listener benefit is.  It’s not “come meet Joe Jock.”  It’s not even really Applebee’s new item menus.  The real benefit to the listener, the call to action, is a chance to win that gift card.  So that’s what you lead with.  Your entire Facebook post could be a picture of people enjoying being at Applebee’s, with text that reads: Enter to win a $50 Applebee’s gift card at the Howe Avenue Applebee’s Saturday between 1 and 3pm > [link to more info elsewhere].

Facebook will let you target your message pretty precisely, too.  You can choose who you want to see your message by age, gender, zip code, and a host of other criteria.  You can also choose exactly when and for how long your message will be posted, too.  I keep this time period pretty short and pretty immediate, too.  If I were promoting an on-air contest or on-site promotion, I would promote it for a day and a half or two days leading up to it.

Finally, how much should you spend?  Like I said earlier, I spent $20 over two days to get 20,000 impressions.  My usual buy is five, 10 or 20 bucks.  You could pay $50 if you wanted to go wild with it.  I’ve found that creating great posts, as I specified above, will let you spend less money to promote what you have going on … resulting in a better return on investment.


Chris Miller, owner of Chris Miller Digital, is a leading radio consultant specializing in research-based strategic planning and smart use of digital media.  He can be phoned at 216-236-3955 or emailed

Category: Digital