OK, so here's my Facebook Advertising experience.
Let me preface all this by saying that I'm no genius at this (you'll need to talk to Shaun Fagan at Black Dog New Media for the genius), so this is ignorant layman here. I may be wrong in things, but this is either direct experience or my belief from that experience.
I did my first FB ad on a whim, just to see what kind of ads there were. I had no intention of placing it, but FB made it very easy to do so I thought 'what the hey'. I recommend you click the advertise link on your FB Business Page to see what I'm talking about.
I had no specific idea for an advert, but FB gave me the option of just making one to promote the page and gain more 'likes'. It did the rest of it for me pretty much. Just add a little text: 'we make awesome local soft drinks' for example, and you're pretty much done. It then creates a few different adverts for different parts of the FB network.
One is for your FB liker's FB friends (called Sponsored Stories), and tells them that so-and-so likes your page with the idea that if they like it why don't you too. This advert gets far fewer impressions (how many times your advert is place on a FB page) but gets a much higher CTR (click-through-rate, the number of people who actually click on the advert) and Actions (a FB term that means they liked your page in this example) and so could be thought as of the most effective, but has the least reach.
The next advert is a general advert, and this is where it can get a bit more involved. You can tell FB who you want to see your advert. I decided that I wanted a very specific audience to see my advert. Ladies in the 25-45 age bracket who were within 25 miles of Witney, and they must also match either one of the Broad or Specific target metrics that I specified. The metrics are the information that people put on their FB info. When you say that you're 'engaged' for example, FB will use this and perhaps they will get Jewellers to target men and women of a certain age who have recently become engaged. You get the idea. My Broad metrics were 'food & drink', 'luxury goods' and 'parents' and a few more. I won't bore you with any more. Specific metrics you enter manually (for example I might look for people who like Diet Coke or Grey Goose Vodka). There is a much smaller target audience when you use Specific metrics, but they cost less to market to. We'll come back to cost in a bit.
You are then asked when you want your advert to run from/to, or continuous, how much you'd like to spend per day etc.
I set a time limit on my original advert, and a budget of £2 per day (hey big spender!). There are options on the costings of 'Optimised' costs, cost per click, cost per 1,000 impressions and others. These options may well be useful, but it's unlikely you'd know that until you've run the advert for a while and seen how it's received normally. I recommend you just go with the standard settings initially at least.
What did I target? Well, the image below should help you out there. My total number of Facebook users that I targeted based on my specific metrics (location, what they liked etc) was 49,820 people. 13,259 of them had the advert placed on their page, and they had it paced an average of 12 times each.
The ones that I didn't get to have an ad on their page? Maybe they never logged in to FB in that period, or they only did it from a mobile device, who knows.
The total cost was £38 for the advert.
Additional stuff: Promoted Posts.
You may have noticed that you can now promote your posts. For me at least there are two options: £4 or £7. FB gives you estimates on how many people that will target. A promoted post basically pops up at the very top and actually IN someones newsfeed. You can't avoid it.
I gave it a whirl. I'm pretty sure that it had some effect, but what exactly it's impossible to really know as I got likes on the post, but possibly not the page. What it definitely DOES do it get you coverage, For £4/£7 I think it was worth it. I had 5-10,000 people who HAD to see my post as it appeared in their newsfeed. For a little company that might mean that someone actually remembers our company name the next time they hear it or see it.
More Additional Stuff: Adverts for my website, not the FB page
When you create the advert you can also set it to be for a URL - i.e. a web-page.
I wanted to create an advert that was specifically for Mums-to-be as they tend not to drink alcohol but may miss it. Our Virgin Mojito might fill that spot perfectly.
So, I created a landing page that wasn't linked to from anywhere else inside my website and sent people from the FB ad to that page. Dedicated to Mums-to-be with a discount offer code.
Facebook had a hissy and rejected the advert's photo (not going to go in to that here, it was a mistake that they rectified), but eventually I had an advert. It was again a very specific target audience that I advertised to.
Because I was sending traffic OFF of Facebook's site you have to pay on either a cost-per-click (CPC), or a cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) basis. I chose cost-per-click. So far in 5 days I've spent about £1! As a combination of using specific rather than broad metrics and also having an advert that was plainly for only a very specific audience the click-throughs are very low. That's fine. I'd rather have quality than quantity.
I've gone from 168 FB likes to 205 or so in the course of 3 weeks. Each 'like' probably cost me £1. Now it's my turn to maximise my interactions with the new likers and turn them in to evangelists and customers. In addition I've seen my web-site traffic go up by another 3-5 uniques every day.
There's much I'm sure I've missed out. Please comment and I'll update the post with your questions.