How To Run Facebook Ads: A Complete Guide

Want to reach a huge audience with your ad? Look no further than Facebook. With over 2.96 billion users worldwide, Facebook’s audience is seven times larger than the TV audience for the Super Bowl. And the best part? You can target your ads to specific demographics like location, gender, relationship status, education, and even brand preferences and musical tastes. 

Creating an ad on the Facebook platform is super easy. You can make your ad, pick your target audience, set a budget, and even choose when you want the ad to run. Plus, you can track your results to see how your ad is performing. And when it comes to paying for your ad, you can do it on a cost-per-impression or cost-per-click basis.

Another perk of Facebook Ads? You can tap into Facebook’s social graph, which is a collection of all the Pages, groups, apps, and interests that Facebook users have liked. This means you can target customers, segments of email subscribers, and even people who have visited specific pages on your website.

In this article, I’ll break down the process of running Facebook ads for you, so you can get your message out to the masses with ease.

Why Advertise On Facebook?

Facebook Ads are essential to most marketing strategies, not just in the UK, but worldwide – with the ability to reach billions. It enables you to maintain a long-term relationship with potential customers. You can keep the user engaged within the Facebook environment by linking the ads to your Facebook Page.

According to Hootsuite, Facebook Ads have a potential reach of 2.11 billion users, which represents 72.5% of the total 2.91 billion monthly active users.

Men ages 25 to 34 will have the largest Facebook audience in 2021, accounting for 19% of the total potential reach. Men aged 18 to 24 account for 15% of Facebook users, while women aged 24 to 35 account for 13%.

Facebook users spend an average of 35 minutes per day on the network, the second most time spent on a social media platform.

Advertising on Facebook is still a great way to get your brand out there. Here’s why:

  1. Facebook has a ton of active users. With 1.96 billion daily active users in the first quarter of 2022, it’s one of the most popular social media platforms out there. Plus, since they bought Instagram in 2012, your ads can be seen by an even wider range of people.
  2. Custom call-to-actions can boost your ads’ performance. By including CTAs (like “Sign up” or “Book now”) on your ads, you can increase your click-through rate by up to 285%.
  3. It’s easy to track and measure your ads’ performance. With the Facebook Pixel, you can track how well your ads are doing and make adjustments to improve their performance.

So, if you’re considering investing in Facebook ads, it’s definitely worth it. Marketers are still using it for a reason!

Learn more: Legit ways to make money online.

How to Run Facebook Ads

1. Create an account with Facebook Ads Manager

Want to start using Facebook Ads Manager but don’t know where to begin? No worries, it’s easy peasy. 

First things first, you’ll need a Facebook Business Page. Don’t have one yet? No problem, check out our guide on how to set one up

Keep in mind that you can’t run ads through personal profiles, so having a business page is a must.

Once you’ve got your Facebook Business Page all set up, follow these simple steps:

  1. Head to
  2. Click the “Go to Ads Manager” button
  3. Confirm your information on the ad account setup page
  4. Set up your payment method
  5. Save your changes

And that’s it! Once you’ve completed these steps, the Ads Manager will become your go-to control center for all your Facebook ads.

2. Create an ad using Facebook Ads Manager

When you log into Ads Manager, you’ll see a dashboard that shows all of your campaigns, ad sets, and ads, along with how they’ve been performing on your Facebook page. But don’t worry if it’s empty – that just means you haven’t created any ads yet.

To make a new campaign, ad set, or ad, just go to the type of ad you want to create and click the green “Create” button on the far left. 

3. Choose your objective

It’s important to have a clear objective for your Facebook Ad. If you select a Page, app, or event for the destination, Facebook asks, “What kind of results do you want for your ads?”

Depending on whether you’re promoting a Facebook Page, a Facebook Event, a Facebook App, or an external website, you see several options.

The first step in creating a Facebook Ad is selecting your objective. Facebook has determined that there are nine objectives for Facebook Ads:

  • Boost Your Posts: This objective helps you get more comments and shares, video views, and photo views for your Facebook Page updates.
  • Promote Your Page: This objective helps you get more Facebook fans for your Facebook Page. Send People to Your Website: This objective helps drive traffic to your website.
  • Promote Conversions on Your Website: This objective helps encourage specific actions on your website, such as making a purchase or joining your email newsletter.
  • Get Installs of Your App: This objective helps you get more people installing your app on their mobile devices.
  • Increase Engagement with Your App: This objective helps you increase engagement for your mobile app or desktop app.
  • Raise Attendance at Your Event: This objective helps you increase the number of RSVPs for your Facebook event.
  • Get People to Claim Your Offer: This objective helps you increase the number of people who claim your Facebook offer.
  • Get Video Views: This objective helps you get more views for a video that you post on your Facebook Page.

4. Target your audience

After you design your ad, you need to target your audience by selecting the targeting criteria. Think of targeting in terms of a bull’s-eye: The closer you get to the center, the narrower the circles are; the farther out you go, the wider the circles are. 

To the right of Facebook’s targeting section, you see a number that represents the approximate number of people who will be exposed to your ad. The audience size shown changes as you add or remove targeting factors in the following steps.

If you reach too small an audience, your ad may not generate any click-throughs. Widen some factors, such as age range, or add surrounding locations to your targeting.

Follow these steps to target a specific audience for your Facebook Ad campaign:

  1. In the Location field, type the location in which you want your ad to be seen. You can choose among nearly 100 countries to target, and each ad can reach up to 25 countries. You can also drill down to the state/province or city level. For many cities, you can even specify up to 10, 25, or 50 miles surrounding the city.
  2. From the Age drop-down lists, choose the age range of the audience you want to see the ad. If you know your audience’s approximate age range, this step is a great way to target them. If you sell retirement homes, for example, you can target people 55 and older. To reach the widest possible audience, accept the default setting: Any.
  3. Select All, Men, or Women as the gender of your audience. You can target just men, just women, or both. By default, All is selected, making the ad available to the widest number of members possible.
  4. In the Languages section, select the specific languages you want to target.
  5. In the Interests section, choose precise interests or broad categories. To choose precise interests, simply type any keywords in the Interests text box.

When you start typing a term in the Interests text box, Facebook displays a range of possible keywords. These keywords are derived from Facebook member profiles — specifically from members’ interests, activities, education, job titles, Pages they like, or Groups to which they belong.

If the keyword you enter isn’t identified in enough Facebook profiles, it’s not statistically large enough to target. You can enter as many keywords as are relevant.

5. Set your budget

For its advertising inventory, Facebook uses a bidding structure based on supply and demand. Higher bids are typically placed on ads that are in high demand to reach a specific demographic.

Most ads are charged based on impressions, or the number of people who see your ad. Facebook optimizes your ad so that it is shown to the people most likely to assist you in reaching your goal. For example, if you want more people to like your Page, your ad will be shown to people who are most likely to become fans of your Page.

Facebook has advanced options that provide a suggested bid for you based on what other ads that reach this demographic historically cost. 

For these options, Facebook offers two types of pricing:

  • Cost per click (CPC): With CPC, you pay each time a user clicks your ad. If your goal is to drive traffic to a specific Page, paying based on CPC is probably the best performer for you. Ask yourself how much you’re willing to pay per click.
  • Cost per impression (CPM): With CPM, you pay based on how many users see your ad. If your objective is to get as many people within your target demographic to see the ad but not necessarily click through, ads based on a CPM basis may be your best option. Ask yourself how much you’re willing to pay per 1,000 impressions.

You can monitor your campaign to see whether the ad performs at your given bid. You can also set a daily maximum budget.

Having clear goals for your ad allows you to select targeting criteria and whether to pay for CPM or CPC.

Your budget is the maximum amount of money you want to spend. You can set your maximum budget for a daily spend or for the lifetime of the campaign. 

Here’s the lowdown on the differences between the two:

  • Daily budget: If you want your ad to run nonstop throughout the day, this is the option for you. With a daily budget, Facebook will pace your spending on a daily basis. Just keep in mind that the minimum daily budget for an ad set is $1.00 and it must be at least 2x your CPC (cost per click).
  • Lifetime budget: On the other hand, if you want to run your ad for a specific period of time, go with the lifetime budget. This means Facebook will pace your spending over the length of time you set for the ad to run.

Selecting a daily spend gives you the most control throughout your campaign because it ensures that your ad will run every day during your ad schedule.

After you determine your model and strategy, you can specify your budgeting and choose advanced options. You can specify the following:


You have two options for scheduling. The first is to run your ad set continuously starting today. This option is not recommended, especially for new advertisers. The second option is to Set a Start and End Date radio button and then select the dates.

If you are a Facebook Ad novice, select a start and end date for your ads that are no longer than five days. This prevents you from wasting money while allowing you to maintain tight control of your Facebook Ad. You would rarely select Run My Ad Set Continuously Starting Today.

Optimization and Pricing

You can choose whether you want your ad to appear or be paid for based on your objective, clicks, or impressions. This will affect how your ad is displayed and paid for.

Here are some options for optimizing your ads:

  • Optimize for Page Post Engagement: If you choose to optimize your ad based on your page post engagement, Facebook will serve your ad to users who are likely to take that action. If you have an ad to promote your Facebook Page, your ad will be served to the people who are most likely to like your Facebook Page. Unless you’re a Facebook Ad expert, choosing this option will give you the best results.
  • Optimize for Clicks: If you choose to optimize your ads for clicks, your ad will be served to the Facebook users who are likely to click the ad. You’re still charged each time your ad is served, but Facebook is serving that ad to people who are most likely to click the ad. You can also set your maximum bid for clicks (CPC). If you do so, Facebook suggests a bidding price. Again, it’s recommended that novices select Optimize for Page Post Engagement.
  • Optimize for Impressions: Finally, you can optimize your ad to receive the most impressions. You’re charged each time your ad is served, based on your bid.

Ads are served on Facebook based on several factors, including your bid, competition for your audience, your target audience criteria, and your ad performance history. 

6. Create your ad

So you wanna know what your ad should look like? It all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.

If you’re looking to get more clicks to your website, Facebook Ads Manager will suggest the “Clicks to Website” ad options. That makes sense, right? 

These ads come in two formats: 

  • Link: A single-image ad
  • Carousels: A scrolling multi-image ad (Carousel) with 3-5 images

Once you pick a format, you’ll need to upload your ad’s images. Keep in mind that each type of ad has specific design guidelines from Facebook. 

For example, for single-image ads, Facebook asks that you use no more than 125 characters of text, a 25-character headline, and an image ratio of 1.91:1. 

For Carousel ads, they recommend 1080 x 1080 pixel images, a 1:1 ratio, and a max of 125 characters of text.

Just remember, these are the ad options for the “Traffic” objective. If you picked “boost your posts,” you’ll see different ad options like “Page Post Engagement: Photo” with its own set of design guidelines.

When you pick an ad type, Facebook will ask where you want to show it. You can choose 

  • Desktop News Feed
  • Mobile News Feed
  • Desktop Right Column

Just keep in mind that if your ad isn’t connected to a Facebook page, you can only run it on the Desktop Right Column.

And depending on your objective, you may have the following options:

  • If you’re trying to drive people to a website, you can link your Facebook Page to your website.
  • If you’re promoting a Facebook Page, you can pick a specific tab as the destination.
  • If you’re driving traffic to a website or trying to increase conversions, you can add a call to action, like “Sign Up,” “Book Now,” “Learn More,” “Shop Now,” or “Download.”

7. Monitor your ad’s performance metrics

So you’ve set up your ads on Facebook and now you’re wondering how they’re doing? No worries, there are a few key places to check to see the results of your ads. 

The first place you’ll want to check is the Facebook Ads Manager. This is where you can see all of the data and metrics for your ads. 

The second place you’ll want to check is your marketing software.

So what are some of the key metrics to look for in the Facebook Ads Manager? Well, according to Facebook, there are a few key ones to keep an eye on. These include: 

  • Performance, which you can break down even further to see things like how many results you’re getting, how many people your ads are reaching, how often they’re being shown, and how many times they’ve been viewed (that’s what “impressions” means).
  • Engagement, which you can also break down to see things like how many people like your page, how engaged people are with your page and posts, and how often people are interacting with your posts.
  • Videos, like how many views your videos are getting and what percentage of each video people are watching. 
  • Website, where you can track things like how many people are taking action on your website, how many people are making purchases, and how many people are adding stuff to their cart.
  • App, where you can track things like how many people are installing it, how engaged they are with the app, and how much money you’re spending to get people to engage with it.
  • Events, like how many people are responding to your event and how much it’s costing you per response. 
  • Clicks, like how many clicks your ads are getting, how many unique clicks, and what the click-through rate and cost per click is.
  • Settings, where you can customize all of these metrics even further by looking at things like what dates the data is from, what the name of the ad set is, the ID of the ad, how the ad is being delivered, how much you’re bidding, and what your objective is.

To view the data for your ads, simply click on the campaign name in the ad management table. This will take you to the campaign details page where you can see graphs and a spreadsheet with all the campaign details. 

You can also select the date range for which you want to view data, pause the ad, edit the budget, or change the ad’s dates. And that’s it! Now you’re all set to keep an eye on how your ads are performing.

8. Optimize your daily budget

Consider your daily spend and performance results when determining your campaign budget. The maximum amount you’ve set aside for your campaign budget is your daily spend. Obtain some performance benchmarks for your campaign.

If your CTR is greater than 1%, consider lowering your bid because a better-performing ad takes precedence over a poor-performing one.

Depending on your total spend, a few cents difference can be significant, so adjust your bids to maximize your return on investment.

You can change your campaign’s daily budget on the All Campaigns page of the Ads Manager in several ways:

  • Click the budget amount for the campaign you want to change. A pop-up box appears, allowing you to modify your daily budget.
  • Select the check box to the left of any campaign you want to edit. Click the Edit (number) of Rows option above the list of campaigns to change the name, status, or budget of any selected campaign.

You can also change your campaign’s budget and dates from the individual campaign view by clicking the Edit button next to the Budget listed at the top of the campaign details. 

When you do so, a new window appears, allowing you to edit your budget and the dates the ad will run. 

Changes are active within a few minutes. Any ad charges already accrued for the day are included in your new budget so that your account isn’t overcharged.

9. Create and schedule Facebook Ad reports

You can get reports delivered by email by clicking the Reports icon and following these steps:

  1. From the Report Type drop-down menu, choose one of the following report types:
  • Advertising Performance: Performance info that includes impressions, clicks, CTR, and money spent
  • Responder Demographics: Demographic information about users who are seeing and clicking your ads
  • Actions by Impression Time: The number of conversions organized by the time your ad was displayed (impressions)
  • Inline Interactions: Engagement on Page post ads, impressions, clicks, Likes, photo views, and video plays from your ads
  • News Feed: How an ad performed in the News Feed; includes statistics about impressions, clicks, CTR, and position
  1. From the Summarize By drop-down menu, choose the way you want your report summarized. Choose Ad, Ad Set, or Account.
  2. From the Filter By drop-down menu, choose the ads or campaigns you want to include.
  3. Set your time summary and date range in the Time Summary and Date Range fields.
  4. From the Format drop-down menu, choose the format in which you’d like your report to be delivered. You can choose Webpage, Excel, or CSV.
  5. Choose whether you want to include deleted ads in your report.
  6. Click Generate Report.

On the following page, you can export the report by clicking the Export Report link in the top-right corner. You can also schedule the report to be delivered by clicking the Schedule This Report link in the top-right corner of the page. Just enter your email address in the resulting pop-up window and click Save.

How to Create Facebook Ads

To create a winning Facebook ad that delivers measurable results, follow these tips. 

1. Write effective copy

You can’t waste many words with a title limit of 25 characters and a body limit of 90 characters. Be direct, straightforward, and truthful about your goal. 

Remember that Facebook is also about trust, so your copy should demonstrate openness and willingness to share and connect with your audience. 

Following are four guidelines on Facebook Ad copy:

  • Pose a question in your headline or in the body of the ad. Don’t be afraid to use a question mark where appropriate.
  • Reference your target audience. By relating to your audience, you’re more likely to grab their attention. Consider giving shout-outs such as “Hey, housewives …”
  • Be direct. Tell your target audience explicitly what you want them to do, such as “Click here to receive your free T-shirt.”
  • Use influencers’ testimonials. To establish credibility, consider highlighting an endorsement, such as “Voted South Jersey’s best pizza.”

When you use keywords of interest to target an ad campaign, it’s always a good idea to include those keywords in the ad copy.

Most of the time, you should be able to cut your copy by 50 percent, which is easy to do when you think about what users need to know versus information that’s peripheral to that action. 

If users are entering their email addresses as a way to join a contest, for example, email them later with the less-important details about that contest.

2. Choose the right image

A thousand words are worth a thousand pictures. This is why ads with images outperform text-only ads by a wide margin.

Use images that are easily recognizable, don’t have too much detail, and feature bright colors without using the blue that is so strongly associated with the Facebook logo and navigational color scheme.

Here are four tips for selecting the right image to get your Facebook Ad noticed:

  • If your image includes people, they need to reflect the demographic you’re targeting. People like to see people who look like them.
  • Test different images with the same copy. When you test a single factor, such as the ad’s image, you can easily identify the stronger-performing image.
  • An amateur photo style sometimes works better than stock photography. A more personalized approach can help you stand out in the crowd.
  • Make your image stand out with a decorative border. Consider adding a branding element around the image or making the ad current. (During the holiday season, for example, add a decorative holiday border.)

3. Have a direct call to action in your ad

Because you have only a small amount of space to communicate your offer via your Facebook Ad, don’t waste words or overcomplicate things.

That’s where calls to action come in – phrases like “Sign up,” “Follow,” “Download,” “Install the App,” and “Shop Now” make it clear to people what they should do next. 

Without a good CTA, people might see your ad and be like “Umm, what now?” So, make sure you include a clear CTA in your ad.

Your call to action needs to be direct, clear, and easy to follow. Cleverness and wit aren’t as effective as the simplest words possible.

Some ads are all about getting people to know a brand, and others are all about getting people to do something specific, like download an ebook or buy something. The best ads do both. 

But if you want to be extra safe and make sure you get results that actually help your business grow, it’s important to be super clear about what you want people to do after they see your ad.

4. Create a landing page for your ads

If you’re familiar with online marketing, you know how critical it is to make a good first impression with your ad link. Your landing page (as it’s referred to in advertising) is the page that appears when users click on your ad. It could be an internal Facebook page or a third-party website. The landing page is the starting point for all engagement.

Successful landing pages make it simple to convert or achieve your goal. Capturing user data via an input form, driving membership for your Page, getting people to sign a petition, or simply making a sale are all examples of conversions. Regardless of your goal, if your landing page does not produce the desired result, your campaign is useless.

You can create ads on Facebook that link to an internal Facebook location or an external website (URL).

  • Landing on a Facebook location: When running a Facebook Ad campaign, it is best practice to link your ads to an internal Facebook location rather than an external website. You can link internal Facebook Ads to a Facebook Page, a Facebook Page update, an app Page, or an event Page. You can direct users to a customized landing tab within your Facebook Page if you advertise it.
  • Landing on a website: Facebook allows you to refer your ad visitors to an external web address (URL), provided that it adheres to Facebook’s advertising policies and guidelines. By linking to another website, you gain more control over the content, technology, and design of your landing page. 

Because ads can be purchased on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis, you can choose to pay only when a user clicks through to your Page, whether it’s an internal Facebook Page or a page on an external website.

5. Make sure that your website is responsive

A responsive website’s content (pages, text, videos, and photos) automatically resizes in response to the device being used by the viewer. Any website that can be viewed on a mobile device, as well as a web browser, is responsive.

A responsive design is more important than ever these days, and it will continue to be so as an increasing percentage of Facebook users access the site via mobile devices.

At the time of writing, more than 75% of Facebook’s 1.3 billion users access the site via mobile device each month. If a user visits your website and it is not responsive, he is more likely to leave instead of purchasing your product or service or joining your email list.

6. Create multiple campaigns

Facebook makes it easy for you to duplicate an existing ad, change variables, and launch multiple multifaceted ad campaigns. An advertiser has several reasons for duplicating ads, including the following:

  • Reach multilingual audiences: You can use Facebook’s language targeting on an ad-by-ad basis.
  • Test which variables in ads perform best: By changing variables, you can optimize the campaign to better-performing ads.
  • Test different bids and models (CPC versus CPM): This setting enables you to determine which model is most economically efficient.

Facebook makes it easy to pattern a new ad on an existing one. When designing your new ad, you can copy an existing ad by selecting that ad in the Ads Manager and clicking the Create a Similar Ad link, which opens a new window.

7. Use social proof in your ads

So you’ve got a Facebook ad up and running, but people might not be sold on your brand or offer right away. No worries, it’s your job to convince them you’re the real deal. One way to do this is by using social proof in your marketing.

Think reactions, comments, shares, testimonials, and reviews. When you include these in your ads, it shows potential customers that other people have already worked with your brand and are happy with their purchase. Seeing that can make them more likely to become a customer themselves.

8. Run A/B tests

If you want to optimize your Facebook ads, you gotta try split testing. Basically, that means creating different versions of the same ad – changing up the headline, ad copy, images, and calls to action – and seeing which one performs the best. 

Trust me, sometimes the ad just doesn’t do well because the copy isn’t engaging or the images aren’t attention-grabbing. 

So, give it a shot – create a few different versions, let ’em run, and see which one gets the most likes, comments, shares, and conversions. It’s the only way to know for sure.


1. How does Facebook ads differ from other online ads?

Facebook Ads leverage relationships and connections between friends, which makes Facebook Ads different from almost every other type of Internet ads. Banner ads target the assumed audience of a specific website. has banner ads that target mostly men who like sports, for example, and Google ads target people based on what people search for online.

The great thing about Google ads is that they target people who are looking for something they need. But those ads can’t target people before they express that desire by searching for it on Google.

Facebook Ads, however, target people based on their precise interests and also on people’s connections to your business. A hair salon, for example, can target an ad to Facebook friends who liked that salon’s Facebook Page.

This second feature — connections — is what sets Facebook Ads apart from any other kind of ad. Facebook calls this extremely complex network of connections the social graph.

2. What are Facebook’s targeting options? 

Targeting your audience is just as important as creating the ad itself, and Facebook allows you to do just that. To determine who you should target, create personas, or personality traits that represent your target audience. Personas are fictitious prospects or clients with complete backstories, quirks, challenges, and needs for what you provide.

The true worth of personas lies in how you envision each of them reacting to your products or services. Personas that are well-developed can help you target your Facebook ads more effectively.

Here are some ways that you can target ads on Facebook:

  • Location: Facebook allows for precise location targeting based in part on your profile data and the IP address of the computer that users log in with or their precise country, state/province, city, or postal code. 
  • Interests: Facebook lets you define your target audience by using terms people include in their Facebook profiles. These terms may be drawn from people’s interests, activities, education, job titles; Pages they like; or Groups to which they belong.
  • Connections: You can target people who are already connected to your Facebook Page or people who aren’t already connected to your Page so that your existing fans aren’t shown your ad. 
  • Email: You can target specific people within an email list — such as, for example, customers who made a purchase in the past year. 
  • Website visits: You can target people who visited a specific page on your website, such as a page promoting a product or service. 

To maximize the total reach of your campaign, start by casting a wide net (broad, general targeting). Then finely tune the targeting specifications until you reach an optimum balance between targeting specifics and the number of people targeted.

3. What are Boosted Posts?

A Boosted Post is a type of Facebook Ad that increases the visibility of specific posts on your Facebook Page. Status updates, photos, videos, events, and milestones are all examples of posts that can be promoted.

Promoted posts are labeled Sponsored and appear only in the News Feeds of people who like your Page (and the friends of those people). 

Promoted posts are not displayed in Facebook’s right column. Promoted posts also appear in mobile News Feeds, which is significant given that more than 700 million Facebook users access the site via mobile devices.

4. How to add other users to my Facebook Ad account?

Inside Ads Manager, you can click the Settings icon to change your address, set email notifications, and specify how to use ads (for personal or business). You can also grant other Facebook users access to your Facebook Ad account. 

Additional users can have general access to the account or can only view reports. Added users won’t have access to your personal Facebook profile or to any other ad account.

If you have more than one person in charge of marketing at your business, or if you work with a marketing consultant, consider adding that person as a user on your Facebook Ad.

To add another user to your account, click Settings and then click the Add a User button.

5. How to track my payment transactions?

Inside Ads Manager, you can click the Billing icon to view details about your payment transactions for each of your campaigns. You can also change your funding source by clicking Payment Methods on the left sidebar.

Leave a Comment