People love social media because it's free, but brands also know that it's well worth taking advantage of paid advertising on the sites as well. Facebook ads are a terrific option, but companies need to get things right to gain the full benefits. This article explores some of the things you can do to have the most successful paid campaigns.

1. Have a clear purpose

There are several reasons you may wish to take advantage of Facebook advertising. For example, you may want to gain more exposure for a specific post, more followers to your page in general or send traffic to your website. You shouldn't use this tool without first considering what you wish to achieve with the campaign.

It helps to have realistic expectations as well as the specifics of what you hope to achieve. The good news is that Facebook will estimate the likely result at the time of setting things up. If you define a clear purpose and don’t receive those results, then you obviously know the campaign did not go well. But, if you don’t have a specific purpose, you may not know if your efforts were positive or negative.  

2. Specific targeting

One of the mistakes that brands often make is they set general criteria for who they are targeting. Before you set up your campaign it's worth doing a bit of research on your Facebook audience. It only takes a matter of minutes to learn the age groups that engage with your posts as well as their location and gender.

You should certainly use this information as well as other information on your audience gained from Google Analytics or other tools. At this point, you should be looking to target those that typically engage with your page or posts. If you aren't sure, then you should experiment with different audiences until you find one that works.

3. Learn from each campaign

After one of your campaigns finishes, your work certainly isn't done because you want to record all the results of that campaign. If it was a successful campaign, then it's important to note what worked and what didn’t. For example, if your targeting was right, you might want to target in a similar way for your next campaign.

When your campaigns aren't so successful, then you want to go through a similar review process. It's crucial to note what didn't work on the campaign and things you may wish to change for the next one. So, when you are designing your next Facebook advertising campaign, you should be using information from previous campaigns.

4. Promote what works rather than what doesn't

A common mistake that many brands make is they try and support poor performing content with paid promotion. It's true that the promotion will benefit the content to some extent. However, your results will be far more explosive if you use the same advertising on successful content.

When designing your Facebook advertising campaigns, you should keep this principle in mind as well. For example, you want to think about what visuals worked with some of your most successful content and design something similar to promote your page. You certainly don't want to benefit from something that was incredibly successful only once, so always try and repeat what works.

Brands certainly need to be heavily involved in social media these days. Organic growth is something that all companies should strive for, but paid promotion is also an essential part of the process. To have successful Facebook advertising campaigns you need a clear purpose, a specific target, to learn from each campaign and promote successful content.