How to Be Specific on Social: Facebook

Analyzing the algorithm, defining best practices, and showing you how your brand should be advertising on Facebook.

By: Kate Rominger and Emily Marshall

Social media companies like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are captivating our culture. These platforms are deeply ingrained in the lives and routines of consumers, and they give brands an opportunity to engage with people screen-to-screen.

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Unfortunately, these platforms are often seen as the collective “social media” and are treated as equal to one another when it comes to Advertising and Public Relations.

But each platform is unique.

They serve different purposes and people, and it is pertinent that brands leverage the strengths of each social platform.

In this series, we will explore these platforms one-by-one: analyzing their algorithms, defining best practices, and showing you how your brand should be approaching social.

Facebook: How to advertise on the world’s number 1 social network

What you should know: Demographic Stats


Relevancy Score

Facebook’s algorithm chooses what a user will see at the top of their timeline by prioritizing ads and posts that each user will find the most relevant. What does this mean for brands? It is of the utmost importance that you know your target audience like you know one of your closest friends. If you know someone well, you can predict what they’ll like, eat, decide, etc, and Facebook does the same thing.

Facebook can predict which ads will be the most relevant to each user, and if your brand maximizes relevance, you will be included at the top of the timeline. Get inside the mind of your target: what would they like/dislike/interact with on Facebook? Then think about how the answers to those questions will influence your brand’s Facebook.


On the app, there has been an increase in content and interest in video format, and 85% of FB users watch videos without sound, according to Sprout Social. On top of that, brands need to provide value and get consumers to pay attention within the first three seconds of video content. When you’re creating creative, incorporate videos or pictures in an informative, inviting way that will appeal to your target.

Keep the visuals relevant to your target and cohesive with your campaign as a whole.

Ad format

Facebook offers a variety of ad formats, including video, photo, carousel, slideshow, and canvas. Each ad format has its own best practices:

  • Photo: Drives awareness and has more potential to drive the user to your website. You can also use a photo to show off a new product.
  • Video: Show off product details or usage to give people a better idea of what your brand is. Use video to tell a story and keep the audience engaged.
  • Carousel: Be cohesive, use engaging and interconnected photos to keep the user swiping for more. You can also use a Carousel to tell a story or show multiple products.
  • Slideshow: Use slideshow to feature certain products and give users the ability to browse others. This format encourages conversions.
  • Canvas: This format provides users with an immersive vertical video ad experience. Use this format too transport the user into your brand’s world and ensure that the video provides value to their Facebook experience.



Test out different ad formats and content types to see what produces the best results for your brand objectives.

Facebook Campaign objectives

Before starting a campaign it’s important to define your campaign objective - what do you want people to do when they see your ad? Facebook has many different campaign objective options, divided into three main categories:

  • Awareness - Best for generating interest in your product or service. Campaign objectives include brand awareness and reach.
  • Consideration - Objectives that get people to start thinking about your business and look for more information about it. These objectives include traffic, app installs, engagement, video views, lead generation and messages.
  • Conversion - Objectives that encourage people interested in your business to purchase or use your product or service. Campaign objectives include conversions, catalog sales, and store visits.

Audience Engagement

No matter what type of campaign objective you choose, it’s important to look at how your audience is engaging with your campaigns and ads. Make sure you’re looking at these facebook-specific KPIs while running campaigns:

  • Likes: How many people are liking your post? Are they in your target market?
  • Reactions: Are people reacting? How many hearts are you getting compared to sad faces?
  • Comments: How many people are commenting on your post or promotion and what are they saying? Comments are a form of brand engagement and give brands the opportunity to talk to their consumers one-to-one. Set a plan in the beginning for how you want to respond to positive, negative, and inquisitive comments.
  • Tags: In the comments, are they tagging their friends. And, based on your post, did you ask them to or did they do it on their own?
  • Shares: Is the audience so engaged that they’re sharing your post or promotion? If yes, how many people are sharing, and what are they captioning it?

Media / Post Schedule

Timing is everything. Scheduling is where you can test strategically. The best first step in scheduling is to map out your consumer’s day, hour by hour, to find the times where they are most likely to be scrolling through Facebook. Second, look at their day and assess which points of the day they will be most receptive to your brand of an advertisement in general. Cross-check these two schedules and find the ideal time to serve your ad. Here are some best practices:


There is no magic post frequency number, each campaign and brand will perform optimally at different rates. Use the chart below as a guide to see where your brand/campaign falls, and continue to test within that area of the spectrum. For example, if your brand is a newly public start-up, wanting to grow your audience, you might want to test a higher frequency to achieve your aforementioned Facebook-specific KPIs.

Be careful - A frequency that is too high can cause ad fatigue, wherein which people are annoyed by your ad, leading to a negative impression of the brand overall.

Dayparts - According to Sprout Social, posts do best on weekday afternoons between 1 and 3, but, once again, think about when your specific target will be opening Facebook during the week.

Organic / Owned Media

So far we’ve mainly discussed paid promotion, but it is also important to keep up with your organic/owned brand page. When users interact or click on your ad, it’s best to keep them within the Facebook app if they’re on mobile, so you will want to lead them to your brand page.

Your brand page is a useful home base for brand information within Facebook, but it should be supplemented by a full website, and profiles on other social platforms like Instagram and Twitter.

We hope these insights guide you to be strategic and successful when your brand advertises through Facebook.

Sources: Sprout Social, Statista, Facebook Ads

Steel brings together data, technology, creative and influence to deliver spectacular growth for brands that are marketing to the American family. Working side-by-side with client marketing teams and in-house agencies, Steel extends your leverage by contributing strategy, creativity, bandwidth and best practices. For healthcare, education, government and CPG clients especially, Steel’s full service, integrated agency capabilities and knowledge of marketing automation makes ideas possible and execution practical. Call Steel with your marketing challenges, and if we are not the right fit, we will point you in the right direction.

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