{Business Tips} Advertising on Facebook

After Myra’s awesome Business Tip post last week Business Blogvertising with Project Wonderful, I thought a nice follow-up would be the opportunities that exist with very targeted advertising on Facebook.  Some quick searching around the web and feedback from our own EcoEtsy team members, allowed me to quickly realize that success with Facebook advertising is a mixed bag.  Ranging from recommendations against using:

With my first shop, I indulged in advertizing with Facebook but I would advise against it. I spent $450 on a 1 month advertizing stint that resulted in zero sales . . . The expediture is not worth it – even to get your product out there. – Heart (Heartsail)

To awesome success stories:

I ran a facebook ad last week and had a lot of success with it!  I set a very low maximum bid per day- just 3 dollars.  I tried to post something interesting each day so that people that viewed my page would be enticed to “like” for future reference.  Overall, during the one week, my $21 turned into 25 new likes and 6 sales so far that totaled $235.  I have had a few others contact me with questions about special orders so we will see where that goes. – Kelly (GrowingUpWild)

I continue to believe that Facebook advertising can be a successful part of the marketing mix for any Etsy artisan. I think a key to success is to spend small amounts on testing different approaches.  When you find one that works for you, invest a bit more and run the ad at a higher level.  So, if you are ready to give Facebook advertising a try, let’s jump in and design some test campaigns!

Step 1 – Establish Your Purpose

As with any marketing activity, it’s important to first step back and ask yourself why you are taking this action.  Most marketing initiatives fall into three categories:

  1. Awareness – Get a larger audience familiar with your business.
  2. Sales – Converting those who are aware into buyers.
  3. Loyalty – Repeat business and initiatives for those who have purchased from you before.

Facebook advertising tends to be most successful in raising awareness.  However, as seen in GrowingUpWild’s experiences, an appropriately designed and placed ad can also lead to sales.  With Facebook ad targeting, you are also able to direct your ad just to fans of your Facebook page.  This can provide great opportunities for providing special offers directly to your Facebook fan base.

Since Facebook ads can be tested for as little as $5-$10, you may want to come up with several initiatives with different purposes that you would like to test.

One final suggestion before creating and running your Facebook test ads is to “tidy up”.  Make sure both your Facebook page and Etsy shop are ready for new visitors.  Take a look at the content on your Facebook wall and ensure that you feel it is full of interesting content and will compel them to “Like” your page.  In a similar fashion, when they visit your Etsy shop it should look great and there should be no question that they should buy their favorite item right now!

Now, let’s get to designing an ad that will attract attention.

Step 2 – Get into Facebook Ads

Once you have a purpose in mind, it’s time to head to Facebook and create your campaign.  When you go to the wall of your business page, you will see these items at the bottom of the page:



Click on the “Advertise” option.  On the next screen, click on the “Create Ad” button in the upper right corner of the page.  Once you are on the ad creation page, there are three sections – design your ad, targeting, and pricing.  While the design is listed first on the page, you might consider working on your target first.  That way you can work to make the ad as targeted as possible to the target you select.

Step 3 – Determine Your Target

This can be the most fun and interesting part of the whole process.  The target portion of the page has a lot of great options:

When you select subsets in the targeting section the size of the audience adjusts in the box to the right.  So, for example, you could start by narrowing to a country – the US is 35 million.  Then, select those interested in the environment – the list narrows to 5.8 million.  In this section you have all kinds of segmenting options – from gender to age, to relationship status, interests, and much more.  Consider which subgroups could be most interesting for your shop and do testing with those.  Here are a couple examples I came up with:


Kootsac could target an ad to US residents over 18 who are interested in Farmers Markets.  The audience size would be 15,000 and they would probably resonate with the message of a great reusable bag.

Knitstorm could target those in the US who are over 18 and like coffee.  This audience would be 8.3 million.


Paperdisiple creates beautiful origami designs.  In the US, there are 21,500 Facebook users who are interested in Origami.  This could be a great test market for an ad.


Fashiongreentbags could create a special ad for the sports bags.  There are 291,000 people who like the Cleveland Indians – what a great audience for a Cleveland Indians bag!


In addition to bringing in new customers, a Facebook ad can also target just your current fans.  This would be a great way to communicate an “insider” sale with your fans or offer them a product that is not available outside the circle of fans.

Step 4 – Design Your Ad

The Facebook ad is VERY straightforward – a title, a photo, and copy with less than 135 characters.  Since you have such little real estate to get your message across, you need to ensure you use it wisely.  Put yourself in the shoes of the target that you defined and then think about what you want to achieve with the ad.

Are you interested in increasing your fans on Facebook?  If so, link to the Facebook page and have a strong call to action in the copy suggesting they “Like” your page.

Maybe you are interested in promoting a holiday sale in your Etsy shop?  In this case, linking them to your Etsy shop with a code for a purchase discount could be the right decision.

Do you have a new design you want to release just to your fans?  Get a great product shot and develop copy that will grab your fans attention.  They may miss a post that you put on your wall, but they could see the ad pop up instead and grab their attention.

With just the small bit of space to get your message across, be succinct and very clear.  Most important, don’t forget to include a call to action in the ad.  The action you want them to take should come across clearly.

Step 5 – Set Your Price

The last section on the ad creation page is focused on pricing.  The screen looks like this:

You set a budget of the maximum you will spend each day and define the duration of the advertising campaign.  There are two payment options – Pay for Impression or Pay for Click.  Testing both to see how they perform for you might be a good idea.  However, there are many who prefer the pay per click option.  That way, you are only paying for those customers who click on your ad and go to your Facebook page, Etsy shop or blog.

Under pricing, there will be a suggested bid.  However, you can click on the “set a different bid” button at the bottom and create your own price.  Some run their campaigns with maximum bids between $0.05 – $0.10.  If you do not get enough clicks to reach your daily maximum price, you are not charged.

Step 6 – Track Results and Make Adjustments

The key with Facebook ads are to track the results.  If your $5 run wasn’t producing results, try another approach.  When you hit on something that works, try increasing your spend a bit to see if you can scale the results.

If you haven’t tried any advertising on Facebook, I would really encourage you to test and ad or two.  You never know, you might get some great success.  For the very low cost of testing, the ads also won’t break the bank.

Just like any other marketing tactic, some shops will have success with Facebook ads and others will not – even after testing different approaches.  If the medium is not working for you, move on and try other initiatives.  The key to a great marketing plan is to have a mix of tactics that click for your business.  There is no “silver bullet” that works for everyone – you have to find what works for you.

Good luck with your test ads and please share your Facebook ad successes and concerns with the EcoEtsy team by posting a comment below!



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  1. I have to admit I would have never thought about placing an add at face book but after this post I feel “Why not having a go!”
    Thanks for opening our eyes to new things.
    keep up your great work.

  2. Yes another awesome posts. I love the insight offered by other EcoEtsy team members. It’s always great to see what works for some. The detail on getting started with Facebook ads was also on point. Another blogger after my own heart.

    Thank you for the excellent post. I’m sure all our readers will continue to benefit from the awesome Business Tips!

  3. Awesome insight!!!