social media how toDo you use Facebook ads to promote your business?

Are you struggling to connect with your audience?

By fine-tuning your Facebook ads, you can capture the attention of both customers and prospects.

In this article you’ll discover how to boost the visibility of your Facebook ads.

boost facebook ad visibility

Discover how to boost your Facebook ad visibility.

Listen to this article:

#1: Use a Clutter-Free Image With Minimal Text

The image you choose for your ad depends on what business you’re in and whom you’re targeting. If you’re a personal brand, you may want to choose a picture of yourself, because a friendly face can improve the performance of your ad. It’s also possible to get good results with images that show a product or something else that’s relevant to what you’re advertising.

When choosing an image, make sure that it isn’t too busy or cluttered. And avoid using an image that has Facebook’s shade of blue because people may dismiss your ad, thinking it has something to do with Facebook. It’s also helpful to add a border around your image.

facebook ad image example

An image of a friendly face can improve ad performance.

Keep images text-free, or use a very small amount of text. Facebook has implemented a 20% rule for text in an ad image, which means text can cover no more than 20% of the image. In a tiny ad on the sidebar of a page, a lot of text on an image wouldn’t be legible anyway.

#2: Write Short, Attention-Grabbing Copy

Your ad copy should be short and enticing and grab the user’s attention immediately. Spend some time coming up with your ad copy. Facebook suggests you include a timeframe and a price (when appropriate) and stick to one call to action.

You can create multiple ads with different text.

test ad example

Test multiple versions of an ad with different copy to see which one performs best.

Then test them to see which gets the most engagement.

test ad example

Test one part of an ad at a time, like the headlines in these two ads.

There are two distinct components to the ad copy: the headline and the text. In the news feed, the ad’s headline (which is clickable) appears under the picture, and in the sidebar, it appears before the text copy. Try to keep the headline to a single line in the ad.

The text copy sits above the image in the news feed or under the headline in the sidebar. Keep the text short enough that the person viewing the ad won’t have to click the See More button.

news feed ad and right column ad examples

The placement of the headline and copy are different for ads in the news feed (top image) and sidebar (bottom image).

#3: Explore Audience Targeting

When you’re targeting an audience for your ad, don’t just type in male/female, 30 to 40 years old, in a certain city and hope for the best. It’s important to know who your customers are so you can drill down and segment accordingly.

Target the people you want to be connected to you and your brand. For example, if you’re advertising something that people can buy, you might want to target those who have bought from you before or expressed an interest in buying at some time.

When creating your ad, always choose the location, age, gender and interests you’re targeting. Most people won’t list their job title or very personal details on their Facebook profile, so you can leave these details out.

Target interests by specifying the pages that your ideal customer likes.

You can target your direct competitors’ pages. For example, if you’re a photographer in Toronto, target the followers of the page of a competing photographer in the area.

interest targeting for facebook pages

Target the followers of a competitor’s page.

You might also want to target the pages of businesses whose products and services are complementary to yours. These people likely have the same customers as you. For example, if you’re a web designer, target people who like the pages of a particular copywriter.

Look at the profiles of people who like your page and see what other pages they like. You’ll probably find common likes among your fans.

Make sure that you target the actual pages, which show up in Interests, rather than the interests themselves.

competitor page search

Target pages in the Interests section.

Note that there seems to be no real rhyme or reason to the pages that Facebook pulls up in the Interests section. You may enter the name of a page that has over 20,000 likes, and Facebook won’t find it, but one with 2,000 likes may show up if you search for it. This is something you’ll have to test for yourself when choosing pages.

#4: Set a Daily Ad Budget

For more visibility, choose a daily ad budget rather than a lifetime ad budget. Consider starting with a small budget of $1 to $2 per day. Then once the ad has been running for a week and slowly picking up momentum, increase that daily ad budget a little at a time.

budget options for facebook ads

Start with a daily budget of $1 to $2.

What you’re looking for from your ads is a good conversion rate. Most of the time, you’ll want to see a conversion rate under $1. Sometimes, depending on your type of business, the conversion rate may be over $1, but if it ultimately leads to a sale, the cost was worth it.

Bonus Tip: Provide a Clear Goal for the Ad

All of your ads need to send people somewhere. Directing people to a landing page is an effective way to get them to sign up for your webinar or mailing list, for example.

landing page example

Direct people to a landing page.

Make sure that the page you’re sending your target audience to has great copy and is ready to convert.


Facebook is a valuable platform for advertising and getting results. It’s just a matter of knowing how to make your ads more visible to your target market so you can achieve those results.

What do you think? Have you tried any of these tactics to improve the visibility of your ads? What strategies have worked best for your business? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

how to boost facebook ad visibility

Tips for boosting Facebook ad visibility.

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  • Carolina

    I’ve tried to use other competitor‘s pages but when I’m trying to add them on the actual ad they don’t appear. It doesn’t matter if I’m looking for a page with less than 1000 fans or 60k fans or more. How can I solve that problem? The only options that appear are my own pages. Thanks!

  • Peggy

    If you need extra cash from 50 dollars to 300 dollars daily for doing basic work over internet on your computer from home for 3-4 h each day then try this…

  • treb072410

    Thank you for sharing Lisa, I will definitely be doing your advise..

  • I would love to hear how the changes impact your results. The Facebook Ad Reporting offers so much insight into what is and isn’t working so you know where to make changes (or what to keep the same).

  • Carolina, have you checked to ensure you are typing those Page names into the “Interests” section? Without seeing what you are doing and knowing that you are only seeing your own Page and no others, I would guess you may be typing in the wrong section.

    In terms of what Pages Facebook will allow you to target, Facebook can be picky. Some Pages will show up and some won’t, no matter how many fans they have.

    Double check what section you are in and keep me posted.

  • Carol Tice

    I’m curious how Lisa Larter is getting those headlines at the bottom of the image to be so long — has a 25-character limit that I’m always bumping up against!

  • Sean Swentek

    Are you using Ads Manager or Power Editor? You can only get longer headlines in Power Editor.

  • Sean Swentek

    Great info Lisa, thanks for sharing!

    One question: How do you come up with a dollar amount for “conversion rate”? This has always been expressed as a percentage in my experience.


  • great tips especially about using the actual names of pages.

  • jodypage

    Curious how you factor in the 20% text restriction. Is that true for all ads or are certain ads exempt from the restriction? On all but the WP Engine ad shown as examples above, they are technically over the “5 grid squares” allowed . I would dearly love confirmation that ads with more than 20% text won’t be rejected, but that has not been my experience lately. I’m especially curious how the last ad (in the Bonus Tip box) gets approved. Thanks for clarifying.

  • Rian Gtohish

    Thank you!
    Very interesting!

  • Rita Sun

    Wow a lot of information to take in! Cannot wait to get started and see what the outcome is!

  • Paras Ali

    I have tried my competitor pages in “Interest” section. But none of a single page from my region appeared. 🙁

  • 1) Not all the pages comes under “interest” section (just like social media examiner came). Why? Yes I typed in “Interest” section only.
    2) What to do in Optimize for option? Does Facebook deduct money for showing impression in all the available option? Is there any option which purely work on PPC base? Which is the best option when you have a small budget?

  • Rian Gtohish

    Great tips Thanks!

  • Hi Carol, yes, I’m using Power Editor – I like the added options and control it provides.

  • Thank you! Facebook Ads can do so much for your business, when done right.

  • Have you done any Facebook Ads yet? I would love to hear how these tips work out for you.

  • Dive in Rita! And don’t be afraid to test different options – the reporting options will provide lots of information for you to fine tune your ads.

  • Unfortunately, Facebook can be picky about what Pages show up. If you can’t find them in Interests, you can still utilize the Interests section to drill down to your target audience.

  • The 20% text restriction is pretty consistent – I would advise you always work within it, as nine times out of ten, if you are over, your ad will be rejected. The restriction actually works in your favour – it forces you to be creative which will help your ad and ad copy stand out.

    The image in the Bonus Tip box is an image of my landing page and not the ad I used to direct people there. You are correct, there is definitely way too much text in that image for a Facebook Ad.

  • jodypage

    Lisa – thanks for the clarification. It’s a constant struggle and I was secretly hoping you’d found a workaround. Pixie dust I’d love to share with one client in particular. Thanks for the great info and ideas.

  • Chalongrut Utom

    I ‘ve tried the #3: Explore Audience Targeting

    I target to the competitor fan page with my best content and the result is awesome! I’ve got very cheap CPC cost and High CPR and also relevant score( 10/10 )

    Thank you for the great technique!

  • Lisa, I am using ads to get people to come to live local events, sometimes in big cities, sometimes in small communities. I’ve just done three ads in this series with uncertain results. For one I created an Eventbrite event page for the landing page, for one I created Facebook Event and for the other I sent them to the page on my website with the event info. Any thoughts on what the best way is to get people to come to a live event? Thanks

  • Thanks for your helpful post, Lisa! I really enjoyed reading and learning from it! Also, I have a question regarding targeting of FB campaigns. I’ve noticed that, when running campaigns and targeting certain countries, some of the countries have 0 impressions. Do you have any idea why this could happen?
    Thanks and have a nice day 🙂

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  • Hmm, I actually think that for most businesses that’re only starting to advertise on Facebook, spending under $5 a day is a cost-effective way to help them acclimatise to the arena as well as to find the best performing combination – so your advice is definitely spot on. The only thing is that it may take more time but I don’t think that new social businesses will be too concerned with that

    I am doing it for my own blog post to see if this is indeed true – and I’ll document it if I can get conversion rates up and cost down significantly – let me know if you’re keen to be linked to if it works out!

  • I like the custom audience which we can create by uploading email ids and other one is which we can create on the basis of website visits by placing code in it, these both worked alot for me.

  • treb072410

    Definitely.. Give me a week..

  • Hi Lisa, thanks for writing this post. I particularly liked some of your suggestions around audience targeting (#3) and I thought the authenticity you demonstrated in the one Facebook ad example refreshing. I found this part of the article confusing, “Most of the time, you’ll want to see a conversion rate under $1. Sometimes, depending on your type of business, the conversion rate may be over $1, but if it ultimately leads to a sale, the cost was worth it.” Conversion rates aren’t typically represented that way, but are instead represented as a percentage. Did you by chance mean cost per acquisition (CPA), cost per click (CPC) or something else? Overall, good article though – I just found that part a bit confusing.

  • Hi Lisa thank you for some great tips. I think a lot of people are a little shy of Facebook advertising at the moment with the platform constantly changing. I personally haven’t invested in advertising on Facebook for a while. And have been focusing more on trying to generate organic traffic based on long tail keywords, which is slower but is working. I believe that there have also been some changes to the Facebook advertising terms recently? Is this the case. Kind regards Kim 🙂

  • 2, 3, and 4 are really the most important… not saying 1 isn’t.

    Attention-grabbing copy – it is a must… of course.
    Targeting Audience – good copy will lose its touch if targeting isn’t good
    Set a daily budget – obvious reasons.

    Anyway, great article Lisa. Cheers! 🙂

  • Carolina

    Thanks a lot Lisa! I’ll do it on interest section and let you know. Cheers

  • Sounds good, Carolina. Good luck!

  • Hey Sean, thank you!

    It depends on what you want to report on. From the Campaigns section in Facebook As, I use the “Cost Per Post Engagement” to get the dollar amount. In Facebook Ads Reporting, depending on how I want to drill down, I’ll also look at Cost Per Impressions, Cost Per Reach, Cost Per Click and Cost per Unique Click if I need more detail on what the “engagement” is.

    I hope this helps.

  • Couldn’t agree more Dave. With the way Facebook is set up now, having a strong ad campaign in alignment with your Page’s plan is the key to success.

  • If you every find that “pixie dust” (or I do), let’s be sure to share it with each other.

    In the meantime, have some fun with your creative hat on 🙂

  • Excellent! That’s great to hear Chalongrut. The power of targeting at its best.

  • The options for Custom Audiences are great. I’m glad to hear you have taken advantage of them and seen the positive results they can offer. Thanks for sharing Sachin!

  • My pleasure!

  • Sean Swentek

    OK I see what you were trying to say now. Thanks!

    Conversion rate, for me at least, is “number of conversions” / “number of visitors”

  • I like the idea of always starting with a very small daily budget and increasing it in that way you don’t empty your bank in nor time and with nothing to show for it.

  • Happy to help.

    Yes, everyone has different focuses they want to track. It’s nice to have the options within the Facebook Ads Reporting tool to gather different information.

    Has the new Facebook Ads Manager rolled out to you yet?

  • 1) Facebook is very picky (and with no rhyme or reason) about what pages show up. Unfortunately there isn’t a workaround for this.

    2) The Optimization really depends on your objective for the ad. The most frequent goal is to send someone to your website or a landing page so Clicks to Website is generally the one to use. With this option the charge is for impressions, not clicks, unless you set a max amount per click instead of getting the most at the best price. I prefer the most at the best price and Facebook seems to do a good job of managing that. I’ve found that the best way to do the most with a small budget is to really have a great target audience, good copy and the right image.

  • Hi James. My suggestion would be to have only one page to send them to and be consistent. If you are running three ads for them to go and sign up in three different ways, it can be confusing for anyone who clicks on more than one of the ads.

  • Hmmm, I haven’t run into this issue but if you are using Power Editor to set the ads up, I am guessing it’s because of some of the other parameters you are setting in your ad. For instance if you have an interest targeted that is really only a US company, and you are targeting people in Australia, that could cause this type of issue. Also, make sure you have it set to include rather than exclude and that you don’t have “Connections” set up with those who like your page as this will exclude anyone who does not like your page.

  • Thank you Jason. I would love to hear how this turns out for you and you may feel free to link back to this or any of my articles!

  • Thanks Andrew! For me conversion is usually about getting people to register or signup. By using a conversion pixel on the thank you page for the signup, and the correct objective when I setup the ad in Power Editor, I am able to see the cost per conversion, or cost per registration. This tells me on average how much I spent to get someone from a Facebook Ad to the webinar or free gift I am offering.

    I understand the confusion however as you are correct, with reporting the conversion rate is the percentage of those who saw or clicked on the ad and then took action. Thank you for asking for clarification on that!

  • The only thing truly consistent about Facebook Ads, Kim, is that they are always changing! The terms change quite often so, without knowing exactly which change you are referring to I can’t really speak to that. What I can say is that, so far, all of the changes they have made seem to be for the better and are improving the overall system.

  • Thank you! Though these are numbered I wouldn’t say they are in “order of importance”. The weight of each of these items will differ slightly based on your product or service and your audience. For some imagery might be more important and for others it may be copy. I have found however that by focusing on all 4, you generally get the best results.

  • Yes and it allows you time to see what is and isn’t working for you so you can put your money where it is working its hardest for you.

  • Hey Lisa, thanks for clarifying. If it’s cost-per-acquisition (CPA) or cost per conversion as you put it, I understand better the meaning of that section of the article. I don’t agree that a cost per conversion to shoot for should be under $1 for two reasons: First, in my experience, I’ve never seen a $1 or less CPA before (ie. if a cost per click is $1.00, you’d need a 100% conversion rate on the landing page to reach a $1 CPA) and second, what’s more important in determining CPA is what the product or conversion is worth to the business. That should be one of the first things marketers ask in determining the target CPA. For example, if a home renovation company is selling $8,000 home window installations and they close 25% of all leads, their CPA could be $500 and in most cases (assuming they are keeping their expenses in check) will still show a positive return on investment after expenses. In this example, for every $2,000 spent on media, they make a $8,000 sale. I’m not trying to be overly critical as I liked the article overall. I just don’t think the $1 or less CPA on Facebook should be a target for marketers in every situation I can think of for the two reasons stated above.

  • Sean Swentek

    Not yet. Hoping soon!

  • Maud Coussa-Jandl

    I’m still new to Audiences. Did Chalongrut put the competitor fan page URL to customize a Facebook Audience?

  • Lisa, These were three different geographical localities. So there was no overlap from one ad to the other.

  • James, without seeing the ads, the landing pages, the target audiences and the analytics it’s really hard to analyze and say what would work better. I think this would fall more under the overall strategy for the events and the marketing plan.

  • I certainly see where you are coming from Andrew and I think we are really just thinking in terms of different types of businesses. I agree that no one process or system is perfect for every type up business and as you said, the cost of the acquisition should be relative to the sale price. Thank you so much for the input!

  • birdcity

    What kind of Facebook ad does this article pertain to? Is this a newsfeed or sidebar ad? And what is the Ad objective (clicks to website, page likes, etc.)? Basically, I want to know all about how to set up this particular kind of ad inside Power Editor. Thanks!

  • The example in this article is a newsfeed ad which is the most prominent of the Facebook advertising placements. The ad objective is a click to website, where they can sign-up for the program being offered.

  • birdcity

    Thank you for the info, Lisa!

  • You’re welcome! Let me know your results if you use any of these tips in your own ads.

  • Miky Jones

    Hi Lisa, i love the article and i always try to keep up with the new, i would like to know your option on something that i would like to try out, i have a new blog and i’m a little bit confuse with what option to choose on ads…should i choose to be charged per impression or click to website?

  • Hi Miky – There have been some recent changes to the bidding options for Facebook ads. Jon Loomer provides solid information about this in a recent post on his website. I echo his advice, that you need to test what works for you…and then test some more, in order to figure out exactly what will help you reach your objectives.