Yes. Yes, they are. I don’t even much like advertising, and I’m enthralled by the specificity of what you can do on Facebook.

I’m using a freebie US$50 coupon right now from this blog’s host – Bluehost – to run a Facebook ad campaign. I keep an eye out for such coupons and rarely pay actual money to do this, because I’m bootstrapper-cheap.

When someone Likes our Tourism Currents Facebook Page, a “Sponsored Story” ad with our logo that says, “So-and-so Liked Tourism Currents” will be shown to other people on Facebook who meet the following criteria….I selected each of these, and anyone setting up a campaign can do this….

The ad will be shown to people who:

A) Live in one of these countries: United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Mexico, United Kingdom, Ireland, Netherlands, India, Israel, Philippines, Malaysia, Sweden, France, Spain, Greece or Estonia.

**  Reasoning:  I picked English-speaking countries around the world plus countries where I know we already have Facebook Likers and Tourism Currents newsletter subscribers. Too many forget that it’s the World Wide Web.

B) Are 23 years old or older; male or female.

**  Reasoning:  I usually skew the ad target ages older starting around age 30 and only show the ad to women, because Facebook Insights tells us that our largest group of Likers are women ages 35-54, but this time I decided to go for some more young ‘uns and some more men.  🙂

C) Have some indication already in their profile and/or Facebook activity that they have these specific interests: Tourism, Hospitality, Economic Development or Destination Marketing Organization.

**  Reasoning:  Those are the exact markets for the social media training that my business offers.

D) They cannot already be connected to/have already Liked the Tourism Currents Page.

**  Reasoning:  Why would I spend money to attract people who’ve already Liked us?

E) They have Facebook friends who are connected to Tourism Currents.

**  Reasoning:  It’s called “social proof;” people tend to trust their friends, so if they see via our Sponsored Story ad that their friends have Liked our Page, it’s more likely that they’ll see that as a vote of confidence and Like us, too.

How Many Will The Ad Reach?

Given all of my selections, Facebook estimates that the ad could be (not definitely will be, but could be) seen by 115,520 people.

Gosh, that’s rather small for an ad with worldwide reach, isn’t it?

No. It’s perfect.

I never go for big numbers when I create one of these campaigns, and neither should you. Put your offer in front of the right people, not a whole bunch of people.

Those are 115,520 people who are PRECISELY the kind of folks who would be most interested in the training we offer. When did you last buy an ad where you could pick who would see it?

This is a no-brainer.

 How Long Will My US$50 Freebie Last?

In my experience, not very long.

We’ll get excellent response and clicks because the ad will appear in front of the sorts of people who are most likely to be interested in it.

I will only pay (from the coupon, till it runs out) when someone actually clicks on the ad, called PPC (Pay Per Click) in industry lingo.

Facebook estimates my Cost Per Click (CPC) to be about 41 cents per click. (Update: I messed this up. Facebook’s bid algorithm suggested that I pay no more than 41 cents per click, so I said OK. Now that the ad is approved and the campaign is live, I’m actually paying about 25 cents per click.)

If each click costs me 41 25 cents, and I’ve allocated a maximum spend of US$10/day until the US$50 freebie runs out, then do the math – I’ll run out of money each day after about 24 40 clicks.

Update one day later, as of 13 September:  I’ve spent US$11.69 of my US$50 freebie coupon, we’re at 38 new Likes for our Page, Cost Per Click is 21 cents, Click-Through Rate is 0.264%

What Really Matters In All This

I’m spending the $50 coupon to figure out how Facebook advertising works (on Mark Zuckerberg’s dime, not mine) and to hopefully attract a few more Likes to our Page.

However, raw numbers of Likes is a totally useless metric for success on Facebook.

What really matters is how well we converse with, encourage and help our Like-ers, how many of them come “into the fold” by allowing our email correspondence into their IN box, how many of them recommend us to their peers and how many buy the training services and products we sell (because ultimately, nothing really matters to the success of our business except cash flow.)

Anything else is Horse Manure ROI.

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