I saw that Facebook today (or was it yesterday?) launched a new advertising platform. Well – two actually – but the first is called “social advertising” and I managed to get my first ad campaign running on a PPC basis in about 10 minutes flat. Some observations and screenshots along the way for anyon interested. I have also put all the links through my own affiliate tracking software, so after a few weeks I’ll be able to tell you some conversion data as well.

 The first great thing is that Facebook makes it even easier to target specific demographics and interest groups. I started off with a massive audience (everyone in the United States) but soon decided to target my adverts to women – because they tend to buy my murder mystery games more than men – by about 2:1. I was also forced to choose one country (BOO… don’t you know I’ve sold a murder mystery games to the Antartic Expedition via the web? I really HAVE targeted every continent!) but I guess I can set up other adverts for other regions in due course.

I could also type in keywords and interest groups popped up as I went. Here is the targeting I ended up with – how “plain English” is that? I AM impressed. 

Facebook Targeting

So now I have set up my target audience and limited to 125,480 people across America. I’ll get the Brits and the Canadians and the Aussies on the next few passes. Right – what was next?

Next was writing the advert – and to my joy I was allowed to upload an image! The text and layout of the advert came alive on the screen. Unfortunately it didn’t give me much clues as to how many letters I could use and it turns out that if your domain is more than 20 letters long (mine was www.murdermysterygames.net) then you won’t be able to use it in your text creative.

Here was the advert creative Screen – again really simple:

How an Advert looks in Facebook

And then game the pring and payment. I was again delighted. I can choose between PPC OR CPM based delivery and I can set the maximum PPC. They are not starting greedy – the default is 10 cents but the minimum is 1 cent. (I went cheap, on the basis that I was likely to be early on the band wagon).

One error or bug here. You are allowed to set campaign start and end dates. I tried to do this – giving myself a great run from now until well after Christmas, which is my peak season for Murder Mystery Parties. The campaign system only allows me to run a campaign up to 30 days in the future. WHOOPS 🙁 “shome mishtake Shurely???” as we say in fashionable London clubs). Never mind – I went for full delivery and set the budget at $50 a day. I figure that if they give spend that at 3 cents a click I’m on a winner! I expect I may have to raise the CPC bar a bit soon. Here’s the pricing screen options:

 Facebook Pricing Screen

And that was it! My advert is now up and running (OK – I had to get the credit card out too). I’m tracking every click to sale, so let me know if there’s any questions you’d like me to report on.

Dixon Jones

An award-winning Search and Internet Marketer. Search Personality of the year Lifetime achievement award Outstanding technology individual of the year International public speaker for 20 years in the field of SEO and Internet Marketing, including: Pubcon; Search Engine Strategies (SMX); Brighton SEO; Ungagged; Search Leeds; State of Search; RIMC and many more.


Laura H · 9th November 2007 at 10:50 am


How many impressions / clicks have you seen so far?

I set up 2 campaigns yesterday, 1 has been suspended, have no idea why and helpfully they don’t tell you. (Read the Ts&Cs twice and really can’t see what the problem is) and the other hasn’t had a single impression yet despite me starting off with quite a high cpc…

mayhemuk · 9th November 2007 at 3:25 pm

Mine seems to be ok: 4574 impressions so far with 16 clicks showing 0.35% CTR. However… there were also 16 clicks this morning (UK time) – i.e. 8 hours ago, so I think the lesson for me is to not have the adverts running when the audience is blearly eyed.

I also noticed that the first “viewer” was from a server called http://stanford.dev.facebook.com/intern/ads/review.php which does suggest the adverts are getting some form of review!

I can’t say why yours was dropped I am afraid.

What’s also a bit annoying is that I do not seem to be able to edit my campaign now it is running. Fixing a typo or a price point or in my case stopping ads running at 3:00 Eastern Time when only US users are meant to be viewing would be helpful.

Dan Horton SEO · 21st November 2007 at 8:41 am

You would be surprised just how many seo clients are not yet familiar with the traction generated from such social networking sites as Facebook. Recently in a discussion we had the response “oh we looked at facebook but couldn’t seem to get on it” A little effort goes a long way in reaching a potentially huge audience.

Lavanya · 5th August 2008 at 8:23 am

Do i need to give any deposit fee?
After coming to the set budget page, do i pay the entire amount liek for instance u said 50 dollars–do i pay 50X30 dollars and they refund?

mayhemuk · 5th August 2008 at 9:41 am

No, although you SET the budget there, they are only billing my card in bits as the ads money is spent.

adwords consultant · 22nd August 2008 at 5:44 pm


Thanks for posting your experience with facebook. I just signed up for a new account using your post.

Other research I’ve done indicates that they can be pretty strict about what advertisements they will allow, but that seemse like a good thing to me.

Thanks again.

» Christmas day data proves that Facebook is more than just a fad Dixon Jones: Echoes from a quiet space · 16th January 2008 at 10:07 am

[…] – does not seem to “grab” people’s attention like adverts on a search engine and our initial campaign tests have been far from […]

» Why Facebook adverts are not working Dixon Jones: Echoes from a quiet space · 4th February 2008 at 1:33 pm

[…] Posted in February 4th, 2008 by mayhemuk in Online Advertising, Chess Some months back I reviewed FaceBook’s sponsored listings  and found the Click through rate to be very poor. Since then I have tried with a much larger […]

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