Guide to Facebook Advertising: Beginner Edition

Written by Kelsey Hadaller, Account Manager

If you’re reading this guide, you have probably already decided to give Facebook Advertising a try for either your business or your client’s business. In this guide, we’ll go over the basics of Facebook Ads Manager. After you launch a few campaigns you’ll quickly see how much insight into your audience Facebook provides to optimize your account.


In this guide, we will cover:


Ads Manager Interface

• Account Organization (Campaigns, Ad Sets, Ads)

• Campaign Objectives

• Ad Set Targeting

• Types of Ads

• Reporting Overview


Creating A Facebook Account

If you don’t already have a Facebook account set up, visit while logged into your personal account or your business’s account. If you’re an agency, you can use Facebook Business Manager to easily access all clients’ accounts.


The Interface

Before creating campaigns and uploading ads, it’s important to first familiarize yourself with the Facebook Ads Manager interface. At the home screen, there are 5 tabs to navigate through Ads Manager.



“Manage Ads” is the main screen where you see all campaigns and their performance using custom columns. The different performance metrics will be explained later in this guide.


In “Account Settings,” you can access information like your account name, time zone, business address, etc. This is also where you go to change ad account roles to add ad account advertisers and administrators. Email notification settings can also be changed in this tab. You can select to receive emails when ads are approved or disapproved, get scheduled reports, and receive alerts when your payment method is charged. This is also where you go if you ever need to deactivate your Facebook Ads Manager account.


Use the “Billing” tab to view invoices and manage billing preferences. You can also set an account spending limit if you have strict budgets for Facebook to avoid overspending. Once the limit is reached, all ads are paused.


The “Power Editor” tab opens a new window where you can make changes to campaigns. You can also use the editor to upload or create new ads and review them before placing the order in Facebook Ad Manager.


The “Tools” tab includes these drop downs:


Audiences – Set up custom audiences

Audience Insights – Facebook reporting feature to see what type of people are seeing your ads and what action they’re taking after an impression is made

Pixels – Edit, view, and share pixels here. You can also create audiences and conversions and see which URLs are causing your pixel to fire

Custom Conversions – You can track specific actions on your site here

Pages – Create and view your business’s Facebook pages. This is where you can easily compare total and paid reach

Image Library – Contains all uploaded images you’ve used in ads

Advertisers Support – Find resources for Facebook advertising here


Account Organization


Campaigns and Objectives

Just like in AdWords, campaigns are the highest segmentation in Facebook. When creating a new campaign, you are first prompted to select an objective. By setting an objective, you initially identify and stick with goals. Below are the campaign objective options. Keep in mind that Facebook automatically optimizes campaigns in order to show your ads to people most likely to meet the goals of the campaign objective.



Boost your posts – Ads can be created from pre-existing posts on your business’s Facebook page. This is a good option if you are interested in increasing engagement on your Page.


Promote your Page – This objective is similar to the first in that the campaign will be optimized to increase likes and engagement of your business’s Page. Ads, not posts, are used in these campaigns.


Send people to your website – This type of campaign is optimized to show your ads to people who are most likely to click. You set the custom destination URL at the ad level.


Increase conversions on your website – This objective is probably the most common for advertisers who start in AdWords for PPC and expand to Facebook. In order to effectively utilize this objective, you must implement the Facebook conversion pixel on the pages you wish to count as conversions. Visit this guide for more info on conversion tracking in Facebook.


Get installs of your app – Ads with this objective have destination URLs to the app store. Integrate your business’s app with Facebook SDK for iOS or Android to track how many visitors complete an install.


Increase engagement in your app – This is different from the “Get installs of your app” campaign objective because you can send visitors to specific areas on your app instead of the app store.


Reach people near your business – Facebook will show ads to people in a certain radius of your choosing around your business. This objective can increase local brand awareness and traffic.


Raise attendance at your event – Event ads can be created within campaigns using this objective. People get reminders and updates to encourage event interest and attendance.


Get people to claim your offer – Ads promoting coupons or other specials can be created in campaigns with this objective. You can also set a limit on how many Facebook users can claim the offer.


Get video views – With this campaign objective, you use ads that include an embedded video instead of just images and text.


Ad Sets

After choosing a campaign objective, Facebook prompts you to create an ad set. It’s helpful to think of ad sets as the Facebook version of ad groups. They are a way to separate your different campaigns into smaller sections. This is useful when you’re interested in targeting specific ads to different locations or audiences. You choose the targeting listed below within each ad set.


Audience – Either choose an existing audience in the account that you set up before creating a new campaign, or create a new custom audience. At any point of creating audiences, you can get an estimate of your potential reach on the right hand side of the page.



Location – You can include and exclude multiple locations when setting up ad sets. Like in AdWords, there are different options for who is included in this targeting. Below are the options for setting who is included:


• Everyone in this location (default setting)

• People who live in this location

• People recently in this location

• People traveling in this location


Age – Since Facebook provides detailed demographics, you can optimize your campaigns and ad sets by age. The default target is age 18 – 65+.


Languages – You only need to specify a target language if your audience uses a language not common in the area you choose. For example, targeting English speakers in Germany.


Connections – Show ads to users who like or know someone who likes your business’s Facebook page, app, or event. You can also make advanced combinations in this section of the ad set creation.


Budget and Schedule

You can set a daily budget, which is the maximum you would like to spend on the ad set in one day, or a lifetime budget, which is how much you would like to spend during the scheduled time your ad set will run.


In this section, you can also select more advanced targeting options. These include automatic or manual bidding preferences, when you get charged for either an impression or click, and standard or accelerated ad delivery. You will also name your ad set here.



After reading about the different campaign objectives, you can see that Facebook offers opportunities to use a variety of ads or creative. You can also use an existing post and turn it into an ad.


Image and Video Ads – Use one image or video with these character limits:


Headline: 25 characters

Text: 90 characters

Link description: 30 characters


Image and video ads also include an optional call-to-action button. Although you cannot completely customize the text in the button, Facebook provides a good variety that should apply to most advertisers. Below is an example of a text ad where the advertiser is using a “Shop Now” call-to-action button.


Carousel Ads – These ad units can be especially useful for ecommerce brands. Use 3-5 images and unique links for each image. An example of this ad type is below. As the user clicks on the arrow, the images scroll through.



Your ads can show in a variety of areas on Facebook. Try testing different placements and optimize your ad sets based on user behavior in each. The ad placements include:


• Desktop News Feed

• Mobile News Feed

• Desktop Right Column

• Audience Network – shows ads on other Facebook-approved mobile apps


Keep in mind that your ads will look a little different when showing on different placements. Below are a couple examples of ads on the Desktop Right Column. You can see the text and images are displayed differently than the Desktop News Feed example.



Reporting Basics

After you launch a campaign and start showing ads, you’ll want to start optimizing your account based on the metrics provided by Facebook. There are preset columns you can choose based on your goals. Columns may also be customized and saved as a default view. Below are some of the metrics most commonly used to gauge campaign performance.


Results – Number of actions that were taken based upon your campaign objective.


Reach – This metric is similar to impressions in AdWords. This is how many people saw your ad.


Cost – How much was spent per result.


Amount Spent – Total dollars spent during the timeframe selected.


Post and Page Likes – Even if your goals are centered around website conversions, displaying ads on Facebook will also help increase engagement on your business’s page and posts.


Link Clicks – These are either clicks to the website, your app, video, etc. All link clicks must take the user off of the Facebook site.


Website Actions – These are all the actions tracked by the Facebook pixel on your site. This metric can be broken down into different actions depending on the number of pixels you use.


What’s Next?

If you’re interested in learning more about audiences, best practices for Facebook ads, and how to best structure your account to align with goals, see the Intermediate and Advanced Guides to Facebook Advertising. As always, be sure to check PPC Hero for Facebook updates from Hanapin Marketing’s PPC experts.