It wasn’t long ago that advertising on Facebook proved to be fruitless. When advertising was first kicked off, we were assisting corporate clients in putting up ads, targeting their specific demographics, finding it cool that we could create such fine targets and then nothing. Crickets. Few responses were coming in because people on Facebook just weren’t looking in the sidebar for ads nor interested.

(This article originally printed in 2014 and has been updated)

Now, Facebook has made their advertising a lot more sophisticated in efforts to compete with Google’s Adwords and they are doing so with good results.

Why do we suggest Facebook advertising? There are many places to put your advertising dollars, from Pay-Per-Click campaigns to paid links, but we honestly love Facebook advertising. Consider this – 1.19 billion monthly active users are on Facebook. More than this people login and spend more time on Facebook than any other platform.

What has changed when it comes to advertising? Many things. For now, here are some Facebook advertising musts.

1. News Feed Placement Ad– Your business Facebook post probably will be seen by fewer and fewer people unless you spend some money boosting or advertising it. Targeting your existing followers and spending money to put your ad in front of them can be a start. Facebook has expanded their advertising space from the feed and right-hand column to Instagram, an Audience Network and Messenger. You may not see all of these options if you choose Automatic Placements. We suggest using Edit Placements and focus just on the News Feed in Facebook.

2. Page Post Ads – When creating an ad, consider promoting a post that you have already put up on your Facebook page. Pick a post that links back to your website, has a great photo and is or has maybe already captured a few likes. Promoting organic posts as opposed to dark ads (posts that aren’t on your Facebook page) will provide you with a lower cost in promoting.

3. Custom Audiences – Set up lists of custom audiences you can target. Custom audiences used to be limited to your Facebook followers and their friends. Now you can build audiences based on who is engaging with your Facebook page, who watched a video, who visited your website and so much more.

4. Focus Locally – If you are a business that only serves those within a 30 to 50-mile radius, Facebook has a solution for this too. When setting up your ad, set it to show within whatever radius you would like of your town or city. This strategy works great in growing awareness of your brand or in promoting an offer.

There are many strategies and routes one can take in putting their Facebook advertising dollars to work. The above are just a few that we know work and don’t have to cost an arm-and-a-leg.