When Facebook Ads Actually Work

They may not have invented social media, but Facebook is certainly the most popular platform by any metric. Even though this social media network attracts the most users, its investors are far from pleased.

Overwhelmed by persistent gloomy projections, it would almost seem as though the company may be doomed. After all, this would not be the first familiar brand to face bankruptcy this year; Best Buy, Kodak, Staples, and GameStop come to mind.

I will admit that I have long been critical of Facebook’s relevance as an effective advertising or publicity vehicle, but I feel that some of the criticisms are going too far.

Facebook was not designed originally to be a platform for advertising and marketing. While it has made adjustments and accommodations to enable businesses to promote their services, there are some companies that seem to know how to use the social networking site much more effectively than others.

Let’s take a look at some of the business success stories on Facebook.

State Bicycle Company

State Bicycle Company is an Arizona-based bicycle manufacturer that used Facebook to develop brand recognition and increase sales. They created a page and launched an ad campaign in order to drive people to their ecommerce website. The company now has nearly 200K likes and receives approximately $500,000 in annual sales from coupon codes and traffic directly from Facebook.


The marketing software company, HubSpot, was able to see a 71% increase in their overall sales and a 39% increase in traffic to their website using Facebook over three months. They were largely able to accomplish this goal by offering their Facebook network engaging information that would then lead the readers to their website and their products.

Luxury Link

Luxury Link, a company that specializes in selling travel packages, aimed to use Facebook to increase its brand recognition and drive new travel enthusiasts to its website and packages. By targeting users that had shown interest in upscale travel opportunities, Luxury Link was able to increase their sales for travel packages by 100% and increase the overall traffic to their website by 30%.

Canvas People

Canvas People, which provides customers with canvas portraits, used Facebook advertising to receive nearly 4,000 additional transactions and 180,000 new likes. Their page has nearly reached half a million likes to this date.

How These Businesses Were Able to Prosper on Facebook

Especially if you’ve launched a Facebook ad campaign with disappointing results, you are probably wondering how these businesses were able to see such success. Is there some kind of magic trick to it all? Not necessarily.

When you take a look at the successful business pages on Facebook, you will find that many of them share certain characteristics. These businesses clearly understand that you must be committed to your Facebook campaign.

Below are a few tips for creating a presence on Facebook that helps your brand grow. While we can’t promise that you’ll have the same success as the businesses above, we can say that having the right strategies in place can make success a whole lot easier with the help of Facebook.

Consider What You Want to Achieve

The first step to success on Facebook is knowing what you want to achieve. What outcome do you hope for when you create new ads on this platform? You might have a few different goals, which is fine. However, think about which of those goals has the highest priority for you.

Maybe you want to make more sales, get people to download your app, or increase brand awareness. Once you know, you can advertise in a way that makes the goal more achievable than if you were to run advertisements without any thought behind them.

Know Your Audience

Once you have a goal, think about your audience. Throwing ads out into the wind and hoping they reach the right people is unlikely to be successful. Think about the demographic of those you hope to engage. Location, age, gender, and other details are useful when working with Facebook.

Knowing the behaviors and interests of those who would be great customers can also help. Jot down the things that matter and create your campaigns with them in mind.

Consider Ad Location

It’s not enough to decide you want to bring in customers on Facebook. There are several ways to get your ads in front of people. Do you want to use Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network, Messenger, or all of them? Knowing where the ads will be listed makes it easier to create them for a specific audience.

It’s even possible to have ads run only on specific devices if that’s something that interests you.

Final Thoughts

In order to see results from your Facebook ads, you have to put in the work to maintain a business page. On this page, you should actively engage customers by asking questions, providing information, and offering special coupons, contests, and other incentives for them to notice and visit your website.

When deciding if Facebook ads really work, you must first decide if you are willing to commit to this effort and whether it's a good fit for your type of business. In my view, Facebook seems to do better with consumer brands than with business services and products.