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Earlier this year, the 2 billionth Facebook account was created. Nearly one-third of all people on the planet have a Facebook account. If you’re just venturing into social media marketing, Facebook is a great platform to start with since it has a very general audience ranging from pre-teens up to the elderly; it’s popular among both men and women, conservatives and liberals, and any other demographic you might be trying to reach. Another great thing about Facebook is that it’s free to set up a Facebook page for your business and get your feet wet with social media marketing. But a zero dollar investment will only get you so far and you’ll eventually want to start paying to sponsor posts or create Facebook ads so your reach extends beyond just those who sought out your page and chose to follow it. The following tips will help you to maximize the return on your investment into Facebook marketing.

Decide on clear, measurable goals

What do you hope to get out of your social media marketing efforts. Do you already have an established loyal customer base and now you need to build on that base. Perhaps you’re already doing fine on unique visitors but you’d like to see more return customers. Whatever it is you’re after, you need to identify specific key performance indicators that you can track to measure success. Without clear, measurable goals, you won’t be able to gauge the effectiveness of your Facebook marketing efforts and you won’t be able to determine how to allocate future funds for Facebook marketing.

Define your target market

The wider the net you cast through paid Facebook advertising, the more it’s going to cost you. On the one hand, you want to cast wide enough that you get results, but you don’t want to waste marketing dollars reaching people who aren’t likely to become customers either. If you’re an online business, you don’t have to worry about limiting the geographic reach of your advertising. Instead you’ll want to target specific demographics that make up your ideal customer. If you’re a local business, limiting your advertising to within a set number of miles of your physical address is just the obvious first step. You’ll want to further narrow in on specific demographics within that region as well.

Choose high quality images

Images you include in your posts or advertisements should be of a high quality–not low resolution and pixelated, stretched, or unoriginal. Instead of just choosing from boring stock photos that do nothing to differentiate your brand from the rest, consider taking your own photographs or purchasing higher quality images.

Create video content

Facebook has been trying to prioritize video content on their platform for a while now so you will have a better chance of being seen if you periodically post video content to Facebook. Your videos need not be shot with the highest quality video/audio equipment. Simple how-to videos, livestream product reveals, and photo slideshows set to music can be effective forms of video content that you can shoot with your smartphone. Remember that the quality of the content is more important than the production value.

Test ad performance

Whether you use Facebook’s built-in tools or third-party software, you need to keep a close eye on certain performance indicators. By experimenting with releasing ads at different times of day targeting different demographics and regions, you can begin to recognize patterns and trends that will be helpful to getting better ROI through your Facebook marketing efforts.

Use existing mobile channels to build social media presence

Social media is increasingly consumed on mobile devices. Your best bet for expanding your reach with Facebook marketing is to use existing mobile channels such as a mobile friendly website or SMS campaign to get existing customers to follow your page. The more “likes,” shares, and comments you can get on your page and posts, the less you have to rely on paid advertising to be successful on Facebook and the better ROI you’re going to get.

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