Richard Brasser is a columnist for “Media Matters,” the Association TRENDS™ Communications & Media Blog. This blog post originally appeared on the Media Matters blog, located here.

1. What is your CPC (Cost Per Click) budget going to be? This one might make me crazier than any other. Savvy marketers might be able to naturally evaluate CPC and arrive at an appropriate number, but most small business will have absolutely no idea.

• The question should be: What is it worth to have virtually unlimited access to the attention of your key prospect for the foreseeable future? If you just ask yourself about CPC, you will be thinking about things all wrong and will probably significantly underestimate (or totally miss) some key factors. To mention just one, let’s take a look at the difference between Facebook and Google advertising. If you have a pay-per-click ad that targets certain search words, it is relatively easy to figure out how much you should pay for one active lead. However, if your Facebook ad campaign results in a prospect “liking” your page, then you have free access to that same prospect forever…unless you annoy them and they “unlike” your page. The fact is that you can’t just use one impression for the formula because Facebook could give you access for many more impressions. Therefore, your budget should reflect the actual long term impact and not just the first click.

2. What is the best way to maximize the clicks on my ad? Are you ready for a no-brainer, just put “free” or a really cool picture of an exotic beach location…don’t worry, it won’t produce any results but it will cost you a ton. Sorry for the sarcasm, but you really don’t want to increase the clicks from useless passers bye. This is probably the number one mistake that I see. You want to refine your ad message so that it only resonates with a potential buyer and decision maker.

• The question should be: What is the best way to position my ad so that only the right prospects click on it? Well, the truth is that if I had the perfect answer to this, I wouldn’t be writing this blog. I would be sitting in one of those tropical locations. However, there are some good ways to maximize the effectiveness of your ad campaign. Leverage the fields in the profiling section. Facebook allows for fairly broad use of terms in the “Likes” and “Interests” field. If you put your buyers job titles, Facebook will deliver your ad to the right people if they mentioned their title. You might also think about putting your list of top targets in the “workplaces” field. The long and short of it is to use an ad that is specific about what value you will bring and clearly identifies who you are looking to speak with about your solution.

3. Do I really need to spend time on analytics? I know you saw this one coming. Ok, so I am hearing this less and less but in general, small businesses spend way too much time creating the ad and targeting the ad and far too little time on the analytics. The fact is that the analytics are the only real way to derive value from your ad campaign besides direct sales.

• The question should be: What percentage of time should I devote to analytics and what exactly should I be looking for? I met with a social media marketing manager a few weeks ago that explained that she had no time or resources to do analytics. I advised her to stop doing everything until her head cleared. The fact is that if you aren’t spending at least fifty percent of your time analyzing your results and trying to make sense of the data, you are probably missing the entire point of the effort.

You should be actively compiling a prospect list from your responders and creating a matrix that includes most of their key attributes. Look for commonalities in the data…you never know what you might find. For example, a small capital equipment medical firm found that (strangely enough) almost all of their prospects were hockey fans as well. Changing the ad to include a drawing for Stanley Cup tickets just might have an impact. You have to really spend time in the data and the good news is that the free analytics in Facebook are pretty sophisticated. Take full advantage of these tools and continually build your database (NOT JUST NAMES AND EMAIL ADDRESSES) and constantly try to figure out WHO the people are that liked your ad and why they clicked on it. The insights gained will not only make you real money but will also save you as much or more in the long run.

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