People always ask me, “Do Facebook Ads actually work?” and I always reply with a resounding “YES!” But it requires proper strategy, implementation, and testing. Facebook has the best advertising platform out there right now at the time of this writing. But let’s face it you want to know how to make $60k in two weeks through Facebook because you clicked that link said you can do it, and want to see how this works.


This past spring Eliix was contacted by a bull riding event who was stopping in Chicago for a show at a large 7000 person venue. So there was quite a bit of work to be done. Tickets for the event were about $20-60 per ticket, and throughout the entire campaign we had to be in constant contact with the box office to double check out numbers with actual ticket sales. It was found that ~75% of people who clicked the ads on Facebook went through and bought a ticket, and at the end of this campaign we helped to sell 3000 tickets through Facebook ads (Hence the $60k).

How we did it

Before attempting to push out a large campaign like this you must plan everything out. Don’t just boost some random posts or promote an event page by throwing some money behind it. Facebook has a full arsenal of tools and a pile of information that is just waiting to be tapped into that most people do not even realize!

We first discussed the target market. Not only those who currently attends the shows, but also who they WANTED to attend the shows? Our client had two tiers of tickets. One for VIP and one for general admission, but when we learned that there is a high latino attendance for the event we broke down the target into three target markets. Higher income people who live in more affluent suburbs in the area who are horse people, frequently attend events like this, and have higher than average spending habits will see an ad for the VIP passes. Middle class income from broader neighborhoods, who have an interest in horses, rodeo, country music, who speak US english (There is a difference in Facebook targeting over UK english!), and a few other things saw the general admission ads. And finally we took the general admission ads and switched out the language to Spanish, moved the target location to a different area where this audience frequently came from, as well as replace some of the terms with their Spanish counterpart to target the latino audience for general admission sales.

One of the biggest things that discourages people who run Facebook ads is they never see the return they want. “I put $20 behind an ad and nothing happened!” Well Mr./Mrs. Theoretical, you only ran one ad for the campaign? You must ALWAYS be testing!

Here are all the ads we ran just for the VIP tickets:


Notice that for just this one ad set (audience) we ran 23 individual ads. Throughout the entire campaign we were switching out photos, titles, descriptions, locations, and call to action buttons in a ton of different combinations to test and see what worked and what didn’t. If something wasn’t working (you can see quite a few didn’t receive any clicks) we stopped giving that particular ad money and tried something new. Here are the results of the 15 other ads we used for both Spanish and General admission.

Spanish Ad Results


General Admission Ad Results


[Quick Review!]

Reach = Number of individuals who view ad
Frequency = How many times those individuals viewed that ad
Impressions = Total number of views on ad
Clicks = Clicks on the ad in total (includes multiple clicks by one person)
Unique clicks = Clicks on ad (excludes multiple clicks by one person)
Click Through Rate (CTR) = Clicks/Impressions*100
Unique Click Through Rate (uCTR) = Unique Clicks/Reach*100
Spent = Total spent on ad
CPC = Cost per click
CPuC = Cost per unique click

But wait… you ran more ads for VIP than GA and Spanish combined?!

If you notice there were a lot of iteration of the VIP ad that failed and returned no results, so we had to run more iterations of the ad to ensure success whereas the GA and Spanish ads performed just fine on their own.

How to I make this work for my business?

When running Facebook ad campaigns there are a things you should always remember…

  • Know your customer! Facebook sits on one of the largest piles of information on the public and you should not be afraid to use it. Know where your customer lives, know their age, know their marital situation, know their occupation, education, income, food preferences, drink preferences, vacationing habits, etc…
  • Don’t be a used car salesman. Facebook is a place people go to to check up on their friend’s and family’s day. They don’t plan on going there to buy something. So your ads should never say “BUY NOW!” or “SALE THIS WEEKEND ONLY!” Generate some sort of value, and give people a reason to follow through with your goal. For the rodeo, we ran ads promoting a family fun weekend, and a unique experience. Something beyond “BUY TICKETS!”
  • Build a funnel of value! Pull your customers through your brand by beginning with an ad and ending with a sale. Provide humor, emotion, or education on your Facebook wall, Twitter feed, and other channels to keep people coming back to your brand.
  • Be consistent. You cannot just launch a campaign and expect it to work without any extra effort. Be sure to engage with your fans on all channels at all times.
  • Use ads to reach outside your audience. So many people use ads for just their followers on their page and don’t realize that ads can reach anyone on Facebook. Use that to your advantage.
  • Research! Look at how much it would cost to reach your goals. For the rodeo we worked with a $2000 ad budget.
  • TARGET! Do not be afraid to break your target market into smaller ad sets. We broke the rodeo target into three ad sets and I wouldn’t doubt you couldn’t do the same for your product/service.
  • Test… test… and test some more! Be sure that your money is being used effectively and do not be afraid to run as many as 14 ads for something as simple as gaining likes on your page!

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  1. […] rants, Aunt Sue’s knitting fetish, and tons of crappy “BUY NOW! 10% off ads” from pages who don’t know how to make a proper ad… And at the end of the day Facebook is in business to make money off of ad sales. If you as a user […]

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