This blog post started its life as the answer to a question on Quora. If you enjoyed this post, please give my original answer an upvote!
Can somebody better explain the Facebook ad program and the like campaign?
I am trying to get brand recognition for a mobile chat app. I was on the phone with Facebook and they say they will reach 200,000 to 250,000 users in one months time. Now that sounds promising, but is there some estimated percentage of how many users actually like your page through the like campaign?
What's your plan?
Once you have these fans, what do you intend to do with them? "Brand recognition" is a very vague goal for your Facebook campaign. It's better to focus on definable goals that move the needle on direct results for your business. I recommend focusing on quality likes targeted to people who are likely to download your app, rather than a campaign focused on getting tons of likes no matter the quality.
Facebook agrees. In a phone call with the FB ads team in February we were told that for medium to large brands like our clients, FB is now recommending they focus on growing a "large enough" community, and then focusing their ad budget on promoting posts and running ads with other objectives beyond gaining new fans.
This brings me to my next point...
Do you have a social media strategy where building a strong, interactive FB community helps you achieve your business goals, or provides great feedback to help you improve your app?
If you're not sure what you're going to do with your community once you have it, then you probably shouldn't build it until you know how it will help you move the needle on real business goals.
You should check out my 5 Step Plan for Creating an Online Community to help you get started. I'll also be following this post up with my own plan for how an app developer could best harness a Facebook campaign to drive real business goals and create a useful community.
Mobile App install ads
If you don't have a solid strategy in place yet, what you could do while you create one is to begin A/B testing with app install ads on FB. App install ads give people who see your ads the ability to immediately install your mobile app by clicking a CTA "Install" button on the ad. You can target the ads by specific mobile platforms, so that only people who can install your mobile app will see your ads.
This is an important part of the first stage of my 3 stage plan for building a useful Facebook community for app developers, so get a head start on working through A/B testing to find some solid ads that perform well for you.
Gaining new users for your app is a more immediately useful business goal, and helps you with your secondary goal of building awareness for the app as well.
In my next post I'll share my 3 stage plan for building a useful Facebook community, built with your real app users, and ready to start driving key business goals for any mobile app developer!