10 Proven Facebook Ad Strategies from Trello, WeWork & More

Facebook advertising has become a critical tool for businesses looking to reach new audiences and drive results online. With over 2.9 billion monthly active users, Facebook offers unparalleled opportunities to get in front of your ideal customers.

However, succeeding with Facebook ads is easier said than done. Competition is fierce, costs are rising, and users are getting savvier about tuning out irrelevant ads in their feed. The average click-through rate for Facebook ads across all industries is just 0.90%, according to WordStream.

To get the most out of your Facebook ad campaigns, you need proven strategies that cut through the noise and deliver real results. That‘s why we reached out to top social media marketers at leading brands like Trello, WeWork, Sprout Social, and more to get their hard-won insights.

Whether you‘re just getting started with Facebook ads or looking to take your campaigns to the next level, these 13 expert tips will set you on the path to success.

1. Set clear goals and choose the right campaign objective

The first step to any successful Facebook ad campaign is knowing exactly what you want to achieve. Are you looking to drive brand awareness, generate leads, make sales, or something else? Your goal will determine everything from your ad format and messaging to your budget and bidding strategy.

"Before we launch any Facebook ad campaign at Trello, we make sure we have a clear objective tied to a business outcome," says Julia Mayer, Senior Marketing Manager. "That might be driving a certain number of free trial sign-ups, hitting a cost-per-acquisition target for new paid subscribers, or reaching a new audience segment to expand our brand awareness."

Facebook‘s Ads Manager provides a range of campaign objectives to choose from based on your goal:

Facebook ad campaign objectives
(Source: Facebook)

  • Brand awareness: Reach people more likely to pay attention to your ads and increase awareness for your brand.
  • Reach: Show your ad to the maximum number of people.
  • Traffic: Send more people to a destination on or off Facebook such as a website, app, or Messenger conversation.
  • Engagement: Get more post engagements, Page likes, event responses, or offer claims.
  • App installs: Send people to the store where they can download your app.
  • Video views: Promote videos that show behind-the-scenes footage, product launches or customer stories to raise awareness about your brand.
  • Lead generation: Collect leads for your business or brand.
  • Messages: Get more people to send messages to your business in Messenger, Instagram Direct and WhatsApp.
  • Conversions: Drive valuable actions on your website, app or in Messenger.
  • Catalog sales: Create ads that automatically show items from your catalog based on your target audience.
  • Store traffic: Promote your brick-and-mortar locations to people that are nearby.

Choosing the right objective is critical because Facebook will optimize your ad delivery based on that goal. If you choose the Traffic objective, Facebook will show your ads to people most likely to click. If you choose the Conversions objective, it will show your ads to people most likely to take a desired action like making a purchase.

2. Identify your target audience

Facebook‘s targeting capabilities are unmatched, allowing you to reach incredibly specific and relevant audiences. You can target by location, age, gender, interests, behaviors, and much more.

However, with great power comes great responsibility. Many advertisers make the mistake of trying to reach too broad of an audience in an effort to get the most bang for their buck. But the key to effective Facebook advertising is getting your message in front of the right people, not the most people.

"When you try to speak to everyone, you end up resonating with no one," says Liz Hall, Social Media Lead at WeWork. "We‘ve found that the more specific we can get with our audience targeting, the better our ads perform. It‘s all about relevance."

Luckily, Facebook provides a number of tools to help you zero in on your ideal customer:

  • Core Audiences: Define an audience based on criteria like age, location, and interests.
  • Custom Audiences: Upload your own contact lists to reach existing leads and customers.
  • Lookalike Audiences: Find new people who are similar to your best customers.

Facebook ad targeting options
(Source: AdEspresso)

When creating Core Audiences, you can get extremely granular by combining different targeting options. For example, you could target "women aged 25-34 who live in New York and are interested in yoga and wellness."

But it‘s important not to narrow your targeting too much, or you may end up with an audience that‘s too small to deliver results. Facebook recommends targeting an audience of at least 1,000 people for the best performance.

Custom Audiences allow you to reach people who have already interacted with your business, such as website visitors, app users, or email subscribers. This is a great way to re-engage warm leads and drive repeat sales.

"Retargeting is one of our most effective Facebook ad strategies at Trello," says Mayer. "We create Custom Audiences based on actions people have taken on our site, such as starting a free trial or viewing key pages. Then we show them highly relevant ads based on where they are in the customer journey."

Lookalike Audiences help you find new people who are similar to your existing customers and most likely to be interested in your product or service. To create a Lookalike Audience, you first need to create a Custom Audience to use as a "source." Facebook will then find users with similar characteristics to those in your source audience.

"We‘ve seen great results from Lookalike Audiences based on our highest-value customers," says Hall. "By targeting people who look like our best customers, we‘re able to significantly scale our reach while still maintaining a high degree of relevance."

3. Create thumb-stopping ad creative

Once you‘ve defined your target audience, the next step is crafting ad creative that will grab their attention and persuade them to take action. This includes your ad format, visuals, and copy.

Facebook offers a variety of ad formats to choose from, each with its own strengths and use cases:

AD FORMAT BEST FOR
Single image Driving traffic to a blog post or webpage
Single video Telling your brand story or introducing a new product
Carousel Showcasing multiple products or features
Collection Highlighting a product catalog
Instant Experience Providing an immersive, full-screen experience
Lead Ad Collecting lead information without leaving Facebook

"We‘ve seen a lot of success with video ads at Sprout Social," says Rachael Samuels, Senior Manager of Social Media. "People are more likely to stop scrolling and pay attention to a video than a static image. We keep our videos short and engaging, with the key message delivered in the first few seconds."

In terms of visuals, it‘s important to use eye-catching, high-quality images or videos that align with your brand. Some best practices for Facebook ad visuals include:

  • Use bright, contrasting colors
  • Include a clear focal point
  • Showcase people using your product
  • Keep text to a minimum (Facebook recommends 20% or less)
  • Ensure images are high-resolution

Facebook ad with minimal text
(Source: AdEspresso)

Your ad copy should be clear, concise, and compelling. You have a limited amount of space (up to 125 characters for the primary text and 25 characters for the headline), so every word needs to count.

Some tips for writing effective Facebook ad copy:

  • Lead with a strong value proposition or benefit
  • Call out your target audience directly
  • Create a sense of urgency with time-sensitive offers
  • Use social proof like customer reviews or awards
  • Include a clear call-to-action (CTA) telling people what to do next

For example, check out this ad from Trello:

Trello Facebook ad
(Source: Facebook Ad Library)

The copy is short and sweet, focused on a key benefit (collaborating with your team). The image shows the product in action. And the CTA drives people to start using Trello for free.

4. A/B test everything

Even the most experienced marketers can‘t predict with 100% accuracy what version of an ad will perform best. That‘s where A/B testing comes in.

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is the process of running two or more variations of an ad simultaneously to see which one gets the best results. You can test virtually any element of your ad, from the headline and image to the placement and target audience.

"We‘re constantly testing and iterating on our Facebook ads at WeWork," says Hall. "A simple change like swapping out an image or tweaking the CTA copy can have a huge impact on performance. The key is to test one variable at a time so you can isolate what‘s working."

Here are some key elements to consider A/B testing in your Facebook ads:

  • Headline
  • Primary text
  • Description
  • Image or video
  • Call-to-action button
  • Placement (News Feed vs. right column vs. Instagram, etc.)
  • Audience
  • Delivery optimization
  • Landing page

Facebook makes it easy to set up A/B tests within the Ads Manager. Simply create your ad variants, choose your budget and schedule, and let Facebook handle the rest. The platform will automatically show the winning ad to more people once it has enough data.

Facebook A/B test setup
(Source: AdEspresso)

"We typically let our Facebook ad tests run for at least 2-3 days to reach statistical significance," says Mayer. "Then we‘ll pick the winner based on our primary KPI, whether that‘s click-through rate, conversion rate, or cost per acquisition."

It‘s important to have a clear hypothesis for each test and document your findings so you can apply learnings to future campaigns. Over time, ongoing A/B testing will help you hone in on the most effective combination of ad elements for your specific audience and goals.

5. Don‘t set it and forget it

One of the biggest mistakes Facebook advertisers make is launching a campaign and then neglecting it. But the most successful advertisers are continuously monitoring, analyzing, and optimizing their campaigns based on performance data.

"We check in on our Facebook ad campaigns multiple times per week," says Samuels. "If an ad is underperforming, we‘ll pause it and reallocate the budget to a higher-performing ad. If an ad is doing well, we‘ll often increase the budget to scale up the results."

Facebook provides a wealth of data and insights within the Ads Manager to help you gauge the health of your campaigns. Some key metrics to track include:

  • Results: The number of desired actions taken as a result of your ad, based on your campaign objective (e.g. link clicks, conversions, video views, etc.)
  • Reach: The number of people who saw your ad at least once
  • Impressions: The number of times your ad was viewed
  • Cost per Result: How much you‘re paying on average for each desired action
  • Amount Spent: How much you‘ve spent on your ad campaign so far
  • Unique Link Clicks: The number of people who clicked on an ad link
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): The percentage of people who saw your ad and clicked on it
  • Frequency: The average number of times each person saw your ad
  • Relevance Score: A 1-10 rating of how well your ad aligns with your target audience (the higher the better)

Facebook Ads reporting dashboard
(Source: Facebook)

In addition to monitoring these metrics within Facebook, it‘s also important to track what happens after someone clicks on your ad. Use tools like Google Analytics and a CRM to measure downstream metrics like bounce rate, time on site, and conversion rate.

"We look at Facebook ads as part of a larger funnel," says Hall. "It‘s not just about driving clicks, but also making sure those clicks are turning into quality leads and customers. If we see a high volume of clicks but a low conversion rate, that‘s a red flag that we need to adjust the targeting or improve the landing page experience."

Ongoing optimization based on data is how you turn a good Facebook ad campaign into a great one. Don‘t be afraid to cut underperforming ads and double down on what‘s working. And always be on the lookout for new opportunities to test and iterate.

Looking Ahead

As consumer behavior and the digital landscape continue to evolve, so too will the world of Facebook advertising. But the fundamentals remain the same: understand your audience, create compelling content, and optimize relentlessly based on data.

"I think we‘ll see more brands using Facebook ads not just for direct response, but also for brand building and storytelling," says Mayer. "With formats like video and Instant Experiences, there‘s a huge opportunity to create immersive, engaging content that really resonates with people."

Privacy is also likely to be a bigger focus in the years ahead, with changes like iOS 14 and the deprecation of third-party cookies impacting how advertisers can track and target users.

"We‘ll need to get more creative with our targeting and measurement as traditional tools like the Facebook pixel become less reliable," says Hall. "That means leaning into strategies like contextual targeting and first-party data."

Ultimately, the brands that succeed with Facebook advertising will be those that stay agile, experiment often, and always put the customer first.

"At the end of the day, it‘s about adding value and building real connections with your audience," says Samuels. "If you focus on that, the rest will follow."

Conclusion

Facebook advertising can be a powerful tool for growing your business and achieving your marketing goals. But it takes more than just throwing money at the platform to see results.

By following the expert tips and strategies outlined in this guide, you‘ll be well on your way to creating Facebook ad campaigns that cut through the noise and deliver real business outcomes. To recap:

  1. Set clear goals and choose the right campaign objective
  2. Identify your target audience
  3. Create thumb-stopping ad creative
  4. A/B test everything
  5. Don‘t set it and forget it

Remember, success with Facebook ads is an ongoing journey of testing, learning, and optimizing. Stay curious, stay agile, and never stop putting your audience first.

With the right approach, Facebook advertising can help you achieve incredible things for your brand. So what are you waiting for? Go forth and create some ads!