3 Social Ad Hacks You May Have Missed | TravelResearchOnline


3 Social Ad Hacks You May Have Missed

Do you want an easy way to re-connect with past clients?

Do you want to attract potential new clients?

As a busy travel & tourism pro you’re faced with the dilemma of where to spend your precious time and marketing efforts.  Attracting potential new clients and keeping strong relationships with current clients is probably at the top of your to do list, but may often times get buried beneath accounting, phone calls and creating itineraries.

Did you know that 84% of marketers are using Facebook ads?  Yet there are so many changes and fine details that are easy to miss, it’s no wonder that there are more questions than clear answers.

Here are some great questions I hear frequently from travel pros along with some proven hacks to make your life easier.


  • Q1: Which is better for setting up ads easily; Power Editor or Ads Manager?

A1:   Guess what—they’re merging (very soon) into a single ad platform so you don’t have to choose!  I’ve loved using Power Editor and am excited to see the new combined tool as the changes focus on campaign creation and reporting.

We’ll still have ‘Quick Creation’ and ‘Guided Creation’ in the new combined tool and Facebook will automatically opt you in to the tool you’ve used most often.  (You can always change to the other method if you want).  The best news is that in the combined tool you’ll have the option to save your work as a draft.  (Great news for busy travel pros)

The best news is that now you’ll have 1 easy place to access your ads reporting.  No more time wasted looked for certain metrics on Ads Manager and other details on Power Editor.  In the new combined ad platform you’ll find charts, activity history, breakdowns, summary rows, date benchmarks, exported insights reports and more. EASY!

Novice tip:  The ‘Guided Creation’ option is still the easiest way to dive into Facebook and Instagram ads.

Advanced tip:  The new combined tool will show all your ad analytics and metrics in one place.  What a time-saver!


  • Q2: How can I target ads to my own client list?

A2:  There’s a really simple way to add your own list of client emails to Ads Manager in Facebook and then target your ads to this unique audience.  Yep, that’s right—your own clients!

Simply create an Excel spreadsheet of your client email addresses, save it as a .csv and then upload it to Ads Manager.    Tip:  When creating your Excel spreadsheet, insert your client emails into ONE column and don’t use any column header.

Once you have your list complete head over to Facebook Ads Manager to set up your new Custom Audience.

Here’s the navigation:   click on the ‘hamburger’ icon at the top left of your screen, then select ‘Audiences’.  Next select ‘Create Audience’ and then ‘Custom Audience’, then ‘Customer File’.  Then follow the prompts to upload your client list.

Wah Lah!  Facebook matches up the email addresses from your list into a new audience for your advertising pleasure!  Easy!


  • Q3: Can I target people who have interacted with my Facebook or Instagram posts?

A3:  YES and YES!  Imagine if you could reach out to people who have taken that first big step as a potential new client of yours by clicking “like, comment or share” on your post.

Here’s some examples of focused ways to turn them into brand loyalists.

  • Target your next ad to people who have interacted with a recent Facebook Event of yours. Simple!
  • Connect with anyone who has reacted or interacted with your business page. Simple!
  • Do you have a video that was viewed by a ton of people? You can create an audience of just those viewers.  Simple!

Here are the choices you’ll find in Ads Manager when you select ‘Custom Audiences’ and then ‘Engagement’.


Audience types jpeg-1

Roadmap to Advertising Success

With these creative tools at your fingertips, next you’ll want to devise a roadmap for your ad campaigns.  Here’s the start of a roadmap for your advertising success.

Novice level:

  1. Add your client list to Facebook and create a custom audience. If your list is already segmented in any way, create separate audiences for each one.
  2. Build a series of posts that showcase great images and provide a link to info on your website.
  3. Create an ad using the Guided Creation
  4. Target your ad to your new custom audience list of your clients.
  5. Measure your results.
  6. Start creating videos for future ads.

Intermediate level: 

  1. Select existing posts that have gained some traction with your fans and have gained you some coveted ‘likes, comments and shares’.
  2. Create a new audience based on interactions with your page.
  3. Create ads that deepen the relationship you’ve started with this audience.
  4. Measure your results.
  5. Create Carousel ads to broaden your story telling opportunities.
  6. Build an Event for each of your upcoming group tours and consumer nights.

Advanced level:

  1. Create a series of ads for each of your audiences.
  2. Split test the ads by changing text and/or photos and videos to find the ones that work best for each audience.
  3. Measure your results.
  4. Create look alike audiences from your best performing audiences.
  5. Coordinate your Facebook and Instagram posts and ads to create a seamless story.
  6. Create Canvas ads that integrate images and video.
  7. Add a pixel to your website to track web visits from Facebook users. Create a custom audience for these fans.

Social Ad Hacks - Sep'17 png

While this roadmap is only the start of a great advertising campaign, you’ll learn what works best with your own unique audiences.  When you learn the ‘secret sauce’ for each unique audience, replicate that style, tone and voice in your future ads.

Now that the analytics for your ads are all in one place you’ll find it easier to grasp the greatness of each ad.  You’ll be able to measure:

  • Ad Reach and Views
  • Demographics of people reached
  • Ad Relevance score
  • Link Clicks
  • Button Clicks
  • Click Thru Rate
  • Cost per Result

While organic reach drops continually, your advertising campaigns will help you reach the people who matter most.  When you continually draw more fans into your campaigns you’ll be able to create new audiences and campaigns.

Think of all the time and money you’ll save and the new audiences you’ll reach with these simple advertising hacks!

What other social advertising questions are keeping you awake at night?

catherineheegCatherine Heeg, international speaker and trainer, focuses on social media marketing & communication for the travel and tourism industry. Join the conversation and connect with her at www.cmsspeaking.com and socially.

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