How to ‘Hack’ Facebook to Get Press Coverage

Ian Greenleigh - Targeted Facebook AdsSocial media has created ways to bypass the gatekeepers that prevent engagement with the top influencers in any industry—if you know the right ways to use it.

The Social Media Side Door” author Ian Greenleigh showed attendees of his Vocus webinar several “hacks,” none more compelling than one involving targeted Facebook ads.

For less than $10 you can target Facebook ads to reporters, influencers and anyone you want to engage. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how to use Facebook to get press coverage.

Want more social media PR ‘hacks?’ Register for Ian’s on-demand webinar now!

How to create a targeted Facebook ad

  • Read the terms of service to make sure you don’t accidentally violate them. “It’s all about how you get the data to target,” Ian says.
  • Copy the ID number at top and paste it into cell 1 of a spreadsheet.

Facebook ID - Facebook Ad Hack

  • Save the spreadsheet as a CSV file.

Saving CSV - Facebook Targeted Ad

Power Ad - Facebook Targeted Ad

  • Click Create Audience.

Create Audience - Targeted Facebook Ad

  • Upload the CSV you saved. You can fill whatever names you’d like in the “Audience Name” and “Description” fields. In the Type section, choose UIDs and click “Create.”

Add CSV - Facebook Targeted Ad

  • Find an image that stands out and relates to your pitch with a Google image search and save it to your computer.
  • Click “Create an Ad” at the top right of the page.

Create an Ad - Facebook Targeted Ad

  • Enter the URL of your LinkedIn or Twitter profile. To have the ad appear in your target’s news feed (not just on the sidebar), connect the ad to your Facebook page.

Add LinkedIn Link - Facebook Targeted Ad

  • Add a headline and body text.

Headline and Description - Facebook Targeted Ad

  • Scroll down and check the selection under “Custom Audiences” that matches the name of the audience you created. Ignore any warnings about low impressions because it doesn’t apply here.

Custom Audience Check - FAcebook Targeted Ad

  • Scroll down further and name your campaign, choose to run it continuously and optimize for Impressions.
  • Bid at least $20 for a daily budget and make the lifetime budget at least three times whatever amount you choose. (The ad will not cost you $20. That’s the price for 1,000 impressions. Most often the target will see it only once or twice.)

Campaign Budget - Facebook Targetd Ad

  • Click “Review Order” at the bottom of the page and wait to hear from your target. (Don’t forget to A/B test to create the best possible ads.)

Ready for marketing’s future? Brian Solis can help. Register for his webinar now!



  • Jen

    How do you edit the url to get the id number?

    • http://daretocomment.com/ Ian Greenleigh

      Just replace everything before “.facebook” with “graph”

      • Nick Murden

        Ian…that is genius, kudos to you my friend. But what stops one from just sending a polite direct message?

        • http://daretocomment.com/ Ian Greenleigh

          if you mean a message through Facebook, you’ll likely end up in the dreaded “other” inbox if you’re not connected. This technique is most effective when you’re not connected already. If you mean a DM through Twitter, unless this person has opted-in to the new “DM from any follower” feature, you won’t get through unless the follow is reciprocated.

          • Nick Murden

            I did in fact mean Facebook message but yes I suppose ‘other’ is where it would end up. Must admit I rarely check it. A friend of mine posted this on Linked In, so you’ve gained a new Twitter follower!

          • http://daretocomment.com/ Ian Greenleigh

            The “other” inbox is designed to be rarely checked. It’s FB’s equiv. to a spam folder. Thanks for the follow!

  • Shana

    Participated in this webinar last week. Great idea! Definitely intend on keeping this handy.

  • Spheroku

    Hi Ian,

    I’ve put $20 max bid and used Impressions for optimization, however, I see this message in “Targeting” next to “Ad Preview”: “We couldn’t load your suggested bid range.” — is this something to be concerend about?

  • Spheroku

    BTW.
    The .csv files can be created with simple notepad. All entries are coma separated,

    In case of just one id number you simply paste the number by itself into notepad and save the file with .csv extension.

    No need for spreadsheet. This is a very simple text file…

    • Brian Conlin

      Good tip! Thanks for sharing!

  • Smashing Golf&Tennis

    Thanks for this article. The only part of it that I seem to be having a problem with is the step “Enter the URL of your LinkedIn or Twitter profile. To have the ad appear in your target’s news feed (not just on the sidebar), connect the ad to your Facebook page.”

    I cannot seem to find that option- I’m sure I’m staring right at it, but missing it. Got through all of the other steps, tho it does appear to be a few changes made by FB already – at least according to my screens.

    Thanks, Again