For advertisers serious about their marketing, they’ll certainly be spending money on Facebook. With more than 1.5 billion monthly active users, innovative ads and incredible targeting capabilities, Facebook has become a can’t-miss marketing opportunity.

The real question for marketers is not whether they should be advertising on Facebook, but how they should choose a marketing partner to help them get the most out of their spend on the world’s most important social network.

1 Inside the FMP Program

The Facebook Marketing Partner program includes more than 130 companies certified as being experts at helping advertisers use Facebook effectively. (Full disclosure: AdParlor is part of that group.)

While you certainly can go it alone and run campaigns on Facebook yourself, a partner can make your life a whole lot easier by offering a variety of services that can include media planning, data analytics, and even content creation. Since everyone is different, it’s best to think closely about what your brand needs from a marketing partner, and then go from there.

2 Picking the Best Option

If you’re new to advertising on Facebook, you might want to work with a partner that can offer managed services that will allow you to essentially hand over your entire Facebook social media marketing operation to a team of trusted social media experts. These teams can draw-up a high-level Facebook strategy, set KPIs and understand what sorts of results you can expect to be generating. If this is the sort of hands-on service you’re looking for, you should make your choice from Facebook’s list of marketing partners certified for media buying.

Of course, this might not be the right option if your brand is already sophisticated when it comes to Facebook marketing. Indeed, as social media advertising has become an increasingly integral part of crafting an overall marketing plan, more and more companies are building their own in-house social teams. If that’s the case for you, it might be better to look to a marketing partner that can offer a self-serve technology solution that provides granular, data-based audience insights while ultimately leaving the big decisions to you. (And maybe even the option of going from self-serve to full-serve when you need extra help.)

By using these platforms, you’ll be able to target your most valuable customers, optimize your campaigns for the metrics of your choosing, and review detailed reports on how everything is going. If this sounds like what you’re looking for, you can try searching from Facebook’s list of partners certified for ad technology.

You’ll also want to be thinking about how much help you’re going to need with the creative aspects of your campaign. If you already have a team of talented in-house designers or (ahem) awesome freelance writers, maybe it’s unnecessary for you to seek out a platform that has content creation tools baked in. If you’re not as fortunate, you could seek out a partner that gives you creative assets to choose from and the ability to build your own ads, or an even more hands-on company that will create the content for you itself.

In any case, you should make sure the partner you choose is able to optimize the creative you’re putting out. This way, you can make sure you’re only spending money promoting the blog posts, headlines, and photo assets people are most likely to engage with.

3 Narrowing Expertise

Once you’ve determined your needs, it’s time to consider what kind of business you’re running and how each potential partner is helping companies in your industry. There are 16 different verticals including gaming, retail and consumer packaged goods that Facebook certifies its marketing partners to work in, and it’s important to choose a one that’s strong in yours.

For instance, if you work for a travel company, you might seek out a partner that can schedule your advertising based on the weather. Of course, this level of automation might be entirely useless to you if you work for a gaming company and you’re probably more interested in a feature that tells you how many in-app purchases people are making after clicking on one of your ads.

In addition to what your business does, you should also think about where it operates. In the event that you have questions, you’ll need a partner with a client services team that speaks your language and has an office in your time zone. The last thing you want is to have a burning question that can only be answered someone who is half the world away and won’t be awake for another six hours.

By now, you should have been able to narrow your search to a select few companies that offer the products and services you need. To weed out the merely good companies from the true cream of the crop, ask your potential marketing partners what their relationship is like with Facebook. Chances are, the best of the bunch will be able to offer you deep insight on Facebook ad products, and maybe even the possibility of being part of beta testing of future products that will allow you to stay ahead of the game in an increasingly competitive field.

Finally, as is pretty much always the case, you’ll want to be doing business with a company that has a great reputation in your industry and comes highly recommended by people you respect. If you’re having trouble choosing, you can always reach out to your mentors, friends, and even Facebook sales reps to steer you toward a partner they know and trust.