Social Media | Digital Marketing | Training | Strategy
Carma is a Social Media Specialist. She's probably on Social Media right now, checking on her Facebook Ad metrics, scheduling posts, or doing some research for a new strategy...or she got distracted by cooking videos...
I’m a Social Media Marketer, and I have some thoughts about our new laws
I normally post about tips and advice for small businesses running their own Social Media channels, but this post is a bit different.
If you’re not interested in the new laws rushed through parliament last week regarding the removal of “Abhorrent Violent Material” then tune out now.
In my opinion the new laws regarding “Abhorrent Violent Material” were too rushed, too broad and show a lack of understanding of the channels they set to police.
They demand that the offending material is removed quickly or fines and jail time are imposed on the host companies and their management.
There wasn’t consultation with the community who would be A) tasked with the removal of this content to gather information on how it’s done from a logistical standpoint, or B) the heads of the platforms used to distribute said content.
Not to mention that “quickly” is an incredibly vague and problematic value.
The NZ terror attack was removed from Facebook in a time frame I’d say was ‘quickly’. By their own statement:
“The first user report on the original video came in 29 minutes after the video started, and 12 minutes after the live broadcast ended.”
For a platform that deals with content at an unfathomable scale I think that’s pretty quick.
Could it be improved? Probably. Can a law make them do it faster? Probably not.
I heard Atlassian’s Co-CEO Scott Farquhar’s statement and I pretty much agree with his sentiments; The bill was rushed through, it’ll have an effect on more than social media sites (including in areas of privacy and free speech) and that although it’s a good idea to look at how to remove or stop altogether the posting of this type of content online it’s not dealing with the heart of the problem.
If I’m being political:
When mainstream media and our politicians do nothing to stem the flow of hate and misinformation available to the public it’s quite hypocritical that they want to lay blame at the broadcast of the atrocity but have said little about how they intend to address stopping actual atrocities.
In fact, I haven’t seen the footage on Facebook anywhere. The only places I’ve seen clips of the shooting (not that I’ve looked, admittedly) is on mainstream TV news – sure, only the bit where guns are being loaded into the boot of a car, but that’s more than I’ve seen anywhere on any social media channel (not just Facebook) and I’m online a LOT.
If the government actually wanted to help clean up social media and the internet at large they would hold discussions with the platforms, digital professionals and the community to seek greater understanding of how they operate and address concerns in a meaningful and practical way, not slam a law through so they can look like they’ve done something productive.
Do you have any thoughts on the matter? Let me know.
Social Media strategy is one of my favourite aspects of my work. I find it come easily to me, and I enjoy the strategic process.
I recently came to the realisation that most people that manage their own Social Media accounts (Facebook pages especially) don’t really understand the difference between their paid and organic posting.
They don’t have a Social Media strategy, and if they do they’re not aware how it can be broken down and implemented across both paid and organic Social Media.
Many business owners I speak to assume if you run ads they should be appearing on their pages. Or being served to them on their newsfeeds.
I get it – Social Media strategy is not something everyone’s experienced at, and with all the things you look after as a business owner it might not seem that much of an important distinction.
But if you plan to use paid activity via Facebook, Instagram, Messenger or WhatsApp you’ll undoubtedly benefit from knowing more about it, so you don’t waste money on the wrong things.
Otherwise it’s like buying an expensive piece of art and not knowing who the painter is.
There are too many businesses posting about their offers, promotions and events all. the. time.
People feel sold to and they tune out. It’s too much about your brand and not enough about them.
In my experience, your Social Media strategy should fit into a few key themes, and I’ll detail each one, so you know how to decide if what you want to publish is organic-friendly or better being put into a paid campaign.
Organic Social Media Strategy
Engagement & Community
Most of your posting should be reflective of your community, to get them to engage with you. Now, I realise it’s much tougher to do that than in 2012, especially with new pages (and it takes time) but it’s essential. Be patient.
You should know exactly who your audience is, and you must
prove to them that you get them. You believe in the same things they do. You
understand their challenges.
Great formats for this are polls, relatable quotes, helpful
tips in your niche and behind the scenes content or info about how you make your
product/design your services.
For example – if you’re a service provider like a business coach you could poll your audience on whether they are excited or dreading going back to work after the holidays. People can answer vote and feel safe to participate as there’s only two options.
You have a group of people you’re trying to reach, and if you always keep them front and centre of your Social Media strategy they’ll be more likely to choose you when the time comes to buy.
Content types that work well in this theme are generally visual – think video and original images.
& Brand Positioning
This one’s different for all businesses, as it depends on your size as to whose the authority – you (as the owner) or your brand, but either way you want to be the best in the business and your Social Media strategy can help you achieve this.
For many brands, your product or service isn’t completely unique – so standing out as the “best” might be showing people you’re the cheapest (or most premium), the fastest, the most cruelty free, the longest lasting…whatever your USP is helps prove you understand what your market needs, and how to enhance their lives with it.
If you sell beach towels you want to be the go-to resource for everything beach related. Build your authority so your audience trusts you and knows you are knowledgeable in an area that they’re passionate about.
When you do this, you’ll feature more than just your own products but don’t worry – you don’t have to feature your direct competitors.
If we stay with the beach towel example, what about hats? Sunglasses? Eskies? Waterproof phone cases…whatever else you pack in your beach bag. Plus swimming, sun safety, reading, ANYTHING beach related is still relevant to your audience.
Acknowledge your product is only one part of their experience.
You can share links to great articles from high profile accounts in your niche, industry studies (about how to spot a rip for example) or publish your own written content on these wider themes on a blog so you can entice your audience to visit your website -without asking them to buy anything.
You’ll be amazed how much less “stuck” you feel coming up with content to post if you open your topics beyond the first layer.
This theme also covers your (or your brand’s) personality. If your market is fun-loving people – be fun! Want to attract affluent buyers, use their language; if your product is made for other businesses, use industry speak to reflect your experience in that niche.
There’s really no end to what post formats you can use for
this – but links, video, testimonials, reviews, and shots of your product in
the hands of users (not only product shots) are useful, as is any user
generated content (where you have customers who’ve taken photos of your product
and posted them to Social Media)
People can’t but from you if they don’t know you exist – so one of your themes should be informing your market about your product features and the challenges it solves from them.
But not in a salesy way. Try to keep your posts about how your product is designed with them in mind to HELP them.
If you have a product-based business, you could detail why you chose recycled packaging to not only inform, but to develop empathy with people who value this philosophy.
Video is great for this as it’s easy to consume and showcases how your product works, therefore how it helps people.
You can still post about your latest sale, and share product shots of your new collections, it just needs to be kept in proportion.
People love buying things, but they hate being sold to so if
you find your audience tuning out, ask yourself if you posted too many sales
I know there’s a lot of pressure to move inventory, but this
is Social Media – if it doesn’t have a SOCIAL aspect it’s going to get lost in
Top Tip: Make yourself a content calendar so you can be sure to vary your content themes and formats to keep it interesting, and always pay attention to your metrics to measure success.
How will I know it’s working?
Organic metrics you should be tracking are reach, engagement
and negative feedback.
Paid Social Media Strategy
When it comes to your paid Social Media strategy you have more flexibility.
You can talk about promotions, offers, sales and shipping…all the more practical and logistical aspects of your business that aren’t necessarily going to make good “on page” content can be very helpful within campaigns.
If you have the right targeting in place, people will be
interested in your business and accept (and even sometimes be glad) that you’re
telling them about your latest promotion.
Notice I said the right targeting.
There are many challenges to selecting the right audience for your paid messages – but because you can control who’s served your ad, you know what stage of the buyer journey they’re at and what will likely sell them on your offer, so you can tailor your copy and creative to be highly relevant to them.
For example, if you have a website that sells furniture and you’re having a couch sale – you can target people who’ve recently visited your brand’s couch product page. If someone looked at beds or coffee tables they aren’t as likely to be in the market to buy a couch – so you can leave them out of your targeting, limiting your ad wastage.
Social Media Strategy Summary
Your paid and organic strategies don’t have to have the
exact same objectives, if they’re all serving your end goal they can (and I believe
should be) approached in different ways.
Social selling does work, but it’s a balancing act of being
social with your community and reserving the bulk of the salesy CTAs (calls to
action) to your paid campaigns.
What do you think? Are you guilty of sales-spamming your
Social Media is a great way to stay connected, be
entertained and informed and promote your business.
But it can also be a massive time suck and bad for your self-esteem. Like most things in life, it’s about balance. You might need a Social Media sanitise.
If you’re feeling bummed out after scrolling, you’re NOT ALONE!
But there’s some things you can do to spruce up your accounts and get a better experience from Social Media.
“A couple of weeks ago I unfollowed over 600 people. They were just random people I was sick of seeing on my feed.
I wanted more friends than acquaintances.”
Do what I did and go through your Facebook friends on your personal
profile. If you haven’t done it for a while you’d be surprised how many names
you don’t even recognise.
I only had just over 400 friends, so it’s not like I had been collecting them, but still some people were added to gain access to their accounts for Social Media services years ago, didn’t work and the client company anymore and had got married and changed their last name.
If I need my detective skills to figure out who you are, you don’t need to be here.
And it’s not as if these people were annoying me with their
posts – those ones get flushed out in real time, but evaluating each friend and
how much you’d be willing to share with them in real life can really make your
feed feel more welcoming.
I thought to myself “if I saw XXX in the shops, would I keep walking, just wave, say hello, or stop for a chat” I found it helpful to have a scale.
Same concept, but with your other accounts. As Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn and Instagram are all less personal than Facebook (not sure why, maybe because it was our first?) it’s fine to not recognise your followers or the people you follow – especially as your accounts grow.
“My Insta feed constantly changes because I’m always following and unfollowing different accounts, like I’ll get obsessed with a TV show, follow all the stars and then a few weeks after I’ve binged it I don’t care about them and I’ll unfollow. “
So there’s less at stake – unfollow anyone who makes your feel bad.
Someone you compare yourself to that makes you feel like you
come up short, your sister, whoever. It doesn’t matter who they are. If it’s
I don’t want to go into the ins and outs of mental health, I’m
not qualified to do so except in terms of my own anyway, but there’s healthy competition
and then there’s stuff that does damage.
Some posts might inspire you and spur you on. Others might
make you feel inadequate. That’s the danger zone.
It might not even be what this person or business posts – it
could be you’re not receiving it in the manor it was intended, but if it’s
making you feel bad UNFOLLOW. You can always check back with them when you feel
up to it.
And it’s important to remember that just because someone’s great at curating a perfect Instagram aesthetic doesn’t mean they are happy in their life.
They likely have the same securities the rest of us have.
Follow & Connect
Find people and accounts who inspire you. And I don’t mean the hashtag blessed Insta-babes that pat each other on the head about everything. Unless that’s what you’re into…
I mean accounts who make you feel good about yourself.
Work out who they are and find more of them. Follow their
Connect with like-minded people. Interact with stuff you’re
passionate about. Tell the social algorithms what you like, and they’ll do
their best to find you more of it.
This sounds hard, but the more you put yourself out there,
the more of your people you’ll attract, and you’ll be so busy engaging with
them you won’t even notice you forgot to look at your old bosses account this
This article (that I wrote) was originally published on Social Media Examiner.
Do you use Facebook Events to promote your events?
Wondering how to use Facebook ads with your Facebook event?
In this article, you’ll discover four audiences I use to successfully promote events on Facebook.
But first, you need to make sure your event is set up properly. If you’ve nailed this part – skip to number 5.
#1: Set Up Ticketing for Your Facebook Event
You want to make it as easy as possible for people to buy tickets to your upcoming event, and there are a number of platforms that integrate with Facebook event pages for onsite ticket sales like Eventbrite.
If you’re using Eventbrite to host your ticket sales, you can integrate it into your Facebook event so people can buy tickets without leaving Facebook. It’s best to set up your Eventbrite event before you create your Facebook event, but it can also be done afterward.
Before you launch your Facebook event, make sure you add your Facebook pixel (and any other tracking) to Eventbrite to capture data you can use for retargeting. After you set up your event in Eventbrite, click the Manage tab and navigate to the Tracking Pixels section.
Next, click Facebook Pixel and enter your pixel ID and other details.
While you’re here, you can also add other tracking such as Google Analytics. You can never have too much data!
Once your Eventbrite event is set up with all of the appropriate tracking, you can publish your event and add it to Facebook. Eventbrite will most likely prompt you to do this and guide you through the process.
If it doesn’t, you can manually do it. On the Manage tab, click Invite & Promote and select Add to Facebook from the drop-down menu.
Either way, you’ll need to select the event and choose the Facebook page to host the event. You must be an admin of the Facebook page you’re using to host the event.
Once you’ve done this, click Add to Facebook.
Your event will now be added to your page and also appear as a post in the news feed. This is what the Facebook event will look like to you as an admin:
If your page and event are eligible, your attendees will be able to use Facebook’s own checkout experience, as shown here. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to buy tickets to your upcoming event!
#2: Add the Venue and Sponsors to the Facebook Event as Co-Hosts
Adding co-hosts to your Facebook event will allow them to post in the event itself. When you post content, users who’ve responded to your event will get a notification. This will keep the conversation in one place (making the most of the notifications) and allow the appropriate people to answer any queries about your event.
To add co-hosts’ profiles individually, you must be friends with the person, or you can add pages.
You can add co-hosts when you initially set up the event or after you’ve created it. To add a co-hostto an existing event, click Edit on the event page.
You or other stakeholders may want to display the event on your Facebook pages. This is easy to do, and it’s a good idea to add the event to any relevant pages so there are no duplicates.
If you’re an admin of the stakeholder pages to which you’d like to add the event, click the three dots button at the top of the event page and select Add to Page.
In the drop-down menu that appears, choose your page.
If you aren’t an admin, you or your stakeholders can still add the event to your pages in a similar way. Go to the event, click the three dots button, and select Add to Page. When prompted, choose a page from the list of available pages.
#3: Tips for Posting on the Facebook Event Page
The Facebook event page can be a busy place. You want to make the most of it because this is a captive audience of people either attending or considering attending your event.
But you also don’t want to overdo it and annoy your audience, so take advantage of the new ability to schedule posts to the Facebook event wall.
To encourage people to attend, tell them what they can expect on the day (or night) of the event. For instance, if you’re running a seminar, share some information about the speakers.
You might also inform people about facilities and services available at your event. To illustrate, post parking information, a venue map, transport, dietary information, and payment methods.
#4: Get Your First 15 Facebook Event Attendees
You can pay to promote your event only if 15 people at minimum respond that they’re attending. So how do you get your first 15 attendees? Facebook will suggest people who are your friends who also like the host page as a first option.
But you can invite any of your friends. Do this sparingly, though, and only invite people you genuinely think would want to attend your event.
You, your sponsors, the venue (if appropriate), and the speakers (if it’s a conference or seminar) should all share the event to your respective pages. Also share your event with any relevant Facebook groups, your customer database (be mindful to remain compliant with privacy laws in your region), and any lists of past attendees if this is a recurring event or your business has hosted similar events before.
If your event is interesting, well described, has good clear imagery, is held at a time and place people can easily commute to, and is a reasonable price, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting these first 15 “going” responses. Then you can use the power of Facebook ads to ramp up your event promotion!
#5: Create 4 Custom Audiences to Target With Facebook Ads
When you set up targeting for your Facebook campaign to drive ticket sales for your event, it’s important to split test the creative, copy, call to action, and so on, as well as the audiences themselves. Interest targeting will work in some cases, but your best and safest audience to get some purchase conversions is with four main custom audiences. Let’s walk through how to build them step by step.
Your Current Customers + Lookalikes
If your business is hosting an event, it’s likely highly relevant to your customers. Provided your customer data has been collected with permissions to be used for marketing (check your local laws if in doubt), you can upload the customer data to Facebook to create a custom audience.
Once you’re in the Audiences section, click Create Audience and select Custom Audience from the drop-down menu.
Next, you’ll see a list of options on which you can base a custom audience. For this audience, choose Customer File so you can upload your customer data.
To create your audience, your options are to upload your customer database as a .csv file, cut and paste data from it, or import the data from your MailChimp account.
For this example, select Add Customers From Your Own File or Copy and Paste Data.
Next, specify the origin of the data, upload your file, and give your audience a name. When you’re finished, click Next.
Facebook then maps the data to the available identifiers. In the image below, there are four mapped data fields: First Name, Last Name, Email, and Phone Number.
If everything looks okay, click Upload & Create and the list will start populating.
Facebook hashes the data so it can’t be hacked or stolen and used to identify your customers. You’ll see the message below if the upload is successful.
The next step is to create a lookalike audience. When you do this, Facebook will select an audience to target based on commonality with your current customers from the original database. When you see the page shown below, click Create a Lookalike Audience. You’re then prompted to choose a region and click Create.
Now you have your first custom audience and lookalike audience to use in your campaigns!
Previous Attendees + Lookalikes
If you’ve held this event before or it’s similar enough to a previous event that the same people will be interested, you can create a custom audience (and subsequent lookalike audience) of your previous attendees.
Follow the same steps outlined above, but this time, use your database of previous event attendees instead of your customers. Make sure you name this audience in an easily identifiable way, so you can compare their performance metrics later and not get confused.
Also create a lookalike audience. This audience will include people who have matching attributes to your previous attendees, which can be an effective way to target your campaign.
People Who’ve Engaged With Your Event + Lookalikes
It’s likely there are people who are interested in going to your event and have looked at your event page, but haven’t yet purchased tickets. Because they’ve indicated interest in your event by engaging with it, you can create a custom audience based on this engagement and use it in your campaign.
Start the process in the same way as the custom audience you built from your customer database. When you reach the How Do You Want to Create This Audience screen, select Engagement.
Next you see the options for creating a custom audience based on engagement. Choose the Event option.
Then you see the audience creation window. Here you can choose options for the level of engagement people have displayed in your Facebook event, select a time frame for that engagement, and exclude anyone you don’t think is relevant from your audience.
Because Facebook will only let you use these audiences in campaigns if they’re large enough (you need 1,000 people to meet the criteria), you may need to experiment to find one that will match your needs.
If you have a large-scale event, you can make these conditions quite detailed. However, if you’re a smaller business with a more locally focused event, keep them fairly broad so enough people have performed the necessary engagement to be added to the audience.
You can create as many of these audiences as you like and choose which ones to use later once they’ve populated and have a size indicated.
For this example, create your audience based on people who responded “Going” or “Interested”, but exclude people who have already purchased tickets.
Once you’ve created this custom audience, you’ll be prompted to also create the lookalike. As with the previous audience segments, it’s a good idea to do so and test this audience in your campaign.
People Who’ve Engaged With Your Facebook Page or Instagram Account
As with the above custom audience based on engagement with your Facebook event, you can also build audiences based on engagement with your Facebook page and Instagram business profile.
If you’ve been posting relevant and engaging content on your brand channels that align with the event theme, it’s likely people who’ve engaged with you will be open to hearing about your event.
As with the previous audience segment, start by going to Audiences to create a new custom audience. When you’re asked how you want to create this audience, choose Engagement again and then select Facebook Page.
Now you need to specify the criteria people will need to meet to be included in this audience. Because this audience will include people who have engaged with your page but not the Facebook event page specifically, choose a relatively non-passive action such as engaged with a post, clicked a call-to-action button, sent a message, or saved a post. These are the more active interactions a user can have with your page.
As with the Facebook event engagement audience, you need to make sure the audience size is large enough to run. If you have a high level of engagement on your Facebook page, you can afford to be more specific about your criteria. If your engagement is lower, you’ll need to be broader.
You can, of course, create multiple audiences with different parameters and split test each one if you like.
Unlike the other custom audiences, I don’t use the lookalike option here. I don’t find that people who “look like” they engaged with your Facebook page have enough intent to purchase an event ticket. However, if you think this will work for your page, create the lookalike and add it to the mix!
Next you can build a similar engagement custom audience with your Instagram business profile. Note that you can’t create this type of custom audience for an Instagram personal profile. It needs to be an Instagram business profile that’s connected to your Facebook page and Business Manager account.
As with the Facebook audience, create a new custom audience based on engagement, but this time select the Instagram Business Profile option.
In the audience creation window, you can choose a specific time period and certain parameters of engagement with your business. Again, you need that magical minimum number before this audience can be used in a campaign. Depending on the level of engagement for your Instagram account, adjust the options accordingly.
Remember that this audience will only serve you if the content you post on your Instagram aligns with the core purpose of the event.
Always Exclude Purchasers
When running a Facebook campaign, it’s often more important whom you exclude from your targeting than include. To maintain a high relevance score and low negative feedback (which affect the cost of your campaigns), make sure the audience that sees your ads is open to the messages contained in them.
If someone has already purchased tickets to your event, serving them ads to get them to buy tickets is wasteful. So how do you exclude ticketholders? There are a couple of ways to achieve this.
First, you can pull an event database daily and create a custom audienceas in the first example, but this time made up of people who already have tickets. Then when you build your ad targeting, select this audience to exclude. While this tactic is very accurate, it can be a bit time-consuming because you have to constantly create and amend your ad targeting.
The easier way is to use your website and pixel data. Using the URL displayed when a ticket purchase is completed (whether that’s a thank-you message, receipt, or confirmation pop-up), create a custom audience based on website traffic to exclude people who have already purchased a ticket.
When you create this custom audience, select Website Traffic.
In the audience creation window, set the parameters of your audience based on website activity including pages viewed and time on page.
In the example below, once a purchase is processed, the user is sent a unique receipt URL, but all of the URLs “contain” the “/receipt/” parameter. If you have a specific landing page for the purchase confirmation, you would select URL Equals and paste the exact URL into the box.
Finally, name your audience and add a description if desired. Then click Create Audience.
And there you have it: four audiences to target and one to exclude. When you set up your campaigns, you can split test these audiences until you find the ones that have the lowest cost per action and scale them. Any non-performers can be stopped at any time, although I recommend giving them enough time to optimize (at least 3 days).
To manage this process (which looks like a lot of work, but is very quick once you get the hang of it), it’s helpful to create all of your audiences first and leave them overnight to populate before you create the ad campaign.
#6: Create Your Traffic/Conversion Funnel
Events are fun! People like attending them, so as a rule, they don’t need a particularly complicated sales funnel. But like any Facebook ad campaign, the people most likely to complete a purchase conversion are those who’ve already performed the preceding action.
For instance, if you’ve used custom audience targeting to attract traffic to your website with either Link Clicks or Landing Page Views objectives, you’ll get some sales right away, even from cold traffic.
Some people will be excited about your event and won’t hesitate to buy tickets. But events can be expensive to run, so you’ll likely need more than these organic ticketholders to make your event a success. This is where retargeting comes in as you move users down the funnel.
The audiences you’ve made that include your customers, people who’ve engaged with your Facebook event or social media channels, and people who’ve attended your previous events are all considered warm traffic. They know who you are and what your brand is about.
Many people in the lookalike audiences you created (and any interest targeting you may use) are potentially cold traffic. They haven’t heard of you, they don’t know what you’re about, and they’re less likely to attend a business event you’re hosting.
With event marketing, you often don’t have time to build traffic in a phased campaign approach like you would with other types of campaigns. So you need to keep your funnel simple and let the retargeting do the heavy lifting with the engaged audiences.
Once people have visited your website, found out more about the event, and demonstrated an interest in attending (in other words, have been warmed up), make sure you serve ads to them on Facebook and Instagram.
The most cost-effective way to do this is to run a Facebook ad campaign specifically for people who added tickets to their cart but didn’t check out. They’ve shown the highest intent to buy, and therefore are your lowest hanging fruit in the funnel. You can target this bucket of users with the Conversions objective.
Simply target traffic that’s added to the cart (which you know from the Facebook pixel) and exclude the purchasers (as explained at the end of section #5 above). Then all you need to do is wait for it to optimize and see if it’s going to convert at an acceptable cost. If so, scale up the spend because more money in equals more money out.
If not, analyze the results. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and work out what stopped them, and either fix it or find a way around it.
Who else can you target with Conversions ads? Potentially your current customers and previous event attendees who will start at the middle of the funnel, bypassing the cold traffic stage.
What other objectives might you run? Engagement ads in the form of Event Responses. Remember how valuable the wall of your Facebook event page is? And if people engaged with your Facebook event, they’ll fall into your retargeting bucket.
And if your event has door sales available and your budget allows, run Reach objective ads to the local community that fit your event demographic.
There will always be people who don’t want to be locked in and prefer to buy tickets on the day of an event. If they’re aware your event is on, you still have a chance that they’ll attend. If you choose the Reach objective, you can easily cap the frequency and reachof the campaign to avoid annoying your audience.
What do you think? Do you use Facebook ads to drive ticket sales for your event? Have you created some of these custom audiences? What tips can you offer for promoting your event on Facebook? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Now I hear what you’re thinking, why would you team up with a competitor?
Well why not?
Anything we can do successfully in our separate lives we can smash if we get together, right?
Plus there’s MORE than enough businesses who need our help than we could possibly ever service alone. It’s called an abundance mentality, but before we get all woo-woo – let me tell you the story…
The Marketer was kind of a natural progression.
We liked getting together and talking about Marketing and found the recurring theme was “what does great marketing look like” and it turned out we agreed on enough to keep it fun – and disagreed enough to keep it interesting.
And it wasn’t just digital marketing – we wanted to cover all marketing, not just our specialties but old school marketing theory, print media, out of home, TV, email…everything!
But both our company blogs are written for business owners and people learning to DIY their marketing, so we needed something new.
We looked around and there wasn’t much out there covering great marketing campaigns and executions, especially that pertained to our local market of Perth, and we wanted to change that.
Sure, there’s marketing news sites, but that’s not our focus.
And we found plenty of marketing company blogs, but they’re spread out, and focus on their areas of expertise (naturally) so we concluded there’s not really a resource for discussing Perth Marketing from the POV of a Perth marketer.
If you’re an Australian marketer – we’d love for you to get involved!
Anyone who runs a business knows they must have a brand presence on Social Media to reach new segments, support existing customers and be part of the conversation happening around their brand and the wider industry they’re a part of.
And something else that’s abundantly clear is that organic reach just isn’t what it used to be. Once upon a time, you could post on your business page and your fans had a good chance of seeing it in their newsfeeds.
Both Facebook’s big Social platforms (Facebook and Instagram) have been declining organic reach for brands for some time, meaning business owners who want to generate higher reach have been opening their wallets.
But this isn’t the only reason people choose paid distribution methods. It may be that your target audience is quite specific, requiring a more targeted approach that organic Social posting can achieve.
Or perhaps you’ve created some amazing content, why take the risk of minimal exposure?
Get it out there!
If your video auto-plays in the forest, and no-one is there to read the captions – did it even play at all?
Deciding to promote your content isn’t the hard part, but how to do it effectively can be confusing. So let’s look at the difference between Ads Manager and Boosting Posts!
There’s a little bit of jargon to learn when paying to distribute your content on Facebook (and Instagram) and the first thing is that Boosting Posts and Sponsoring a post via Ads Manager are quite different.
Facebook Boosted Posts
Facebook’s defines a boosted post as:
“…a post to your Page’s timeline that you can apply money to in order to boost it to an audience of your choosing. This is the simplest way to advertise on Facebook.”
Boosting a Facebook post is straightforward as pressing the blue “Boost Post” button under the post you’d like to put the budget behind and following the prompts.
Boosted Posts start off as organic posts – and have budgets applied.
Facebook Ads Manager
Running ads via Facebook Ads Manager gives you more control over your campaign.
Facebook describes it this way:
“Facebook ads are created through Ads Manager and offer more advanced customization solutions. There are many advertising objectives to help you reach your specific business goals and the audiences you care about most.
Where a boosted post may initially optimize for Page likes, comments, and shares or overall brand awareness, Facebook ads can optimize for app installs, website conversions, video views, shop orders and more.”
Running Ads via Facebook Ads Manager requires an Ad Account, preferably set up inside a Business Manager account set up for your business.
You’ll get access to more robust targeting, more features, and greater support from running ads this way.
Running ads via Ads Manager means they don’t ever display on your page itself unless you deliberately share them there.
Running ads via Ads Manager will give you access to many objective options, under 3 main headings.
Boosting posts will only give you 3 ad objectives; website visits, Engagement and Messages.
So now that we know the difference, which is better?
It depends exactly what you want to achieve.
Facebook explains it this way:
“It’s important for any business to identify exactly what they’re hoping to achieve with an ad.
For example, if you want audience engagement on your Page or to develop your brand awareness, boosting a post is a great way to maximize visibility and grow your audience.
To create more advanced ad types and campaigns, use Ads Manager.
In almost all instances, running ads via Facebook Ads Manager is preferable to boosting posts.”
Boosting Posts is certainly quicker, easier, and requires a less steep learning curve.
But there’s only 3 times I’d ever use it myself
If I wanted my content to only be seen by people who already like my page
Seems counterintuitive, but if you were offering a promotion or discount to your page fans only the most effective way to do this is via a boosted post to current fans of your page.
If you already have your Facebook Custom Audiences set up in Ads Manager
You can access your Custom Audiences and Saved Audiences in your Boost Post options if they have already been created in your Ads Manager. This way you have the same targeting options, and it’s quick and easy to promote your post on the go.
For Social Proof on your Ads
If you’re going to run an ad that’s possible to do as a Facebook post (E.g. Engagement, Link Clicks) you can create first as a post on your page, and Boost to build up reactions, comments and other Social Proof before running as an ad via Ads Manager.
In all other instances I’ll take the extra objective and targeting options of Ads Manager any day of the week!
The other point to note with Boosting Posts is that it’s only effective if your post meets certain parameters.
If your post has performed well organically
A clear call to action – don’t leave people confused over what to do
It’s relevant, timely and optimised for your target audience
Boosting a post that doesn’t have these factors is a complete waste of your Facebook Ads budget!
Ads Manager Advantages
Controlling who sees your ads (and who doesn’t) is one of the main attractions to advertising on Facebook – not using this targeting to its full potential isn’t making the most out of your Facebook ads budget.
Not only is it counterintuitive to use the more limited targeting of Boosted Posts, but placement options are incredibly important to running successful Facebook ad campaigns. Placements determine where your ad is displayed. Will your target market be more likely to be compelled by your ad in Messenger, on Instagram Stories, or Facebook’s mobile newsfeed?
Something else that’s important to achieving a return on ad spends (ROAS) is split testing – which you can’t do with Boosted Posts. How will you know which creative works best, what copy inspires people to click, which placements are most effective if you can’t split test them?
Plus, Ads Manager can doalmost everything Boosted posts can do!
In fact – following this process will give you the same result as a Boosted Post (for the Engagement objective) but with more robust targeting options:
In Ads Manager, click the green “create” button and select “Engagement” as an objective
Choose “Post Engagement”
Define your Audience, Placements and Budget
Click the drop-down menu to designate a pre-existing post
Confirm & launch
This method generates better results, at a more cost-effective rate. Go ahead and put it to the test – I’m confident you’ll appreciate learning how to promote a post on Facebook using the platform’s Ads Manager tool.
Using Facebook Ads Manager to run your advertising is a lot to get used to, but when you’re going to be paying Facebook to find your target audience isn’t it worth spending some time familiarising yourself with the platform that’ll get you the most bang for your buck?
I’d love to know what you think! Drop me a comment.
Content Marketing can have some incredible benefits for your business
But a lot of people still underestimate the value of Content Marketing, or indeed don’t fully understand what it is or why they should invest in bespoke content.
So let’s start by working out exactly what it is!
CONTENT MARKETING – a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.
But I prefer Content Marketing Institute’s definition:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Especially the line following that definition which says “Instead of pitching your products or services, you are providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues.”
So Content Marketing is a way to talk about your products or services in a way that’s audience first and user driven. It’s less about you, and more about them – a good place to start.
What can be content?
Anything your audience can consume can be content.
Video & Slideshows
Graphics & Animations
Ebooks & Whitepapers
Resources & Workbooks
Q&A or AMAs
Branded Filters & Camera Frames
And the list goes on!
The type of content you create for your Content Marketing efforts will depend completely on your audience and objectives.
Great Content Marketing can have a multitude of benefits to your business, let’s look at some of them.
Traffic & Search Results
Everyone wants more traffic to their website, or at least more qualified traffic. When you publish or host quality content on your site, people hit your site to consume it. And you know they’re more than likely interested in your product or services because that’s what your content (even if loosely) relates to.
When you offer something of value to your audience, they’ll come to you. This is the complete opposite of traditional marketing where you go to where they are and interrupt them. If you content is strong enough and valuable enough you might not even have to pay to promote it. You can publish it, and let people come to you in their own way and their own time.
Here’s a great example – Jon Loomer’s Facebook Image Dimension Guide. In case you don’t know who Jon Loomer is he’s a Facebook Ads heavy hitter who runs online training and a couple of membership clubs for exclusive content. In fact, everything Jon does is an example of excellent Content Marketing.
I read in one of his emails a while back that this page on his site is the most visited. It comes up if you Google “Facebook Image Specs” and in creating it, he knew that anyone who visited that page was looking for information on how to optimise their creative to best display on Facebook.
Whether they were marketers, or business owners, or entrepreneurs – they all had that in common. And they were coming to him. For free!
Imagine you’re in a competitive niche; all clamoring to get to the top position in a Google search, but your content – perhaps a simple “how to” video is what people are visiting? That’s YOUR brand getting ahead. Standing out without pushing people away with a hard sell.
We’ll talk more about what you can do with this traffic in a sec.
Brand Awareness & Recall
Word of mouth is still an incredibly powerful way to get your business noticed, and you’ve probably heard the phrase “word of mouse” said too. It’s so important to be known and remembered.
How can people use your services if they don’t know who you are?
How can they recommend you to their friends if they can’t remember your business name?
Create content that resonates with your audience and they’re more likely to remember you. And if they hadn’t heard of you before it’s an even better way to make them aware of your brand!
The idea is that it’s not only valuable enough for them, but sharable as well. Any time you can get people to share your content as a brand you’ve allowed them to represent you and vice versa. They’ve thought whatever you created was good enough for them to put their name to and pass along to their friends and colleagues.
And with Content Marketing you can do this without the rude interruption of more traditional types of advertising.
Brand Affinity & Loyalty
Something else you can achieve with Content Marketing is affinity from your audience, and loyalty from your current customers.
This isn’t just touchy-feely (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but in a crowded market you want people can choose your brand, over others and their affinity for what your brand stands for could be the deciding factor. But they can’t do this unless they know what your brand MEANS.
You content can explain your brand positioning, and win your audience over into fans and purchasers.
Tell your brand’s story and let your audience fall in love with you.
Then once you’ve earned their support you want to retain them!
Great content can remind people why they choose you and not your competitors. It can help deepen the relationship they have with your brand and make them less likely to stray.
Content Marketing can help you segment your audience and only show them what they want to see more of.
You can track and tag pages of your website and/or individual pieces of content, to build audience pools from your different content themes into remarketing segments.
That way when you pay to promote a new piece of content you can target the people who’ve consumed similar content. Facebook targeting allows us to differentiate traffic that’s visited certain pages of our website and not others, and also people who’ve spend a certain amount of time on a particular page so we can serve ads to people who interacted with particular content this way.
It’s the same concept ecommerce stores use when they offer you similar items to the ones in your cart. They know you like xyz product with certain attributes, it follows you’ll like other products with similar attributes.
This segmentation keeps your audience seeing the content that resonates with them, and prevents them seeing content themes that may not.
If you have a sales funnel you need to fill that funnel with content.
This content needs to be relevant to the audience AND their buyer journey.
Content Marketing can attract people to your brand and fill the top of the funnel.
And it’s especially important during the consideration phase (middle of the funnel) to make sure people choose your brand over your competition.
Content Marketing can position you (as a personal brand) or your company as the thought leader in your niche.
Great content will ensure your fans know you’re the “go to” source for information on your product or industry and give you an edge over your competitors, just like in the Jon Loomer example.
Checking the data from your Content Marketing efforts can point you in the direction of new business opportunities.
If you’re looking at expanding or even narrowing your offerings, the data on which content your audience consumed can help you refine your business to offer what has most resonated with your target market.
Content Marketing & Social Media – BFFs
Why am I telling you about Content Marketing?
Because Content Marketing and Social Media are BFFs. Your content can be distributed on Social Media, and content themes can be established based on your social posting.
Think about your most popular Social Media posts – what were they about? What can you learn from this to inform your content offering?
Social Media gives us the power of community for our brands, and it also allows us to target with a high level of accuracy people we want to reach beyond that community where we know our content will resonate.
So put some thought into your Content Marketing efforts and invest in some quality creators if it’s not your thing. The work of an excellent copywriter, graphic designer or videographer will elevate your content and you’ll reap the benefits.
But make sure to leave some money in the budget to ensure this content sees the light of day with the people you made it for.
Facebook Ads are similar to baking, so Imma teach you how to Facebake!
There’s a recipe. But more importantly there’s knowing how to bring together a recipe without blindly following it. A good baker knows when the dough is too wet, or if the cake needs a bit longer in the oven.
The recipe for Facebook Ads is the same – there’s 5 things you need to make them work, let’s call them ingredients. These are the building blocks of your ads structurally – but also the items you need to split test to find the most effective combination for your goal.
What are they?
1kg Amazing creative (mix of video & images)
2 heaped Tbsp Clever & Convincing copy
1 whole Offer (may be substituted with a benefit)
2-3 cups of Audience targeting
1 pinch Excellent landing page
We’ll examine them one by one.
You want your ads to stand out in the newsfeed – but for the RIGHT reasons.
Shouty, text-heavy, blurry, weirdly cropped images will not do. Well they could do the job – but you’ll be paying more than if you had good ones, and the goal is to pay the least as possible needed to meet your objective, right? Good. SO get some design skills or hire a designer.
Same with video. Is your video square or vertical? Does it have captions? Is it as short as humanly possible to still get your point across? Good! The research shows people will watch about 6 secs of your video ad, so you need to make them count.
Your Facebake creative also needs a lot of other components:
You know how important aroma is in cooking?
Well there’s this thing called ‘ad scent’ and it’s important to apply this to your ad creative. Make sure the ad creative matches in some way the landing page creative. They should ‘smell’ the same so people know they’re in the right place.
And how do you choose what type of amazing creative to use with your ads? We’ll discuss that in the method 🙂
Clever & Convincing Copy
Your copy (or text) on your Facebook Ads is another ingredient you’d like to pick fresh from the garden!
Firstly always think in terms of your target audience. Rather than making a vague general message, split off your copy for each layer of audience. If you’re targeting mums, think like a mum. If it’s young men, put your young man hat on. You’ve paid for space in someone’s social experience – make it for them and you can’t go too wrong.
There’s a couple of schools of thought on ad copy length, but for me – I go short every time.
Puns are good, alliteration is fun, rhyming can work…this is the clever part.
When picking copy avoid words like; sale, buy, offer, shop etc if you can help it. Remember you’ve interrupted someone’s newsfeed to serve an ad to them. Don’t use overtly spammy “buy my shit now” types of wording.
Having said that, you do need to include a call to action (CTA) Tell people what you want them to do. If it’s to read your latest post try “check it out” or if it’s to sign up to a list think “subscribe” but remember you can also choose your CTA button to do most of the heavy lifting for you in this area. Just don’t leave it open. In my workshops I always say confused people wander off – and they do, so steer them to your objective, just do it nicely.
And don’t forget about emojis. If your target market would use emojis then you should too. If you go to getemoji.org you’ll be able to see how the emoji display on Facebook so you can match or contrast them to your branding as best you can.
Bear in mind that emoji mean different things to different people though! I had a client who loved eggplant but using the eggplant emoji wasn’t going to fly. Another common one is the “praying hands” which some people think is a high five. You just don’t want to be misunderstood.
Double check your copy is clear and free of typos and spelling issues before posting. Although I have heard of people deliberately spelling a word wrong for entra engagement, I wouldn’t advise it.
Finally, thinking like your audience should allow you to write copy that addresses their curiosity, to either solve a problem or fulfill a desire they have. People buy emotions, so think of the way your product will make them feel.
And remember where you’re landing them when they click (if it’s an ad type that has clicks) so you introduce the page in a way that once they land there they aren’t confused. Why? Because confused people wander off remember! We’ll talk more about landing pages soon.
What are you selling? If you have a discount, sale or actual promotion your ads are going to convert better due to our brains being hard-wired to nab a bargain. It also creates scarcity which prompts a “do it now” response.
If you’re selling something no-one wants no manner of amazing Facebake ads deliciousness is going to get them to buy.
Think about what type of people will take up your offer, what times of day they might be most receptive, what device they’ll be using, where they are in the buyer journey – all these will help you whip up an offering to tantalising to ignore.
This actually should be a whole topic in itself – so I’m going to keep it as brief as I can.
Interest targeting is sketchy at best. Yup! simmer on that one.
Your best targeting comes from people who’ve performed an action with your business. What action? Anything really; clicked a link, viewed a video, hit “going” on an event, engaged with your Instagram account…most things can be measured and re-targeted.
If you need to run cold traffic try using a Lookalike Audience (LAL) or your current customers and let Facebook’s mighty algorithm find an audience for you. It’s very clever!
Upload your customer database (if permissions allow) and make a LAL of them.
MOST importantly, don’t layer your audiences too much – you need to test them separately to find the ones that work. Why? Better results and less bad feedback – which affects your ad Relevance Score and in turn tends to affect your overall ad performance.
A common misunderstanding is that layering audience interest like this will get you an audience of people who like BOTH football AND Beer. But it won’t – this will get you people who like football OR beer. You wouldn’t think it’d make a huge difference though, right?
This audience in Australia with no other filtering is displaying an estimated audience size of 4.4m people. If you layer it correctly to find people who like BOTH football AND beer like this
Your audience drops to 720k – which is a MASSIVE difference!
Before we get too bogged down in targeting (seriously this should, and probably will be its own post) don’t forget your exclusions. You wouldn’t cook a steak for a vegetarian!
It’s SO important to exclude people who aren’t relevant to your ad. If they have bought a house from you, you can probably leave them off the targeting for some time. Anyone who isn’t going to convert because they just did the thing you want them to do should be removed.
Exclusions can save you wasting budget on people who aren’t your audience, and we all want that budget to go as far as it can.
Most other targeting magic happens in the method, which we’ll discuss when we get there in a few paragraphs.
Excellent Landing Page
Why Excellent? Your Social Media Ads can do amazing things, but they can’t help you convert on a shitty landing page.
Most conversions are made on a website rather than a social platform, so don’t spoil the sauce by sending people to a confusing, ugly, non-responsive or slow loading site.
You may as well put your ad dollars in the toaster.
Now we’ve discussed our ingredients, and you’ve picked the freshest, most in season, best quality components to put into your Facebake, let’s talk about how you put it all together!
Baking is a precise art – I tried to make macarons once and it was a complete disaster. And I think a lot of people reading this might feel the same about Facebook Ads.
When baking, you need to pay attention to the order of the ingredients. It’s the same when setting up your campaigns.
Your cold traffic needs the most love, and the highest level of hand holding because they don’t know you at all.
They’ve likely never heard of you, or your business, and sometimes even your product – so asking them to marry you (convert) before introducing yourself is creepy and weird.
Start at the beginning, and ask them for something else first. Buy them a drink, offer them a seat, put your best foot forward.
In this analogy, buying them a drink is an offer, discount or promotion. The seat is articulating how you can help them, and putting your best foot forward could be introducing them to your best-seller or a helpful post, whitepaper, ebook or other resource to let them know you’re interested but you aren’t a creep.
I use a combination of Video Views and Link Clicks in this phase of the buyer journey. This not only gets traffic to your site, but builds a layer of data to re-target in the next phase in the form of Custom Audiences from Video Views.
Test all of your targeting as described above so you know which ads work the best – kill off any not performing, and add budget to scale the ones that are.
A lot of people don’t understand that they need to warm up this cold audience first, but it’s important to let the audience self-select that they’re interested in your brand by which pages they choose to visit, how long they remain on the page, or how much of your video they watched.
Your warm audience knows you, but probably haven’t converted yet, so they didn’t reject your initial advances but they haven’t agreed to date you. This could include your email database, and any other Custom Audiences you’ve made from engagement on your page, Instagram account or event.
Remind them why they started talking to you in the first place.
This is the perfect time to use your retargeting from website visits or Video Views ads, and hit them with a link click or Landing Page View ad to a more sales-focused page of your site. If they landed on the “cakes” page of your site you know they like cakes, so you can follow this segmentation along and only send people the most relevant ads.
The Canvas Ad format can be added in the warm phase (I find it works better here than to a cold audience) and also Lead Gen ads – which I find perform well to a warm audience and pretty woefully to cold ones.
Depending on your buying cycle, price of your product and the length of your consideration phase, you can also start running Conversion ads to warm traffic.
Remember that a conversion is not necessarily a sale, it is whatever you set it up to reflect, so it could be an email database signup, or an Add To Cart (ATC).
You need 50 Conversions a week per Ad Set for your ad to work properly – so make set up your conversion point as close to a sale (or other end conversion goal) as you can afford at the required budget to get these initial 50 conversions or your ad will stop spending.
So again – split test all your ingredients to come up with your best warm traffic ads, kill off the burnt ones, and scale the winners.
These guys are prepped to buy!
Your warm audience should be ready for conversion ads.
Retargeting anyone who ATC but didn’t check out is a very effective targeting strategy, but like in baking you need to have the oven hot enough (ie. have enough data) – so depending on your budget, audience and product you may need to do this in a few stages.
If you have a repeat purchase type product you’ll want to maximise your current buyers by encouraging them to buy more often, or upgrade to a more expensive product.
The LAL of your purchasers are a very powerful prospecting audience, the same way you can sometimes substitute ingredients like oil instead of butter.
Conversion ads work best with static creative in my experience, video is too distracting.
Once you have your required conversions coming through at an acceptable cost per conversion (CPC) you can scale up your ads carefully so that you’re maintaining a good return on investment (ROI)
Be sure to change up your creative if it starts to loose its appeal – ads can’t run forever…
And always be experimenting – a great meal is tasted and adjusted at every stage of cooking. And no great meal is made without seasoning to taste, so make sure to add a healthy sprinkle of data.
Your secret ingredient?
So now that you have my recipe – are you going to get baking?
I’d love to know your secret sauce to a successful Facebake!
Feel free to join my new Facebook Group and ask away, or drop me a comment.
I was going to call it report-ier in reference to Die Hard – but decided not to. Anywho, part two of the Yellow Social Media Report is out and I’ve got to say it’s really got 3 main takeaways. If you missed my wrap-up of Part 1 you can read it here.
I could drag it out and fill this blog post with all manner of stats and insights, but unless you’re a Social Media Advertiser you’re probably not going to be interested. So I’ll keep it on-topic 🙂
So what are we talking about then?
Well I didn’t say there wasn’t anything valuable in it! After reading the Yellow Social Media report and thinking on it for a couple of days, and re-reading it there really are only 3 pieces I think you need to know.
1. More Than Before
Quite simply, there’s more businesses than ever with a Social Media presence.
The Report states that for small business it’s 51%, medium is 58% and large is the highest with 85%.
On average 90% of these have Facebook, and they are optimistic about Social Media’s ability to effect their business with 6 in 10 believing it will increase their sales between 11%-16% in the next year.
2. Adding It Up
According the the Yellow Social Media Report, Australian businesses are spending more on ads, with 52% of respondents declaring they have used paid social and 9/10 reported they had run Facebook Ads.
1 in 3 small businesses are using Social Media advertising, and with medium and large businesses this increases to 1 in 2.
3. We’re Coy About ROI
The findings of the Yellow Social Media Report point to the fact that we don’t really know how to measure our ROI – or return on investment. Which is pretty bad tbh…
Only 21% of small business, 32% of medium and 35% of large businesses measure their ROI!
That’s an average across the business segments of 29%, so only around a third of businesses are actually calculating if the money (and time) they put into their Social Media is making a return.
And the ones who do measure their Social Media efforts are looking at likes, followers and subscriber numbers to indicate success – not sales.
But nevertheless they’re saying they’ll spend the same if not more in the coming year…
It’s also outlined in the report that half of businesses Social Media budgets go to paid ads, 1/3rd to content and the rest to management of the platforms – which are overwhelmingly managed in house.
I did say there were only 3 main takeaways, which I’ve covered – but there’s a couple of minor ones.
One is that interestingly businesses are posting less often than previously recorded (probably due to algorithmic changes making their posts seem less effective) and that businesses are stating that most of the traffic to their Social Media platforms come from the company website.
Which means you need to check your site’s Social Media icons are working, and your Facebook pixel is up and running to track your website users’ journey.
I hope this has been useful and has saved you reading the 30 pages of the Yellow Social Media Report for yourself.
There’s a lot more stats to pour through if you’re inclined, you can read the Part 2 in full here.