The dirty secret is out. The initial shock and feelings of betrayal have even begun to fade.
Organic reach for Facebook Pages is seriously NOT GOOD.
Dismal, in fact.
Depending on who you ask, the average Facebook post only reaches 2-6% of your fans. Come on. That’s messed up. This study by social@Ogilvy paints the horrifying picture.
It’s enough to make a business owner want to just give up on social.
And that’s where all of us business owners need to re-calibrate how we view Facebook.
Let’s evaluate Facebook as just another advertising product competing for our ad dollars. And stop thinking about Facebook as this social “thing” we feel obligated to have.
Measuring ROI for “social” is wicked hard and we’re going to be disappointed if we try. But let’s examine Facebook as an ad solution.
Facebook as an Ad Platform
- Over 1B Monthly Active Users
- Smartphone users check Facebook 14x/day
- Ads are delivered contextually WITHIN the user’s News Feed
When we re-calibrate, it turns out Facebook is the ad platform where your customers are, and more importantly, where they can be reached. Checking Facebook is a learned daily behavior your customers have already built in to their day. There’s no new mobile app to download, coupon to print-out, or text message to respond to. No change in behavior required. That’s huge.
Ok. So you know where your customers are and what they’re doing. How do you make sure your message gets in front of the right ones?
Targeted Facebook Ads.
I know. You hate Facebook Ads. You tried the “boost post” button a while back and had no idea what the *$#&%! was going on. Numbers went up. Money went down. You didn’t see any more sales. Some guys from Albania “liked” your Facebook page. Awesome.
Facebook Ads are the most effective ad units that exist today. (That’s right. I said it… in print. I can’t take it back now.) Better than Google, Bing, you name it. Targeting options are unmatched and ads are delivered contextually right inside the user’s News Feed.
But to do Facebook Ads right, you can’t cop out and use Facebook’s painfully easy “Boost post” button (please don’t). You need to dive headfirst into Facebook’s advanced tools and get them working together. At minimum, you should be using Facebook’s Ads Manager or better yet, Power Editor (only works on Google Chrome browser), and start reading Jon Loomer like crazy.
If you launch tons of ads every day, take advantage of third-party tools like Qwaya, Adespresso, and of course if you’re a small business and want to everything from ad creation to targeting and optimization completely done for you, explore DearLocal.
Understand how the “Pros” are doing it
Big brands have been benefiting from advanced Facebook Advertising tools for quite a while now. Pillaging them, in fact. They spend upwards of $20k/month (ugh) for software that optimizes these tools for them.
That’s why although you hear the occasional rumble from big brands about Facebook, by and large, they’re pouring buckets of money into Facebook advertising because they’re seeing tremendous ROI.
A survey of DearLocal customers shows that small business owners are moving their Google Adwords budgets to Facebook Advertising because of the comparatively larger ROI they’re tracking when using these advanced Facebook Ad tools. (More detailed analysis to come in a later post).
For those of us with marketing budgets < $20k/month, there are easy ways to leverage these tools. Unfortunately, many small business owners are unaware of these tools, or worse, aren’t using them right.
SO. IT’S TIME TO ACT. Here is a breakdown of the top 3 Facebook Ad tools that business owners need to be using RIGHT NOW to generate real sales.
1. WEBSITE VISITOR RETARGETING
You may already know what Retargeting is. If not, you’ve probably experienced it firsthand. Most commonly, Retargeting is the practice of tracking customers who visit your website and then delivering follow-up ads to those specific customers.
It’s the reason why if you’re shopping for jeans on nordstrom.com or a lawnmower on homedepot.com, the next time you go on Facebook, BAM! Those same jeans and lawnmower show up on your Facebook feed somewhere.
Yes. But also very smart.
Website visitors are some of your highest-converting customers. They’ve already demonstrated a high level of interest in your company and products.
Maybe their 2-year-old started screaming, as some tend to do (not mine, mine’s an angel). And they left your site without buying anything or getting the information they needed.
Seeing a reminder post right in their Facebook News Feed later in the day with a link back to your site is convenient for them and effective for you.
Facebook calls this group of people your “Website Custom Audience” and lets you create a personal tracking pixel you can drop into your website pages to track and target those people in your Facebook Ads.
This is a must. Get it implemented right now.
Your code will look like this. Copy the ENTIRE THING before the closing <head> tag of the pages on your site you want to track. I recommend popping it into all your pages. If your site has a universal header file. Throw it in there.
Dive into Facebook’s Do-It-Yourself Custom Audience page here.
Also try installing Facebook’s insanely awesome Pixel Helper in Chrome which tells you whether a page you’re on has a pixel installed. It’s a great way to check whether you installed your pixel correctly.
COMMON MISTAKE: Not switching up ad image and copy. If you bombard people who have shown interest in your product with the SAME image and the SAME ad copy day-after-day, you’ll get the reverse effect. They’re going to get sick of you. Be sure to continuously add value, or at minimum, give them a new awesome photo.
2. EMAIL LIST RETARGETING
Email list retargeting is so powerful that I had to break it out as its own item. Similar to website visitor retargeting, email list retargeting delivers Facebook ads to people who have already engaged with your business. In this case, the person has given you their email address in order to receive information, deals, or maybe a newsletter.
<pause> Let me rewind that for a second.
They ASKED you to get in touch.
Talk about a high-converting customer. The issue is… most, if not ALL of the people on your email lists haven’t “liked“ your Facebook page. Which means they’re not seeing anything you post.
With email list retargeting, you upload your properly formatted email list (TXT or CSV) and Facebook matches those email addresses to existing Facebook users that you can then use in your ad targeting.
Make sure you only have one email per row and don’t include anything besides the email itself. No names, column headers, etc.
Yes. It’s as awesome as it sounds. Just make sure you’re starting with at least 100 emails.
Now, not every email on your list will match up with a Facebook user, but the ones that do match will be WELL worth your effort.
Email retargeting can be initiated through the same process as website retargeting. Facebook’s Do-It-Yourself Custom Audience page here explains how.
The smart marketer question I always get after describing this tool.
Question: “Will Facebook send those people an email? I don’t want to spam them.”
Answer: No. Definitely not. In fact, if you use any tools that work that way, stop. Email retargeting is simply a method that allows you to match your existing customers to the appropriate Facebook accounts.
Caveat: Be sure you have acquired these emails in a legit manner and have permission to use them. Finding a list of emails of your target customers on the street is a stroke of good luck. But using that list for email retargeting might breach Facebook’s TOS.
COMMON MISTAKE: Forgetting to update the email retargeting list. As you grow your email list, be sure to upload the new emails to your custom audience.
3. CONVERSION PIXELS
Conversion pixels are ridiculously effective for ecommerce businesses but can be used by any business for confirming leads, registrations, etc.
Similar to the website tracking pixel, the conversion pixel is a separate tracking pixel that you install on your website. The difference is the conversion pixel is placed on a page that is only displayed to people who actually buy something. For example, your “Thank you” page.
With this pixel installed, you can track how many people see your Facebook ads, and then actually end up buying something. Because that’s what really matters. No more guessing about ROI. You can even optimize to target the specific types of people who are more likely to convert.
Check out Facebook’s conversion tracking page here.
COMMON MISTAKE: Placing this pixel on the page BEFORE your “thank you” page. This will result in an inaccurate number of conversions.
That’s it. Your turn.
We’ll be doing a deep dive into best practices for each of these tools and continue digging into the Facebook marketing questions we get the most from our small business customers. If there’s something that has been driving you nuts, let us know below and we’ll help you figure it out.
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