I don’t need to tell you how important social media is for your business — there’s just way too much data out there to convince you and I don’t have to repeat myself.
But sadly, entrepreneurs don’t really use social media to its real potential. Facebook becomes the “idle joe’s channel”. Twitter becomes a way to quickly parse through some interesting content (whatever tickles you) or it also becomes a way to express your opinions on celebs or a chance for you to jump at trending news.
Meanwhile, LinkedIn is as passive as television is — you keep yourself abreast of who gets promoted where or what some of your professional contacts are up to.
Agreed that that’s how social media evolved, but there’s just so much more social media is capable of.
Here are a few important ways to use social media to help grow your business or provide some value to you:
Use social to bring in relevant traffic
You know this already, but it’s important. So, we’ll let it sink in. Use a combination of all your social accounts — putting up the kind of format that each network demands (meaning that images do well on Pinterest and Instagram; your blog posts get traction on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook) — to get some traffic back to your own website.
When a few members of your social networks click on those posts or other content you share, they come back to visit you.
Plus, you can also use tools like Snip.ly to get traffic to specific calls to action (using which you can send traffic to either pages of your website, landing pages with offers, or wherever you please).
Your social media accounts can be at work 24 x 7, with timed and regular updates going out throughout the day (hint: use Buffer or Hootsuite).
Small talk is profitable
All of that content on Social media isn’t meant to be consumed (like you’d with a newspaper or a magazine). You are supposed to consume content, yes. But you also supposed to dig a little deeper while casting the net ever so wide to find out who those real people are behind all the content.
Mentions, interactions, small talk, conversations that flow back and forth, acquaintances, friendships, and professional relationships — these bring value to your social presence (apart from the obvious traffic, which is again people).
Maintain those micro-interactions, acquaintances, friendships, and whatever happens on your social networks. This is your new-age ability to get as personal as you can get with a global network of existing customers, potential customers, evangelists, investors, vendors, and even future hires.
Influence. One Update at a time
Most followers and fans on your social networks are passive — meaning that they just sit there and let your content stream through their feeds. While you might have liked it if your social following was more active, but then, you ask for a lot.
Your social following has low attention span. This doesn’t mean “no attention” at all.
Social followers and fans might be passive (or active), but they are listening. They are tuned in. They see their tweets, log into LinkedIn, drift on Pinterest, and scroll through their Instagram feeds. Of course, they check their Facebook accounts too.
As they listen and while they stay tuned in, you have your chance to influence them. As a business or a brand, you are an influencer. You are supposed to be good at what you do, and you’ll do great when you are voice that your social following wants to hear when it comes to the topic that your business relates to.
See how each of these companies (each in a different industry) influence their respective social following with content, authority, and love.
Real-time networking: Go deep & wide
While you are on social media, don’t lose the opportunity of getting to know people. Go out there and click on those who follow you, talk to you, share your content, and mention you. Find out who they really are by clicking on their social handles and getting to really know them.
Handles are fine, but what are their names?
What’s their business? What do they do? What are they good at?
What do they write about? Why do they write about what they write about?
What kind of things are “they” passionate about? What tickles them?
Find out as much information as you possibly can, and then get in touch with them — not for a crappy link. Not because you want something from them, and certainly not because you want them to buy from you.
Do it because the world needs to listen to you, because you mean well for them, and because you care.
Social media isn’t the newspaper; it’s not a magazine. It’s an opportunity for you to connect.
The question is: are you connecting enough? Are you giving the world a tickle?
Facebook is growing bigger. As you read this, Facebook just touched the 2 billion mark and is continuing to grow. Before you know it, the social platform will be a juggernaut that’ll be ard for businesses to resist.
Facebook is also consolidating its assets, introducing a ton of new features such as Value-added Audiences (in addition to the already existing Lookalike audiences, custom audiences, and retargeting audiences that you could build) aimed to make advertising easier.
Chances are that you are looking to boost your presence on Facebook or even launch Facebook ad campaigns.
Unless your objective is business branding, reach, engagement, and video views, the best kind of ads that perform are direct lead generation focused ads such as “lead ads” and ads that try to generate leads with free giveaways, invites, eBooks, tip sheets, cheat sheets, and free webinars.
If you are looking to launch your Facebook ad campaigns, check out these fantastic Facebook ad exmaples built for generating leads that hit the ball out of the park and bring in the cash:
Adespresso is a super-tool built to help businesses and marketers use the power of A/B testing while doing Facebook ad campaigns. On top of that, Facebook ad management is also made easy thanks to Adespresso, recently acquired by HootSuite.
The folks at AdEspresso know Facebook advertising like none other. Plus, they spend thousands of dollars just trying to experiment and see what works and what doesn’t. If you are remotely interested in Facebook advertising, you should consider using Adespresso, reading their blog, or signing up for their University.
The ad in question here is in line with their fantastic sales funnel which works on giving a free eBook away (full of value) to bring in email subscribers who later nurtured to help Adespresso upsell their product or the university or both.
Did you notice how specific they get with their ads?
AppSumo knows a thing or two about marketing online. The popular “Groupon for geeks” is of unmistakable appeal and every geek who’s on their email list knows that. Or maybe self-proclaimed marketing geeks like us who use Sumo to build marketing lists also know that.
AppSumo’s Facebook ads are targeted and they usually pick their best performing products for their ads, and all them make for some of the best Facebook ad examples.
This example is for their offer on BrandYourself Premium plan, of course. One other thing you should note while we are talking about AppSumo is that you should signup for their list regardless of whether or not you’d ever buy off any of their offers.
Why, you ask?
Their email copy happens to generate millions each year. If you want to learn how to write emails that get you results, nothing teaches you better than AppSumo’s emails.
The marketing teams at Amazon spend day-in and day-out trying to optimize the heck out of their Facebook ad campaigns. In fact, there are location-specific teams working on their ad campaigns.
If you run an ecommerce business, you’ll learn a ton from just seeing what Amazon does with its Facebook Ad campaigns. There’s no usual fretting and fussing on images – simple, specific, and highly-relevant images do the trick.
No fancy verbiage either. I mean, you don’t need to hire an expensive copywriter to write “Join Amazon and Get Free two-day Shipping. 20% off Diapers and More!”
Of course, the power of Amazon’s brand helps.
With a brand name like Advertise.com, they better “advertise” right. They do a good job, of course, and they live up to their name.
It’s very appealing when things are given away for free – and anything goes. In this example, Advertise.com gives away a smashing $1000 bonus to help start your online ad campaigns for high-quality traffic at low cost.
Apart from the huge appeal of the $$$ bonus, see how they play out on the FOLM (Fear of Losing Money) here?
Nikki Elledge Brown
Nothing beats the power of free and the high appeal of education. Absolutely nothing. That explains why “free mini courses” or even “complete free courses” are so popular and they work like a charm.
Nikki’s free mini course to help you write better (and have fun doing it) is dripped each week day. In a single ad, Nikki manages to provoke you, appeal to copywriters and business owners, lays out the strength (and size) of her community and more.
You have to love the detailed (yet simple) design of the image for the Sherman Carter ad. Picking on a single product line (Assassin’s Creed) and appealing to a single target audience (choosing only men as target audience) and using power phrases such as “Absolute Must have…”, the ad is a winner alright.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, there’s also a discount to sweeten the deal. The darned thing just works.
Great products with equally awesome images always do well on facebook. InstaViral just happened to do it right. In Facebook ad example, the TeeShirt’s proposition as Limited edition says “products are getting sold faster than you can click on the ad”, price makes it clear, and the $10 off today adds more appeal. Plus, it’s targeted to women.
Women don’t resist shopping, do they?
As we determined earlier, “free” works better than great when it comes to Facebook ads. Combine that with an alreasy established and useful tool like SimilarWeb and it’s only evident that the ad would just work.
I mean, who’d resist a “free” trial for a tool that accomplishes so much.
Thanks to Sophia from HubsSpot for this heads up, NatureBox’s Facebook ad packs everything it needs to bring in its customers with a singular ad – showing exactly what comes with NatureBox. The ad tells you that you get a “free trial” and that you’d still pay $7.90 for shipping.
It’s relevant, fun, and has a clear call-to-action. No wonder the folks at HubSpot found it.
Talk elegance, utility, and again the wretched power of “free” in advertising, and you’ll appreciate what Slack does with its Facebook Advertising. Thanks to Dan Shewan of WordStream for pointing this one out.
Dan Kennedy calls it the PAS formula:
Problem – Present the problem your prospect feels (Meetings Suck)
Agitation – Poke at that problem until it’s visceral problem (How it feels like when you sit in those meetings?)
Solution – Present your solution to the agitated (Use slack to cut down on meetings and sit only in 25% of them)
Slack ticks off some of those boxes:
Great going there. By the way, using dark colors in Facebook ads does make ads stand out. Eh?
Which of these Facebook ad examples do you like? Tell me about it.
If your business has a Facebook Business Mange (which you mostly should) and if you have anything to do with Facebook Advertising for your business, you should use your Facebook Business Manager.
It’s built for businesses so why won’t you?
Let’s address the “Why” first: Facebook launched “Business Manager” to separate your personal Facebook account from the one you might (or maybe you already are) use for your business.
My personal Facebook account has a way for me to launch adverts, ads, and to boost posts. But I’d do that only if I wanted to exchange my cat for your dog. Or maybe sell my old, rattling car.
For business, I’d use a separate advertising account (with a dedicated payment method). Since I run an agency, I’d also connect my business manager with Facebook pages and Facebook Ad accounts for every client so that I manage pages and campaigns by just logging into my business manager account.
This is how it’s done. I don’t care if you think it’s too much work or if you don’t like Facebook’s blue color.
Setup Your Business Manager Account
Most business owners are still managing their Facebook pages by logging into Facebook as they usually do. Also, they still use their personal advert account (this one comes by default with every Facebook account) for running their Facebook Ad campaigns. Just because you have a personal Facebook account, it doesn’t mean business manager is setup.
You’d have to do it (and maybe all it takes is to sign in). There are three specific things you’d need to do to ensure you setup your Facebook business manager account right.
- Setup your Business Manager Account
- Create a page or claim a page (You’d request access to a page – as a page admin — if you are a freelancer or an agency so that you can work for your clients).
- Create or claim your ad account (You’d request access to an ad account – as an account advertiser — if you are a freelancer or an agency so that you can work for your clients).
Here’s how you do it
Step 1: Go to https://business.facebook.com and login with your regular Facebook credentials.
Step 2: If you haven’t created a page for your business, you can do it. If you already created a page, you should claim your Facebook Business Page by entering your Facebook business page URL (You’ll be automatically accepted if you are the admin of the page).
If you are an agency, request your clients to give you “Facebook Page Admin” access.
Step 3: Create or claim your Facebook ad account for your business. When you create your new Facebook Ad account, give it your business name and add a payment method to your account.
If you are an agency, request your clients to give you “Facebook Advertiser” access and not “admin”
Give yourself (and others) Access
You aren’t done yet.
Once you create or claim your Facebook business pages and accounts, you’d need to assign yourself to both your Facebook business page and to your ad account (if you have to) from within your business manager account.
For each asset (like a business page and the ad account), click on the icon on the extreme left within “business settings”, find your page and/or ad account, and assign yourself.
This is how it’d look like:
- When you assign yourself or your team to a business page
- When you assign yourself or your team to your business ad account:
Once you are done, refresh and you’d see admin level access to your business page and your business ad account after logging in.
For agencies (like ours), we’ll be able to see an entire list of all pages and ad accounts that you manage for your clients.
Using business manager for Facebook is mandatory. Plus, it’s efficient, easy to access, and separates your business pages and accounts from those that you’d use personally.
Was this helpful for you? Please let me know how it goes for you.
How do Facebook ads work? Do Facebook ads make sense for your small business?
Facebook ads can work great for your business. Only, if you do it right.
Craig Smith of Expanded Ramblings thankfully curated some Facebook Advertising Stats.
There are 4 million advertisers on Facebook, at the time of this writing.
70% of the total number of advertisers come from outside of United States. The number of Facebook Advertisers have grown by 50% between 2015-2016.
With the average clickthrough rate of 0.9% and the average cost per click of $0.64, the social media behemoth still makes for a fantastic platform for marketing.
That was easy enough.
The hard part is to figure out how to do Facebook advertising right. We believe that Facebook advertising is never a “set it and forget it” case.
There are 10 specific, mandated steps you’d need to take for your business to be profitable. Your ROI and Facebook advertising success will depend on it.
Even if you don’t believe, like, or care, do follow these steps:
Don’t drive Traffic To a Pay Wall
Over the last several weeks, plenty of people approached us for help with Facebook advertising.
I see a trend.
Ads point to landing pages or website pages with a pay wall of some sort. The offer is a direct “purchase” proposition.
I guarantee that if you put up a landing page “without” the need for your incoming traffic to commit to something as “final” as a purchase, you’d do better.
Never drive traffic to a shopping cart page, a product page, or a landing page with a “Buy Now” button on it.
This is not how Facebook Ads work. I am not saying sales won’t happen. They just might. It’s just that you are sacrificing short-term gains for long-term, perpetual gains.
Drive Traffic to a Value Offering
If you build, they won’t come. Facebook ads can reach a lot of people very quickly across the geographic area you target.
The best way to capitalize the incoming traffic from Facebook ads is to give away something of value to your visitors.
You can give any of the following away for free (this isn’t an exhaustive list), depending on your business:
2. Cheat sheets
4. Templates of some sort
5. A curated guide
6. Ebooks, reports, and Whitepapers
7. Consultation calls
8. Auditing Offer
9. Exclusive videos, podcasts, or private infographics
10. Lesson samples
11. Chapter samples (for books)
12. Free trials
13. Free access to a membership area
If what you give away is valuable enough, this is a low-commitment point of entry for your potential customers to get into the funnel.
As Dharmesh Shah of HubSpot puts it nicely,
“No one wakes up one fine morning hoping to be in your pipeline”
This is the big wide mouth of your funnel.
Make ingress easy.
Keep it that way.
Send Strategic Drip emails, Followed By Offers
As visitors sign up for one of your value offerings, free trials, or whatever it is that you give away, they are now a part of your funnel.
Prepare to nurture your leads. Segment visitors according to their they activity, source of signups, age, date of signup, etc. — this helps you to fine tune your email messages later giving you enough data to personalise and target your customers.
Out of the entire set of emails and autoresponders you plan to send, only 1 out of 5 emails should contain a pitch for making actual sale offers.
For instance, if you had a single list and a single offer to make (and we assume that your transaction is complete for that customer, for life):
This is how it’d look:
Targeting: Customer persona, Geo, who? Preferences?
Facebook’s audience targeting features are extraordinary.
No one else in the industry has got that wealth of information, down to detail. At least, not to the extent that Facebook does.
Your first step, even before you think of campaigns, is to think of your ideal customer ( note that it’s “ideal” and not “absolutely anyone will do”).
Here’s an example of a customer persona we could use for our own Facebook ad campaigns:
John — a male entrepreneur 34 to 48 years old is the founder of a startup in New York, United States. He primary goal is to help grow his bootstrapped startup, to enhance his branding, and to grow his business. He is a devout Christian, attends Sunday church, takes his family out to dine in downtown NY on the weekends.
When John isn’t working, he consumes books by the dozen, travels the world backpacking, and is a self-declared foodie, with a special liking for Southeast Asian street food.
When you get down to business on the campaigns set up front, Facebook allows you to target exactly who you want to — down to the detail about John being a foodie who trips over himself for Southeast Asian food.
Miss this crucial aspect of Facebook ad campaign and you’ll shoot in the big blue of Facebook’s audiences (as against dark).
Build Facebook Retargeting Audiences, In Advance
Ideally, you should start building your Facebook Audiences and Retargeting audiences even before you actually think of Facebook advertising and/or retargeting.
Since 80% of your visitors visit your landing pages or websites or both and leave, never to return again, you’d need to retarget.
When you do it right, retargeting ROI is almost always positive. Reportedly, even cases of 1,284% and even 7,425% ROI is possible.
At this point, it’s not about whether or not you want to do retargeting.
Building a targeted audience “primed up” for your retargeting campaigns (when you are ready, of course) is a no-brainer though.
Budget for Campaigns & Duration
“I can do $2500 per month for Facebook, what do I get?”
“We can easily start with $5500 per month”
I’ve seen some businesses pegging their ad budgets with their “ego”.
- There’s no minimum spend on Facebook (or Google Adwords)
- You should always, always start small
- Starting small is critical because it allows you to run for longer durations, which you need
- Small budgets also help you do A/B testing — there are a million things to test, even if we just settle or 10-15 things to do A/B testing on.
- Run campaigns long enough for you get enough sample size to make decisions based on the data you acquire.
Start small, play out the campaign for a reasonable period of time, and continue test everything while the campaign is on.
Ads & landing pages
Work hard to create simple, great looking ads. More importantly, build relevant ads. Focus on making an offer (Point 1 above) and that’s about it.
Each ad must point to a message matching landing page.
Ad Copy: Get 30% off
Landing page Copy: Get 30% off
The message on your ad must match what you promise on the landing page. It’s the rule of congruency.
For this reason, you’d need a tool that helps you build as many landing pages as you like, and in the shortest time possible.
That’s why I always recommend Unbounce (This is the landing page builder we use). You can also work with:
No HTML landing pages, ever. I don’t care what you think.
Facebook Ads A/B testing, explained
“We don’t need A/B testing”
“A/B testing? We don’t have budget for that”
Ever heard this? I did. More than my share.
No one cares whether you “like”, “believe”, or even “understand” what A/B testing is.
You’ll, for sure, care about thousands of dollars being spent and you don’t even know if you are making a profit out of it.
A/B testing is about splitting websites, ads, landing pages, email subject lines, email copy, buttons, calls to action, and other elements to see which variant wins over another.
A wins over B
Remove B, Focus on A and add another variant C
Launch Retargeting: No the same as regular campaigns
Hopefully, you’ve built up a sizeable audience before (point 3) and you are ready and primed enough to launch campaigns specifically targeted to visitors who visit (or visited) your landing pages or websites or both.
People who visited but didn’t convert.
Visitors who just left without signing up for your offer.
You spent money to get those visitors in the first place. You ought to get them back.
Plus, they were interested. Maybe they weren’t ready yet.
Retargeting campaigns, however, aren’t the same as regular campaigns.
You’d need to put a little more into your retargeting campaigns than you’d normally do for regular campaigns.
Entice them with strong, relevant, and timely offers.
Your “Get 10% OFF” offer (regular campaign) didn’t cut it; so do retargeting with a 20% OFF offer.
“7-day free trial” didn’t surface enough sign ups? Try a “14-day free trial”
What works and what doesn’t?
The answer to that question lies in how well you test out offers.
Conversions, Tracking, Analytics
To make sense of all that effort you are putting into your Facebook ad campaigns and retargeting campaigns, you’d need a thorough setup for conversions, tracking, and analytics.
— Create your Facebook Pixel
— Launch campaigns making sure your setup is complete (you can easily test the setup by signing up for yourself — go through your own funnel).
— Facebook’s Pixel tracks events like visits, unique visitors, etc.
In the example above, I picked “lead signup” as the event that counts as one conversion.
Tracking and conversion pixels must go on every page that’s set up in your campaign.
Main landing page:
Facebook Pixel (base code)
The Thank You page
Or any page that shows up after visitors sign up will have the conversion pixel or the event pixel (the complete code that Facebook provides)
Following these steps in sequence makes sure you are positioned correctly for your Facebook ad campaigns and retargeting campaigns.
Your Facebook campaigns ROI is in your hands.
How are your Facebook campaigns going?
Offer: Fill up this form, tell us a little about your business, and get 2 hours of consulting worth $60 for free.
Let’s talk business