How Small Business Can Still Succeed on Facebook – Rick Mulready

Rick-Mulready-PinterestWhat role can Facebook play in your online marketing campaigns? Are Facebook ads really that important if you’re a small business with a small advertising budget? The answer is YES!

Learn how to use Facebook ads to automate your business. By doing so, you can know exactly how many leads and sales you can expect for your business each day. Determining how to productively layer, filter and retarget your audience to create your perfect ‘custom audience’, will translate to dollar signs for your business as well as help build your list.

Rick Mulready wants you to master Facebook marketing so your business can thrive! Rick has turned 12 years of corporate internet advertising experience into teaching and consulting with entrepreneurs and businesses on their Facebook advertising and marketing strategies. By applying the same strategies used by some of the biggest names on the web, even small businesses can grow with super successful Facebook advertising.

Keep reading!

Getting Started with Facebook Advertising – John Haydon

John-Haydon-PinterestDo you use Facebook advertising? Do you know how to target your most relevant audience? Do you know to create and market to lookalike audiences from your existing email lists?

If not, then you’re not alone. A lot of small businesses don’t know why exactly they’re running Facebook ads. By taking your most liked, commented, and shared content and then advertising it, you multiply your success.

This week, we chat it up with author, digital marketing consultant, and Huffington Post contributor John Haydon, to learn more about how to use Facebook as an secondary strategy to compliment our existing content.

Big Ideas:

How did you get involved with Facebook?

  • I guess it’s the place where everybody is. Working with non-profits, a lot of them eventually are asking, “what do I do with Facebook?”
  • I’ve been involved in Facebook and MySpace when it first came out; Twitter when it first came out. So I tend to be what you might call an early adopter.
  • With Facebook I saw a lot of non-profits having a lot of success, so that’s how I got into that, but my background is really marketing and sales.
  • For for-profit, I work for software companies, health care companies, traditional media companies. I feel like that experience is what I’m bringing to non-profits because they generally don’t have a marketing headset.

What do you say to small businesses and non-profits that say, “Facebook should be free. I can’t believe we have to pay for this?”

  • I say that it’s a non-issue. That’s not a discussion because it’s not free.what a
  • Some people say, “why, why isn’t it free? Why is our reach declining?” It’s good to understand why, but in the end it’s happening.
  • Facebook is a public company, and knowing this is important because they actually have to make money every three months. They have to make not just money, but MORE money every three months so they’re always tweaking things and tweaking how they’re doing ads and any way they can even get an extra penny they’re gonna go after it.
  • That’s the model of most public companies and they do it pretty well. They’re very successful.

Once you do convince somebody they have to spend money on Facebook, how do you get started?

  • My thinking about Facebook ads, and this might apply to Google ads and other kinds of ads, is that they are salt and pepper, so seasoning. You can’t just eat salt and pepper. You have to have a meal. You have to have steak, potatoes, salad, french fries, whatever you’re going to have. That has to be the meal.
  • The meal in a sense, is the content – understanding your people and what gets them going. Facebook is a pretty powerful platform for learning this. You can post an update on your Facebook page and you can actually compare that content with other content that you’ve posted on your Facebook page. And you begin to learn, “wow, our Facebook fans really like it when we talk about this. Or they like it when we post pictures of new dogs that are up for adoption. Or new shoes we have in our shoe store. Or they really respond when we post pictures of pizza.”
  • The first step is to really understand the community and the people. Then supplement what you’re doing with Facebook ads. So, if you do post that picture of a pizza that people are going crazy about, then you can give that more exposure with Facebook ads.
  • That’s the general rule that I have. Don’t think that Facebook ads is a primary strategy. It’s more like a secondary strategy that’s going to supplement and enhance what you’re already doing.
  • It’s interesting because I’ve seen more than a few examples where the cost of a Facebook ad will actually be lower if you’re promoting a post that has a lot of likes, comments, and shares.

So, should we first create this content and then if it starts to get traction, then spend money on it?

  • Yes. That’s the short answer.
  • The reason why is that if you say, “well, we have an event that’s really important and we think it’s important and people need to see it.” Whenever I hear that I say to myself, “geez, that’s a backwards way of looking at things. ‘What WE think. What WE want people to see…’ Well, let’s see what your people say first. Let’s get proof that that is an awesome piece of content and then go from there.”
  • When you take out a Facebook ad the only thing you’re paying for is reach. In the long run, reach doesn’t necessarily matter as much as engagement.
  • So the way that Facebook’s newsfeed works is that the more a user, and let’s say you, Rich, like my Facebook page, the more that you like, comment, and share my content from my Facebook page the more likely you’re going to continue to see that content in my newsfeed.
  • If I decide, “well, this post is really important and I’m gonna promote it even though it’s a dog,” and it’s really just a waste of everybody’s time, but I promote it anyhow and you see it in your newsfeed, you’re not going to like, comment, or share it because it’s just not interesting.
  • So what does that do? That enables you to see it, but in the long run what you really want is likes, comments, and shares. You want people that engage with the content so that their friends see that content and are exposed to the organization or business.
  • You can even think of Facebook as a massive word-of-mouth monster. It’s like Godzilla word-of-mouth. The key  from a strategic and marketing standpoint is to see it that way and to leverage your current community – the people who are already customers and who are already consistent donors and supporters, event registrants, and event attendees – to get those people telling their friends about you through your content.
  • A lot of people view Facebook as a place to just push something out there and hope somebody likes it. There’s really no thinking.
  • Let’s say there’s an event coming up like Agents of Change, I’m sure you’ve thought about this, but you could post a couple of different updates about that. What do people really care about? Like you said, you’re basically testing the market in a very inexpensive way. You see how people are reacting, what topics they like, what content they like, and then taking the best of the best and then promoting that.

So, with our Agents of Change conference, we think we have some great speakers coming, one thing we might try is to create posts about each speaker and the ones that really start to take off are the ones we want to throw money behind and turn those into Facebook ads.

  • Exactly. What’s really great are the targeting selections in Facebook are so incredible. There are so many different targeting options.
  • Let’s say you publish a post about Pat Flynn. People really start talking about it and it really starts to excel and becomes one of your best updates compared to the other updates about other speakers. You can actually target that update to fans of Pat Flynn’s Facebook page that happen to be located near Agents of Change. People may not come from Arizona, I don’t know, maybe they might?
  • Anyhow, I call it poaching. You can basically poach the fans of another Facebook page like Pat Flynn’s page. You can put that ad right in front of those people. Of course, what are they going to do? They’ve already liked the page and they’re gonna see that post about Pat and of course they’re going to be interested in that.
  • You also mentioned retargeting which is a such a brilliant approach with Facebook ads. I think that’s an underutilized feature. Someone goes and visits an Agents of Change landing page or the information page and then they leave. They say, “ah, I’m not ready now.” Then they go to Facebook and what do they see? They see the ads in the sidebar. They see that ad in the newsfeed about Agents of Change.
  • So marketing 101 says to expose people from multiple angles. The more angles you have – email, SEO, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Facebook ads – the more exposure you create for people the more likely they’re going to take whatever action you want them to take.

What kinds of things should I be looking to accomplish with my advertising? Am I trying to get people to like my page? Or am I trying to drive them to take a certain action like buying something, or sending them to my web page? Where do you recommend people spend their money here?

  • It depends upon the goal. In your case, you want people to go to a page and register for the event. So you want to drive traffic to a web page. You may pay a little bit more money because Facebook generally charges a little bit more of a premium if you’re directing traffic off of Facebook.
  • Facebook wants people to stick around, because when people stick around they increase the page views and that’s a direct effect on their revenue. The more page views they have the happier the shareholders are. Shareholders’ happiness is the name of the game.
  • The first thing is to clarify the goal. What is the goal?
  • Second thing is to understand the people which we talked about before – posting and testing different updates to see which ones people like and what topics they like. Do they like a photo? Do they like closed questions? Trying different things like that is always a constant thing that people should be doing on Facebook.
  • And finally, targeting; so the more you understand your people the better you’re going to be able to target that ad. It does depend upon the goal.
  • So if the goal is to like a Facebook page you’re going to take out a Facebook page like ad to get fans. But even those you have to really target. If you just go based on what Facebook says. Facebook will say, “hey, click here. Two mouse clicks to get more fans.” Of course they’re gonna target very broadly. That’s not going to be effective because then you’re going to have very low quality fans. You might get a fan but they’re not going to see your updates. It’s almost meaningless and you’ve wasted money.
  • But, if you target really specifically by understanding your people, you’re gonna get fans of your page that are more likely to engage and stick around.
  • Another goal you could have is to increase engagement on posts. Again, in that case you’re still going to pick the posts that are performing the best and Facebook pages, as you know, has a tool called Facebook Insights. You can quickly go in there and see your top ten updates over the past week. Then based on what your business goals are, you can decide that of these ten posts, these two are really really relevant for the event that’s coming up or really relevant for this product.
  • So it does depend upon the goal.

Sometimes you can advertise to get into the newsfeed or advertise to get into the side. Is there one that beats the other? Or does it depend?

  • I would say newsfeed is going to beat the sidebar ads every time. They’re much more effective. They’re much more engaging. Sidebar ads are good because they have more of a permanent fixture, but the downside is that they look like ads. You look at them and know it’s a Facebook ad. Everybody kind of knows what they are.
  • With the newsfeed with a sponsored story, it is literally a piece of content that hopefully is useful and relevant that’s just simply being pushed out a little bit further to the Facebook users.

Do you have any recommendations for setting a budget or what people should spend to see some results?

  • Yeah. The first thing is Facebook by default is going to have a setting that says, “let my ad run from today onward.” Like literally, let my ad run forever. Maybe somebody’s hoping that you’re gonna have a heart attack and die and then making money off that. So that’s the default setting, so you always want to select a specific date range.
  • For the run date, I’d recommend around 3-5 days for any Facebook ad. Because Facebook ads are kind of like relatives and fish – they last just a few days. People see the ad and then they reach this point of diminished returns and then you have to switch up the ad and do something else. You have to keep things fresh.
  • The other benefit of doing a short run like 3-5 days is that you can get a test. You can test something out and see how it performs. Facebook ads does have an analytics tool so you can see how many clicks, how much exposure, what money you’re spending, and even the click-through rate (which is kind of the magic number or value of the ROI of the ad).

Do you know anything about “unpublished post” and then advertising off of that instead?

  • Yeah, so unpublished posts are basically a Facebook update, a regular old Facebook update, that’s not published but is pushed out using an ad to very specific, targeted audiences. It is published on the page, but only the people you target are going to see that. It’s an unpublished post.
  • The example where you might want to use that is for the people who attended Agents of Change last year and you want to offer them a discount. You want to say, “hey, this is just an early bird discount for previous registrants who came last year,” so you want to create a Facebook post about that and you want people to engage with that. But of course we don’t want everyone to see it. We just want the people who attended last year.
  • That’s where you could take that unpublished post and then publish it to only the people who attended the event last year.
  • How would you present that ad to only people who attended Agents of Change last year? You would do that through a custom audience. Facebook ads allow you to take an email list, upload it into Facebook ads and create an email list. In this example, you would simply have an email list of everyone who registered and attended last year. So then you’re only presenting that ad to those people that have a Facebook profile associated with each email address on that list.

So you could target any of your other email lists as well?

  • Exactly. I’ve actually used this approach with a number of non-profit clients, but it applies in the for-profit world too. A typical non-profit problem I encounter is that someone donated once a year ago and we haven’t heard from them. They’re not opening our email list. They haven’t come to events. Where are they? We’ve lost touch.
  • Well, they’re on Facebook. This is a way for you to get in front of them. Are you suddenly going to reignite their interest and passion? No. But you might remind them and a subset of those people you’ve lost touch with can be pulled back into the fray.
  • Because guess what? You have their email. I feel like email is still the most important marketing tool. A lot of people feel like email’s dead, but I think that’s idiotic.
  • So social media does it all the time. When you join Facebook you give them your email and they want the emails of all your friends too. That’s what happens when you sign up.
  • Targeting to people who you’ve lost touch with, there are so many ways to use those custom audiences. You can even create lookalike audiences. So let’s say that you have an email list of customers and you really want to attract those people who are very similar to your customers. You can upload that list of a thousand people or so and create a lookalike audience which might be 10 -15,000, but they all have similar characteristics.
  • Let’s say most of your email subscribers are in Maine and they like certain things like the State of Maine, fishing, biking, these different things and so Facebook will assemble a lookalike audience that will basically match the prevalent likes an interests of your email list.

What are some of the biggest mistakes you see some non-profits and small businesses doing when it comes to these Facebook ads? What should we avoid?

  • Targeting too widely. If you say, “oh, I want to get more fans of my Facebook page and I’m just gonna spend as much money as possible.” There is a mindset and tendency to think that if you throw money at it it’s going to solve the problem.
  • Money is just money. It’s not going to solve a problem if we don’t go about it wisely. Sometimes they’ll say, “well, I’ve got a thousand dollars, let’s just get a whole bunch of fans.” Whoa, hang on. Let’s not waste your money. Let’s find quality fans.
  • So targeting is a big issue. Not targeting wisely is a huge huge mistake.
  • The second biggest mistake is promoting content with an ad that’s just a dog. Like it’s just not good stuff. Why would you want to do that? Your fans aren’t going to like it. No one’s going to like that because no one has liked that in the past because it doesn’t have any likes, comments, and shares. Also, you’re going to pay a higher rate for that ad because Facebook, as a business, don’t want that junk in the newsfeed either.
  • If they have that junk in the news feed, guess what? The users start disappearing and without the users they’re in big big trouble. They really are truly trying to put the most interesting and relevant content in the newsfeed even if it’s an ad.
  • So targeting wisely and only promoting the posts on your page that are performing above and beyond the average performance on your page.

Juicy Links:

Rich Brooks
Seasoning Content with Facebook Sauce

Optimizing Facebook Marketing for Small Business – Mari Smith

Mari Smith Facebook MarketingDo you have an unused or outdated Facebook page for your small business? Have you had trouble keeping your audience as Facebook continually changes its algorithms? Does your marketing plan include room for Facebook ads?

If not, then you’re not alone. A lot of small businesses don’t think their Facebook page is worth maintaining or not worth an additional ad budget. By using a well-rounded marketing strategy with consideration for organic search, paid promotion, and some creative techniques, you can optimize your Facebook page for growth once again.

This week, we bring in Mari Smith, social media leader and Facebook marketing expert, to talk about how we can tune-up our Facebook page to get the results we want.

Big Ideas:

How did you first discover Facebook and what drew you to it?

  • I’m very blessed to be a natural networker. I have a very outgoing personality and I was always a pretty networked person in the offline world.
  • Back in mid-2000s I got invited to be on the beta test team of a Facebook app and I had barely heard of Facebook in early 2007. I’m very techy. I love people and I love technology. Those are my two passions. I had been somewhat active on LinkedIn, Rise, Ecademy, Plaxo, etc.
  • Also Myspace…I always thought it wasn’t for business – it was for kids and musicians and so I was a little bit of a holdout.
  • I thought, Facebook, not another online social network, so I was a little resistant, but it was an absolute defining moment in my life. I agreed to be on this test team of the app, and it was called PodClass – it was an education app.
  • I pulled up and time stood still for a moment. I love the layout and format and the ease with which I could find people I had long admired – influencers, authors, speakers, and leaders – and with a click of a button we’re friends and we’re chit chatting…no middle man, no secretary, no virtual assistant, anything like that.
  • Before long I became a raving evangelist for the platform. I don’t work for the company, but I absolutely love it. I have an admiration for Mark Zuckerberg and his vision to make the world more open and connected, and in a short period of time I was raving to everyone about Facebook.

There’s been a lot of discussion around how difficult it is to get organic traction on Facebook. What do you say to small businesses that think it’s no longer worth it to be on Facebook?

  • The bottom line is you absolutely have to change your strategy. What used to work 6 months ago no longer works, that’s clear and obvious. So, we have to stop tearing our hair out and getting angry at Mark Zuckerberg, and the whole company, and just accept it is what it is.
  • We had a wonderful free ride for many many years and now the problem is where the companies that have built a Facebook audience and have come to rely on their audience on “rented land.”
  • You’ve got think about “where can I build this audience on my own land?” – that would be your email subscriber list, your blog subscribers, migrating people over to your site and platform but still engaging with them on Facebook when you can but being very strategic about making offers and lead generation from Facebook.
  • There are several things here with the drop in organic reach – and I’ll say as a side note, my organic reach per post went from 50,000 on average in late 2013 to now in April 2014, I’m lucky if I can get 3,000 – I’m in the same boat.
  • I have this relationship with Facebook and a love for people and technology and I really study human behavior and psychology. I think how to present information in a way that’s very personable and not markety or salesy, so often I can get an organic reach from 8,000-15,000 people per post.
  • So, it’s still possible to get some organic reach. The other thing is that we do have to set aside a nominal budget to pay for some promotion and get more amplification for people to see our content.
  • DO NOT abandon your Facebook efforts.
  • I tell people the main reason to be active on Google+ is because Google owns search. The same reason applies for Facebook.
  • A main reason to have an active Facebook page with content engagement and conversion is that Facebook is the 2nd most trafficked website in the world. All that content on your Facebook page is good for Google SEO.
  • Another reason is that it’s the number one social network with 2 billion active users. You can’t walk away from an audience that big. You only need a teeny teeny wee percentage of them to respond to your content to get decent ROI.

So, you need to stay there because that’s a way to feed your email list and it’s something you own, unlike Facebook which is like a networking event. Does that summarize what you’re saying?

  • Yes, and want to recommend that people stay away from that boost post button – it’s absolutely ubiquitous and it’s in your face wanting you to spend money. My friend John Limmer, said “the boost button is the ‘crack’ of Facebook.” You spend $5, $10, $50, and you see those numbers go up.
  • Be careful of accumulating vanity metrics – getting more likes. Unless your converting them into leads, getting them onto your email list which you own and can nurture, unless you’ve got that in place, you’re just building likes for the sake of it. Same with the engagement numbers – like PTAT.
  • PTAT doesn’t pay the bills!
  • The bottom line is with paying with post, you use the Facebook ads manager, or even better, the Power Editor. You can get much more granular targeting and placement so you can choose to place your promoted post on the mobile or desktop news feed. 75% of Facebook users are looking at it on your mobile device.
  • The other thing is that you don’t want to just pay to promote a piece of content for the sake of promoting it or getting more eyeballs.
  • Only pay for posts that have a strategic, measurable business objective behind it.
  • Once a quarter, I do a launch. I launch a free webinar and then I sell an online course and that’s my bread and butter income. So, I pay for promoted posts during the time I’m offering the webinar and course – so a few weeks out of a couple months – otherwise I’m just posting regular every day content by adding value and engaging.

What are some of the best practices to set up or maybe optimize a page that hasn’t gotten a lot of love and attention? Where do you start?

  • I really recommend that small businesses have an integrated marketing plan that includes their other channels, so Facebook won’t be the only one, so you’re probably growing out a profile on Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ especially for local businesses because that’s where people find you with the place page on Google.
  • The good news is that it’s not that difficult to have a really good content strategy where it’s a blend of original creative content and curated content and there’s many different apps to cherry pick and pick out the best content and share that.
  • I use HootSuite every day for scheduling tweets. I use Facebook’s own scheduler for posts.
  • I think the key here is consistency. Small businesses optimizing their Facebook page – commit to one good post a day. Make sure you have someone on your team that’s dedicated to watching for engagement and resounding to comments as promptly as possible. Responding to reviews if you have a place page, a local business, you can respond to positive and negative reviews.
  • Take a three-pronged approach to conversion strategy – content, engagement, and conversion. You get those three components in place and apply it to your social networks.
  • Do what you can in the time you’ve allotted. Don’t get overwhelmed and stop before you start!

So, now when someone leaves a review on your business page, you now have the opportunity to respond to that review specifically?

  • Yeah. Just the page owner though. You can’t have a conversation with other fans.

Are custom tabs still relevant for small business and if so how?

  • This is a tricky one because there’s a brand new page design rolling out. It’s very much in keeping with the profiles. It’s a wider single column on the right hand side. The apps have turned into tabs, so you can only have one next to your photo. The rest are shoved way down beneath or even below the fold based on the size of your monitor.
  • As a consumer I rarely click on tabs, but I love to see creative uses of them for two things – one would be promoting other social channels like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest – letting people know you’re on those and number two, email – having some compelling call to action to get people to get to click and sign up and join your email list.
  • Even if that ad is a simple redirect link. I love being able to put a redirect link and I use an app called WooBox.
  • Any time I’ve got a class going on people can go to my page and they can just click on the badge and it takes them outside of Facebook right on to my sales page. You don’t even have to build an app, it’s just a redirect.

Do you think that it’s still important to keep people within Facebook now, or is that less important these days?

  • I love this question. Remember how I said 75% of users access it through your mobile devices. For a long time Facebook page owners have been blissfully unaware that you can’t access tabs on mobile. The design doesn’t let you click on tabs or apps.
  • However, you can be creative and use TabSite or ShortStack which have great apps that use “smart links” and the device can tell if you’re on mobile or desktop and creates a mobile-friendly version of the link to your app.
  • Let’s say you have a contest. Apps are fantastic for contests. To properly collect leads, and draw winners and random, and a sweepstake, it’s best to use an app.
  • You can create a post on your wall (that you can pay to promote) and you can include a smart link so when people will see it in their mobile feed they can easily sign up to your contest or join your email list.

It seems like Facebook is always tweaking its “EdgeRank” algorithm. What are some of the most up-to-date best practices for organic reach in the news feed for a company?

  • Kudos. Facebook has actually been quite adamant that they don’t use that term. It’s actually called the “Facebook newsfeed ranking algorithm.” It’s much easier to say “EdgeRank” though, right?
  • There are over 100,000 factors that go into that algorithm. Any time a user visits Facebook whether desktop or mobile, there are a potential 1,500 stories it could display because people over the years have garnered more friends. The average is now 350 friends.
  • Over the last year the number of pages users have liked has increased more than 50%.  So we’re liking more pages and we’ve got more friends so that means more stories we can share.
  • Facebook is pouring all of this potential content that we could see through this complex algorithm that weighs all kinds of things about popularity, who else has seen it, the type of posts, how recently it was published, even posting preferences like photos versus just links. It’s crazy how granular the thing is.
  • I’m actually encouraging my clients and students to increase their frequency a little bit. If you normally post once or twice a day, see if you can double up content and do 2 or three times a day.
  • Really experiment with time zones – evenings and weekends. I’ve been harping on about this for years. So many businesses are missing out by not getting on to the newsfeed on evenings and weekends – that’s primetime. That’s when most people are on Facebook when they’re on there for social reasons.
  • Don’t be afraid to schedule things in the middle of the night especially if you have a global audience.

Can I post the same thing multiple times a day, or should it be different content every time? Or a different approach to the same content?

  • It doesn’t have to be unique content. The greatest thing is OPC (other people’s content). Sometimes people get afraid of sharing other people’s content – it’s just amazing. It’s that old Zig Ziglar quote “if you help enough other people get what they want, you’ll get what you want.”
  • Keep generous and abundant with sharing relevant, related, quality content, you don’t have to send people directly, but just value-added content. You can use content curation tools.
  • I use Content Gems ( every single day. I know a lot of people like Sway, or Sponge, there are great tools for surfacing relevant content.
  • I would absolutely not post the same thing in a day. I’d watch how your audience is responding and you can reshare it at a later date on Twitter if it does there (the following week or 10 days later).
  • The same thing with your Facebook page, dig deep into your wall and create a new fresh post with the same content.

I don’t feel the same pressure with Twitter. With Facebook, I’m always concerned that if I put out a dud, Facebook says “people don’t like Rich’s or flyte new media’s content so we’re gonna show them less of it.” I wonder if that’s one of the things that are holding people back?

  • I honestly don’t think people give it that much thought. It is true, Twitter is a whole different animal.
  • People do get really self conscious or are judging themselves thinking how they can come up with something brilliant to say several times a day.
  • The good news is that you’ve got to have a mixture of your own content combined with other people’s content. You don’t have to get that wild and crazy. Just keep experimenting.
  • One of my most popular posts in the last several months, on a Friday night I come home at 1am and put “It’s 11am Pacific time here in San Diego. What time is it in your part of the world?” I got hundreds of responses. I couldn’t believe it. It was something so simple like that.

Are there any other activities as pages we should be engaged in? Is there anything else we can do to increase our visibility and activity on Facebook?

  • A little known trick I love to share is that not many people realize that every single post has its own unique URL.
  • Let’s say you’ve got a post that’s doing really well, and if you want to drive more traffic to it, shorten that URL with something like Bitly and tweet it out. Include one of your Facebook posts in your email newsletter.
  • I frequently see a bump in engagement because I’ve driven traffic outside of Facebook to a specific post. That’s a really cool trick.
  • As a page you can post on other pages.
  • You probably want to make use of the Pages Feed. This is a fairly new thing. Under the Pages category there’s something called “Pages Feed.”
  • If you interact with that on a regular basis with pages you can also get in front of other businesses.

What are some of the benefits that small business owners can get from creating and promoting a personal profile and really leveraging that?

  • It’s a concept that came about in 2012. Facebook introduced a concept similar to Twitter called “follow.” It’s an optional setting in Settings called “followers.” You can choose to turn that on or not and any post you share to “public” people can sign up to see those in their news feed. It’s a similar algorithm to Pages.
  • Anything you share to just “friends” nobody can see but friends.
  • I turn my “follower” on immediately. I think it’s an overlooked feature. I have 423,000 followers. I’ve got to say, many of them are foreigners and don’t speak english, and aren’t my friends, but they do interact with my content.
  • You have three opportunities to be seen in the news feed. One is when you post content to your friends from your profile. Two is when you post content to “public” so that your followers and friends see it. And three, is from your fan page posting to people who’ve liked your page.
  • You want to have a strategy that includes all three. I wouldn’t post the same content to all three audiences, just keep mixing it up.
  • You’ve got to have that top-of-mind awareness. I’m much more personal. I share a quite bit more personal stuff. I like to say to people, “hello, there was life before Facebook. Why would you want to have it super locked down and private?” That’s great, and I’m not judging you, but you could make use of a secret group, like the one I have for my family, where nobody even knows it exists except the people in it. We share somewhat private things in there.
  • Facebook has always been my strategy. I don’t use Facebook for super personal private stuff.
  • Small business owners are missing out by not being active on their profiles.
  • If you look at your newsfeed, 90% of posts are from people, not pages.

How often would you recommend we check our Facebook Insights for our business page? What are some of the most important things we should look at?

  • Some people are religious about checking them.
  • There are some apps out there. One is Edge Rank Checker, another is Agora Pulse, and another is Social Bakers. They have a great amount of social stats for Facebook and more.
  • Otherwise you’ve got your own insights on your page.
  • One thing you might want to check is your demographics. You go to the “people” tab and you want to see where’s the majority of your fans. It shows you three categories – your fans, the people you’ve reached, and the people that are engaging with you. Sometimes they’re in different areas. Most of my own fans are in Los Angeles, but the people I engage with are in London.
  • These are rolling numbers. They’re updated anywhere from a week to 28 days.
  • You can see where your people are located because that will inform you when you do pay to promote posts you can get real granular in the Power Editor and promote to specific areas that are already engaging and active with you.
  • You can also look at when people are online. Facebook shows you when the majority of your fans are online and that’s usually quite helpful – it’s under visits.
  • You can also see where people came from, the external sites they came from. It depends on how analytical you want to get.
  • You can go as far as exporting the data and crunching the numbers on a spreadsheet which isn’t a bad thing. There are a couple columns in there that let you see all of your fans and how many you’re reaching. The “reach” is showing you fans and non-fans, so it’s kind of a skewed number.
  • You might want to download and export your data to see how many of your fans you’re reaching.
  • I’ve gotta say, I’m not a big analytics person. I don’t crunch the numbers like crazy because Facebook is too precarious when it comes to giving me real solid data.
  • You’re better crunching numbers when you’re placing ads.

So it sounds like you can export data, but it’s not crucial unless you’re going to start spending money on advertising and then you’ll want to pay more attention to some of the insights and analytics you can get.

  • Yeah, 100%. By the way, just another plug for ads. Even if people did $10/day for budgets, it is the most targeted traffic that your money can buy.
  • And now, a fairly new feature is called website custom audiences. So, let’s say you have a sales page or an opt-in page, you can take the people that are logged into Facebook and are visiting your page, blog or website. You have a piece of code (or pixel as it’s called), and that pixel fires when people visit that site and now you can then place ads on Facebook targeting people who’ve visited your site.
  • It’s often called retargeting or remarketing. Often, if you’ve visited a website and then all of a sudden that very thing that you were looking at follows you all over Facebook.
  • For me it’s shoes and dresses!

Juicy Links:

Rich Brooks
Facebook marketing is dead. Long live Facebook marketing.

Facebook Advertising for Small Business: What You Need to Know

Jon-Loomer-PinterestFacebook ads can prove to be lucrative and you can have multiple successful campaigns. Do you know how to set up Facebook ads and cull the best of the bunch?

Do you know when to advertise for more page likes and more leads?

If you don’t, you’re not alone. Many small businesses aren’t aware of tools and techniques they could be using to increase their likes and sales on Facebook. That’s why we asked Jon Loomer, business coach, blogger, and advanced Facebook marketer to show us how, in this week’s episode of The Marketing Agents Podcast.

Big Ideas:

  • What led you to become an advanced Facebook marketer?
    • I was laid off in 2011. After working for the NBA doing social media before that, I had set up my website as an interactive resume.
    • Over time, I saw more traction with my Facebook marketing posts.
    • Less than a year ago, I rebranded my site under the tagline of “Advanced Facebook Marketing.”
    • I decided to make the change in focus based on my paying customers.
    • Loving sports statistics, I naturally gravitated to analytics and website stats with a focus on Facebook marketing.
    • I didn’t know what would resonate with my audience, but I focused on what worked and moved in that direction.
    • I started by dispelling Facebook hoaxes and wrote about it. I found a way to incorporate free advertising coupons and that got good traffic.

    Blog posts to get traffic and posts to get revenue may not be the same, so just focus on what works.

  • What do you say to marketers and biz people that feel they shouldn’t spend money on Facebook advertising and marketing?
    • Just sitting and waiting for traffic to come in works, but not very well.
    • If you stick to a great routine, view your analytics, then it’ll work to a point.
    • If you want more traffic, or a new audience, you’ll need to start spending a few dollars.
    • When you start investing in your success, you’ll start seeing greater results.
    • Advertising is an accelerant.
    • You can start by targeting your email list with Facebook ads – it’s an incredible tool.

    If you know what you’re doing, and you invest wisely, you’ll start seeing great results.

  • Where and how do I start spending money on Facebook ads?
    • Before you even start to advertise, you need to think about who your target audience is and what value you can provide them. What is your content marketing strategy?
    • Once you know your strategy, you need to build that relevant audience.
    • Dedicate a portion of your budget to increase relevant Facebook likes.
    • However, thousands of likes isn’t helpful unless they’re relevant.
    • Graph search is a powerful tool to find people who like your emails, but haven’t like your page or posts. You can also narrow the search by demographics like location, age, etc.
    • You can use graph search results to target your audience.
  • When should we be advertising for more likes and when for more business leads?
    • Constantly have two campaigns running in the background.
    • Campaign 1 can be for getting likes – your friend likes this page, so you should like it too – certain interests for a certain audience.
    • Campaign 2 can be for getting sales – “get this free e-book on Facebook advertising – visit this page.”
    • You should always be looking to grow your audience.
    • I also have a campaign for my weekly webinar that’s constantly running. It drives people to a lead generation landing page. “One time signup, etc.”
  • Should you keep people inside Facebook, or custom tab, or can you lead them off Facebook?
    • I’m not really seeing a penalty if you leave Facebook to a landing page.
    • You can split test a Facebook tab vs. a landing page on your site.
    • Cost is often dependent on behavior. How willing are people to convert on your landing page or on your Facebook tab?
    • People tend to focus on the wrong metrics too.
    • You should be looking at cost per lead and not click-through rates.
  • Is there an ideal budget for Facebook ads or if not, how do I  come up with a budget?
    • There is a budget for anybody. You can get results for only $1 a day!
    • How much you should spend depends on your goals, where you live, and what your target is.
    • Usually, budget for $.50 per like, $1 per app install (Facebook or mobile device), $.50 for leads – but it also depends on what your cost per lead is.
    • Decide what your goal is. Is it # of fans? # of sales?
  • Should we be trying to get into the news feed and ignore the sidebar?
    • The newsfeed is great for click-through rates, but when you consider the CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions), the sidebar is WAY cheaper.
    • The average desktop news feed costs 20 times the sidebar ad spend, and the mobile news feed is 50 times that!
    • A lot of people don’t understand the true cost. So far, I’ve seen my cost per conversion and cost per page like much more efficiently spent on the side bar.
    • Cost per action on mobile is so expensive that it might not be worth your budget.
    • If you’re serious about Facebook advertising and your business, you should be testing various ads, budget allocations, etc.
    • If you keep an eye on it, you’ll be making the most out of your money.

    Test things like crazy. Start broadly. Don’t assume anything. Target a wide range of ages, countries, placement, etc. Let it run for a couple weeks, view your performance reports, then optimize for the rest of the month. Review it again and then tweak the ads.

    What’s the lowdown on power editors for Facebook ads?

    • Boost Post, Facebook’s self-serve ad tool, and Power Editor are tools to use.
    • Power Editor is a Chrome plug-in that’s not dynamic, but it’s great for advanced marketers.
    • Power Editor is great for a/b testing ads, you get first dibs on the newest features, and more control over placement and targeting.
    • If you’re serious about Facebook advertising and growing your audience, then learn Power Editor.

    What are custom audiences and how do you use them on Facebook?

    • It’s been around for just over a year.
    • You can upload your customer email list into Power Editor and Facebook will match up your list to existing Facebook users.
    • You can then create ads based on your targeted email list audience.
    • If you have a product, you’ll probably email your audience about new features or updates. By connecting with your email audience via Facebook, you can target them with relevant product ads that have a call to action.
    • If you’re a new business, you don’t even need to have a huge Facebook presence to take advantage of this feature.
    • The ad by itself or email by itself may not do the trick, but both in tandem may lead to great sales.

Juicy Links:

Rich Brooks
Always Be Measuring

Amy Porterfield on Facebook Marketing [Podcast]

Amy Porterfield Talks Facebook MarketingFacebook marketing is so important for many small businesses, yet success proves elusive. 

In this episode, Amy Porterfield, one of the world’s leading experts on Facebook marketing and list building, stops by to share her secrets for building your brand on Facebook.

We’ll discuss building your fan base, getting them to subscribe to an email newsletter, and turning likes into leads.

If you haven’t yet, be sure to head on over to iTunes to subscribe to The Marketing Agents Podcast!

Show Notes:

The Agents of Change Digital Marketing Conference: Join dozens of marketing experts for the 2nd annual Agents of Change conference! In Portland, Maine, or online! Early bird tickets available through 7/31/2013.

Paper.liCreate virtual newspaper based on your Twitter lists.

What is In this post we delve deeper into

How to Get More Followers with In this post we look at how to use to reach a wider audience. 

Custom Audiences: Upload your existing email list to find out who is already on Facebook and target ads to them. Check out this post by Victoria Gibson at Social Fresh.

AmyPorterfield.comBe sure to check out Amy’s website to learn more about Facebook marketing, list building and everything you need to grow your business.