By Jonathan Fowler, Managing Partner, Bass Frontiers Magazine.
When the world’s largest social network first touted the idea of advertising, I was a bit skeptical. After all, most of us log on to Facebook to connect with family members and friends, why in the world would we want to see ads? Aside from being a little annoyed, I also asked myself what Facebook could do that other advertising mediums couldn’t? When I did a little bit of research I quickly found two answers to this question; affordability and razor sharp, precision targeting. As for being annoyed, I got over that rather quickly. Facebook is not so “in your face” with their advertising and you’re only going to see what they think is extremely relevant to you.
As a small business owner, I have to watch every penny that goes out the door, so affordability is a key point in making my advertising decisions. During this past Christmas holiday, our online publication, Bass Frontiers Magazine, decided to take an ad out on a very well known website that received tons of traffic. We created a banner to advertise a contest that we were running on our own website in hopes that the chance of winning a nice prize package would entice people to click on our banner, land on our contest page, and sign up for our newsletter. To make a long story short, we paid $1,000 and were guaranteed a million impressions over the course of about 30 days. At the end of this period, we received our million impressions, had a decent click through rate, and doubled the size of our email database as a result. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret spending the $1,000, but our business could not afford to spend $1,000 per month on advertising, even if it brought killer results. In steps Facebook.
Over the course of about four days, I spent approximately $30 on Facebook advertising, got over 500,000 impressions, got a 0.50% CTR, and brought Bass Frontiers over 900 new fans. This may not sound like a lot, but our publication caters to a very niche market. Our page received a lot of attention, people were commenting on our content and posts, our email sign up tab was being utilized, and things were really rocking. I feel like I robbed Facebook.
Never in the history of online advertising has there been a medium that could offer the precision targeting that Facebook offers. As I mentioned earlier, Facebook is not so “in your face,” but the real beauty is the targeting. You’re only going to see ads that are relevant to what is found in your profile. Mark Zuckerberg was once quoted as saying “knowing your friends really love drinking Coke is the best endorsement for Coke you can possibly get.”1 You can bet that people who “like” Pepsi, probably aren’t going to see any Coke ads and vice versa. Why? Because of the ability to accurately choose your audience and even change ad targeting midstream to get the results for which you are looking.
Folks, if you have a limited budget, give Facebook a try. If you’re not getting the click through rate you want, then pause your ad, delete it, edit your targeting information, or create a new one altogether! Heck, run about 5-6 ads at the same time to see what works! Don’t’ waste another day and don’t waste another hard earned dollar!
This Facebook song video I originally saw on the Small Business Internet Marketing Blog of Julie Weishaar (@NewHorizons123) is the perfect example of content that will go viral and be spread far and wide.
This video is better than anything I’ve ever seen put out by Facebook. I have only seen a couple of videos that I found as entertaining and that made me smile.
One was the United Breaks Guitars Video I wrote about on GrowMap that has 9,822,277 views and the other was the Wedding Dance video that got 60,582,511 views.
The Facebook video below is up to 7,675,500 views.
If you want to get viral marketing working for you, it is very likely that you will not be able to produce these kinds of videos yourself. You need someone with a track record and real talent to produce viral videos. Read the rest of this post »
Name your Facebook page after your business. By using the same business name you use for your directory listings on Google, Yahoo!, Bing, CitySearch, Ask Local, etc., you crate consistent data which sends trust to the search engines and helps your business rank higher in Google.
Get your custom Facebook URL for your business. Go to facebook.com/username and choose a vanity URL that matches the name of your business. That way, users can easily find and remember your page. You must have at least 25 fans on your page to be able to claim your vanity URL.
Post to your Facebook business page at least once per day. Talk about interesting tangential news—local town events, industry news, etc. You can of course promote your business, but be careful not to spam users with daily promotions. Become a trusted source of information in your industry.
Ask questions. Posing inquiries to your fans encourages participation, which in turn increases your engagement score and your page’s ability to show up in the News Feed of your users. You want an engagement rate is over 2% and a Post Quality Score of more than 5 (your Post Quality Score is a measurement of how engaging your Posts have been to users over a seven-day period.
Run a small Facebook ad budget. We recommend $1-2 a day to start to help you build your fan base to a few hundred fans. Posting to your page is meaningless if you have only a dozen fans. Overcome the chicken-and-egg issue by posting and running ads at the same time.
Use coupons and specials. Maybe you’re a cosmetic surgeon and you can offer $10 Botox on Mondays. Tell people about that, with redemption via your coupon code, so you can track them. Better yet, have a tab for coupons on your website and Facebook page with a printable coupon that has dotted lines around the edge and a fake bar code. Make sure to tell your audience that these are special promotions offered to Facebook fans only—that way, they see a direct correlation between being a fan and saving money.
Get testimonials. Do this across Google, Yelp, Facebook, and elsewhere. Consider thanking folks who post a review with a special offer– free coffee, for example. You could also enter everyone who writes a review in a specific time period into a contest to win a free product or service. Prospective customers increasingly rely upon user reviews in deciding what business to select.
Tie your marketing together. Cross-pollinate between your website, business cards, Facebook page, twitter, and other marketing materials. This has a multiplying effect. Put your Facebook URL on your business cards and email signature, and include a link to your Facebook page and a Like button on your website.
Don’t hire a consultant, at least not at the start. Only you can source content, ask clients for reviews, and speak passionately as the voice of your business. Later you can delegate tasks to your office manager or intern. You can license technology, but you must own the marketing.
Network with other local businesses. Not only can you share ideas, but also cross-promote your businesses. No business can understand and identify with you better than another local business in the same geographic area.
For more information, tune into the web class, “Killer Facebook Landing Pages—What Works and Why” with Dennis Yu on Wednesday, October 13th at 10:00am PDT/1:00pm EDT. Sign up for free here: http://landingpagesuccesssummit.com/.
Dennis Yu is an entrepreneur and internationally recognized lecturer in search engine marketing. He has written articles for and been interviewed by such media outlets as National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Fox, and KTLA-TV. He has spoken at Search Marketing Expo, HostingCon, Affiliate Summit, Affiliate Convention, and Ultralight Startups. Yu has also counseled the Federal Trade Commission on privacy issues for social networks. Yu is co-founder and chief executive officer of BlitzLocal.
3 days ago we first noticed the ability to share your ads account with other users via 3 permission levels– reports only, general user, and administrator. Not all accounts will have this feature enabled, but if you do have it, it will be under “settings”.
As an agency managing hundreds of Facebook pages and accounts, our opinion? It’s about time! Standard practice in Google AdWords and other PPC platforms is to allow clients to share access with their agency via the My Client Center interface, which allows many users to manage an account. Previously, you had to either create separate dummy accounts for each client (cumbersome), run them under your agency account (but then you can’t specifically share out access to particular client campaigns), or run under a personal account (yes, we know many folks that do that). In the same way that you can have multiple page admins, you can have multiple ad admins.
Facebook has made amazing progress in the last 6 months with improving their advertising tools. Here are items that would make their platform even better:
Enable frequency capping so you don’t waste inventory.
Allow negation targeting or placement targets (maybe you don’t want to run inside a poker app, for example)
Allow agencies to create multiple accounts for clients under a single domain (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com), though there is potential for abuse here.
Provide a desktop tool like Google AdWords Editor.
Enable CPA bidding to allow for conversion optimization.
Add more metrics to the Facebook Ads API.
Reveal the ad Quality Score, like Google does.
Better UI reporting– show trends as opposed to raw output data.
If you are an agency, then the ability to manage multiple accounts has now saved you massive headaches. We look forward to Facebook adding more Google-esque features in addition to the pure social features that makes Facebook advertising so special.
Dennis Yu is CEO of BlitzLocal, a firm that specializes in Facebook advertising for brands and local advertising for yellow page category businesses.
Facebook has less than 1% penetration in 7 of the 10 most populous countries
That’s right. They have 36,180 users out of the 1.3 billion people in China, 9.6 million users out of 1.2 billion people in India, and the list goes on. They do have 42% penetration in United States, where 126 million of their base of almost 500 million users reside. Facebook may appear to be the dominant player in social networking from a US perspective, but they are getting creamed by in other countries:
* In Russia, Odnoklassniki and VKontakte each have over 30 million users, while Facebook has 1.1 million. * In Korea, Cyworld has 18 million users out of a population of 48 million, which is about the same dominant ratio Facebook has with US users. * And don’t forget Qzone in China with 376 million users, just behind what Facebook has.
* And the list goes on.
So if you’re truly a global brand, you need to be on these other sites– many of which you may not have even heard of if you live in the United States. Even MySpace, which has lost 20% the last year, versus the 30% gain that Facebook has had, is still a force at 1/3rd the size of Facebook. And that’s not even counting the formidable other properties owned within the Fox network.
Whether you’re a US-based brand that has presences in other countries, an international brand with decentralized management, or a country-specific brand, it makes sense to have experts in local markets that have their fingers on the pulse. Note that in the Philippines or Indonesia, for example, you can buy targeted traffic at a 3 cent CPM bid, which often works out to a penny per thousand impressions, since you pay only a portion of your maximum bid. Consider new markets for your products and services.
The world is not accurately represented by Facebook.
Click here to see the country stats from last year.
By Jonathan Fowler, Managing Partner, Bass Frontiers Magazine.