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To succeed in social media you must engage your fans and build relationships that go deeper than a transaction. Facebook gives you a chance to humanize your brand and makes it easy to educate and entertain your customers. If done correctly, your fans will become your advocates spreading not only awareness, but endorsement as well. This is called Engagement marketing and it is one of the most powerful ways to build interest and brand loyalty in your products. Think about it, how much more likely are you to see a movie a friend recommended rather than one that is just advertised on TV? So how do you fuel engagement marketing? The best way to learn is from others who have already done it, in this case, that would be Niche Modern, a company that specializes in modern lighting fixtures and lamps.
Niche Modern recognized the chance to connect with fans and replicate their in person customer service skills by engaging fans on their wall and building a vibrant community of loyal supporters. Of course it’s easy to engage with fans when they’re stroking your ego but what about customers who are disgruntled? Niche Modern responds by empathizing with them and then doing whatever they can to resolve the issue and then leaving the post on the wall. This shows the community that they care about their customers experience and will do everything in their power to rectify any grievances.
How do you post engaging content? There is no magic bullet to produce engaging or viral content, if there was, everyone would be doing it. That said here are some tips: pictures and videos generally work better than just words, ask questions that encourage your fans to respond, post exclusive offers and understand your fans with Facebook Insights. With your posts be succinct, 100-250 characters is a good rule of thumb. Post at least twice a week, creating a content calendar will help.If you’re just posting to your wall less than 16% of your fans are going to see the post but with page post ads that number can shoot to 70-80% of your fans and can be done on a shoestring budget.
Use ads to find fans. Entice them by showing them value and targeting the people that are most likely to be interested instead of just blasting your message across Facebook to everybody. A combination of Facebook ads and Sponsored Stories as well as Page Post ads, to keep your current fans engaged, will be the most beneficial strategy for attracting fans and keeping them coming back. The ads may find the people but it’s the social component that will clinch the like.
You don’t need to be some conglomerate or multinational corporation to excel at engagement marketing; anybody can do it. A vivacious Facebook community offers a variety of tangible benefits: people are 51% more likely to buy a product after liking them on Facebook, fans report visiting and purchasing an average of 2x more than non-fans, more in-store traffic can be generated with exclusive Facebook coupons, you will have a new feedback channel to poll customers, you will have increased participation in promotions. Ultimately engagement marketing boils down to four steps: build a Facebook page, connect to fans with ads, engage fans with quality content, and influence the friends of your fans. Although the ROI may be difficult to quantify, if done correctly the end result will pay off in spades for a long time to come.
The hashtag #GRAMMY received over 7.0 million mentions through Twitter this year while its counterpart #OSCAR received only 1.9 million mentions with 633,874 users tweeting about this during the show.
Adele was mentioned over 3.8 million times on Twitter, and spiked at over 700,000 mentions at one given time. That tops any Actor/Actress Mentioned at the Academy Awards, with Brad Pitt being the most talked about actor (62,025 mentions) and Meryl Streep most talked about actress (38,202 mentions).
As you might expect, the Oscars generated the most buzz at the end with over 125,000 mentions per 5 minutes during the announcement of Best Actress (Meryl Streep), Best Actor (Jean Dujardin mentioned 64,000 times), and Best Picture (The Artist). Most mentions were directed at “The Artist” – the first silent film to win an Academy Award since 1929.
The Grammy awards generated the most attention during Adele’s performances, award speeches, and a performance by Rihanna that generated over 700,000 tweets. Comparing that to the Academy Awards, no single celebrity could match any of the Grammy traffic, even as Oscar traffic is still very timid.
Though the awards themselves may not have generated much talk during the show, the Academy may make up through the memes now spreading around the Internet. These moments include the Angelina Jolie Leg-bomb now being photo-shopped across the world into famous pictures, The Robert Downey Jr. Tebowing, and Sasha Baron Cohen dropping the supposed ashes of deposed dictator Kim Jong Il onto the unsuspecting Ryan Seacrest (326 Tweets).
Social TV sites such as GetGlue did help pull in the Oscar ratings creating an extra 60,000,000 impressions across Facebook and Twitter, but is unclear whether this helped or deterred conversations.
As an advertiser, one has to think hard about next year’s awards show season and where to start placing budgets. Crowd sentiment played a factor at The Grammy Music Awards, where Adele – the top mention and new Social Media favorite – had recently overcome vocal surgery. Many tweets were sent because of the inspiration they gave; unfortunately there were no such stars at this year’s Academy Awards. Best advice for advertisers; keep track of the stars rising and falling. If there is a star about to undergo major surgery or a big life changing event who also is up for an award, you can bet it will generate a huge amount of traffic when the award is announced. Also, look next year for the Oscars to be brought to online viewing, as this will also play a huge factor in viewership and interaction.
As Billy Crystal put it best, “There is nothing Americans enjoy more than watching millionaires giving each other Golden Statues.”
About the Author:
Andrew Corliss Facebook Analyst for Blitzlocal. Graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in 2011 specializing in Marketing and Analytics. He has worked on a variety of projects in advertising and brings his wealth of experience and knowledge to BlitzLocal.
Let’s say you run a business making websites for dentists. You might buy the keywords “dentist”, “dental marketing” and “dental websites” on Google. In between the consumers who are looking to get some cosmetic dentistry, teeth cleaning, or other procedures done, there is a sprinkling of dentists who are looking for marketing help.
Depending on the term, it could be 90%+ of these searches not being relevant, and at $5-10 a click, that’s a lot of irrelevant clicks to pay for to find a winner, even if that winner will pay you $10,000 for a new website.
The biggest problem with B2B is that when someone types in “dentist”, you don’t know if they are a dentist or if they are looking for a dentist.
The die-hard PPC folks will argue that you’re just not choosing the right keywords (go for more specific terms), don’t have enough negative keywords (exclude anyone searching with city terms—since these are likely consumers), or you’re not writing specific enough ad copy (supposedly, consumer won’t click on your ad if your title is “Hey Dentists!”) While these comebacks are true, they are missing the big point.
In B2B marketing, you must target WHO the user is, not WHAT they are searching on.
In search, you don’t know who the user is, but you have a clue by the nature of their search terms. In social, you know WHO the user is and you’re catching them before they search.
STEP 1: Isolate the Target
So while you can get a ton of consumer traffic by targeting “dentist” in Google, when you interest target “dentist” on Facebook, you’re targeting by job title and profession. Try it. In fact, try a number of job titles and see just how many chiropractors, teachers, plumbers, administrative assistants, and marketing managers there are out there.
Voila! Now you’ve pinpointed all the dentists, dental assistants, students studying to be dentists, retired dentists, and folks who have a dentist fetish—all of them on Facebook. Now narrow down to the specific target you want by age, location or even specialty—maybe you want to talk to just cosmetic dentists in California.
Add in lateral targets—magazines they read, associations they’re a part of, and so forth. You can read more about micro-targeting here.
STEP 2: Get Your Testimonials and Trust Signals
You probably thought I’d next talk about ads, which is what most people do. Nope, in social people don’t search—they are interrupted with banner ads. You can focus on ad copy in Google PPC because people are actively looking. In Facebook, you have to gently nudge people to take a look at you and momentarily distract them from spying on their friends, or whatever they happen to be doing on Facebook.
So you need distraction-worthy content, which comes in the form of what their friends are doing. If that potential dentist client of yours is perusing through what her friends did yesterday, she might be persuaded to click on news where those very friends are talking about your business—maybe how they used your software to get more traffic to their website, streamline billing operations, etc.
When you have a TON of testimonials (across Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on), paired with content that you’ve published in major outlets, paired with positive things that other reputable organizations have said about you—then it’s more likely they are coming to you versus you coming to them. Some people call this “inbound” or “pull” marketing because you’re leveraging that prospective friends to do the selling for you. Because, despite your Harvard MBA and years of business experience; sorry Charlie, they trust what their friends have to say more.
Ideally, get this content to live on your website or Facebook page, although this is not completely necessary. Let’s say that you wrote some compelling article in an industry journal. Send ad traffic directly to that site so you can leverage their trust. If you wrote your article correctly, the by-line (about the author piece at the end) will have a line or two about what you do. And if you did a good job creating real value in that article, as opposed to selling, they’ll contact you. No need to scream at them or place popup windows in their path—they’ll find you.
Step 3: Turn Your Ads On
You wouldn’t have a grand opening party without first making sure your place has plenty of food and drinks, right? In the same way, make sure you have the compelling content from Step 2 before you start advertising. Otherwise, you’re just wasting money.
Take the interest targets that you set up in Step 1 and pair it against the content you have in Step 2. Think about WHO you are talking to, not WHAT they might be searching on. For example, if they are a dental hygienist, what content is most compelling to them? What if they are a receptionist—what might they find interesting? You’ll find that you might not have super relevant content for everyone. That’s okay—you’re just testing at this stage. Later you can mix and match what combinations work best.
Note that this is NOT landing page optimization, which is more superficially about elements that comprise the landing page—the image, the size of the button, the headline, and so forth. We’re talking about the whole lead gen. lifecycle—creating a clear path between the targets, what we say to them, and what we want them to do. That last piece is the landing page—to get them to call the phone number, fill out the form, watch the video, etc.
Step 4: Run the Math
Set your Facebook campaign budgets low, perhaps $10 a day. Use the default CPC bids, since you don’t need to get into the nuances of how bidding works—this is not Google. What you care about is your Cost Per Click and conversion rates. CPC divided by conversion rate is your cost per lead, by the way. We created a calculator for your use, in case you are rusty on first semester statistics:
This is B2B, so your cost per lead could be over $100. Maybe you’re at $2 a click and 1 in 50 clicks results in a phone call. Maybe it’s a lot more because you’re selling something that costs thousands, so that a hundred dollars is an acceptable price. Or maybe you’re competing in New York City, where the price is exorbitant from all the advertisers that overlap one another from poor targeting.
Whatever the case, if you’re doing this on Facebook, you have to be prepared for seemingly negative ROI for the first few months. Why? Because we are catching people well before they are searching, so it could be months before they want that new website, CEREC machine, billing system, or whatever it is you’re advertising. With Google, the conversion timeframe might be that same visit. This is unlikely in your case, unless your product is an impulse buy and also under $100.
Some final thoughts:
We are often asked a common set of questions, so let’s address some of them here:
How big should my interest target be? You don’t need a thousand ads—just a handful that target just the people that you want to hit. If your interest target is over 10,000 people, then either you’re doing something wrong or your audience is nationwide.
Do I need new landing pages for Facebook? Probably. Video is what converts nowadays, so you probably need to fix your other landing pages while you’re at it. Camera shy? They aren’t choosing you for your good looks, so get your Flip video, some good lighting, and film a 2 minute intro. Say what you’d say if that dentist was sitting right in your office—don’t be “fake” or talk like a newscaster.
Will BlitzLocal do this for me? Sure, if you have at least $10k to spend in fees, not counting advertising budget. If you’re a dentist, we require only $2k a month in total (labor plus ad spend), since we’re targeting just one region and because our dental campaigns can be replicated. If we have to build something that is not reusable across many clients, then we have to charge more for it. We are not the cheapest game in town.
Do you offer free articles and training? I would love to use your service, but cannot afford it. Sure. Send a note to and we’ll send you some of our internal training materials. You can also post a question at, where others can see and benefit from what you ask.
About the Author:
Dennis Yu is Chief Executive Officer of BlitzLocal, a Webtrends partner that builds social media dashboards to measure brand engagement and ROI, specializing in the intersection of Facebook and local advertising. You can reach him on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, his blog, or good old-fashioned email at BlitzLocal is a leader in social and local advertising and analytics, creating mass micro-targeted campaigns. Mr. Yu is an internationally sought-after speaker and author on all things Facebook, and has been featured in National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Entrepreneur Magazine, CBS Evening News, and other venues.
A new inexperienced online entrepreneur often wants to tell the world about his shiny, new site. There’s nothing wrong with that enthusiasm, of course. But when that same businessman starts throwing money at online advertising, and pays to have his message shown to the entire world, he usually finds himself wondering why his pockets are empty, and his sales are low or non-existant.
Hopefully, at this point, he stops throwing money at the world, and learns a better way to advertise that stands a far better chance of resulting in positive ROI for every dollar he spends. If so, then at this point, he learns that his ads should be shown only to the group of people who are not only most interested in his products or services, but who are also most likely to respond to whatever offer he is presenting.
On this journey of discovery, he adds two new words to his marketing vocabulary — “targeted” and “qualified”.
What is targeted traffic? Users who are specifically interested in the products or services he provides are the users he wants to target. The chances of converting those users are much higher than the chances of converting a user who landed on his site accidentally and has no interest in what he has to offer. It suddenly becomes obvious to the entrepreneur that if he only spends money advertising to people who already have a strong interest in what he has to offer, then his conversion rate will likely be high, and the return on his investment will likewise be high.
What is qualified traffic? Qualified users are those who are not only interested in his products or services, but are able and ready to actually to to buy. It’s the difference between “looky-loos” and those who have a real need for the product, the budget to acquire the product, and the authority to approve the purchase of the product.
Now our entrepreneur can begin to shed his “newb” status and start launching marketing campaigns that are aimed at targeted, qualified individuals.
Let’s take a look at an example how our businessman can effectively accomplish this new goal.
Our fictional company owner has created a specialized dating service aimed at matching wealthy singles who are both into adventure and extreme sports, and wants to advertise his service on Facebook.
Before he understood the merits of showing ads only to targeted, qualified individuals, he probably would have designed an that sounded exciting or intriguing, but aimed it at everyone. What kind of traffic would he have shown that ad to?
Now that he is a little more savvy, he can begin to narrow that number down.
First, he chooses to only show ads to people interested in sports.
After thinking about it, he realizes that’s still way too general, so he narrows that down to people who enjoy extreme sports.
More thought, and he realizes that he forgot to only target singles, so he adds that to mix.
Finally, he knows his service is pricey, so he wants to pre-qualify his targeted audience as much as possible. Facebook doesn’t have an “I’m rich” category, but our now-savvy businessman can make some educated guesses on finding those people who are more likely to be qualified to pay his steep prices. So he’ll also target various interests, such as yachts, for example.
Now he’s narrowed his ad campaign down to a very targeted group of people who are more likely to be qualified as well. He can choose many different interests besides yachts, of course, honing his campaign until he finds the sweet spot of targeted, qualified users that are most likely to sign up for his specialized dating service.
Suddenly, our online entrepreneur has become a businessman who no longer empties his pockets while chasing everyone in the world. He now understands why the terms “targeted” and “qualified” matter, and is currently enjoying his own extreme adventure.
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When preparing a Facebook audit for a brand, a cookie-cutter approach won’t work. Each brand has its own factors that must be considered when evaluating campaign strategy, but there are some common strategies you can use to create killer audits for any brand.
Many Brands Within The Brand
Some large brands consist of many sub-brands. Let’s consider P&G as an example brand. They have many sub-brands, 23 of which have over a billion dollars in annual sales. Some of these sub-brands include Tide, Bounty, Pampers, Duracell, etc. Ideally, this type of megabrand should have a portfolio of sub-brands that tie back into a central hub page. The central hub is often weak, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but strengthening the hub will usually result in strengthening the brand overall.
When measuring the power of the megabrand, especially when comparing against their competitors, be sure to include their overall portolio (i.e. P&G vs. Unilever), as well as brand-to-brand comparisons of the sub-brands, such as Duracell vs. Energizer.
Targeting and Relevancy
When designing sample Facebook ads, remember that success with Facebook relies on being SUPER relevant to users. Let’s take a look at a few examples of how this can be applied.
Utilize Brand Connections
If the user is already familiar with the brand via a related connection, target those users specifically. For example, Tide has sponsored a car in Nascar for a long time. Fans of Darryl Waltrip and Ricky Rudd are then likely to also be fans of Tide, so targeting the fans of those Nascar champions is an easy win.
Leverage Existing Campaigns
We can leverage the power of a brand’s existing advertising. For example, if the brand is Yoplait yogurt, you know that they’ve spent a huge amount of money on the pink lids for breast cancer ad campaign. By targeting Susan Komen, breast cancer, and related interests– and then pairing that targeted base with a message that Yoplait supports breast cancer research, you can make their existing non-Facebook ad campaigns work double-time here. Send users to an appropriate web page that has a Like button on it (preferably on the Facebook page), to solidify that connection.
Harvest Celebrity Endorsements
Someone else has already done the footwork needed to attach a celebrity’s fan base to the brand, so harvest that base. For example, Carrie Underwood uses Olay, so target Carrie’s fans with relevant messages and landing pages for the Olay brand on Facebook. There is a LOT of celebrity traffic – a lot more than people who say they like laundry detergent or batteries or skin care products – so harvest that mass of low-hanging fruit.
Milk The Competitors
There’s nothing wrong with actually reaching out to the fans of the competition. For instance, if they like the Energizer Bunny, it’s possible they’ll also like Duracell. This can be hit or miss, as some fans are loyal to a fault and won’t have any desire to switch, but you won’t know without testing. Many fans are on the fence and can be pretty easily persuaded to flip.
Manage The Audit Process
The simplest tool to have on hand during the audit research phase is the spreadsheet. First, research a list of the interests that are related to each of the brands. Create a spreadsheet consisting of one row per interest, using four columns:
Audience Size (shown in Ad tool)
Relevant Brand Fan Page URL
Relationship Between the Interest and the Brand
The relationship column should include things like:
Is the interest a competitor of the brand?
Is the interest a non-profit that the brand supports?
Is the interest a celebrity that endorses the brand?
Is the interest a current advertising campaign that the brand is using?
When possible, ensure the spreadsheet includes at least a dozen interests. If the brand is a huge megabrand, you might end up with perhaps a hundred interest targets, all in the same spreadsheet.
With smart, highly relevant targeting, you can show the benefits of a Facebook campaign to any brand – big or small.

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