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Facebook IconFacebook is a membership based site with more than ___ million subscribers: the focus of this site is to maintain friends and exchange information (or call it gossip).  A problem with Facebook has been stalking – people often put too much information on-line that is too freely available.  Because of its popularity you pretty well have to connect with your consumers-base on Facebook and follow the lead of many large companies that have an established presence. 

There is no doubt you will already have come across Facebook, but what we focus on is what opportunities are offered by the social networking site that has gone mainstream by now: a recent Webtrends survey found Click-Throughs on Facebook average around 0.05%, and average cost-per-click at around $0.49 last year.  Facebook’s advertisers have increased their spending about 10 times – the results they are getting from their investment must be very good.    

Studies show Facebook on a par with Google in terms of Click-through and CostPerClick (CPC) pricing but Facebook is a real bargain, because the value of the site’s rich data — and its power to spread viral messages — is only just becoming fully appreciated.  It is an exciting marketplace to start working in; many of the skills and techniques used as a search marketer apply to Facebook as do the skills and techniques you have learned as a website builder – such as dealing with images.

Facebook Marketing – Ad Creation

Facebook Ads consist of up to four different elements, starting with:

·         25 character title

·         110×80 pixel image (landscape orientation)

·         135 characters of body text

The fourth element depends on linking to a Facebook Page, or to an external website destination URL (test tracking URLs to ensure they work).  Best practices for ads to get Facebook approval include:

·         No symbols

·         Full headline

·         Full sentence in body

·         No excessive punctuation (exclamation points etc.)

·         No excessive capitalization (not every word!)

·         Real URL

Facebook Marketing – Ad Title

The title, or headline, strategy depends on the campaign objective and targeting.

Like à If the ad aims at people who “like” your brand’s Page, use your brand name in the title.

Segment à If you’re targeting based on a segment, use your title to grab the attention of the segment by mentioning their interest:

·         Use something like, “The Next Wind Energy,” to promote a product in the alternative energy world. 

·         Mentioning “family” in the headline performed much better with moms than mentioning it in the description.

·         The headline “Family Train Tour” produced a click-through rate of 0.054% and a CPC of $0.64, compared to 0.026% CTR and $1.01 CPC for the headline without the word ‘family.’

Facebook Marketing – Attracting Customers

Customer Service -> A Facebook page where customers can post reviews, comments and even complaints is essential to building a rapport: that will turn into brand loyalty and inspires word of mouth, as customers/fans encourage their friends to "like" your page, and try your product/service.  Try to monitor your company page for a few minutes a day and respond to customer comments within 24 hours or less.  Sign up for email alerts whenever someone posts to your page. 

Content -> Your Facebook page is the face for your business: keep it fresh.  Share news, promotions, link external content, thank customers for feedback: all great ways to keep customers engaged. Think how you use Facebook to check your friends' news and click through their photo galleries: customers want to check out your business the same way. Facebook is an ideal platform to share product photos and for customers to post their own photos of your products in action.   It's not just about engagement: take customers to your website. Create coupons for your fans, host customer sweepstakes on your Facebook page.  Aim for at least one update, post or promotion per day.

Connections -> Social media is a vital publicity tool: getting "likes" and fans is how companies build connections on Facebook.  Got a special event happening? Send a message to your fans.  Need feedback on a new product?  Create a quick survey using a Facebook survey app. The more you connect with current fans, the more likely their friends become fans (and customers).  Growing a fanbase on Facebook isn't a popularity contest: it's about building long-term loyalty one interaction at a time.

Facebook Marketing – Body Text

Put segment-targeted language high in the body text, include a call to action and create a sense of urgency. If you’re trying to reach a younger demographic, don’t be afraid to be fun, goofy and provocative. 

You might even consider a technique called the WTF? Factor.

This involves being a bit mysterious with your description and provoking click-through through vagueness. 

Here’s an example:  Because we are brilliant!  sampleurl.org

Dear Santa, now I really want to ask you something: do you drink a lot during Christmas? No because in 40 years you got it right once. 

The ad is just wacky enough to encourage you to click further to find out what it’s about.

Make sure, though, that your landing page from such an ad is solid, and clearly conveys what the user is expected to do. Also be sure that the “WTF? Factor” is appropriate for the audience you wish to target.

Facebook Marketing – Graphic Image

A graphic image is super important in Facebook advertising: having an image of some kind made a 70% difference in click-through rate, while title made a 10% difference and description came in at 20%. 

The most compelling type of image is not simply a picture of a woman showing some cleavage. Here are some tips for optimizing ad images:

·         Make the image consistent with your landing page, so that those who click-through see something familiar on the other side.

·         Since images are small, use a close-up image that people recognize.

·         Crank up the saturation and contrast or alter colours to draw attention. You could use a free tool like IrfanView)

You will need to collect plenty of images from the start, because you need them both for testing the effectiveness and to keep the ad creative fresh.  Some common tests for images are brand vs. product, brand vs. people, and people vs. product.

Facebook Marketing – Optimize

Optimization and continual refreshing ads is important on Facebook which doesn’t use frequency capping, so people can see your ad over and over. 

Look for ads that are winners across segments, sort by Click-Through rate, and discover those ads that work and perform the best.  Look for a specific winning combination — does a headline outperform all others regardless of the image used, or does an image consistently outperform, regardless of headline or copy?

Test various combinations to find winners and beware of ad fatigue on Facebook, which is likely within 3-5 days because, unlike search ads, they target individuals that can tire easily of seeing them over and over.

Once click-through rates drop, Facebook considers your ad of lesser value, so you have to pay more and more to get it to display.  It is best to drop the ad and create a new one after you fall below 0.01% click-through, if not sooner.  If something is successful initially but begins to drop, take the ad out of rotation: consider bringing it back in the future. 

Alternatively, you might try rotating in new interest-targeted segments so that targets remain fresh.

Facebook Marketing – Refresh

Friend-of-a-Friend targeting -> If your ad targets friends of people connected with your Facebook Page, it can be continually exposed to new prospects. As someone “likes” your Page, they no longer receive your ads: their friends – a new group of people – begin receiving the ads.  To avoid ad fatigue, routinely change out the creative — headline, image, body copy — to keep ads from going stale.  If you change elements of a campaign (creative or targeting) you can beat ad fatigue.

Test your Techniques -> To test the headline of your ads, try testing brand mentions vs. copy that does not include a specific brand.  Try using a question as the headline or a direct call to action.  You must test different approaches against each other to learn how the audience responds to each!  In one campaign the headline “Martha Stewart Cookies” outperformed “Holiday Cookie Recipes” with nearly double the clickthrough rate ( 0.119% vs. 0.066%) and almost half the CPC ($0.29 vs. $0.42.)

When testing the headline -> Headlines closely tailored to a segment are winners: “Show off Your Pup” beat out “Fun Pet Project by Martha.”  In body copy, if your brand has some stigma, a non-branded approach may be best.  In optimizing images, try branded versus non-branded images.  Experiment with images that map closely to the interest segments – pictures of cupcakes, for example.  Try faces, or pictures of products.  Always keep an eye on Facebook reports for vital clues and ideas to keep your ads fresh, relevant and driving responses.

Testing and optimization are keys to success.  Take your Facebook marketing campaigns to the next level to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities available to you from the vast Facebook audience!

Facebook Marketing - Segmentation

Begin by thinking of segments (target audiences) addressed with your customized ads a little later on.  You can apply filters to best target the audience you try to reach, but at least Facebook defaults to people located in your country and over the age of 18.  They nicely organize it’s targeting into the following sections:

Location à you can target by country, state/province, city, or city-radius (within 10-25- or 50- miles of a given city).

Demographics à you need to know your audience demographics at the outset —

·         Age range (say 18 – 45) or a specific age (say 21).

·         Birthday.

·         Relationship status -

·         Preferred language.

Likes & Interests à you can use “like” keywords to focus your targeting on a specific group of prospects by studying the keywords used by the target audience.

 “Friend of a Friend” Targeting à you can target “friends” of your Facebook Page with a special offer –you can also target their friends with ads to expand your reach.

Education & Work à you can use social influence, stronger among college attendees, and even filters specific college names, college majors and the dates attended.

Facebook Marketing - Set your Goals

Consumers on social media sites have a mindset of connecting and discovering.  They’re not too focused on finding and buying as they are when they’re surfing around using the search engines of the Internet.  Facebook (as other social media sites) is slightly higher up in the sales funnel, something to keep this in mind as you measure success.  The first step is to set your goals and objectives.  Are you looking to build the list of “Friends” who “like” your brand(s) or product’s page(s)?  Do you want to promote downloads of a coupon offering?  Do you want to send Facebook user traffic to your website?  

These goals influence the tactics you use to create your optimized advertising. You can run Facebook ads to promote Facebook social media marketing efforts by promoting a page, group, or other Facebook feature, or you can simply set traditional campaign goals (direct sales and traffic to your website).  Each choice requires a different approach and a different campaign: social media requires different ad texts, URLs, calls to action and spending than a traditional online marketing campaign for driving traffic direct to your website.  Don’t mix and match them if you decide to market via Facebook ads for both.

Facebook Marketing – Workflow

One way to make Facebook’s interface easier is to think of Facebook’s “campaigns” as “ad groups.”  Name campaigns to make them easy to find. The default organization for ads is alphabetical: use a mnemonic promotion name as a prefix of a campaign name, then a hyphen, list the target segment for that particular campaign, another hyphen, and then unique information, as needed. 

Create a “placeholder” ad for a campaign with appropriate targeting, within Facebook guidelines so it doesn’t get disapproved, but bid just a $1 daily budget and $0.01 so it doesn’t run by mistake.  With those parameters, it shouldn’t.  This placeholder ad gives you a generic starting point to create new ads for that segment.  This is important: given the ad fatigue problem on Facebook, you’ll be creating new ads throughout the run of a promotion.

Landing Pages à Facebook users respond best to something that keeps them within the Facebook experience: using a brand or product Facebook Page is a good idea, so establish that ahead of your campaign.  If you target new people – not already connected with your Page – you can send them to a specially set-up landing tab on the Page to highlight special offers to them.  Existing friends will be delivered to the Wall by default. 

The other advantage of a Page on Facebook as a landing page is that your ad can display a “like” button: users can see which friends “liked” that particular Page, a powerful social signal.  If you send traffic from the ad to your own web site, have the URL displayed within the ad.  Make sure that the URL you send traffic to ties directly to the ad copy, to allow users to take action immediately.