With 1.7 billion people on Facebook as of November 2015, it’s pretty safe to say that a lot of your target audience, clients and customers are active on the world’s largest social-media platform.
It should also come as no surprise that Facebook’s ads platform is the most advanced and powerful method of paid traffic advertising any of us currently have access to.
That said, Big Blue (the hipsters’ name for Facebook) makes constant changes to its ads platform, causing a lot of would-be advertisers to get frustrated and quit before seeing any real return from their efforts.
No matter how many client campaigns my agency and I run, I see the same few things tripping up advertisers, causing them to throw up their hands and walk away when they’re so close to success.
Here are seven ways you can run back to Facebook, and with a few little tweaks, get your ad campaigns to actually produce results and positive ROI, rather than empty your pockets of money.
1. Get your research in order
Facebook has a slick tool called “audience insights” that can allow you to enter an interest and then gather data and other interests that your target audience might also be interested in.
The first tab in the interface (demographics) will let you look up the gender and age of the interest you’ve entered.
The second tab (page likes), will list other interests that your target audience may be interested in.
It also lists them by relevance and affinity, a measure of how likely someone in one interest group is to like the other interest group.
2. Separate your ad sets
Many folks will take their research from step one, gather their interests and then lump them all into one big list on the Facebook Ads Manager in hopes of reaching a large target audience.
This is a grave mistake that will cost you far more in ad spend. And while you might get results, you’ll have no idea which interest brought the best results.
The solution: Include one interest per ad set so you can look out for the interests that bring the best results at the lowest cost.
3. Make changes slowly
To get the best bang for your advertising buck, you may find it tempting to adjust ad copy, images, targeting and budget early in the game, but it’s actually better to make changes slowly and infrequently, to allow the Facebook algorithm to adjust.
I find that it takes three-to-five days for the original ad set to gain enough reach to get meaningful data that I can analyse. Every time you mess with an ad, it is submitted for review and the process starts all over again.
If you absolutely must try different copy, or want to swap images, create a new ad and run both to see which one gets better results. You might actually be surprised by which ad wins.
4. Watch the data and adjust accordingly
This one is huge! There is so much that can go wrong by ignoring the data that Facebook is providing you.
Yes, it will tell you important information like the age, gender, placement (which device) and country or region that is bringing you the best results, but with a few tweaks to the performance column, you can also see the ad relevance score. This is based on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the least relevant and 10 the most.
The more relevant your ad is, the less you pay – and the more it gets shown and the lower the cost.
You can also see your positive and negative feedback scores. These are a bit of a mystery, but the basic gist is that if you write a great ad and people like it and share it, you’ll get higher positive feedback. If the viewers don’t like your ad and are constantly hiding it so they don’t see it, you’ll get a higher negative feedback score.
Run your ads too long with a high negative feedback score, and you risk getting your Facebook ads account shut down.
5. Always be testing
We run hundreds of ads for various clients, and we’re constantly making tweaks and variations. We’ll test new interests to target, as well as split-test ad images, copy text and calls to action, a button on the ad vs. no button, etc.
It can be very taxing to always be swapping things out and watching the data, but your long-term success with Facebook ads depends on it.
Ads get stale very fast, and their costs start to rise as their effectiveness decreases. We combat this through testing and tracking results.
6. Cull the losers and scale the winners
There will be ads that simply do not produce results. That’s a fact of life when it comes to Facebook ads. The faster you can kill the losing ads and scale the winning ads, the sooner you’ll see long-term results.
Each ad set can be turned around in three to five days, which, in most cases, will allow the ad to show enough data for you to know if it’s going to produce results or not.
But, pause the losing ads rather than deleting them. This will allow you to see the data that didn’t work so you don’t make the mistake of re-running the same losing ad.
7. Hand off the dirty work to someone else
Look, running Facebook ads is not for the faint of heart. No matter how many entrepreneurs I speak to, spending time on Facebook ads is not high on their list of daily tasks they want to invest their time into.
You’ll get further faster by focusing on the growth of your business while someone else looks after all the research, testing and tweaking with Facebook ads.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
Crisis Management: Fail To Prepare, Prepare To Fail
The secret to a successful reputational risk management programme depends on leaders’ ability to move with agility as they respond to the immediacy and uncertainty of social media-fuelled crises.
The always-evolving communications environment has intricately linked reputation management with the digital world, and executives must now realise that brand perception functions more like a real-time trading desk with 24/7 news, social media and online conversations shaping brand perception without the participation of organisations.
Put simply, managing your reputation must be an active, ongoing strategic investment that starts well before any risk or crisis begins. Plans and procedures will prove useless if introduced as a crisis erupts. Preparedness planning needs to start at executive level with reputation management practices being built into the fibre of every business at every level.
The secret to a successful reputational risk management programme depends on leaders’ ability to move with agility as they respond to the immediacy and uncertainty of social media-fuelled crises, which cannot be overstated as social media gaffes are occurring faster than we can write case studies to learn from them.
Establishing a preparedness programme
Handling a reputational challenge or crisis effectively starts with recognising the warning signs early. With an established programme, guidelines and procedures in place, your organisation can keep its finger on the pulse of conversations. This allows you to begin what’s known as the OODA loop (observe, orient, decide and act), quickly and nimbly during a crisis.
Recent data shows that 28% of crises spread globally within one hour. The very action of participating in a crisis exercise helps build “muscle memory” and organisations that effectively navigate a crisis are ones with detailed crisis management plans that they are familiar with.
Establishing protocols and systems ahead of a crisis, and then testing and training on them provides discipline and structure.
If the first time you’re reading through a crisis plan is during an operational or reputational crisis, you’re going to be behind the curve and with the pace of today’s digital age, it will be hard to recover.
Related: 10 Laws Of Social Media Marketing
Building a digital foundation
In times of crisis, reaching out to those who count the most to your organisation is critically important. This goes beyond determining who has the most followers on social media as people often confuse influence with reach. The former can be defined as the degree to which someone can inspire others to do something.
To prepare, first identify core groups ahead of time: loyal fans, industry influencers, key opinion makers such as journalists and bloggers, and those who aren’t fans. Knowing potentially negative influencers such as those who might be sceptics or critics is equally important as knowing positive influencers.
Consider online monitoring to be your first line of defence to gauge messages about your organisation. When set up in advance, this monitoring provides an understanding of your overall perception and it allows you to adjust quickly to conversational trends.
There is no “one size fits all” content strategy for a crisis. The sooner you can identify and engage with those who matter, the sooner you can begin tackling the situation directly.
When you’re at the centre of an unfolding risk, you must demonstrate a strong voice to counteract the forces of social and traditional media that will quickly shape the narrative. Press releases and news conferences are insufficient to meet expectations for content that exists online.
Leveraging strategic content within the context of a crisis forces you to question how you are engaging your key stakeholders and audience beyond a simple text response.
Your owned media properties, particularly your website and social channels, serve as critical tools to provide information that frames the issue from your perspective, addresses misinformation and, if necessary, apologises for a situation with a clear action plan.
Our goal, as a leading communications marketing agency, isn’t to teach an organisation how to simply tweet through a crisis. Rather, we expect our clients to walk away with first-hand experience of working under rapid-fire crisis conditions that mimic an accurate scenario.
There’s a great deal of nuance around effective crisis and reputation management, including what corporate responses are suitable for different crises. Don’t go it alone. Invest in a partner, which has a deep understanding of the complex variables that have a long-term impact on the public perception of your organisation.
Five variables to address ahead of a crisis
- Who have we maintained consistent relationships with? You must make friends before you need them. Develop a list of important online and traditional stakeholders and maintain steady communications with this group during the quiet times.
- What is your threshold for who is influential? Be aware of the fact that there are people who reside outside your list of key stakeholders who are nevertheless influential and could have an impact on your business.
- How quickly does a conversation need to build up steam to warrant a response? The internet and social media now reflect thousands of smaller voices who can find each other and amplify a message. Recognising how conversations gain critical velocity is imperative to gauge when to respond and a crisis partner can help in this scenario.
- What is the timing of your response? You don’t always have all the answers and that’s okay. Often, a community just wants to know that you’re listening to them.
- Where will you publish a response and notify stakeholders? Sometimes, a response on Twitter, or Facebook proves sufficient, although other platforms such as a website or a blog helps to frame issues more comprehensively. A crisis partner will help determine the best way forward.
Why You Should Sort Your Social Media Policy (Like NOW!)
Strong social media policies are needed to prevent such behaviours and should always be considered when setting up and expanding your business.
With 2 billion active users on Facebook alone, sharing our toils, tribulations and triumphs online is becoming second nature. There are, however, downsides to the rise of social media. Habits online have the potential to affect your work and your business if not monitored appropriately.
Recent research combining a survey of 2,000 UK respondents and analysis of work-related Twitter posts has highlighted the behaviours of employees online that could lead to damage for the businesses who employ them. Strong social media policies are needed to prevent such behaviours and should always be considered when setting up and expanding your business.
The Risks of Social Media
Lost Working Hours
The average person now spends 25 hours a week online, with almost two hours a day (116 minutes) being used to browse social media platforms.
With so much time being spent online it’s almost inevitable that people will habitually reach for their phone to check Facebook during the working day. The survey research suggests the average person spends 52 minutes procrastinating every day, with most of this time being spent on social media.
Across the working year this amounts to 225 hours lost per employee, a total of 7 billion lost hours from the UK working population of 32,344,000. Failing to set clear boundaries of when employees can use social media in the workplace may cost you a lot in the long term.
15% of employees say that they have previously shared something negative about their work online, and a further 5% said they would do so in the future. This means that one in five workers think it is acceptable to take to social media to air their grievances with their company.
The volume of tweets found in Twitter analysis that contain negative work-related phrases illustrates how widespread the problem of employees complaining online is. In 2017, 8,186 tweets containing phrases such as #ihatemyjob, #worksucks and #hatework were sent, a 43% rise on the volume of similar posts in 2015.
It is not only negative posts from employees that pose a risk to your business – they might also be inadvertently sharing confidential information. Off-hand comments on social media about what they have done with their day may lead your employees to unintentionally reveal information about a client, future plans or other information that you would not want in the public forum.
This could result in lost business if a client feels their security has been compromised or may give your competitors important insight into your working practices, which they can use to their advantage. A clear policy on what is acceptable to post in relation to work will help prevent these risks.
How Can a Social Media Policy Help?
Social media policies should be issued and explained to all employees. Their purpose is to ensure proper usage of social media, in a way which will not negatively impact on your business.
A social media policy can set out when usage of the platforms is appropriate and what employees can share with regards to your company. The policy may not guarantee adherence, but it does allow you to set out proper practice to all your workers in a clear, accessible format, which can be regularly consulted.
Is Your Content Golden Enough?
Take a breather for a while and read our ‘gold-to’ guide for best digital practice in business.
Leading digital researcher, GroupM, suggested in their annual ‘State of the Digital’ report that marketers should convey a brand message “within the first second” of every social video. Not to take the shine off your expectations, but if today’s CMO’s don’t level up and grab consumers’ attention on-play, your video is going straight to the dump heap. No stickiness, no interest, no shares no thumb stopping. Nothing. Nichts. Nada.
Golden content is what we strive for: Videos, podcasts and solid written content with that Midas touch; content that will seize that first second and shake the shares out of it. Take a breather for a while and read our ‘gold-to’ guide for best digital practice in business:
1. Hold it Before You Load It
You know what you want to sell, and you have a strong message to go. Stop right there. Before you dive for the upload button, do the 5-point sense check first:
- Is this post too long, too short, too strong, too soft?
- Will the post deliver better results on Facebook / Instagram / Twitter or YouTube?
- Do I want audience engagement or audience awareness
- What do I want to get out of this post?
- What do I want my audience to feel and/or do with this post?
When you’ve answered these questions, and you’re clear about the what’s and how’s then, by all means, take that upload button and give it horns.
2. Get off The Island: Let Video, Audio & Lit Work Together
One of the great benefits of digital is the opportunity to collaborate your communication in the same post, using audio, visual and literature, to get your message across. When you create a podcast, use your literature platform to support the podcast, with a strong rationale, call to action or written article.
Same applies to video: You should have a transcript or article supporting that video, to better land your message. And if you’re featuring written content as the star attraction (blogs aren’t dead, yet!) it will benefit greatly from keywords, images and diagrams that grab attention – or better yet, a throw forward to a film piece that adds juice. Golden content is not an island, it doesn’t need to live alone in order to make an impact.
3. Get The Experts On Board
From your social media to your online video it is vital that your brand is authentic and in a way that fully represents the values of your business, brand, and offering. Choose the right agency to help you create content that is truly Golden and help streamline that content to ensure it works holistically in delivering your brand message to your target audience.
Working with the right team can make all the difference when it comes to creating above average content that connects with your audience. Choose an agency with experience in creating content that is Golden. Speak to So Interactive for expert advice on creating golden content for your brand.
Business Ideas Directory4 days ago
20 Innovative Business Ideas Doing Well Overseas (That Could Make You Money In SA)
Business Advice for Women Entrepreneurs1 week ago
How I Run An International Business From A Remote Beach Town In The Eastern Cape
Entrepreneur Profiles2 weeks ago
Inspiring Entrepreneur Siyanda Dlamini Believes You Need To Back Yourself To Build Your Dreams
Entrepreneur Profiles1 week ago
30 Top Influential SA Business Leaders
Entrepreneur Profiles1 week ago
Kid Entrepreneurs Who Have Already Built Successful Businesses (And How You Can Too)
Entrepreneur Today4 days ago
Nedbank Brings Silicon Valley’s Plug And Play To Africa In Disruption First For The Continent
Business Ideas Directory2 weeks ago
How To Make (A Lot Of) Money On Airbnb
Lessons Learnt1 week ago
6 Habits Long-Time Millionaires Rely On To Stay Rich