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Facebookize: 7 Ways REALLY Adapting To Facebook Will Revolutionize Your Organization

Most companies have not fully adapted to Facebook. That’s one reason why it frustrates them so much. But also, they miss out on a lot of benefits. What can Facebook marketing teach you about more effective marketing, sales and product and service creation? A lot!

The Promise of This Post: I guarantee you that if you are thorough with the Facebookize process I describe below:

  • It will dramatically improve your Facebook marketing results (I’ve seen it triple post interactions and website clicks)
  • It will revolutionize how you think about your customers.
  • It will lead to improved ideas for products, services and marketing.
  • It will filter down to customer service and strengthen your customer loyalty.

I’ve been teaching my Facebookize process to companies for more than a year. It’s a fundamental part of how we help our clients get better results.

The Problem With Facebook: Facebook, like any marketing channel, is different. People use it differently than Twitter or LinkedIn or Email or TV. The specific goals and tactics that work best on Facebook are different.

The targeting and tactics we use may be completely new to your company. You may not yet have a complete enough picture of (or data) your customers to succeed with Facebook marketing.

360degreecustomer2

The Opportunity For Your Whole Business: What have to do just to get visibility on Facebook (like getting post interactions) are also powerful adaptations that help you get more results across all marketing platforms.

Why? Because if you can get likes or shares, now you know how to get an emotional response to your marketing.

People buy emotionally, so the value of learning this goes beyond Facebook.

Here’s the 7-Step Facebookize process:

1. What does your company sell?

2. Who buys it?

3. What’s unique about them?

4. What’s their lifestyle?

5. What else do these people like?

6. What dreams are you empowering?

7. Put all of that into images and copy.

Download a free PDF of the Facebookize Worksheet.

Let’s get into it.

1. What Do You Sell?

This should be the easiest one for you to answer- especially if you’ve already thought about this in terms of search engine keywords (via the Keyword Search tool in your Google Advertising account or by using a service such as SEMRush). You know what your category is and that people want it. You know what words they use to describe it.

If not, you may need a more basic article or my forthcoming book The Cowbell Principle.

2. Who Buys From You? Using Demographics and Psychographics to Understand Your Customer

demogoodreads

 Demographics for GoodReads from Quantcast

Who are your customers? Your perception may already be accurate if you spend a lot of time talking to them and that information been passed throughout your organization. Sometimes companies’ sales departments have a deeper understanding of the customers and prospects than marketing. Over time, your organization should understand and focus on what signals a good or bad customer (this is a big part of designing a content marketing system). You may or may not be able to flex to accommodate all the types of people who inquire of your brand.

Who is and is not a good customer for you? The most basic and traditional marketing terms for answering this are demographics: age, gender, location. If you don’t have demographics for your website, consider adding Quantcast’s tag and get specific data from them.

Psychological tools help us try to understand who the customer is from a personal and emotional standpoint.

mbtiAn example is the Meyer Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which distinguishes extroversion vs introversion, sensing vs. intuition, thinking vs. feeling and judging vs. perceiving. It’s a fascinating system- but the problem is that there are 16 different types- are you going to have 16 different websites or Facebook pages? The question is how to apply it practically. And how do you get your customers to take the test? Also, some of the 16 types are more common than others. Are you going to compare to the population baseline to figure out which types your customers are and aren’t? The complexities are overwhelming.

There are more obvious applications of the MBTI though. There’s a good chance that if you’re marketing to IT professionals, they’re more dominant in thinking than feeling. No offense!

Personas are another approach. This means you create several fictional customer personas. You name them, put a face to them, and you keep them in mind when marketing. It sounds completely reasonable, but it’s important that your personas come from your customer data or experiences your organization has had with customers. Another criticism is that you can become irrationally attached to the personas you’ve created so much that you ignore real customer interactions. And of course, if your internal team doesn’t believe the personas are accurate, acceptance hampers utility.

If you don’t like any of these approaches, just hang on until we get to #5!

3. What’s Unique About Your Customers?

It’s more profitable to reach only people likely to buy. That’s one reason many brands don’t use mass media like radio and TV (apart from the cost!).

Now Facebook advertising offers a way to reach that size of audience but with better targeting (and much more affordably). If you’re not sure about this, read Why Every Business Should Spend At Least $1 on Facebook Ads A Day.

You can target potential customers with Facebook ads with demographics AND psychographics. You can’t use the MBTI to target them, but you may be able to use aspects of your personas (and hopefully they’re accurate). Facebook ads offer tons more targeting options including workplace, job titles, consumer behavior, educational level and college attended.

unique

How are your customers different from other companies’ customers?

But do you know these things about your customers?

This is where Facebook requires us to go back and get new market research. How do we do that? We can, to a degree do it in Facebook itself.

Before we do that, we have to ask if your Facebook fan page is representative of your customer base? It may not be if you’ve bought fake fans or used other tactics to get a bunch of prospects you’re not sure will buy from you. Or your fanbase may be representative of your customer base if you had a strong email list and sent those people to your Facebook fan page to like it.

If your fans are representative of your customers, then you can use the Facebook ad interface to first target your fans, then subtarget it and watch how the numbers change. This will help you find out what is predominant among your customers.

targetfans

Let’s say you have 10,000 fans. You can select male and see how many are male. You can select age ranges to see what ages they are. You can select categories like “parents” to see how many are parents. Get it? Write down what you find.

interests

Now ask yourself, does what we know about our customers match this? Sometimes it doesn’t because the fans aren’t representative of your customers- but other times it’s because you had the wrong idea about your customers and didn’t realize it!

Now, back to the uniqueness of your customers- when you target potential customers with Facebook ads, you don’t want to spend money on bad prospects. So using the most unique targets is best.

Just an example: As you’ll see in #5, you may find that your customers prefer country music over rap- well, then, targeting people who like country music is going to get you more customers.

4. What’s Their Lifestyle?

There are tons of subcultures in every country. The best way to find this information is via graph search- so let’s move to #5!

5. What Else Do Your Customers Like on Facebook? Diving into Graph Search

We have to think about what our customers like on Facebook- and not just that they’ve liked our FB pages, but that they like other pages and interests.

Your customers will have other likes in common that they don’t have in common with the customers of another company- kind of a revolutionary concept- but before Facebook we never had access to this kind of information. Is your customer more of a Mac or a PC? Are they a CNN or Fox News watcher? Are they more into country music or something else?

You will certainly have variety across your customers- and you don’t want to alienate any of them- but you may find some powerful synergistic likes you can use in Facebook ad targeting and for post ideas.

Facebook lets you search for some really cool things.

They have all this data from what they call the Open Graph. That’s really just a way to visualize how all the people are connected to their friends and what they and their friends like. In a way, we are all in different tribes based on what we like. But we all have overlapping likes. And what’s funny is that often the people we are friends with only share two or three major likes with us. A lot of people like very particular things that they never really share in community with others.

catdogother

Graph search is a cool way to learn about your audience or your target market- you know, the people who you want to pay for what you offer.

Try this out- think of one of your favorite Facebook pages- and if you can’t think of one, let’s try CNN or Fox News.

Go to the facebook search box and type in “Pages liked by people who like” and then add the Facebook page.

It will return a whole bunch of other things that fans of that thing like.

For example, let’s compare what the Fox News fans like with what the CNN fans like.

  • Fox News fans like Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Paul Ryan, CNN, George Strait, Jesus Christ, Brad Paisley, The Bible, Macy’s, The Hangover, Disney, Zac Brown Band, Jesus Loves You, Jeff Dunham, Blake Shelton, Mark Wahlberg – so country music is a pretty unique thing- and the Republican candidates aren’t a surprise.
  • CNN fans like App Center, Bill Gates, Facebook Security, Michael Phelps, Twitter, The Ellen Degeneres Show, Google, Facebook Studio, Steve Jobs, Snowboarding, Funny or Die, Breaking Bad, The Official Grumpy Cat- a lot more technology and comedy high in the list.
  • They both like The New York Times, BBC News, Barack Obama, Upworthy, George Takei, CNN, Fox News, Amazon.com, Target, Facebook, YouTube, NFL, ESPN, History Network, Photography, Will Ferrell, National Geographic, Camping, Subway, Music, Moody Blues, Cars (movie), Johnny Cash – these are things we can consider to be pretty popular with a lot of Americans on Facebook.

favpageswalmartInteresting, isn’t it?

What if we looked at what Apple fans like vs. what Microsoft fans like? Or cat people vs. dog people?

There’s a lot to be learned about your potential audience.

Here are a few guidelines to get the best results:

  • Graph search results aren’t returned in any special order. We can assume it’s by popularity.
  • Create a new Facebook account with no friends or likes, and you’ll get more objective search results. Otherwise, you’re more likely to see things that you and your friends like
  • It’s always best to compare two or three things at once so that you can find the things all three audiences like, and remove those. The ones that don’t overlap will teach you more about your audience.

You can search for other things with graph search. Here are some example searches, with a few example results (there are tons more results for each of these):

  • Interests liked by fans of George Takei – Burning Man is an interesting result
  • Pages liked by people who work at Walmart – lots of country music!
  • Interests liked by people who work at Sony – Star Wars & Soul Music??? Weird!
  • Pages liked by people who majored in Accounting – Cairo, Egypt? Weird.
  • Pages liked by people who majored in Accounting and live in United States – The Moody Blues, Fox New & Journey?
  • Pages liked by people who are my age (I’m 40) – Dave Ramsey & Lifehacker are some interesting results
  • Pages liked by people who are over 40 years old – Def Leppard & Journey!
  • Pages liked by people who are under 40 years old – Tough Mudder & Daily Show
  • Pages liked by people who are married – Tough Mudder & Gardening
  • Pages liked by people who are single – Tosh.0 and GoPro
  • Pages liked by people who have been to Lincoln Memorial – Maya Angelou & Oprah Winfrey
  • Pages liked by people who have been to Empire State Building – Moscow, Russia & Daily Show
  • Pages liked by people who were born in Dayton, Ohio (that’s me!) – Kevin Hart & Tyler Perry
  • Pages liked by people who live in Charleston, South Carolina (also me) – Trina & Gucci Mane

Don’t forget to narrow your search. In any search results, look to the right and you’ll see you can narrow the results with a variety of factors.

6. What Dreams Are You Empowering?

Here’s something I’ve been teaching since 2011.

Most marketers & sales people learn early on to talk about benefits rather than features. Benefits are how it will improve the buyer’s daily life- these have greater emotional impact. Features can be technical and have less impact.

But how boring would 50 Facebook posts about your product’s benefits be?

The kinds of posts that work better are inspirational and aspirational.

So we want to talk about your customers’ dreams: the bigger goals in their life or career.

What are the dreams they’re trying to fulfill with your product?

Example #1 – iPhone

  • FEATURE: “The iPhone can run some apps simultaneously.”
  • BENEFIT: “You can listen to music while responding to emails.”
  • DREAM: “Be productive and have great quality of life no matter where you are- even in a noisy airport.”

Example #2 – InfiniGraph

  • FEATURE: “InfiniGraph offers data, charts and content aggregation for social content marketing. You can put a widget hub on your own site.”
  • BENEFIT: “Surface your successful older content to increase its ROI.”
  • DREAM: “I want to be more profitable with my time and outsourcing so that I have more money and time for vacations.”

Example #3 – Brian Carter Group (two of our services)

  • FEATURE: “We offer Facebook ad creation and optimization.”
  • BENEFIT: “We’ll lower your ad costs and increase your ROI.”
  • DREAM: “We’ll rocket you past the competition so that you can stop worrying about competitors and start being a leading company in your niche.”

7. Put All of that into Images and Copy

Now, how can you create images and copy for Facebook posts and ads?

Exemplify your audience’s identity, concepts and dreams.

The two analogies I use for this are cheerleading and coaching.

You can cheer lead for their values, beliefs and likes:

cheerleading

You can coach them to inspire them to reach their dreams:

coaching

Give it a shot, and let me know what your results are like!

4 Profitable Facebook Posting Tips

1. Write Posts that are Cheerleads for Your Prospects and Fans’ Values and Goals.

The biggest problem with Facebook posts is reach. You need to get your audience to like them, and that means you need to know what your audience values and what their goals are. If you can create a post that cheerleads for those values and goals, you’ll get likes and that gives you more reach.

2. Advertise to Promote Your Posts to Your Prospects

But we feel that ads are needed to promote posts, because if you only have 1,000 fans and you’re only reaching 50-100 people with each post, that’s not enough. What percentage of those 50-100 will come to your website or contact you or come into your physical store? The number of potential customers drops with every step through the marketing funnel, so out of 50-100 people you may only get 5 clicks to your website. That’s not enough. The average ecommerce website converts 1% of visitors, so you need to be getting 100 people at a time to your site, not 5. That’s why ads are necessary, and fans are an increasingly peripheral consideration. promote your posts with ads that target your potential customers, whether they’re fans or not.

3. Reach New People For Free With Shareable Posts

The way reach new customers for free is to get Facebook shares.
(click to tweet that sentence!)

I studied what kinds of posts get shared and which don’t in Contagious Content (free pdf here).

People share posts that are giving (contests), advising (how-to), amusing, inspiring, amazing, or warning (bad weather coming).

People don’t share posts that focus on your company or its employees, are edgy or offensive (except for rare customer groups that are all about those things), are obscure or niche in interest.

When you find that one of your posts is highly likeable and shareable, advertising it will get you a ton more interaction and visibility for a low cost. Our best post ever got us 80,000 likes and 35,000 shares and was seen by 424,000 people for less than a $200 ad spend.

4. Drive People to Your Website

Any post without a link to your website is a wasted opportunity.
(click to tweet that!)

Keeping people on Facebook won’t necessarily help you get sales.

For B2B, blog on topics that help move your prospects toward the decision to buy from you, then post that on Facebook with a link to the post. Then promote that post with ads targeted to your prospects.

35 Facebook Profit Tips UPDATED for 2018

REVIEWED & UPDATED January 8th, 2018:

This post was originally written in June 2015. And some of these tips have been true since I started teaching Facebook marketing in 2011. I wrote this list a few months back for a keynote talk and have kept them up to date.

The tips are divided into 3 groups

  • Overall Facebook Marketing
  • Facebook Posting
  • Facebook Advertising

Note that Facebook marketing is a stepwise, funneled process- so, though not every tip is focused on the last step of the funnel, each tip is trying to increase your results down the funnel.

16 Tips That Apply to All of Facebook Marketing

1. Check out Facebook Audience Insights for your type of customer. This tool is located in the Ad Manager. Learn who your fans, prospects and customers really are. I’ll bet at least one thing surprises you. If you don’t have enough fans to see other likes, choose your biggest competitor, or an interest in your niche instead.

2. Don’t bring up a bad thing unless your offering fixes THAT problem. Or unless your specific audience likes warnings (e.g. bad weather) or being negative. In which case, your bad posts will get a LOT of likes. If they don’t, you don’t have that kind of audience. However, empathizing with your customer can be really powerful. Some of our most powerful case studies come from this.

3. Use happy positive faces that are close-up enough for us to read their expressions. 🙂

4. Avoid bland stock photography. Even if you have to take your own photos, find something authentic. If you do use shutterstock, find something exceptional.

5. Animals work. Even people who hate kids love animals. Yes, you can definitely make an animal relevant to your brand and yes people will love it. Yes, even in B2B. They’re still human beings. Open your mind and try it.

6. Cute works. Kids, pandas, Ann Handley, etc.

7. Dogs always win. Pugs and labs are some of people’s favorites. This is the cutest dog on the planet.

8. Try something WEIRD. At the very least you’ll STAND out. Like that joke about my Grandma. You haven’t heard that? You need to watch this video.

9. Write content about mistakes people make in your niche- if you want to boost conversions.

10. Be brief, simple and clear. Try Hemingwayapp.

11. Test everything. Test posts, ads, images, cover photos and landing pages. I even split-test my blog post titles.

12. Capitalize on the big winner. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Learn from what did and didn’t work, and come up with new ideas that are more like what worked and less like what didn’t.

13. Learn from what your customers like. What they like is in Audience Insights and how they respond to your posts and ads.

14. Keep testing new ideas. Don’t give up. Don’t settle for what’s the best right now. Watch this video: The More You Test The More Likely You Win

15. Shorten your funnel. Try to take out a step or two. Make it easier for your customers. It’ll boost your conversions and profits.

16. Think about whether your customers public and private faces are different. Serve the public one with public posts. Try segmented ads, private videos and segmented email lists for the private ones.

8 Facebook Posting Tips

17. Test multiple ways to say the same thing. Try more than one way to express it. Use science to test diverse language.

18. Include links in posts to get website traffic. (But when it comes to ads, this is not the most affordable way to get website traffic- read this).

19. Include a call to action to get them to do something. Like, “Hey, subscribe to my podcast, it’ll make you a better marketer, better business person, and you’ll smell better too!”

20. Track which Facebook posts work and don’t work. Figure out why you think they work or don’t. Develop your theories and test them with your next set of posts. This is one reason not to create a whole month of FB posts at one time. First, it doesn’t give you time to learn from the current month before scheduling new posts, and second you’ll get smarter every week, but your posts will be up to 4 weeks dumber than you are now.

21. Create coaching and cheerleading posts. Motivate people, and echo their values, beliefs and likes.

22. Find famous and motivational quotes.

23. Use universally revered people for images and quotes. Einstein and Maya Angelou are good. Thomas Edison is not- he’s actually controversial!

24. Follow the 6 do’s and 4 dont’s from my Contagious Content ebook.

9 Facebook Advertising Tips

25. Always choose website conversion ads if you can (rather than just clicks to website), and use a conversion pixel. Even if you aren’t going for leads or sales, try putting the conversion code on a deeper valuable page your best visitors would check out.

26. Modify your targeting with behaviors like people who use Facebook payments (tells you with more certainty they have money to spend and/or might be a good ecommerce prospect) or lines of credit or other financial info.

27. Test granular creative to granular targets. Did you find 3-4 main demographic personas from Audience Insights? Are you testing personalized advertising to these personas?

28. Try widening your targeting and making your copy more specific. You can “target” by using the ad text to tell them who should click and who shouldn’t.

29. Test retargeting, custom audiences and lookalike audiences. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don’t. But they must be tested.

30. Test using the brand name in headlines vs. not. You could also call them out by job title or interest.

31. Test superlatives. Are you or your product the most/best/cheapest/biggest/etc?

32. Test images featuring the product vs. not. You could also show a representation of their dream aspiration, or their current nightmare.

33. Show a preview of a lead magnet- or use an image in the ad that’s also on the landing page. Then they’ll know they’re in the right place when they land.

34. You can do lead gen ads now in two ways- via website conversion ads, or the new “lead ads.” The latter have a few weaknesses right now. #1, they have been more expensive in our tests. #2 You have to remember to log in and download the emails regularly from Facebook, then manually email people. It’s easier to use LeadPages or ClickFunnels tied to Aweber or MailChimp set up with automatic welcome messages or an autoresponder series. I suppose you could weekly download them, upload those to a system like GetResponse that lets you upload emails, have an autoresponder there, but after a week they’re cold. You’d need to download and upload the emails daily. Some companies are working on a solution to this, but right now it’s a mess. We still recommend website conversion ads combined with a landing page split-testing solution like LeadPages, ClickFunnels, Unbounce, etc.

35. One of the biggest problems we see with clients are when they create their own landing page or lead gen process. Custom programming can create problems, inflexibility, or interfere with tracking. If your website can’t split-test, you should use an industry-standard landing page solution like LeadPages, ClickFunnels or Unbounce. They can be customized to fit your brand and often can be made to look like they’re hosted on your main website or a similar one. Branding can be fixed. A lack of split-testing or the inability to track conversions cannot be fixed as easily.

That’s it- start with a few, and add some more of these tips to your practices every week!

The 6 Types of Facebook Posts That Go Viral

Want more shares of your Facebook posts? Then you need to create more Facebook posts that go viral.

Want to get people to share your idea for you?

Want to reach the people you can’t reach yet- without even paying for it?

“Let’s make it go viral!”: It’s the executive order that marketers dread, because it’s so much easier said than done.

But the research shows us what kinds of Facebook posts get shared, and which kinds of posts they don’t share…

What People DON’T Share Is…

  • (Selfish) stuff about your company that doesn’t help them. Beware of PR and press releases that the CEO cares, that even the media might care about, but your average customer does NOT care about. You need things that make your best customer say, “Awesome!” Something that’s cool or helps them. Stop focusing on your company and focus on the customer. Try to think the way they think. Very few companies do this well. So when you do, you get big rewards in the form of sales and profits.
  • (Offensive) stuff that’s inappropriate or edgy or weird. Remember, if they hit “share” it goes to anyone they’ve connected to- their grandma, their boss, their employees, their mom, their kids… so a lot of people are only going to share PG to PG-13 items at most. The only exceptions are when your audience is defined by their edginess.
  • (Obscure) stuff that few people know about or like. Again, if most of their friends won’t even know what this thing IS, they probably won’t share it. They’ll know that their interest in it is weird. Like if you like the bands Rush or Yes, chances are, most of your connections don’t. If your business is all about that weird interest, go for it, but if it’s not central to your business, and it’s an odd post topic, it probably won’t get shared.

The 6 Types of Posts People Share:

This is a diagram I created based on my analysis of Agorapulse’s thousands of Facebook pages and post data back in 2012-2013. We saw it work right away and since then we’ve continually proven that these principles work for 100’s of companies. And in every Social Audit we’ve done for any company, their most shared posts are always one of these six types.

Viral Facebook post for a cruise giveaway
Viral Facebook post for a cruise giveaway

#1 Posts That GIVE Go Viral

When you give, people not only want to reciprocate (you’ve read Cialdini’s Influence, right?), they also want to give the same to others.

So when you offer discounts and deals and run contests, you may see those get shared, and you may also want to make sure your contests are set up to reward people for sharing.

You can incentivize virality (give them a carrot to get them to share) with a variety of contest platforms.

#2 Posts That ADVISE Go Viral

This is another type of giving, but from an information and insight perspective.

When you give tips and how to’s that help people overcome obstacles and get closer to their goals and dreams, they get shared.

You increase your chances of getting shares when those tips and how to’s look super high quality.

So if it’s a video, give it some production value. If it’s a blog post, write a good title, make it scannable, readable, and use great images.

I would recommend infographics if Facebook is a big part of your distribution plan, because infographics are not very compatible with Facebook:

  • Facebook images are smaller and horizontal compared to typically gigantic and vertical infographics.
  • Infographics won’t pass the 20% text rule (put a 5×5 grid over your image, and you can’t have text in more than 5 of the squares), so they’ll never approve an ad to support it, so it will get very limited reach.
  • Instead, take the chunks of info you want to get across, and post them one at a time.
Viral Facebook post that warns
Viral Facebook post that warns

#3 Posts That WARN Go Viral

This often comes into play for news services, for example TV news.

But it can also apply if you know something about your industry.

For example, I could write a post like “WARNING: Facebook Ad Costs Are So Low in 2020 That You’re Crazy Not to Run Them!” and talk about how

  • Since many companies stopped doing Facebook ads during the COVID crisis…
  • Ad CPM’s dropped, and even with lower click through rates (lower demand due to financial issues)…
  • Cost per click is still lower than ever.
  • But it’s still important to learn to resonate with your audience by knowing what they like, because
  • When you resonate, that increases your click-through rates, and
  • CPC goes down even further.

So that’s how you tie one of the viral post types in with your sales message- I would then be selling Facebook ad services. And yes, ninja trainees, I just sold it in this blog post too! 😉

Viral Facebook post that amuses
Viral Facebook post that amuses

#4 Posts That AMUSE Go Viral

Humor. Almost everybody loves it. The problem is: how do you do it in business? To do humor well in business, you have to:

  • Be relatable- it has to be based in a common experience of your audience
  • Make sure you don’t offend anyone (or not too much)
  • For extra credit, make a marketing or sales point with it that gets people closer to buying

And because of the not offending and not being edgy thing, it may actually not be that funny compared to what you’d see on Comedy Central. But that’s ok. Corporate humor that doesn’t make everybody uncomfortable and is in fact hilarious at a conference may only warrant a chuckle from you alone at your desk. You don’t have to be Chris Rock or Dave Chappelle. In fact, if you try to be, you’ll probably offend somebody, and you won’t get shares- and even if you do, it could hurt your company’s image.

Now this is different for every company- it has to fit your brand, your culture, and your legal department. Some companies are younger and smaller and are OK with taking more risks, and they benefit from them. That’s great. Just make sure the level of edginess you choose fits your company.

Viral Facebook post that inspires
Viral Facebook post that inspires

#5 Posts That INSPIRE Go Viral

People tend to agree with positive, inspirational messages. They “like” them. And they share them because of

  • The positive post made them feel good and they want their friends to feel good, too. I think this is probably the biggest part of the motivation.
  • They think the positive post will make them look good. “Wow, Brian is really wise for sharing that Facebook post.” I don’t know that we really ever think that consciously, because it sounds stupid when you voice it out loud, but the “looking good to others” factor does play a part.
Viral Facebook post that amazes
Viral Facebook post that amazes

#6 Posts That AMAZE Go Viral

We may not have created the Internet to see amazing monasteries in the clouds or puppy videos or 8 year old kids playing incredibly difficult guitar pieces or skateboarders falling on their faces… but it is amazing how much amazing we can now spread.

The Internet connects us in a way that allows us to share more amazing things with more people than ever before.

In the past, it was just through TV shows (That’s Incredible! and Ripley’s Believe It or Not and America’s Funniest Home Videos), and people had to mail VHS tapes to these shows, or the TV shows had to have people traveling the globe to find them- but now so many people have smartphones, we can capture tons of things and the collective human race can judge and make each thing viral or not.

And all of that stuff is right there for you to find with Google and BuzzSumo and PostPlanner… because no matter how many people have shared it, a lot of this amazing stuff has not been seen by most people. It’s not only proven viral- it’s still new to many. Especially the stuff that was on sites like Ebaums World before Facebook. Sometimes you’ll see something go viral on Facebook and discover it happened four years ago…

So those are the 6 types of posts that go viral!

How to Make Your Revenue Go Viral

The goal here is not just engagement, though- but also to tie it into your sales and marketing messages.

Engagement is great, because every brand needs attention, but if you want extra credit and better ROI, make sure you’re also thinking about your customer’s pains and problems and your services’ and products’ benefits.

Tie it in and connect the dots. Give them a call to action related to your brand. Put a link in the text (and some utm parameters to track it well in Google Analytics) so that they can go somewhere to take an action meaningful to your bottom line.

context-driven sales vs. self-centered sales

You’ve already pressed their buttons and stimulated their emotions- so channel that into a transaction with your company- or at least make the courteous suggestion that they might considering doing that…

Then it won’t just be your engagement going viral- your revenue can go viral, too!

chalkboard graph of decreasing costs

Facebook Post Promotion Ads for Lower Conversion Costs? DMMH #4

In this 4th episode of The Digital Marketing Happy Hour, Lynda and Brian discuss how post promotion ads can have direct and indirect effects on your conversion performance, e.g. lowering lead generation costs.

Don’t forget to click through and subscribe to the DMMH channel- and comment on YouTube if you have any questions- or even suggestions for future videos!

5 Quick Tips To Get More Out of Your Facebook Posts

Are you posting on Facebook, but not getting enough out of it?

Want more brand exposure? More interaction? More website traffic?

Then you’ll enjoy these 5 quick tips!

Facebook Post Tip #1: To Get More of EVERYTHING…

Run ads. And I don’t mean boost posts.

Get into the Facebook Ad Manager and create post promo ads to show your posts to more people.

If no one sees them, no one interacts, no one clicks, nothing else happens!

The main benefit of running post promo ads from Ad Manager is that you’ll learn how to get really affordable exposure and interaction, especially when you do the rest of these tips.

And another benefit is that you’ll be creating cool engagement audiences that you can later retarget to, and retargeting audiences are great for driving lead and sales!

Facebook Post Tip #2: To REACH More People…

If you run ads but your post images have too much text, Facebook won’t show your post to as many people.

Once again, if you don’t reach enough people, not much happens…

Facebook has a thing they call the 20% rule.

The 20% rule is: you can’t have text in more than 5 out of 25 rectangles in a 5×5 grid placed over your image

So follow the 20% rule, reduce text in your images and you’ll reach more people!

Use this tool to check your images before your post.

Facebook Post Tip #3: To Get More ENGAGEMENT…

How do you stop the scroll?

Grab the attention?

Get them to care?

This is a huge topic worthy of at least an entire book.

And it’s not just the concern of social media people- it’s something that musicians, artists, storytellers, advertisers…

All kinds of people want to grab attention and make people care.

But the short answer, based on our landmark Contagious Content study is that

You should have AT LEAST ONE of the following in EVERY post:

  • Humor
  • How-To Advice
  • Amazing Stuff
  • Generosity & Offers
  • Inspiration
  • Warnings

Facebook Post Tip #4: To Get More CLICKS and Website TRAFFIC…

Make sure you have a website link in your post.

If there’s no link, how will they get to your website?

Do you really think they’re going to…

  1. Click on your Facebook page name and
  2. Find your “About us” and
  3. Find the website link and then finally
  4. Click on that?

No way! That’s three or four extra steps you made them do! Most people are already on to something else in their life and you lost them!

So, put a link in every post, if you want traffic!

Also, BONUS TIP: watch your link clickthrough-rate.

Look at your reports (either export your posts from Page Insights or even better, if you’re running post promo ads, look at your Ad Manager data) to see which posts get the highest link-CTR. These are the ones that drive traffic, not just engagement. Learn from this!

Facebook Post Tip #5: To Get More BLOG READERS…

This is an advanced one.

It’s a combination of 3 and 4.

You have to have a website link in your Facebook post, of course, or how will they find the blog post?

And you can’t be boring.

Your post has to grab attention or they’ll never stop long enough to consider reading your blog post.

No matter how interesting you think your blog post is…

And no matter how much time you spent writing it and editing it and making it awesome…

Your work isn’t done yet. Now you have to sell it!

The same way you have to write a good blog post title to get people to care, if you’re posting in social media or creating an ad about a blog post or both, you have to sell the sizzle about that post.

You might have already put some of that sizzle into your blog post title.

But in a Facebook post, you need an image or a video.

So if you just finished your blog post, you might want to take a break, because you need some creative energy now for the Facebook post.

Do you already have an engaging or funny or interesting image or video for it?

Or do you need to find one?

Go back to tip #3 on ENGAGEMENT and think about which of those SIX AWESOME THINGS you can use that fits your blog post.

Then you’re done!

🙂

 

Facebook Benchmarks: Do You Measure Up?

How do you know if you’re doing well on Facebook? And once you’re doing ok, how good can it get? Here are the minimum thresholds and some of the best metrics we’ve seen:

Minimum Threshold Awesome
Facebook Post Engagement Rate 1.0% 16%
Newsfeed CTR 1.0% 5.0%
Right Column CTR 0.1% 0.5%
Lead Gen Squeeze Page Conv Rate 5.0% 40%
Ecommerce Site Conversion Rate 1.0% 3.0%
Amazon Product Page Conv Rate 12% 20%
B2C Cost Per Lead $10.00 $0.15
B2C Cost Per Sale $10.00 $3.00

The 12 Good, Bad and Ugly Things About
Facebook Marketing in 2016

UPDATED FOR 2016! More tips added… and one of the BAD things is now a GOOD thing!

goodbaduglyfacebook

I had an email subscriber reply to my latest post about Facebook reply to me, “As much as I’m a fan, and have been for a long time, I’m starting to wonder if I can trust you. You never say anything negative about Facebook… I’m a fan of factual and logical articles, as opposed to the Avinash Kaushik cheerleader approach.

I admit, I am not a headline-grubbing attack-writer… that’s how some writers get attention. And I know that it’s popular to attack Facebook right now. But I’ve never been a trend follower, unless it makes sense to me.

I do not say everything about Facebook is good. I never have. I am more likely to disparage (without naming names) gurus and companies that recommend Facebook strategies that don’t work as well as others. I was never big on Facebook tabs, while some companies based their monetization strategies around them. I wasn’t surprised when Facebook diminished their role in the ecosystem. I’ve always recommended advertising as part of your Facebook strategy… so I feel like I’ve been ahead of the curve and balanced in my assessment of Facebook and its options for about four years now. To be fair, you would have had to read all my articles everywhere and my books and ebooks to get that.

Facebook is transformative for all of us- it teaches you that the positive, constructive approach (which can sound like cheerleading, I suppose?) works better than the negative one. It’s an interesting topic- I am about to go present to NBC Affiliate TV station Creative Directors, and they are on the front lines of the news vs. social media struggle… which, if we want to be reductive, is negativity vs. positivity… exemplified by Local man mug shots vs. cats, dogs and bacon.

Also, my focus is exclusively about how to get results from Facebook as a marketing platform. You’ll never see me talk about a Facebook Security issue, because that’s more of a user issue, if it really is an issue.

I think the real problem is that Facebook is easy to do poorly- and many businesses don’t put enough time and training into it. So they feel like they’ve wasted their money. They probably have, because the companies that don’t succeed with Facebook marketing are lukewarm about it and go with half-measures. They don’t allocate enough time or money to it. They shut their brains off when they hear anything too complicated about how to get results. I’m still trying to make Facebook marketing more simple and more certain than it is- but there’s only so far you can go. There’s only so much of the learning curve we can short-cut.

The information about how to get results with Facebook is out there- if you haven’t found it or learned it, don’t blame Facebook for your lack of results. BOOM! 🙂

So here’s a list for you… the good, the bad and the ugly. And let’s do that in reverse order, since in order to be credible I have to attack one of the platforms I recommend? Yep, that was sarcasm 😀

Facebook: The Ugly

  • No customer support for companies they haven’t identified as strategically important.
  • Some companies sunk a ton of money into fans, assuming (even though it has never been the case and Facebook never promised this) that they would always be able to reach those fans for free. Emails are more valuable than Facebook fans.
  • If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can waste a ton of advertising money and not get any profits. This is also true about Twitter, and to a lesser extent AdWords and Bing. (LinkedIn is just hard to even get a lot of clicks from.)
  • Facebook traffic won’t show accurately in Google Analytics without URL parameters, and you have to do custom javascript to track conversions if you’re using Facebook Connect to get leads.

Facebook: The Bad

  • There is a sharp learning curve for Facebook marketing, even if you already know how to do other types of digital marketing well. Facebook is a different medium, so you will have to market and communicate differently on it than other platforms. The ad platform is quite different from AdWords and Bing. One way I address that is with my Social Marketing Profits course.
  • Facebook marketing requires even a professional at least 5-10 hours a week of work, if you’re doing best practices. That includes time for advertising, posting and customer analysis.
  • Not every business gets satisfying results from marketing on Facebook. (But this is also true of AdWords, Bing, Twitter, LinkedIn- and every marketing option…)

Facebook: The Good

  • Biggest social media platform in the Western world- over 1.5 billion potential customers for you to reach. TV-sized reach. In many countries, more than 50% of the population uses Facebook.
  • Advertising with the most sophisticated targeting we’ve ever seen (infinitely better ad targeting than TV or radio). Even B2B targeting like job titles are available. In the U.S. you can also target people by income, net worth, home value, lines of credit and more.
  • Costs are 32x more affordable than TV or radio, and you can start for just $1 a day. Super-smart for businesses who can’t afford the huge TV ad campaigns. And Facebook is the ONLY ad platform that rewards you financially for finding your customer’s passions. When you find the right targeting, images and ad messaging your costs plummet and your profits skyrocket. This is a major reason Facebook gets the lion’s share of companies’ social advertising budgets.
  • Facebook is fundamentally positive, with no dislike button, so major PR problems are less likely to happen on Facebook than any other social platform. You can block people who prove they are troublemakers and aren’t good prospects. When you develop a passionate following, your fans will jump to your defense against online critics.
  • Facebook gives you the ability to learn more about your customers than you’ve ever known, which means you’ll be able to do all your marketing in all channels, even traditional ones, better than you could before. Audience Insights gives you over $10k in market research info for free.
  • I MOVED THIS FROM THE BAD CATEGORY TO GOOD. Facebook changes its features frequently. Any programmer can push things live. They’re trying to be agile and improve performance based on data, but users hate change and unhappy people sometimes are more vocal than happy ones. Still, one reason Facebook has succeeded more than other social platforms is that they try a lot of new features and offerings to help businesses win, and keep what works. That means the Swiss Army knife of marketing that is Facebook occasionally gets some new cool tools. If you’re already there, if you’ve invested the time and money to get it to work for your business, it’s easy to use the new things too.

Facebook Advertising Mistake #94 – Promoting Posts That People Don’t Like

Own a Facebook page? Your first Facebook ad experience may have been the boost button.

I’m happy you got into Facebook ads!

But chances are you made two big mistakes:

  1. You used Boost instead of the Ad Manager, which gives you more options and power.
  2. You probably boosted a post that wasn’t doing as well as you’d like. That’s the wrong kind of post to promote. You should promote the posts that do well, not the duds.

I understand. I’ve done it. I’ve posted something I loved and then heard…. a thundering silence.

“People should love this post!” I say to myself. “Why aren’t they liking it? I just need to promote it.”

This is a counter-intuitive pearl of wisdom for you:

Facebook rewards you with lower ad costs when your promoted post gets a higher click-through rate. [Click here to tweet this]

How do you know if your posts are resonating? Calculate the percentage of post viewers who liked the post. That’s your engagement rate. It’s should be above 1%. If it’s lower, you’re not creating the best messaging for your audience.

Each of these posts has its engagement rate on it.

See how widely engagement rate can vary? From 0.4% to 8.2% in just these eight posts.

Your Facebook post engagement rate should be over 1%. When you excel, you’ll get 3-7% or more. We’ve seen 11.8%. [Click here to tweet this]

We’ve seen posts get liked by as many as 11.8% of post viewers.

If your post isn’t doing well, it isn’t resonating with your audience. Keep track of what your audience likes and doesn’t like. Put the duds in your “what I shouldn’t do anymore” column. You learned something about your audience. There’s something in that post they don’t care for.

The most common reasons people don’t like posts are:

  • The post is too self-centered. It’s about you or your company. Make it about your audience. What’s in it for them? Focus on the benefits of your service or product to them. Paint a picture of their dream. How awesome will their work or life be like after they’re your customer?
  • The post is too obscure. No one cares that you love the band Rush. Sorry! Enjoy that by yourself.
  • The post is too edgy. Edgy works with certain audiences. But it can backfire and turn people off. They may hate it. They may think liking it publicly would make them look bad. And beware: edgy posts can get a lot of interaction and shares but ultimately hurt your sales.

Find the posts that ARE resonating with your audience. Go for a 3% of those who view it click like on it. Promote those posts.

And by the way, likes correlate more with greater reach than shares do. See the R values in the charts below?

Spend more ad money on the posts that give you the BEST response, not spend more trying to push through the ones people don’t respond to.

The lever Facebook gives us to lower cost-per-whatever with high CTR is dramatic. It’s much more than AdWords gives us. This is why Facebook ads can be so incredibly effective and efficient. You are rewarded handsomely for testing and learning.

I have a post that got 80,000 likes and 35,000 shares for $200 spend. It reached 424,000 people. As soon as I saw that a high percentage of people were liking it and tagging their friends in it, I spent more ad money on it. I was able to get 6 post-likes per penny.

Facebook rewards you for advertising interactive posts. Facebook punishes you with higher ad costs when you promote less interactive posts. That’s going against the flow. Just like Google, Facebook wants you to put out relevant messages. Stop fighting the tide, and go with what your audience wants.

So you’ve created Facebook ads that promote your highly interactive posts. Now what? Duplicate those ads to test 3-5 different ways to target your audience. For example:

  • Different interests
  • Different job titles
  • Different consumer behaviors
  • More or less focused demographics
  • Much wider targeting

You’ll find that testing the targeting will help you get much more affordable interactions, and lower your Facebook advertising costs.

The 5 Facebook Ads Every Company Should Run

Facebook is the king of social media. It has the most users and the best advertising platform.

You absolutely have to be marketing on Facebook. Everyone does. Period.

And because of the organic reach problem you have to be advertising on Facebook if you want to market on Facebook.

But Facebook advertising is a blessing, not a curse.

Here’s why I love the Facebook ads platform:

  • Biggest reach
  • Most affordable
  • 13 types of ads
  • Reach anybody for any purpose
  • Works for B2C and B2B

It’s a big, sophisticated, powerful platform you can easily get lost in, even if you’re an expert.

So let me simplify things for you.

The 5 Facebook ads every company should run are:

  1. Ads to your ideal customer
  2. Website conversion ads
  3. Email custom audiences (and retargeting)
  4. Promotion of “emotional selling” posts
  5. Video view ads


The #1 Most Important Ads You Can Run on Facebook: Ads Targeted to Your Ideal Customer

The most important kind of ad you can run on Facebook is an ad that targets your ideal customer.

So how do you find out who that is?

If you have the ability to upload a buyer list of e-mails to Facebook audience insights, then you may be able to find out more about them through that tool. If you find out what’s unique about your buyers compared to a list of leads who don’t buy or to your fans, then you’ll be in great shape.

What you want to know is what are

  • their interests on
  • their personas
  • their education level
  • their income level

…and all those other factors that are in audience insights that you can use to target with Facebook ads.

What’s unique about your buyer that you can target with Facebook ads?

If you can’t use an email list of buyers and Facebook audience insights then you may have to run Facebook ad tests using website conversion ads that are fairly aggressive about sales to a number of different Facebook ad targets and see which one responds the best. And I mean being really specific about what you sell and how much it costs so that only the best people will respond to these ads.

Once you have a really good idea who your best customers are and best responders are on Facebook and you’ve figured out how exactly to target that on Facebook then the most important ads you run are going to be the ones that target your ideal customers… whether those are post promotion ads or video view ads or whatever kind of ads, the ones you target to your customers are going to teach you the most.

Because, whatever you’re doing, who cares what some fan thinks, if they’re not buying? If they’re not in your ideal buyer profile?

The most important ads for you to run are not ads to your fans and not ads to people on your newsletter email list- they’re ads to new people who fit your ideal customer profile.

#2: Website Conversion Ads

So many people run Facebook ads and don’t even know this ad exists, and they don’t know why they’re not getting leads for sales.

It’s because they’re not running this kind of ad.

This means sending people to websites or landing pages for leads or sales. And it requires setting up conversion tracking, or the ads won’t function as conversion ads.

If you’ve never set up Facebook ad conversion tracking, you haven’t done this. And that’s why Facebook isn’t working that great for you.

#3: Ads to Email Custom Audiences

Retargeting is really important.

But it’s not magic. It’s not as big a deal as some people think it is. Why?

Because it takes a while to get enough people into your retargeting audience for there to be enough to matter. Since only a few % click on ads, you have to have thousands of people in the audience before it generates any noticeable traffic back to your site. And overall, it doesn’t bring most people back.

But retargeting is a best practice.

It keeps you top of mind. It creates affordable sales you would have lost otherwise.

When most people think of retargeting, they think of website retargeting. Website retargeting means people have been to your website and they’re getting shown ads based on that or based on a specific URL that they’ve been to.

But there’s another kind of retargeting (that’s not really called retargeting but you can think of it that way) and that is the email custom audience which I think is much more powerful for a lot of people and surprisingly few people use it.

What is it? You can upload any email list to your Facebook ad account’s audiences section. A certain percentage of those people will have the same email list for their Facebook ad account and so those people will match and you’ll be able to show them ads.

So you can upload:

  • Your buyer email list,
  • An email list of leads,
  • An e-mail newsletter subscriber list,
  • All your LinkedIn connections (download them first)
  • All of your personal email connections or Gmail contacts

…and then target those people with Facebook ads.

For myself, I have a huge list of everybody that has been to all of my different websites all of my LinkedIn contacts and all of my Google contacts all together.

My custom email audience is over 30,000 people.

Think about your email lists- when you send them emails, only about 20 to 30% of them open the emails, right?

But if 50 to 60% of your email lists match on Facebook, you can get ads in front of all of those people. And those people who aren’t opening your emails right now? You can:

  • Put your latest video in front of all those people.
  • Get them to interact with your latest post.
  • Influence them.

#4: Promoted “Emotional Selling” Posts

I have mixed feelings about post promotion ads. There are so many companies out there that have grown fan bases that are completely useless. They don’t understand that their fans aren’t seeing their posts.

They create posts no one sees and they boost those posts and their fans interact with them but that’s all that happens. Their Facebook page is this almost-dead thing they’re clinging to and trying to get people to interact with so that they can pretend their Facebook fan base isn’t really dead.

The Facebook fan base really isn’t doing anything for these companies’s bottom line. They need to step back and think about the fact that they’re in business to make money. And they probably need to grow their email list.

So that’s why the website conversion that is so much more important than a post promotion ad (boosted post).

But there is a kind of promoted post that’s worth doing.

I’m going to ask you do a specific kind of post promotion ad- I don’t want you to just promote whatever post you’re doing.

Because promoted posts are not going to make a huge difference if the posts themselves aren’t that persuasive to your audience. Most of what I see people post on Facebook is not that persuasive.

Some people do a fairly good job of getting people engaged to because they engage people’s emotions.

But very few people bring to bear the decades and decades of copywriting wisdom that’s out there. Be honest: how many copywriting books have you read? How much copywriting have you studied?

Very few people are bringing what they know about their company’s unique selling proposition into their Facebook posting.

And very few companies have done a deep dive into their ideal customer enough to know how to activate their ideal customer through their Facebook posts.

The most important post promotion ads that you can create are the ones that activate your ideal customer’s emotions…

  • What fears do they have?
  • What do they love?
  • What are their dreams?

These are the things you need to identify that are going to emotionally move them towards a purchase.

You won’t know what these are when you start, but you need to have some ideas what they are. You need to develop some questions about what they are… some theories. And test those theories by creating posts.

If you’ve done that work above to figure out who your ideal customer is and how to target them on Facebook… if that work is strong, then these Facebook post that you’re creating to emotionally move your ideal customer will have an effect on your bottom line.

What we’re talking about is the emotional part of selling. The emotional part of marketing. The irrational part of your customer’s decision-making process.

You need to get inside their head and their heart.

And the way you’re going to know that you’re on track with that is

  • Engagement rate will go up.
  • Click-through rate will go up.
  • Some of these posts will create leads and sales.

#5: Any of the Four Types of Video Ads

Videos are so hot right now we can’t not choose the video view ad. People love to watch videos just like they love to watch TV. Videos are powerful and Facebook can get you a lot of video views.

Now you have to keep in mind that there are four different ways you could run videos through the Facebook ad platform. You could use it as creative in a website click ad, a website conversion ad, a boosted post ad, or the video view ad. And each one of those has a different objective. So you’ve got the video you just need to make sure you understand what goal you’re choosing.

If you want to get video views more than anything else the video of you at is your choice. The video view ad is a powerful way to get more awareness for your brand. And it’s a great way to educate people.

I made it the fifth option in part because not every company is creating video yet. I’m trying to go a little easy on those companies that are stuck.

But also because I have mixed feelings about video view ads- you get a LOT of different metrics on videos back, and it’s tough to decide which metric you should judge their success on. If you’re going to look at how long people viewed them for, since every video has a different length, I don’t think you can look at % viewed- look at the sheer duration in seconds. And think about why you are showing it to people- if it’s not to get a conversion, we can’t judge it by conversions… but are we happy with just getting views? Ultimately I’m not- I think videos a are powerful part of branding, but also should be used in website conversion ads to see if they work as well or better than any images you might be testing.

And if you haven’t started creating video, you need to get to it. The obstacles are probably in your head. Your standards are probably too high. A lot of companies and individuals are creating video and people are enjoying it. Don’t let perfectionism stop you from getting something done.

And that’s it- the five types of Facebook ads every business should run.

How many of them are you running?

CONTENT UPGRADE ADS WEBINAR