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Alex Houg and Dennis Yu at SMCDallas

In 2014 social media professionals know that it’s about more than just getting fans, engagement, or non-ROI metrics.  Dennis Yu and Alex Houg of Blitzmetrics fed us from a fire hose of data, campaigns and examples at the high-energy January SMCDallas event, “Checklist for Texas-Sized Facebook Traffic and Conversions.”

They peeled back the curtain on the effective Facebook marketing that they provide for brands of all sizes, and highlighted the importance of approaching Facebook campaigns by looking at the full sales funnel.  As our president Mark Barrera said in his introduction, “The win will be on your bottom line.”

Dennis Yu began by talking about the importance of content that connects with your audience on a personal level and suggested using outsource services like Fivver and Fancy Hands to help scale and source content for Facebook.  It is important to create a process for customer care, sourcing and market automation to make you more efficient.

If you look at Facebook as a database of IDs, then the next step is to personalize it to find all the other data that you can dive into.  Yu gave the example of searching the term “Favorite interests of fans of Social Media Club of Dallas” on Facebook.  This would help us see where we should target and amplify content.

Houg discussed Facebook organic and paid reach, engagement and conversion.  By looking at your Page Insights, you can determine what is being shared, commented on and Liked.  “Posts with three or four photos will get you more engagement,” he said.

Audience, Engagement and Conversion Funnel

In order to be effective on Facebook, you have to set goals.  “If you don’t have a goal, then all roads look as good as any other,” said Yu.  So what are you trying to achieve?  You have to build an audience and then engage with them.  Until you have engagement, you won’t have conversion.  The top of the funnel is about providing good content, your post frequency, competitive benchmarking and fan acquisition.  The middle of the funnel is about your top fans, media, friends of fans and takes into account newsfeed reach, social reach, search ranking, Likes, comments and earned media.  Here you can upload custom audiences into Facebook’s Ad Manager from email lists, people who attend events and people who downloaded content.  By tying together your email lists with your top Facebook fans, you can retarget this segment to create relationship marketing that is warm and fuzzy.  “When they are ready to buy, they will choose you because they already have a relationship with you,” said Houg.  Then you have conversion that, depending on your brand, could include email collection, coupon redemption, purchase, sharing and retargeting.

“Social ads are about amplifying user actions, not broadcasting creative,” said Yu. Houg referenced content that they produced and presented with Facebook social media expert Mari Smith.  “When Mari Smith mentions you, other people endorse you.  Industry folks call this the Mari bump,” joked Houg.  This relationship amplified exposure to the information they were sharing.

Though the information was coming a mile a minute, they took a breath and dropped a couple valuable gems:

  • Custom audiences on Facebook are great for targeting media for PR impressions
  • Anyone can get video training about Facebook advertising at https://www.facebook-studio.com/education/index
  • Don’t use the Boost Post button!
  • Facebook hashtag targeting is going away
  • This week Facebook launched Website Custom Audiences, which is retargeting built into Facebook

The Viral CycleFacebook advertising done right is a science using the Ads Manager and Power Editor. Determine what kind of results you want for your ads. This, of course, depends on where you are in the funnel.  Set a budget. Trying to increase your audience?  Sponsored stories work best.  The page post ad is the workhorse of your campaign and the heart of your campaign is the engagement ad.  Make sure you name your ad appropriately so that you know the purpose of the ad as well as what content it represents.  Watch the performance of your ads and figure out the cost per transaction.  Pause ads that are not performing well.  Keep in mind the size of the audience based on the filters you have established and compare similar-sized audiences in the same campaign.  Let Facebook do the bidding for you on your advertising campaigns.  Houg said, “Despite what you have heard, CPM and CPC ultimately cost the same.” There is value in connecting your Google analytics (or other analytics tool) to your Facebook advertising account to track what is driving traffic.  The new Facebook Ads Manager is making it easier for you to determine how to execute a strategy based on the end results you desire.  Facebook has a retargeting cookie (FBX) that you can use to track campaigns across different platforms.

So how can you be most effective for yourself and your clients on Facebook?

    • Select your goals
    • Determine an appropriate test budget
    • Test and improve based on results
    • Ensure your analytics tools is tied to your ads account
    • Use custom audiences and retargeting to move prospects through the funnel to conversion

And though they gave us tons of information, Dennis Yu and Alex Houg left us wanting more.  They shared with those in attendance (and of course our loyal readers) a link to their BlitzmetricsTM Internet Marketing Master Guide .  Thanks for an informative SMCDallas presentation!  Our meeting on February 20th will feature a panel of Human Resources and Recruiting Professionals discussing all things social from policy to posting.  See you there!

Kathy F. CatoeKathy F. Catoe is the Vice President of KTO Group, LLC, a marketing consultancy specializing in brand and social media strategy. KTO Group also offers its customers Optionz, a consumer incentive reward program.