Should You Still be Advertising on Facebook?

 

I’m not completely bothered by the fact that after scrolling through sandals on Nordstrom’s website I immediately find that there is a native ad in my Facebook feed for sandals from Nordstrom. Why? Because it’s relevant to me (albeit a little bit stalker-ish).

But what about today, when I was scrolling through and came across a suggested post by NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) for a post about ending drunk driving? Or a suggested post by StraightFix for their gimmicky hair brush that straightens hair? These suggested posts show up in my feed because I fit their target market. My gender and age probably played the largest role, but other factors such as liked posts and pages, shopping habits and education all play a factor in what ads I see.

Is it worth it? Do these filters on Facebook do a good enough job to reach the right people? Are people even interacting with the ads?

I think the real question is should you still be advertising on Facebook? The answer is YES. But why?

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First of all, Facebook is still relevant, with 1.71 billion monthly active users, 823 million of which are mobile only users, making it the most used social media network. Lots of brands have recognized this fact, and of all the brands on Facebook, 75% pay to promote posts. So, are you going to be a part of that 75%? I’m going to tell you that you should, and why you should. Facebook advertising allows for:

  1. Highly Targeted Ads
  2. Budget Control
  3. Real-time Analytics

Facebook Advertising is Highly Targeted

The power of a highly targeted campaign means that your brand can reach exactly the kind of customer you want to, limiting the impacts of advertising to a groups who don’t fit your target market.

Facebook allows advertisers to target their audience by:

  • Location
  • Demographics
  • Likes & Interests
  • Education & Work
  • Shopping Habits

This narrow and highly targeted info is extremely useful. Not only is it useful, it is also right at your fingertips because of Facebook users’ profiles, which gives you access to all of the things you want to know. Since the information is user generated, it represents a fairly accurate representation of the person, and the validity of the information. When you fill out all of the relevant targeting information, Facebook gives you an estimated reach, meaning the estimated number of people you can advertise to.

As brands and products are increasingly becoming more niche, it becomes equally important to advertise to niche markets, and this means being specific and precise.

For example, did you know that there is a group on Facebook organized and dedicated for women who enjoy planning, decorating their agendas and talking about all things to do with planners? Well guess what, there isn’t just one, there are hundreds. If I were a specialty planner store I would target people in these groups, because they are my niche market for my niche product. Without Facebook it would be hard to narrow in on people who have a passion for planners, but this social network makes it so easy. Again, it is all about the ease of highly targeting that makes Facebook effective for advertising.

Budget Control

Another major benefit of using Facebook as an adverting medium is the ability to tightly control the budget. Facebook automatically chooses efficiency over speed when choosing how to deliver ads within your budget. This means that Facebook is showing your ad set to your target audience, which may not be as fast of a delivery as if it is not shown to your target market. If time is an issue, you can choose an accelerated delivery option, which shows your ads to people similar to your target market of even in your target market, but not as exactly as is possible with more time.

Having a preset budget with a specific target market is a major benefit, in addition to being able to choose how you prioritize your ad delivery.

Real-Time Analytics

As soon as you get your ad campaign rolling you can check your results instantly. There might not be any results to see, depending on the size of your ad campaign, but the ability to see results is there. Facebook has built in features to customize your results data, making it easy to access exactly what you want to know, when you want to know it. This feature is especially helpful for small businesses who may not have the extended resources to analyze their advertising campaigns.

Bonus Feature: A/B Testing

Another analytics tool that is useful is A/B testing on Facebook ads. This method of testing is useful for other things such as website landing pages and online promotional offers. A/B testing on Facebook pages allows you to show different versions of your ad copy, allowing you to see what works better with your target audience. Read more about Facebook A/B testing here.

Key Takeaways

Facebook isn’t a new social media medium by any means, but it is so widely used that it is still relevant. Companies should care about reaching their target market on Facebook. With many benefits of advertising on Facebook, it is easy for large and small companies to utilize the ad features. Have you used Facebook advertising? Leave me a comment below with your experiences, and any tips you have for advertising on Facebook. You can also Tweet me @akannakeefe with the hashtag #MyMktgStory.

 

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Community and Conversation, a Success for Marketing

When you Tweet out a brand hashtag, attend a brand event or interact with a brand in other ways for the latest, coolest campaign you are adding to a brand conversation, and you are participating with a community around a brand. It’s all part of a marketing strategy, but it doesn’t feel pushy or promotional. Why? Because the consumer is willingly participating in the conversation and the community, which ultimately makes the entire experience more authentic. Check out this blog article for some examples of what community marketing can include.

Community marketing focuses on existing consumers, and engaging them in your brand.

This leads us to community marketing and why it matters.

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First, Let’s Talk About Community.

A community is a group of people that share common beliefs, interests and goals. Communities are also social organizations, and can share similar cultures. As humans, we naturally gather into communities, and we thrive in them as social beings. This is good news to marketing, and may be interesting especially if you enjoy the psychology behind marketing.

Communities Share

Communities share among themselves, and this is where word-of-mouth marketing and active consumer interaction come into play. If you can engage your current customers, you can continue to build relationships with them. This is an entirely different approach than marketing to potential consumers.

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Communities become brand advocates, and typically we also see the innovators and early adopters in communities. An overplayed, but valuable example is Apple enthusiasts. Apple has built one of the strongest communities surrounding their brand. This community is rooted in the fact that they believe in the vision of Apple, and they support it 100%. This is why people line up for hours for new releases, and why people will argue undoubtedly why Apple is better than any other personal device brand. The Apple community will share why they love Apple with friends, family and even strangers, creating a network of Apple advocates around the world.

Communities Support

To discuss and illustrate this point let’s start with an example.

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Fitbit, the smart fitness device has created a community to help people support one another through their fitness goals. Fitbit uses a game-type setup through their app and website to get users to compete with friends and family. This creates a culture of support, and a little bit of healthy competition, among users. The seamless integration of the software with the fitness device is a great selling point, and the competition that users have with one another gets them talking about the Fitbit and spreading the word.

Why Should You Create a Conversation?

Conversations are one way to create authenticity and trust with your consumers. While social media is the one platform we may think of when creating and sustaining conversations with consumers, there are other ways to do it. Community marketing can happen wherever the community is, and the conversation should be something the community is interested in.

Authentic Conversations

One of the struggles that marketers have when trying to have a conversation with a consumer is how to make it seem authentic. One of the best examples of where these authentic and real-life conversations take place is on Snapchat. This Hubspot article goes into depth about it, and brings up some great points. Two of the points that the article makes are that Snapchat “enables realness” and “puts social media back into these personal, organic moments”. This one-to-one type interaction enables conversation from a brand to the consumer in a more authentic and down-to-earth kind of way. While Snapshat is just one example, the important thing to keep in mind is that it’s all about authenticity and being real with consumers.

Key Takeaways

Marketing is trending towards more authentic experiences and interactions and building and sustaining communities. Real life, down to earth brands are characteristics that consumers are looking for and willing to support. Having a brand community and participating in conversations with consumers are two ways to enhance a brand. Are you involved in any brand communities? Do you participate in brand conversations? Tell me below and Tweet me @akannakeefe with the hashtag #mymktgstory.

 

Tools I Use for Social Media Management

Social media requires management. Yes, you read that right, you have to manage your social media.

Trying to keep up with social media can be overwhelming and stressful. There is so much to post and so much content to try and keep up with. There are many tools and techniques that you can use to keep up with social media and make the most of your time and efforts.

Some of my favorite tools include Hootsuite and Feedly.

SocialMedia Management

Scheduling and Organizing with Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a social media management tool that allows you to manage several social networks by scheduling posts, listening to social sharing, looking at social network analytics, organizing work into teams and supporting collaboration. If you are interested in using Hootsuite I recommend getting certified; you will become advanced in the many uses of Hootsuite. Check out my Hootsuite Professional Certification here.

I use Hootsuite to:

Schedule posts

Monitor topics

Analyze my posts

Scheduling posts

One of the primary uses of Hootsuite is to schedule my social posts. Since social media is always ongoing I can’t always be on it. Scheduling posts allows you to look through your content collection and social media posts at one time, collect what you want to share, schedule it out on any of your social media networks and post when you are busy doing other things. Another benefit to using Hootsuite to schedule posts is the auto schedule function, which essentially uses data about the content you are posting and the audience who looks at that content to post at an optimal time when your audience is most likely to see your post. This function helps increase engagement and social growth. Read more about how to schedule posts on the Hootsuite blog here. 

 

Monitor topics

Monitoring topics on social media is a tool that I use to see what people are posting about within a certain topic. One example is that I monitor the hashtags #content and #contentmarketing on Twitter through Hootsuite. This is a topic that I am interested in and like to be updated on. This tool is also useful if you are monitoring competitors on social media and are looking to keep tabs on what they are posting.

Analyze posts

One of the hot topics with every social media network is analytics. Analytics is data, and data is power (check out my blog post about why I love data in marketing). Analytics that I regularly check include click summaries of Hootlet links, retweets, likes and follower activity. When I am looking at my social media data I am concerned with one thing: engagement. I look to see what kind of posts and topics get most activity so I know what my audience is interested in. I also monitor my follower activity to see who is following me and who is unfollowing me. Analysing your followers and who they are is important to understanding your audience.

Gathering and Organizing with Feedly

Since social media is ongoing, like we all know, how do you find quality content to share with your audience? The main source that I turn to is Feedly. Now, it is important to note that the quality of your Feedly is dependent on what you put into it. If you have organized your Feedly account into useful topics and filled them with quality blogs and websites, then you will have a great source to turn to in order to find content that is relevant to your posting focus.

I use Feedly to:

Organize content into meaningful and focused folders

Continue your personal learning network

Organize folders into your posting topics

My social media posting topics include social media marketing, content marketing, blogging and data in marketing. These topics guide the folders that I organize my Feedly folders into. I populate these folders with quality blogs and websites that have relevant articles. This helps keep me organized and makes finding content to post more time efficient and focused.

Continued learning with Feedly

It is always important to continue to learn, and one great way to do that is through posting on social media. Your content collection can act as a personal learning network for continued learning. Even though you won’t post everything you read there are a ton of opportunities to read about things you are interested in, and to continue to develop your knowledge in whatever area you are passionate about.

Key Takeaways

Social media management is a thing, and you need to be doing it. Hootsuite is how I manage my social media networks, and while it is a great tool there are others that do similar things. Also, continue your learning through a content organization tool such as Feedly.

How do you manage your social media? Do you have any favorite tools to manage your social media? Comment below or Tweet me @akannakeefe with the hashtag #mymktgstory.