In our own version of A Look Back on Facebook, we had the opportunity to sit down with Franco Puetz around this time last year. He shared his take on social strategy and how he handles his campaigns. Let’s look at how his predictions did, and how strategies have evolved.
Building A Rapport With Your Audience And Making The Sale
Facebook is about driving engagement, not selling, especially complex things like mortgages. Ads are a way to drive conversion. The biggest mistake is going for quick sales without providing what people actually need, or without them being aware that they’ve received it.
For a high-end purchase like a mortgage loan, building loyalty is a big deal. Once you have given users a high-value product to use and associate with your brand, conversion falls into place.
Social advertising can be hard. People aren’t on Facebook to buy — they are in it for the “social” networking. A valuable relationship must exist before selling.
Direct marketers try pushing sales immediately, but there’s value in building community first. Mortgages are a lengthy process, so the relationship harvested through social media needs to match.
When looking for return on investment, always be in front of them with relevant information, and they’ll think of you when deciding to buy. Social media is huge for the awareness portion of the process.
There’s now a wider funnel that gives the perspective of awareness, allowing capitalization and more measurement than before. Think about TV and billboard ads: Measuring them was, and still is, difficult. Now, we can attract people to us and measure it.
Making Ads, And Audience/Engagement Growth
Want to know how to balance your efforts toward growing fans versus growing engagement, and which ads are working? Click-through rates are very important in determining the effectiveness of ads, but they don’t always correlate with conversion. It figures out if the advertising we’re pushing out is relevant to our target.
On Facebook, intent is not always expressed, so a great strategy would be to give them alternatives. Sometimes people will come to a page not looking to purchase, but they can be persuaded. Make other pages; Facebook doesn’t limit the amount you can create. The key to engagement is to keep users as close to your brand as possible, but still provide valuable content.
Email Collection — Do’s And Don’ts
Email is integral to social strategy. For example, A consumer requests to pre-qualify for a home loan but doesn’t actually go through the whole entire process to close in three to six months. An email campaign designed around each step of the closing process helps direct them on what they should do while getting ready to move.
If you’re wondering when should you collect an email versus when to make users fill out gigantic forms: If they engage with our blogs, they have the option to go ahead and opt into our emailing list and receive weekly newsletters. We never require our users to do this — the whole initiative is based on awareness in branding, not pushy sales tactics. Users do not respond well to feeling like they are being invaded by something they don’t want.
It’s fine if you let them know what they’ll be receiving ahead of time.
Testing Ads: How To Tell When They’re Dead
In Google, you’ve got a campaign that breaks into ad groups, but Facebook doesn’t have an ad group. If you have a lot of ads, You name them based on type of ad, then optimize. Mind that you can’t use the same logic used for News Feed ads and right-hand-side ads. Limit your variables and apply A/B testing theory, and go from there.
How do you know when an ad is dead? Facebook allows us to look at CTR trends. That is one of the biggest indicators of whether or not an ad is dead. Your graph will spike up to a certain point with your CTR, and most times, it will dip down and fall indefinitely.
When you see that turning point, it’s usually a good idea to pause that ad and put another top-performing ad in its place. You can come back to it later and see that it still isn’t doing the trick, and that’s just the nature of the game.
Frequency is also a good indicator. If that frequency is spiking, that’s kind of your cue that you need to get in there and rotate faster. After the frequency is about six or so, you start to see a correlation of decline in performance.
Ads last for different durations: If it’s a larger group, those ads can stay and play a little bit longer. If you are targeting a very narrow demographic, you’ll see a sudden spike.
The users that were going to click on the ad would have done so by day three or so. So if it’s a smaller demographic, I would still give it about three days. Past seven days, it might be a good idea to pause the ad and come back to it later.
Page Post Ads, Hitting The News Feed, And CTR
Page post ads are a great opportunity to take advantage of that real estate on the News Feed.
Members that are already a part of a page will never see this post because we’ve hidden it from the News Feed. It works just as an ad would in that it doesn’t interfere with what anyone is doing on the actual Facebook page itself. It’s been proven to be very effective on desktop and especially mobile.
In our campaigns, News Feed mobile-exclusive ads are insane. We’ll put a small portion of our budget into getting our users reengaged with our page by promoting content to users who have already liked our page.
I actually released a mobile News Feed ad trying to re-engage users who already liked our page, and the CTR we received on that ad was above 3.5 percent. As far as using mobile ads to target users outside of our network for a page, we see CTR around 1 percent to 1.5 percent.
In a test campaign, it’s important to have two or three ads to make sure you are taking advantage of enough testing potential, but not too many — some won’t get any play.
Another strategy is making two test campaigns with only one ad in each campaign to ensure that they get through the same budget spend.
Equally distribute so that you can get a more efficient test. Creating individual campaigns for each ad is time-consuming, so if you’re just starting, two or three ads max.
When testing, adjust your budget to 10 percent to 20 percent of what your final campaign limit is on two or three ads, and use the forerunner.
Making Effective Creatives
Facebook ads should be closely associated with the people who are generating content and creatives. Those are the people who are working the closest with users and know what users are looking for, and there is something to be said about building content.
When running ads to that content, you need to make sure that the ads are communicating what they wanted to find on the other end of that.
Whoever is in control of what’s on the other side of that advertisement initially should influence the creatives being put into those advertisements.
Bringing Together Search And Social
Between search and social, the integration between the two platforms is only going to expand from what we are seeing. Building up this foundation with a large user base is very important.
A lot of search and social integration is going to be dependent upon the content that users are sharing and the content that users are creating about your brand.
It’s important when sending users to an offsite landing page to show social media interaction with your brand. Place on-site comments and a like button showing likes to show that people are interacting with your brand, and you’re responding.
Readers: Do these strategies stand up to the recent changes? What’s your main focus for 2014?