Early stage startup marketing & community management + the great outdoors.

Social Media Marketing and Facebook Advertising

Have you ever clicked on ads displayed on social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter? The answer doesn’t matter whether you did or did not because you’ve been targeted.   Companies target users to reach potential customers based on demographics including age, gender, occupation, interests, location, or even your undergraduate major, using personal information you entered in your account profile. Your privacy is not so private anymore and is monetized by social media companies as an asset… unless you, like Jason Bourne, have multiple identities, none of which are real. It sounds scary that you become totally transparent at the moment you log in to Facebook and Twitter but it’s certainly a good news for companies who want to improve their conversion rate.

Social Media Optimization (SMO) has become a crucial component in Internet marketing. Shea Bennett talked about social media statistics in a blog post on Mediabistro that, until December of 2011, Facebook already has more than 800 million active users. Of those users, 200 million were added last year alone. Twitter owns 100 million active users, and LinkedIn 64 million, respectively. As search marketing and advertising professionals, it is critical that we hone our skills to leverage such channel ahead of competitors. A few more reasons why online marketers should never overlook Social Media Marketing include;

  1. Customer reviews and peer recommendations improve conversion of your ads when someone likes, follows, or comments on your social media page.
  2. It is an inevitable risk to counter negative comments on your company brand or products by online visitors in SEM but manageable with real time trouble-shooting on social media.
  3. Social media advertising is picking up its pace with SEM quickly! Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn Ads, Foursquare, WordPress/Blogger are great channels to manage Social Media Marketing.

I focus on Facebook to start because it’s still dominating social media market share and more than 3.5 billion pieces of content are shared each week on Facebook. According to Social Media Statistics, an average Facebook user has 130 friends and likes 80 pages, and 56% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand after becoming a fan. If 100 people like your fan page promotion, luckily 12,000 others will see the promotion. Imagine how much coverage your promotion can get if 20% of the 12,000 new visitors become customers and 56% of the 2,400 new fans recommend your brand. That’s a lot of traffic to your site!

Here I want to share some tricks that I used to manage Facebook Ads:

Choose CPC over CPM – Ad blindness is a common phenomenon in social media where users tend to ignore banner-like information that contains advertising messages. CPC method gives you a better control on your ad spending which is triggered only when people click on your ads.

Run granular campaigns – When creating a specific Facebook campaign you have options to segment potential audience based on age, education, occupation, location, and interests. Don’t waste these great features and make sure you test all possible segmentations on your campaigns. For example, test age between 35-45 with Masters or higher degree, occupation at the management level, interests involve purchasing luxurious goods or services, location in Manhattan Downtown if your product is targeting at customers with greater purchase power. The more specific segmentation you apply to campaigns, the more sophisticated data you can generate from users and apply the valuable information to your other search engine activities. And don’t forget to include ‘Friends of Connections’ who already are connected to your page.

Rotate your ads – Unlike search engine marketing, Facebook Ads requires more focus on creating demands than responses. Ads older than a week on Facebook are barely alive because users are looking for fresh information and old message only catches their fatigue, not attention. So, do rotate your ads with different image, text, or landing page.

Thumbnail image – Be creative to defeat ‘banner-blindness’. Use eye-catching image for your ads.  Try, or example, thumbnail pictures of an often-used document format icon, such as PDF and Word, if your ads require users to download e-book or brochure. Apply this trick along with your branded logo and you will be amazed by how well it works.

Write relevant ads in accordance to each segmentation – Leverage keyword tools you are currently using to generate a list of recommended keywords and apply to your Facebook Ads. Keywords that weren’t champs in search engines might drive your Facebook Ads conversion sky high.

Optimize fan page and landing page – Design ads to drive audience to multiple landing pages in your Facebook Fan Page and to your official website, which can nurture your brand awareness and loyalty. In addition, putting up an easy link to checkout section of your website around Facebook promotions or embedding lead capture form to your Fan Page provides a shortcut from intention to conversion.

Include multiple data ratio in analysis – Click-through-rate (CTR), cost-per-click (CPC), coverage, average bid may tell different stories when tracking conversion rate. Include multiple ratio in analysis will give you a better understanding on how your Facebook Ads actually performed.

Go for mobile – Along with the advance of technology, people spend more time on mobile phone doing what they used to do on computer. Therefore, always test your ads at mobile audience.

I’d love to hear if you found my tips helpful, both from the Facebook Ads rookies and veterans alike!


This is a guest post from Aaron Huang.  Aaron is a fellow Babson College alumni and also an expert on SEO and paid online marketing.  You can contact Aaron on LinkedIn.

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