Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

Facebook ad fail of the week

Thursday, April 19th, 2018 | Business & Marketing

Live Strong is back with a new ad this week. They’re not suggesting I’m over 40 this week, but it still seems a strange use of your advertising budget to show me this.

More advertising fails

Saturday, March 31st, 2018 | Business & Marketing

Last month, I wrote about people wasting money on advertising. I said it happens a lot: and it does. Here are two more examples I found this month.

First, here is a Google AdWords advert by Treatwell. Except the page does not work.

And here is an advert from Live Strong. The link does work: it takes you to the article on tips for women over a 40. Bear in mind that you put the targeting parameters in when you create a Facebook ad. Facebook knows I a man under 40, so they could easily exclude me from seeing an ad I obviously have no interest it.

Facebook ad fails

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018 | Business & Marketing

Facebook ads cost money. Therefore, if you’re running them, you want to make sure they are converting. Rule one of this process is to make sure the links worth. It sounds obvious, but these people seem to have missed it.

Here is an advert by RaceCheck that produces a 404:

A funny one-off, you might think. But you would be incorrect. I see this kind of thing all the time. Here is an advert by Live To Tri that does the same thing:

By the way, if you ever wanted proof that people will interact with a Facebook post without actually clicking on it, notice that 12 people have liked an ad that does not work.

Here is another advert fail. Facebook allows us to target age. So, they know that I was not born before 1985. Why would they target someone born after 1985 with this ad?

Maybe it is some kind of clever tactic that makes people click out of anger? I’m not sure. But I didn’t click.

If you’re spending money on Facebook advertising, it is worth checking whether the links work. Otherwise, you are literally throwing money away.

How to interpret Facebook event responses

Monday, October 30th, 2017 | Life

Ever wondered what people mean when they RSVP to your event? Here is a guide:

Why optimise your Facebook ads for conversions?

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 | Business & Marketing

When creating Facebook ads, you can choose a variety of campaign objectives: website traffic, clicks, conversions, purchases, leads, page likes, the list goes on.

For most campaigns, you will be choosing between clicks and conversions. Some people have suggested it doesn’t make much difference. But my testing disagrees. We’ve seen a large amount of difference between who clicks and who converts.

The audiences are different

Over at Restaurant Psychology we have a survival checklist to help restaurants owners create a great experience. It is a pared down version of my book Why Restaurants Fail – And What To Do About It. To promote it, I launched a Facebook ad.

It’s not a fancy design. I tried fancy designs, and this converts better.

To start with, I wanted to make sure everything was working and that people responded to the advert. So I set up a campaign with the objective of clicks. The audience responded well, and we achieved around a 3% click-thru rate, which is pretty kick-ass for Facebook.

What is perhaps more interesting though, is that it was predominantly women who were clicking on the ad.

What happens when we changed the objective?

Once this was done, I set up a new campaign. This one had the objective of getting conversions. That means it was optimised for people to sign-up to get the checklist, rather than just click on the ad. Facebook went to work and found these people.

And they were different.

Despite the fact that women were more likely to click on the advert, they almost never signed up to get the checklist. They made up 62% of the clicks, but only 4% of the conversions.

What is going on here?

Facebook is very good at predicting what a user will do. Scarily good.

And it knows that, for example, women are more likely to click on my advert, while men are far more likely to sign-up when they do click on it. Therefore, it delivers the advert to a very different audience based on what campaign objective I choose.

What objective should you choose for your campaign?

What objective you pick will depend on what you want to happen. If you want clicks, choose clicks. If you want conversions, choose conversions. But make sure you know what you want before you launch the campaign because it does matter.

5 reasons your community group should NOT use Facebook ads

Saturday, March 25th, 2017 | Thoughts

You’re on the committee for a community group and you have a big event coming up. Someone suggests you should do some advertising as it would be a great chance to get some new people in. Someone else suggests “let’s do some Facebook ads”.

It is understandable why this suggestion would be made. Flyers are a massive waste of money. Plus, everyone is doing Facebook ads now. It seems like a great way to go.

It isn’t. Stop right now and make sure you can answer all of these objections before proceeding.

Your copy sucks

The art of writing sales material, known as copywriting, really is an art. It takes years to become good at copywriting. I’ve spent the last three months working on it, including buying expensive courses from some of the best copywriters around and my copy still sucks. Not just a little bit: it’s rubbish. It doesn’t convert.

And whether you are a business selling a product, or a community group selling an event, you need to convert some people into customers, even if that is only showing up to your event. Saying “oh we have this amazing event” is not enough. You need to write compelling stuff. That takes a professional.

Who are you going to target?

Facebook ads work because you can target specific people. But how will that work for your community group? The best marketers spend ages zoning in on their ideal customer, then market to them, then retarget them after they have visited their website.

Nobody has visited your website because you’re a community group, and even if they did, you don’t have a retargeting pixel on there.

So you target “people in my city”. Which is the equivalent of sending a blanket mailshot out via the Royal Mail. Most targetted direct mail gets a 1% response rate. Untargeted mail can only dream of that.

Facebook takes time to work

Facebook is very good at working out who your ads should be shown to. But this takes time. You have to spend money before it works. When I started advertising for the WAM 30-day challenge, we were paying £0.60 per click. Thre weeks later we were paying £0.15 per click. Facebook worked out who my ads should be shown to.

But that only happened after several weeks and several hundred pounds spent on ads. The first £100-200 is basically a fee you pay to Facebook so they can work out who to show the ads to. Then you start seeing results. How big is your budget? Probably less than that, right?

People don’t trust you

People are suspicious of paid advertising. They should be: a company is trying to influence them. You might think that you avoid this being a community group. But you’re wrong. You’re in a worse position.

Why? Because it is even more suspicious. ProCook follow me round the internet with adverts for their latest cookware. They know I have been on their website so they target me on Google and Facebook (and all the websites who use their ads, which is everyone). There are ProCook ads everywhere.

But at least I know what is going on here. ProCook is relentlessly targeting me because they are trying to sell me a pan. That’s the deal.

With a community group, it is a whole different ball game. What are they selling? How are they funding these ads? Is it a cult? What is their business model that allows them to run Facebook ads?

People want to discover community groups organically, either by searching for something they are interested in or because a friend told them about it. Seeing paid advertising makes it look like a religious cult or government-sponsored initiative to shift state-provided services off their books and into the hands of private individuals.

There are better things to spend the money on

Like making your events even more awesome. So that people come back. Most groups do not have a promotion problem. They have a retention problem. You only need one new person to come along each week and you have one hundred members after two years of running. But most groups are five years down the line with 20 members.

Scott Galloway speech

Monday, May 9th, 2016 | Tech, Video

This is a super-interesting speech if you are interested in technology, business, and the short-term future of our society. In it, Galloway discusses how the “big four”: Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook, are basically claiming all of the growth and all of the talent that the world is producing; redefining industries while at the same time concentrating wealth into even smaller pools.

Syndicating your blog to Facebook

Friday, January 22nd, 2016 | Tech

Back in the day, Facebook supported RSS feeds. You could put your RSS feed into the site and it could automatically crawl it and post your new blog posts into the Notes app. Facebook later discontinued this as they wanted people to post in content rather than use Notes. RSS Graffiti arrived in it’s place, automatically posting blog posts onto your Newsfeed. This perished too as it was unable to make any money.

Here are some alternatives.

IFTTT

IFTTT has been around for a while and I have been using it since RSS Graffiti disappeared. It is free but has some limitations. For example, you seem to have to include a title, so I have the title in the link and a comment above it saying the same thing. Also, there is no description.

IFTTT

HootSuite

HootSuite is a social media manager that also supports RSS feeds. It does not check as often as IFTTT does, but it can be set down to once per hour. This is fine for a personal blog. You have no control over how the RSS post is displayed, though it does a pretty good job by default.

hootsuite

Zapier

Zapier is a recipe site, like IFTTT. They have a free tier that gives you a few recipes. This is enough for my personal blog, though you might need a paid tier if you were running a lot of social media. Like IFTTT it checks every 15 minutes and gives you control over how the post appears.

zapier

Conclusion

I have settled on using Zapier for now. It is free and allows me to customise how the posts will display. However, any of the solutions gets the job done.

Making use of the Open Graph Protocol

Monday, April 6th, 2015 | Programming

When you paste a link into Facebook or other social networks (which in theory you could use) it generates a preview of the website including a title, image and description.

Webmasters actually have the power to suggest content for these items. This is something I recently implemented on the Leeds Restaurant Guide.

For example, the page is structured with the site name in the title and various images on the pages. However, when you post it into Facebook, it is pretty obvious to a human what information you actually want in there. You want the name of the restaurant and the image of the restaurant itself.

To suggest to the client what information I think would be best in there, I added some meta tags based on the Open Graph Protocol. For example, here is an example from Bibis.

<meta property="og:type" content="article" />
<meta property="og:article:author" conent="Leeds Restaurant Guide" />
<meta property="og:title" content="Bibis Italianissimo review" />
<meta property="og:image" content="http://www.leedsrestaurantguide.com/images/restaurants/Bibis%20Italianissimo.jpg" />

This provides helpful information to the client, usually Facebook, as to what information it should display where, making your site more sharable. Sites like BuzzFeed are all other these sorts of tags – just view their source code to see. This is why they are always so well presented and perhaps one of the reasons why they are so successful.

open-graph

14 signs you should be getting on with some real world

Friday, February 7th, 2014 | Thoughts

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1. You are reading this.

For 2-14, please see 1.

I would go into a lecture about how much time we are all wasting on BuzzFeed, but quite frankly I have a lot of BuzzFeed articles to get through so I just do not have time to write that right now.