How to plot your first Facebook Promotion

In my last post I talked you into it. You have your $7 in your hot little hand and you want to know what it can do for you. Maybe you’re flicking the bills at the screen, only to see them listlessly fall to your desk. It’s okay, that’s normal.

So how do we so this?

At the broadest level, the trick is to marry a noun with a verb. You want a someone to do a something. If you want more “likes” on your page, that is the something. The someone is your target audience. Facebook has lots of targeting options for ads and offers, but no options for promotions. Basically your promotion will target friends and friends-of-friends by giving your post much better news feed ranking than it would have naturally. For our purposes it is just as well, because friends and FoF’s are the most statistically likely to respond anyways.

But what shall we use as bait?

Preparation

In my previous post I said “one simple step”, and if you have already done the prep work then it is as easy as clicking “Promote” on your post and adding your payment information. But if you haven’t done the other things then you need to do a few extra steps. In that case keep reading.

I suggest a one-two punch. Get them to your page, then show them something genuinely exciting on your page. I referred to Game Theory before, and by that I mean the method is to set up several moves in a row. You design each action for your prospect with the next step being obvious.

To get them to your page you could create an ad or promote a post. A post is simpler so lets do that for now. So what do we post? Ask yourself; what gets you to click on a post in your news feed? Usually bait of some kind… something you want or need that resonates with you in the moment. So what do you have that people want or need or makes them feel clever for seeing?

Going with the example of Photographer from my previous post, people want pictures of themselves or family. Good, flattering, fun, brilliant pictures. They want to believe they are smart for choosing you, and that you’ll make them look their best.

An obvious answer would be to post one of your best pictures, but don’t do that without careful thought. Are your pictures better than what other photographers in your circles are posting? Honestly? If not, do you really want to play a losing game?

So what will distinguish you from the twenty-some-odd friends who offer a similar thing? Be off-balance. Stage a crazy photo for your promotion. Maybe a picture of you hanging upside-down on monkey bars to take a picture of a kid also on the monkey bars. Do something fun and outlandish. The point is to capture attention and get them to click. So with your outlandish pic, put in a simple, and I mean dead simple call to action, like “Fall Photo Deals Now”.

So the bait is good. That is what we’re going to spend the $7 on. But before you clicky-clicky, lets make sure they actually want to like your page and (better yet) hire you. So you are going to have another clever picture as your cover photo, something both showing off your skill, and encouraging them to like your page. Then, set as a feature post, you’ll have an image (or video!) about your actual offer. Something that will be the real call to action.

So let’s review. You write a catchy post and promote it for $7. Friends of your friends notice it, because it’s catchy, and Facebook kindly notes that their friend is a fan. Now interested and disarmed they click on it, landing on your business page. The first thing they see is the canvas, and glance at the “Like” button, but don’t click it, because they’re not sure they need to yet.

Then they of course notice your offer. It looks good. And your description says to “like” to see future offers and discounts. Okay then “click”. They liked your page, and they may even message or call you.

Tracking

Digital marketing is the most accountable kind of marketing ever invented. We have the ability to track all kinds of information about how our various efforts perform. However, choosing, tracking, and interpreting that data in a way that truly informs good decisions is not simple at all. That’s why companies hire people like me.

But you can do it yourself, at least well enough to make some progress.

If you’re promoting a page, use Facebook insights to track your effectiveness. If your promoting something outside of Facebook, use a tracking link like bitly.com or a more expansive service such as Google Analytics.

Do it!

If you are promoting a page, go into that page, write your post (be sure to include your catchy image), post, then click “promote”. Add your payment info, and that’s it! If you are promoting something outside of facebook, write your own personal post and promote it in the exact same way. Over the next 24 hours Facebook will let you know how it is going. It may not result in miracles, but I highly suspect you’ll conclude it was $7 well spent, and will find yourself plotting your next moves. We’ll talk about those moves later. Right now, get out there and do baby step 1.


Make Facebook more effective for your small business with one simple step

No doubt if you’ve played around with Facebook company pages for your little photography side-hustle, or even your big business, you’ve wondered why it is so stagnant. I mean, you had your little honeymoon period when you first announced it, and all your friends who felt obligated to like it did their duty. But now one “like” a week isn’t cutting it. What to do?

Spend a little money.

“But I’m on a low—like zero—budget!” you protest. Well, no. No one is on a zero budget. You pay for what has value to you; the electricity bill, gas in your car, that lovely latte with whipped cream.

When I say a little, let’s borrow from Dave Ramsey and call it Baby Step 1. But this is my Facebook promotion baby step 1: Spend $7 on Facebook promotion.

Do you have $7?

Assuming the answer is “yes” (if not, you don’t even have a side-business, you have a really cheap hobby), then lets use it, and get maximum value out of it. Using a little game theory, you can really put that $7 to work. I’ll give you a strategy…

…in my next post. Which is now available: How to plot your first Facebook Promotion

This is for Technorati: 6KE6KEY4TZUX


Who Really Has Time for Social Media in the Professional World?

Before you’ve tried it, it sounds easy. You just sit down, maybe even with a service like Hootsuite, configure your company Facebook page and schedule a couple posts. No sweat, right?

But then you notice, the posts kind of look alike and, a week later, they’re getting no attention.

So you up the game a little bit, do some googling, see what’s trending in cat pictures, and before you know it you spent an hour writing one post.

Out of a new sense of panic you find a Youtube video and a meme to fill out your schedule. Still, little or no interest generated in your audience.

But you are a professional: You have customers to keep happy. So Facebook takes a back seat while you do what puts food on the table. A month later you’re talking to another professional and Facebook comes up in the conversation. With the mental image of the whopping 3 likes on your company page (two being you and your spouse) you say, “Yeah I tried that, but it didn’t really work.”

From that moment on, if you see a local business with 3,000 likes or even a major company with over half a million likes, you feel a twinge of resentment. How can they do it? You think. It has to be their big budget. You console yourself. But then you read an article in a trade magazine and,  oh great, there is a sole-proprietor in your industry that has 30,000 likes and booming business. HOW?!?!?

If you want to be on a success trajectory in your social media. you have two perfectly legitimate choices:

1, you could take the time to educate yourself more on how to do your own successful social media, and carve out some time to organize yourself and establish a production rhythm.

Or 2, you could hire it out.

You may have just read number 1 and said ‘that’s time I don’t have.’ then read number 2 and said ‘…and that’s money I don’t have.’ I’m here to tell you you’re wrong on both points.

I can tell you you’re wrong because I’m not making a bent penny from this blog post.

First of all, you can do it yourself if it is really a priority. That means doing some reading, organizing some content sources, and preparing set time to write and schedule content and to reply to interaction. Also a must is a small budget for promotion. You would be amazed how far even $50 per month can take you.

Regarding contracting out to an agency, it will still require some of your time and attention. There is no getting away from the fact that your business is the topic of the content and that you will have to provide some information and maybe photos to an agency. However an agency is well trained and methodical, they have content curation, they have brand monitoring, they have fancy software, they have content specialists who are pretty fast at delivering quality content, and they know social  media really well and usually have the numbers to prove it.

Hiring out doesn’t eliminate the need for you to make some of your own posts, or respond to interaction, but it takes the heavy lifting off your shoulders and usually grows your following at an optimal rate.

How much it costs depends on your budget. There are definitely recommended budgets, and you will get more when you spend more, but often a service plan can be tailored to your budget. Think about $500 per month as a starting place. If you can commit $500-1000 additional for campaigns, it would be money well spent.*

*Obviously I can’t speak for any agency. Prices and quality may vary substantially. I know at least one agency that recommends $9,000 per month. Again it is money well spent but not many small businesses can afford that. Don’t be ashamed of a small budget. Agencies balance their time over several clients.

As a side note, if you are tempted to try an agency for just one month. They have heard that a hundred times, and they will tell you what they have told everyone else 100 times. You can do that, but social media is relationship building. A short run is more like 3-6 months. Social scales exponentially, so by using them for one month or two you are actually robbing yourself of the highest value months.

So now like any smart businessman you’re thinking, $500 per month for three months, plus one big campaign… $2,500. If you’re starting to think you could hire someone part time for minimum wage for the same money, abort thought! Remember that in hiring an agency they are trained, researched, practiced, have professional accountability and development, and are tooled up.

The time lost in finding your unqualified worker, setting them up on a computer, and them getting up to speed to the extent that your social media is on a positive trajectory (if that ever happens) will be to the tune of weeks if not months.

Agencies want to retain your business just as you want to retain your customers. They will do their level best to return value for your investment because they want to keep you as a customer.
It doesn’t matter which route you take, so long as your actions are substantial enough to yield real returns. Anything short of that is indeed “not working for you.”

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