LIVE Webinar Training with Chris Beckwith-Taylor and Cheyenne Uhrik.

During this webinar, you will learn how to successfully set up and launch a Facebook Organic and Advertising Campaign

What is social media marketing?

Social marketing can be described as promoting your brand through both paid and organic social media avenues. Social media marketing occurs on various platforms, some of the most prominent ones being: Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, and Twitter.

If properly deployed, social media marketing should be an integral part of a comprehensive marketing strategy. It should serve to build your brand, better communicate with your audience, and drive your sales and marketing outcomes. 

Social media marketing can be broken out into five core pillars: 

  1. High-level strategy
  2. Planning and publishing
  3. Listening and engagement
  4. Analytics and reporting
  5. Advertising 

This chapter of The Comprehensive Guide to Lead Generation will explore how to deploy integrated social strategies that touch on all five of these pillars. 

Why is social media marketing important?

Social media is the future of collaboration, communication, and socialization. Social media marketing is quite likely a major determiner of future success. Here are some of the top reasons why every business should be leveraging social media as part of their marketing and advertising strategy.

1. Your audience is on social

Top social media channels are home to hundreds of millions (if not billions) of monthly active users. Growing an organic audience on some of these platforms should be a chief priority for all marketers. Leveraging paid channels can be a cost-effective and focussed way to amplify that reach further.

Though certain platforms cater to slightly different user bases, you can be sure that your audience calls at least a few of these platforms home. For example, if you’re a software company aiming to connect with financial professionals, LinkedIn will be the best vehicle. However, if you are a photographer looking to market your work and generate new leads, Instagram will be a better fit.

2. Drive multiple business outcomes

Social networks used to be hubs for people that wanted to connect and share content with their friends. Then businesses realized the potential in connecting with their audiences through these platforms. Today, social networks help businesses do everything from lead generation to customer services.

Here are a few ways that social media can be used to drive business outcomes: 

  • Monitoring. By mentioning tracking, modern social media platforms enable businesses to monitor conversations that are happening to surround their brands to collect feedback, stay relevant, and engage in the discussion.
  • Reach. Social media is one of the fastest vehicles for both building and growing an audience. Whether through the use of hashtags/shares in organic marketing or by injecting some cash for paid promotion, social is one of the most cost-effective ways to place your message in front of an interested and engaged audience.
  • Insights. Built-in page analytics and ads dashboards allow business accounts to acquire real-time feedback on different messaging, identify top-performing content, and constantly monitor overall performance.
  • Support. Business pages have become major focal points for customers that are looking to receive after-purchase support and service. Staying active on these channels is a critical component in executing a comprehensive social media marketing strategy.

3. Build your brand

Brands are the lifeblood of businesses. They allow consumers to build emotional connections with the businesses that they want to interact with. Social media is unique because it allows businesses to express more brand attributes than other (more traditional) formats. Where brands used to be built on radio jingles, newspaper advertorials, and what people had told their friends, social media has since allowed brands to connect with consumers in more depth than ever before.

Here are a few reasons why social media is a special branding mechanism.

  • Social platforms serve to reinforce brand continuity when properly aligned with the web and other consumer-facing media.
  • Frequency is a key determiner in shifting consumer attitudes and motivating action.
  • Social media can build trust and communicate a greater degree of authenticity. Stuffy corporate content does not work on social media. Instead, businesses should focus on fostering a strong brand voice, communicating values, sharing cultural content, and readily engaging with customers.

4. Social media marketing is cost-effective

By cost, we mean resources and money. Compared to other programs, social media marketing presents one of the greatest opportunities to optimize all three of these costs.

In terms of time, a HubSpot study determined that 84 percent of marketers could significantly increase their website traffic with as little as six hours of social media labor per week.

Most businesses can build a social media program without any outside technologies or services in terms of resources. However, for those who want to pursue more aggressive social media growth, scheduling software like Social Marketing or Hootsuite can remove many toils for your team. And if your team is still looking for more, you can always hire an agency to fulfill your social media marketing and digital advertising needs.

In terms of direct costs, there are non associated with an organic campaign. However, paid campaigns can easily be scaled to match your budget and demand requirements. In 2020, the average social media advertising spent for business ranged from $200 to $50,000.

If properly leveraged, social media is the gateway to stronger client relationships. Being active on these major social media channels is critical to driving awareness, provide valuable customer feedback channels, and drive additional sales.

5. Lead generation happens here

At the end of the day, the outcome of all marketing and advertising efforts is lead generation. Fortunately, social media is one of the most powerful mediums for achieving this end. 

Here are the stats:

  • 74 percent of people rely on social networks to help with their purchasing decisions.
  • 80 percent of leads originate from LinkedIn alone. 
  • Revenue increases 24 percent of businesses when leveraging social media for lead generation.
  • 53 percent of businesses believe that social media will be the best source of less in the future.

What is the future of social media marketing?

Social media is one of the most rapidly changing landscapes in the world. Twenty years ago, the term had barely been conceptualized. Ten years ago, Facebook ran the world. Today, most consumers subscribe to 9 different social media platforms and spend over two hours per day using those platforms. And new challenge platforms are rapidly emerging (TikTok?).

Three of the most prevalent trends that will affect the future of social media marketing are as follows.

1. Video DOMINANCE

According to a study by Adobe, 52 percent of marketing professionals claim that video content generates the strongest ROI than all other content formats.

Video is the optimal platform for everything from explainer videos to feature releases, to exclusive behind-the-scenes content, to product testimonials, and everything in between.

2. Limited accessibility content

Also known as ephemeral content, this is any content that has a limited lifespan or expiration date. In other words, the usage of story posts on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and TikTok. Additionally, platforms like WhatsApp and Skype are also integrating story style features into their product suites.

Ephemeral content is effective because it provokes a sense of urgency in consumers. It also provides a higher involvement marketing format, from which users can interact with custom lenses, GIF integrations, polls, consumer drawing functionality, and more. Additionally, stories allow brands

to share more bite-sized content that might not be suitable for full posts, such as brief educational posts, quotes from articles, event promotion, and exciting cultural content.

3. More influencer marketing

This one might have you rejoicing, or it might have you rolling your eyes. I fall somewhere on the latter side, but the numbers don’t lie.

Here’s what you need to know about influencer marketing:

  • It’s a 10 billion dollar industry.
  • 63 percent of consumers trust influencer messages more than branded messages.
  • In a study conducted by Convince and Convert, 58 percent of participants said they purchased a product in the past six months due to an influencer recommendation.

These numbers are only expected to climb as the purchasing power of Gen Z continues to grow, and these younger consumers continue to embrace influencers wholeheartedly.

The following sections will explore the case and strategy for social media marketing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

 

1.1 Facebook Organic

Pros:

  1. It’s free!
  2. Your audience is more inclined to trust organic content. If someone has willingly followed your branded Facebook account, then they are much more likely to engage with your content as opposed to an unsolicited newsfeed ad.
  3. Question posts. If you’re looking to gather audience insights/ feedback or do quick and dirty consumer research, Facebook is a great place to do so. The trick is to keep your questions short and to the point.
  4. Video reigns supreme. If your business is creating lots of original video content, then there is an opportunity for you to improve traffic and engagement. Short-form videos are effective for diverting traffic to other pages (like your blog). Long-form videos will garner the greatest reach and engagement, and live videos are most effective for collecting data or engaging followers immediately.
  5. Facebook groups. Facebook marketers should create their own business group, plus join and actively engage with other Facebook groups. This is a great way to build meaningful relationships with users and prospects.

Cons:

  1. Reduced reach. Recent algorithm changes have dramatically limited the reach that business account holders had expected from organic posts. In fact, organic post reach is currently hovering around the 1 percent to 6 percent range.
  2. External link limitations. Sharing content that originates outside of the platform, such as your blog, your YouTube page, or otherwise, will be given the least reach and resulting engagement.
  3. User preference. Facebook was once the ruler of social media. It now carries a largely negative user perception due to the scandals, data breaches, and ad infestations that have wrought the platform over recent years.

How to launch an organic Facebook campaign

1. Perform a page audit

Facebook business pages are robust. It’s important to have your account set up as a business page and have properly filled out all of the relevant sections. It might not seem very interesting, but some simple tweaks will go a long way towards improving your online brand perception.

Some of the most important sections for most businesses include:

  • Completing your “about” tab so that users and prospects who discover you can quickly understand your business for the first time. Contact info is critical; about, company overview, story, products, and business categories are high priority. Information, such as the founding date and your mission statement, can help to round out the page.
  • Ensure you have a high-resolution logo/profile picture and an eye-catching and creative wallpaper image that also serves to explain your offering.
  • If you haven’t been closely monitoring the reviews page, this is a great place to understand better what customers say about you. If your review score is below a 4 out of 5, then it is something you need to work at so that you don’t risk deterring future traffic.
  • Photos provide a quick gauge of whether your team has successfully created a branded experience across your recent posts. A quick scroll through all of the photos on your page will provide insight into color usage, vector usage, image usage, and just the overall brand impression that your page is creating. Great pages should have a clearly defined brand experience that can be easily seen by scrolling through the page photos.

2. Set growth goals

Depending on your industry, a lot of business happens on Facebook. Unfortunately, determining and measuring ROI can prove challenging with organic social media tactics. That’s why it’s imperative that you set clear and measurable goals for all of your efforts.

Here are some steps to help you set great goals on Facebook:

  1. Start with a broad objective.
    1. Increase local engagement and build a strong brand community.
    2. Generate leads for a new product or service offering.
    3. Generate leads for the core product or service offering.
  2. Apply the SMART framework
    1. Specific. Clearly stated and simplified.
    2. Measurable. One or more metrics can easily be applied.
    3. Achievable. Possible with your current resource scope.
    4. Realistic. Are you reaching for the stars or setting objectives that fall within your core competencies.
    5. Timely. Define your timeframe, be it weeks, months, or a year.
  3. Apply metrics to your SMART goal. Once you’ve beefed up your objective with the SMART principle, you need to identify specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and metrics that will measure success. Each objective will have unique KPIs worth reporting, and these should be rather easy to determine. Here are a couple of examples:
    1. Increase brand awareness on Facebook by generating a 30 percent increase in website clicks over a month span. KPIs: post, reach, total page impressions, and profile page links.
    2. Generate 10 leads for “x” new products over the next 30 days by posting on Facebook once per day. KPIs: post link clicks, post engagement, and post reach.

Some broader Facebook-specific goals that could be applied to the SMART framework include: 

  • Increase engagement through shares specifically since Facebook posts tend to earn more shares than those on other platforms
  • Build feedback loops by creating and maintaining a Facebook Group
  • Uphold exceptional customer service by interacting and engaging with customers and prospects.

3. Construct a content calendar

Frequency is a major consideration in the Facebook algorithm. That’s why businesses need to be active to optimize their organic reach. The best way to do so is by building a content calendar. Content calendars can also ensure that you stay on track with your objectives.

There are a few ways you can go about building a content calendar.

  • Firstly, you can create your own via spreadsheets.
  • Secondly, you can look to leverage project management technology like Trello or Asana to build a content calendar. These platforms are very user-friendly and often have necessary functionality in a free tier, but they cannot translate your calendar into actual social posts.
  • Thirdly, you can use scheduling software to build a content calendar and schedule your social posts in advance. This option is by far the most efficient use of time and resources but generally comes with a price tag. Example solutions include HubSpot, Hootsuite, and Green Stick. 

To avoid duplicate work, you’re likely to want to include all of your organic social platforms in this calendar. The following sections will refer back to this process and these suggestions.

4. Perform a post-audit 

One of the greatest benefits of organic social marketing with Facebook is the breadth of information available to business users. 

It would be best if you took advantage of this data by performing an audit on your top-performing posts to benchmark your successes, as well as identify winning content, tactics, and techniques.

Here’s how to perform a quick post-audit:

  • Navigate to insights on the left sidebar.
  • Click on the posts section.
  • Analyze your recent posts based on desired metrics (reach, clicks, engagements, etc.).
  • Identify top performers.
  • Please do some research on others’ average social performance metrics in your industry and compare them against yours.
  • Begin to look for trends and similarities that might separate your top performers from the rest of the pack.
  • Try to replicate these successes in future posts.
  • Compare performance and continue to benchmark against

5. Get posting

Now it’s time to leverage that content calendar you’ve created and take the lessons you’ve learned from assessing your top posts and put those into action with new social content.

Here are a few posting tips:

  • Mix up your post formats. Over the years, Facebook has expanded the posting options available to users. Today, B2C companies can leverage text posts, video posts, embedded link posts, live posts, story posts (image or video), as well as the full suite of ad offerings.
  • Try upping the ante with your image and video content. For example, this might mean experimenting with new tricks on photoshop to add a little pizzazz.
  • Experiment with posting at different times of the day.
  • Experiment with your posting tempo. As long as you post at least five times a week, experiment with higher post volumes (some have reported effectiveness with up to four posts per day).
  • Never use engagement bait or other spam tactics.
  • Try and evoke an emotional appeal (unless it would be very off-brand). Think of the last Nike ad you saw and try to emulate some of the used techniques.
  • Try running a contest.
  • Try posting user-generated content.

1.2 Facebook Ads

Pros:

  • User base. As of the beginning of 2020, Facebook is home to
    2.6 billion monthly active users, making it the largest social media platform in the world. That number alone is a compelling reason to explore the original “social network.”
  • Cost per lead (CPL). Like all advertising platforms, the level of spend is entirely up to your discretion. However, in terms of CPL, Facebook remains the best bang for your buck. The average cost per lead on Facebook coming into 2020 was $1.72.
  • Available audiences. Being home to 2.6 billion users means that Facebook has the largest potential prospect base of any advertising platform in the world.
  • Effectiveness. Although effectiveness (based on conversion rates and CPL) has diminished somewhat over recent years, the fact of the matter is simple: Facebook ads are still effective. In fact, 67 percent of social advertisers deem Facebook to be the most effective ad platform.
  • Targeting and retargeting. Get into the nitty-gritty by targeting people based on age, gender, location, job title, industry, marital status, and interests. Retargeting allows you to serve ads against users who may have visited your website, used your mobile app, or provided their email address. Then, use lookalike audiences to expand your marketing efforts based on users similar to your current audience.
  • Ease of use. Facebook Ads Manager is the original social ad platform, meaning that it has some of the most advanced options available to advertisers. Still, it is also one of the easiest for new users to navigate.
  • Robust analytics and tracking. Unparalleled is a word that could be used to describe the depth and breadth of reporting capabilities baked into Facebook Ads Manager.
  • Viral potential. Let’s face it, no one is going to share your Google Ad with a friend, but if you have a hilarious ad (Manscaped ads come to mind for me), then you might reach new audiences at no extra cost.

Cons:

  • Limited enterprise effectiveness. If your target audience is predominantly companies with 100+ employees, Facebook isn’t the optimal platform. If this is your target demographic, then you better explore Facebook’s big brother (LinkedIn).
  • Loss of platform preference. Years of overexposure to ads, data breaches, and public scrutiny have undoubtedly weakened “The Social Network.” As millennials and Gen X cling to Snapchat, Instagram, and Tik Tok, ad effectiveness has certainly declined.
  • (Potential) metric misreports. Over the years, there have been claims that Facebook has inflated numbers on video play metrics, app referrals, and repeat visitors. However, Facebook claims to have fixed these errors.

How To Launch A Facebook Ad Campaign 

1. It all starts with your unique selling proposition

The first step in any advertising campaign is to isolate your unique selling proposition(s). For some companies, the USP is obvious and may already be established. For example, Unbounce is a B2B company with both a simple and great USP: convert more. Landing pages are their game, and the result they drive is simple.

However, for other companies, USPs can become more than complicated to determine. If you are one of those companies, there is a general process that can help you isolate your USP(s).

  1. Create a list of competitors and competing offerings
  2. Use this list to identify your unique attributes and differentiating qualities.
  3. Hone in on customer benefit qualities, not product qualities
  4. Shape those qualities into a customer promote
  5. Work and rework until you’ve identified ideal keywords.
  6. Cut it down; UPSs should be short and impactful.
  7. Test and adjust until you’re driving optimal conversions

2. Identify your audience

The easiest way to find your audience is by digging into the advanced audience mining capabilities baked right into Facebook’s Audience Insights.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Use Audience Insights to analyze the people who are already following your page and people who follow other pages, have specific interests, fall within various demographics/psychographics, and more. These variables allow you to fine-tune your targeting and create audience lists based on your needs.
  2. Create and save these audiences within Audience Insights.
  3. When creating your next ad in Ads Manager, these audiences will be available for you to choose from.

3. Set Up Tracking With Tag Manager and Ads Manager

Before you launch any campaigns, you will need to add your Facebook Pixel to Google Tag Manager.

Here are the steps you need to follow: 

  1. Log into Google Tag Manager
  2. Navigate to your website’s container and click “Add New Tag.”
  3. Choose “Customer HTML Tag” and add a name for your tag.
  4. Navigate to “Events Manager” on Facebook and select “Add Event.”
  5. Select “Install Code Manually”
  6. Select “Copy Code” to copy the entire base code
  7. Return to Tag Manager and paste the entire code in the HTML container
  8. Click the “Advanced Settings” dropdown and select “Once Per Page” under “Tag Firing Options.”
  9. Under “Fire On, select “All Pages.”
  10. Create the tag

4.Identify Your CTAs And Conversion Goals 

What action are you enticing? Are you expecting prospects to fill out a Facebook lead form? Are you redirecting them to a landing page? A page on your site? A blog, perhaps? What is the next step in the buyer’s journey?

CTAs are not a science, and you may want to experiment with a variety of the aforementioned CTAs (as well as others) to identify the best performers. The key is to ensure that your CTA aligns with your ad messaging to create a disjointed user experience.

Once you’ve decided where you want your ad traffic to go, you’ll need to set conversion goals in Ads Manager.

Based on your offering and the stage of the buyer’s journey that you are aiming to impact, there are a variety of options available. That being said, if you have a fairly complex product/service offering, “Lead generation” will almost always be the best objective to fill your inbound sales funnel.

5. Create Eye-Catching Visuals/Videos

It’s time to talk about audit-video (AV) and design. Competition on Facebook is fierce, and if you don’t have world-class graphics and video content to pair with your ads, then you are not going to earn your share of audience attention.

Here are some tips for visuals on Facebook Ads: 

  • Use text in your graphic if your CTA is conversion focussed (ex. A Guide Download).
  • Text free visuals can be impactful if your CTA is educational (ex. A Blog Link).
  • Use real people in your graphic if it aligns with your copy.
  • Local specific visuals can drive greater engagement if you have the capacity.
  • Think about standout visuals, not necessarily standout colors. Certain colors (ex. Red) will indeed demand attention from your audience, but if you want to convert viewers, the secret sauce shows them something that doesn’t look like every other ad in their newsfeed.

Here are some tips for videos on Facebook Ads: 

  • Keep them short. Fifteen seconds or less is a good benchmark if you want to get full-length views from prospects.
  • Add captions so that your video makes sense without audio, as most users have autoplay audio turned off.
  • Use real people and real product screenshots as much as possible. Vector-based video is becoming a thing of the past.

These are a few general best practices, but the reality is that the only way you will find out for sure what exactly works best for your business is by testing extensively.

6. Create Ad Variants

One of the greatest digital advertising mistakes you can make is not creating ad variants. By creating variants, you can test different copy, different images, different CTA text, etc. This allows marketers to identify top performance and turn off variants that aren’t up to spec.

When launching a new campaign, it’s best practice to create four ad variants. This allows you to split test two different graphics with two different text pairings at any given time.

7. Monitor and optimize your campaign

When running Facebook Ads, your work is never done. Optimization is arguably the most important part of the entire process.

Here are some best practices for Facebook Ad Optimization

  • Continually introduce challenger ads. Once you’ve honed in on your best variant in a given campaign, please turn off the bottom performers and create new ads to replace them. The best practice is to use elements from your top performer in each new variant (ex. Graphic in one, text in another, CTA in another). This is important because these challenges might grow to outperform the original top variant.
  • Experient with new audiences. If you have a top performer, try running that ad against a new audience.
  • Ramp up the budget on top-performing ads and reduce the budget on low performers. Allocating budget to testing is important, but don’t burn ad spend on not converting campaigns.
  • Experiment with different value propositions and CTAs. For example, if you aim to drive conversion, try one variant with a CTA demo and one with a sign-up CTA.

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