— February 1, 2019
Ever done one of those “Which Deadly Sin are You?” quizzes on Facebook? I have always felt Sloth is a particularly nice one to be. Or maybe even Gluttony. Ideally, a combination of the two. Not a care in the world, lounging around all day, munching on a fresh delicacy.
If you are in my boat though, and are in the business of selling – you are more likely a very effective Wrath + Envy combo, with a dash of Pride thrown in for good measure.
But, I digress.
However, now that I’ve got you thinking about sins and deadliness, and all the joys that come with committing them, let’s talk about the ones you are unwittingly engaged in on Facebook.
No, that’s not what I had in mind.
You may or may not already know that as of last quarter, Facebook is boasting 2.27 billion monthly active users. For reference, there are just over 7.6 billion active souls on Earth (more by the time you get to read this post).
That makes for quite the sales playground. A playground that about 500K marketers, salesmen and women and CEOs are trying to reach. (Totally a ballpark figure, no one has yet devised a reliable way to count salespeople.)
Of those 500K, about 150K are committing the following Facebook marketing mistakes. Which one is yours? Do let me know!
1 Skipping Audience Research
Every marketer worth their weight in anything will tell you that audience research is the first step to success. Your very own Stairway to Heaven, so to say.
Researching your audience will, in fact, take running some ads in the first place. But there is no reason not to try and make a few educated (and targeted) guesses first.
Think about your ideal customer. And what they might also be liking. If your product is a highly specialized one (i.e. you sell adventure holidays for the elderly), you will have an easier job.
- Try to find pages similar to yours.
- Like them from a non-business account.
- See what else Facebook will suggest you check out.
Do not fall into the trap of researching a huge brand in your industry. They will likely have gathered a bunch of likes based on brand value alone, and are not ideal for stalking.
After you run your first ads, make sure to always refer back to Facebook’s own Audience Insights, and see in what direction you should be moving in next.
2 Being Too Broad
You might think anyone and everyone will be interested in your product.
And while that may or may not be true, you do not want to be spending money on targeting everyone. It pays to target a smaller audience that will be more likely to make a purchase, than cast too wide of a net that will not bring in too many fish.
Luckily, Facebook has a very decent option to help you do this, so make sure you use the “detailed targeting” option when creating your ads.
3 Looking for Immediate Results
When you are looking to hit a certain target every month, it can become quite a habit to try and make a sale NOW.
However, resist the burning urge to tweak your Facebook campaign until it hits a certain number of views (I personally vote for 1200).
First, this is what will allow both the Facebook algorithm, and your own mind, to learn.
Remember that there are only so many “shut up and take my money” moments you can generate. Not every ad will hit the big time. Which is especially true of the very beginning.
Leave the ad running – no wait. BEFORE you run the ad, make sure that the money you are throwing at it will allow you to break even. Don’t spend more than you could potentially earn from a SINGLE purchase on your first ad. Then raise the bar as you evolve.
Each ad you launch will help you make the next one better – and there is simply no way for you to expect a thousand people to see your ad the minute it launches, like it and make a purchase.
4 Not Making the Most of Your Investment
Never forget that the sole purpose of your ad is not to make a sale.
If that is the opinion you have been laboring under, it is time for a wakeup call.
Your ads are a gateway to engaging with your customers, hearing their feedback, getting their emails, having them sign up for future promo deals, letting them vent, etc.
While social media is a great way to boost sales – think of it more as building relationships, than milking the cow.
If you play your cards right, your ads will be there to help you earn some valuable social proof, and tap into the actual thoughts of your target audience. There is no better way to do that than through your own Facebook page.
No matter what you learn about them from other sources, only when they come to you can you actually make an effort to make a sale.
Listen to their pain points and complaints, set up a special newsletter targeting those who sign up for it through Facebook, engage with them and show your human side. Never forget that the ad is just a gateway – the experience they have after it will either get them to keep following, or hit the “unlike” button (not that this is what it’s actually called though).
5 Failing to Optimize Your Ad Copy
Targeting the right audience will not be worth a penny, if you fail to engage them with your creatives.
Never be tempted to post an image that is less than captivating and razor sharp. Never post an ad without rewriting the copy at least twice. Never let an ad run without monitoring the responses.
Like with everything else in social media advertising, you need to test your copy. See what tone and perspective work best for each audience. Don’t expect to be able to get away with a single version of each ad.
Once you segment your audience, start reworking your core copy into different versions, and test them out with a short-lived ad. Then tweak, and try again. Repeat ad lib.
Don’t forget that keywords are still a necessity, but don’t make them the focal point of the ad.
Make sure that your links are in perfect order, and then also make sure the landing page is spruced up. After all, what is the point of directing all that traffic, if there is nothing at the other end to meet it?
6 Losing Sight of Your Insights
If you have come this far, you already know that you need to be testing things and tweaking things constantly. In fact, the number one mistake you could make, to my mind, is not monitoring the results of your ads.
You don’t need to be tracking a zillion metrics to be able to make sense of all the data. A couple will do just fine. I’d go for:
- Budget – how much you are spending on an ad
- CTR – how many people click on your ad
- CPC – how much does this click cost you
- CPR – how much does it cost you to reach your target
- Reach – how many people have seen your ad
- Relevance Score – how relevant are you to those you are targeting
With these metrics in mind, you will know exactly what to change. Are you paying too much for certain ads? Are you targeting the wrong audience? Are your ads boring?
Facebook Insights will help you answer all those questions – if you make it a point to check where you stand on a very regular basis.
7 Ignoring the Hate
Let’s admit one thing – there is a lot of hate on social media.
Chances are you will be the target of it sooner or later. You may get a wave of people complaining that your ad is targeting them when they have no interest in your product. They may leave abusive comments on your page. Failing to address them will not do you any good though.
Every ad you run is exposing you to comments. You need to make sure that you are ready for this.
The first thing you should be doing is setting up an autoresponder that will reply to all messages with a quick “we received your message and will get back to you by so and so”. And then do get back to them.
One of the major issues companies neglect on social media is unresponsiveness. Even if your ad has reached thousands of interested parties, and even if hundreds of them send you a message, if you don’t devote some time to all of them, you can simply pause your ad and stop spending money.
Figure out the best way to handle the influx of correspondence. Be it a social media inbox schedule, a dedicated team member or a freelancer, ensure your inbox is tended to, and your ads will not be falling flat.
Advertising is often an uphill battle. You are being bombarded by heavy stones while you are trying to scale a very fragile wall, and you have lost your sword along the way. However, a single dagger (provided it is the right dagger) can often be all you need to make it to the top of the wall. Learning how to vanquish these seven common sins is the first step in honing that blade to a razor’s edge.