I’m a firm believer in metrics and testing when it comes to digital marketing — or any marketing for that matter. So, developing better insights on Facebook marketing involves doing some experiments to see what works best for each particular client — as I’ve found generic advice doesn’t always perform best.
I thought I’d share my experience with a new client in an effort to help you improve your Facebook marketing.
Facebook business marketing
My new client is The Iota Project. The immediate goals of the project are to:
- Increase Facebook fans — 154K at the time I took over
- Develop a new website with a blog
- Drive traffic to the site using SEO to drive organic search traffic, Facebook promoted posts, and social sharing.
- Convert traffic
- new members
- affiliate sales (currently Amazon)
- clicks to adsense ad
- Deepen engagement — comments and shares on the website, likes, shares, comments on Facebook and begin building platforms on Google+ and Twitter.
- Gain authority
How we used Facebook marketing to reach our goals
Facebook marketing employed a 2-prong strategy — content curation and content creation (the hallmarks of good business marketing and SEO since Hummingbird). We also used both promoted posts (extensively) and Facebook advertising (selectively) to reach goals.
Analytics to optimize Facebook marketing
Facebook offers good insights regarding your spending in terms of # of new fans, # of link clicks, # post likes, etc. But these don’t track how well your advertising performed in reaching goals from your website. And, since most businesses need to drive traffic to their WEBSITE and convert that traffic, Facebook insights are of little value.
But, Facebook insights are great for determining which posts do best of FACEBOOK — what time and day works best for sharing content, which post formats work well, and which audiences reflect better FACEBOOK conversion. As I mentioned, linking this data with your website conversion isn’t possible using Facebook Insights.
Hence, we needed another tool to optimize our Facebook marketing and we didn’t have a large budget for SAAS analytics product to help us. I really like Beckon, Brandwatch, and IBM Social Media Analytics for social media analytics, but these are all enterprise-class social media analytics solutions that far exceeded our budget. They’re on our wish list when funds become available.
None of the low-price solutions offered the type of analytics we needed — analytics that connected our Facebook ad spend through to our website goals. I love SproutSocial, but it doesn’t offer the type of insights necessary to optimize our Facebook marketing. Of course, we use Google Analaytics free tool. Creating a funnel and filtering by traffic source is a useful alternative even though I have some concerns over the accuracy of the data — I recently completed a PPC campaign for a client and was charged for more clicks than I had recorded visits to the website and Google wasn’t able to offer a clear explanation of how this happened.
I created a report using the API from Google Analytics combined with reports from Amazon and Adsense to track conversions on ALL our goals and can now use this information to optimize Facebook marketing on our site.
Optimize Facebook Marketing
As I’ve said before, tracking vanity metrics like Facebook Fans isn’t very useful. But, folks like to do it and certainly I had a difficult time convincing my client to ignore this metric. We did add a couple 1000 Fans to the page without really trying. Our first insight is:
If you optimize Facebook marketing, you’ll also increase your Fans
Another hard sell with my client was to ignore the results on Facebook if they didn’t generate results for WEBSITE metrics reflecting conversion — visits, clicks, comments, social shares. Until I took over his digital marketing, he’d posted long-form content on Facebook and loved interacting with the community who responded to his thoughts on a variety of topics.
We convinced him to forgo the long-form posts in favor of short, engaging snippets containing a link to an SEO optimized post focusing on a particular keyword related to his site. While this reduced engagement on Facebook, it resulted in driving substantial traffic to his website where he could convert them. Within a week we were driving over 1000 visits a day to the website. We also reduced his ad spend on Facebook by about 50%. Thus, our second insight is:
You optimize Facebook marketing by driving your target audience to your website
The client LOVED his existing target audience on Facebook because they commented frequently and liked freely — the current metrics used to judge his Facebook marketing.
Our philosophy is to question everything — another hard sell.
So, we began exploring other target audiences — ones likely to convert in higher numbers. Our efforts paid off, finding an entirely new market for his posts on Facebook. We’re now exploring other demographic in search of the optimal target audiences and the best way to reach each one. Our third insight is:
Test everything as you optimize Facebook marketing
Extending this, we tested the format of our posts. Current thinking involves using LARGE images in the link you share. We tested this by creating the SAME post at the same time — 1 with a large image and 1 with the link containing a smaller version of the same image. While the large image did best in terms of views and likes, it didn’t drive traffic to the website. Sure, we got a lot of image clicks, but very few link clicks. It appears image posts are better for achieving awareness and link posts are better for driving traffic to your site. Insight #4 is:
Optimize Facebook marketing to fit your goals
I’ve heard organic reach on Facebook is dead and you need to spend a little money if you want to optimize Facebook marketing. Well, that’s mostly true. Just before I actually posted on Facebook for my client, we paused his advertising so I could get my analytics set up and start with a “clean” slate. During that time, organic reach for posts was really dismal. Once we began advertising again, both organic and paid reach soared. Hence:
To optimize Facebook marketing, you need to spend a little money!
Whether you need a complete analytics strategy, some help with brand marketing, or some consulting to optimize your existing social media marketing, we can fill your digital marketing funnel. We can help you do your own social media marketing better or do it for you with our community managers, strategists, and account executives. You can request a FREE introductory meeting or sign up for my email newsletter to learn more about social media marketing.