Facebook Ads: The Basics

30 Jun

Upcoming posts will focus on how to implement a Facebook Ad campaign for your small business. We’ll take it step-by-step and by the end of this series you’ll know how to implement a campaign technically and strategically. To set the stage, I want to provide some basic Q&A of how Facebook Ads work.

Q: Where are Facebook Ads displayed?

A: Facebook Ads are placed on the right hand side of users Facebook account. Here is what they look like:

Q: How does Facebook know what ads to show a user?

A: When a business creates an ad, it selects targets based on geography, age, sex and education. But what makes the ads truly unique is the ability to select interests users indicate on their profile. These can be as broad as” running” and as specific as “running the Eugene Women’s Half Marathon”. We’ll discuss more about how to target your ads in an upcoming post.

Q: How much does a Facebook Ad cost?

A: You pay for a Facebook Ad every time someone clicks on it. The price is called the CPC (cost-per-click). You can also pay by every 1000 impressions, which is every time the ad is viewed, this is called the CPM. I always recommend the CPC method. You still get numerous impressions, but only pay when there is action. Costs vary per ad, based on the demand for the criteria you have selected. The more people wanting to run an ad for runners in the Portland area, the more the ad costs. However, most Facebook Ads cost around  $1-$2 per click. You can select a maximum amount you’re willing to pay-per-click (your bid) as well as a daily or campaign budget. Facebook will help guide you on what you should bid for your ad.

Those are the essentials you need to know to get started. Tomorrow’s post will discuss how to access the Facebook Ads interface.




Buy Facebok Ads With AMEX Rewards

29 Jun

I love this idea! American Express users can now redeem their Membership Rewards for Facebook Ads. This presents a great opportunity for small business owners to get an ad campaign going at no cost to them. For every $6,750 spent on your AMEX, you get $50 in Facebook Ads. Find out more on the American Express OPEN Facebook page.

While $50 may not seem like much when you consider an ad in a community newspaper runs a few hundred dollars, it can make a significant impact on Facebook. Facebook allows for hyper-targeted ads, not only by basic demographics such as location, age and level of education, but also by interest. This means you can ensure you’re reaching your specific audience.  They are also incredibly easy to set up and track.

Because of this new development, Small Biz Social will be running a series this week detailing how to best use Facebook Ads. Any immediate questions? Ask me below.



Who to Follow?

13 Jun

Last week I wrote about how business owners can benefit from using a personal Twitter account as an information portal. Today’s post focuses on how to find people to follow.

Start by visiting the Who To Follow link and type favorite publications, current events of interest, celebrities or industry leaders into the search function. Here’s a snapshot of some of the returns for my search for New York Times. Simply click “follow” on those you find interesting and you’ll get their updates in your account feed.

Once you’ve started to follow a few accounts, Twitter will make recommendations based who you are currently following and your location. These can be found under “Suggestions.” “Interests” shows top Tweeters in specific categories. The “Find Friends” searches your email and other social media accounts for people you already know who are on Twitter.

At first it might seem odd to follow people you don’t know on Twitter, but that is the nature of Twitter. It is quite a compliment to be followed, especially by someone you don’t know. So don’t be shy and follow away!

I can be found on Twitter as@coachgirl20.



I don’t care what they had for breakfast

10 Jun

There is a common misconception that Twitter is a place for the narcissist to update their  every move; what they ate for breakfast, what TV show they are watching, where they are having dinner. While this type of Tweeter exists, they are the exception, not the rule. Twitter is now the quickest way to disseminate news and comment on topical issues.

Typically I don’t recommend Twitter as the first social media platform a small business engage with. The fast-paced environment requires interaction at a minimum of twice a day to be successful. However, there is great benefit for a small business owner to set up a personal account to follow key players in their industry for inspiration.

I follow social media strategists, PR strategists, brands, celebrities, news outlets and lifestyle publications, friends and colleagues. Their tweets  inspire topics for this blog, keep me updated on news and informed of trends that could be useful for clients. Twitter streamlines my information download so I don’t have to go visit a variety of sources each day.

Here is an example of what my Twitter feed look like (click to zoom in):

While you do not have to actively participate in Twitter in order to get a feed from your followers, you’re likely to get the bug to engage. As always, just remember that Twitter is completely public, so make sure what you Tweet is isn’t embarrassing or potentially damaging. Yes Rep. Weiner, I’m looking at you (sorry I couldn’t resist!).

Our next post will examine how to find people to follow. Stay tuned.



Negative Nellies-Facebook

8 Jun

It’s bound to happen. You set up a Facebook page and are getting great feedback. Then it happens; the negative post. For the most part, the negative post is probably dissatisfaction with a product or service. In some instances the comment may include profanity or unnecessarily disparage an employee or even the customer base. Your first instinct might be to delete the post, but I never recommend this. For the most part negative posts can be used as an opportunity. The purpose of social media is to have a two-way dialogue, so you will end up harming yourself more in the end by deleting the negative post in most instances.

For some businesses there is a real concern about profanity being included in posts. Also some businesses (although I see this more with nonprofits) are subject to some controversy due to the populations/services they provide. In this case, it’s a good idea to set some basic ground rules noting that certain types of posts will be deleted (if “Likes” are warned beforehand post deletion acceptable). Such ground rules could include not using profanity or making derogatory comments against patrons and employees. These can be outlined using the Notes app in Facebook.

Remember, there is a difference between derogatory and negative. Someone saying they experienced horrible customer service is feedback. Someone commenting that an employee is ugly would be derogatory. As a general rule, negative comments that do not pertain to the job would be derogatory.

Brainstorm potentially negative feedback and have a response prepared. Most often you’ll want to encourage the dialogue offline. A response like “We’re sorry to hear about your experience. Please contact us at 123-456-7891 to discuss further,” will be sufficient in most instances.

Sometimes complaints are more specific. Let’s say, “They ran out of the mashed potatoes,” is posted.  A response such as this would be appropriate, “We experienced a very high demand recently on our mashed potatoes and as such have adjusted the quantities we prepare. Please message us your email. We are sorry for the inconvenience and would like to send you a gift certificate. We hope to see you again soon. ” You want to recognize the situation, explain how it was or is being addressed and end on a positive note (with an incentive if possible/appropriate).

Have a question about how to address a comment? Ask me below.




Twitter Follow Button Now Available

1 Jun

For those of you Twitter users, this is a must add for your website or blog. Twitter has launched a button that will allow visitors to follow you on Twitter with one click, no need to be redirected to the Twitter site. The less steps a user has to go through, the more likely they are to follow you. The button code is available here.

Have questions about implementing the button? Ask me below.



Survey Says

31 May

While studying for my PR degree (shout out to the University of Oregon J School), I learned the importance of research in any successful communications/marketing effort. Social media is no exception. With all of the social media tools available, it can be overwhelming deciding where to start. Research can help point you in the right direction and set you up for success.

Here are some ways to start the research:

  • Poll your customers: If you have an email database, include a quick poll asking about social media usage. You can also use a free tool like Survey Monkey.
  • Ask them: If a poll isn’t your speed, then ask at check-out or during an appointment. Something simple like this works well, “We’re considering becoming involved in social media. What sites do you currently use and where would you be most likely to interact with us?”
  • Are they already talking?: Search Facebook and Twitter to see if there is already chatter about your business. Are people checking-in on Foursquare? Use Google’s blog search to find out if you have any blog fans out there.
  • Think Niche: Facebook and Twitter certainly reach the masses, but be sure to research more targeted social tools where you might get a better ROI. For instance, a Facebook page may not be the best fit for a lawyer, but maintaining a profile and soliciting reviews on Avvo (a referral site for doctors and lawyers) probably will be.
Questions about what site might work best for you? Need advice on a finding a niche site? Ask me below.