There is no argument: Facebook is the undisputed king of social media. Currently it has over 1.65 billion active users, and by active we mean ‘use it multiple times every day and would prefer colonic irrigation to being cut off for an hour’, type of usage. This alone is an impressive number, but what is more astounding in marketing terms, is the steady 15% year on year growth, with active users growing at 21%, it seems to have sustained. Whatever your feelings are about the platform, if you’re serious about your business, the power of Facebook Ads is too big to ignore.
Sadly, knowing that Facebook Ads are a ‘tour de force’ in the marketing arena is not the same as knowing how to leverage it. It’s easy to think of the platform as a place where people hang out, talk about bagels and post their latest duck faced pictures, but that’s only what people do on Facebook which isn’t so important. What is important is that Facebook is where the people are, and if you want to sell your service or product, then need to be where the people are.
Smart marketing is all about segmentation. To really reach into your audience and influence them, you need to speak their language. One of the best ways is to break them down into similar groups of people. For instance, if you sell fabric you would want to break them down into groups interested in dress fabric, upholstery fabric, industrial fabric, curtains and so on. Once you have identified a group you then tailor your content to them.
When you have successfully segmented your target audience, you can speak their language like a native and that will garner engagement and ultimately – sales.
Facebook insights is one tool that helps you easily achieve smart sales in two distinct ways:
It helps you identify which segments are consuming which content
It then helps you tailor your exposure to put the right content in front of the right people
With a little practice in interpreting the insights page, you can use Facebook Ads to add a significant amount of success to your current marketing. Let’s explore Facebook insights to see how it can better serve you as a marketing tool.
First off, if you don’t have a Facebook business page, then it’s time to get one. All the useful tracking tools are connected to the business pages, which are as easy to use a personal pages, so make sure that you have opened the right type of account. If you haven’t got a Facebook page at all for your account because it’s just ‘hassle’, then look at it this way – yes, it’s ‘hassle’, but how many other ‘hassles’ bring in product awareness, active promotion, loyal fans, credibility and sales? The ‘pro’s’ far outweigh the ‘cons’ with Facebook, so give it a try! You have nothing to lose … except your empty sales ledger!
Before you start to leverage your Facebook business account, you need to decide on what you are trying to achieve. Facebook Ads have many marketing uses, do you want to:
- Create brand awareness
- Increase potential audience
- Use it as a customer service channel
- Sell directly
You can use Facebook Ads to do all of these things, but by picking one goal and working it until you truly ‘own’ it you will achieve more success. When you have established yourself on one goal, then introduce another, and so on. That will increase your chances of success and stop your page looking chaotic.
The next step is to pick your audience. The more you can personalize a message, the more success it will have. Narrow down age, gender, location and interests, then tailor the posts to them. Generic posts serve no one and will soon get your company lost in the morass of information coming up on their feeds, so be bold, use quality imagery and segment!
Deciding on who to target is where Facebook Insights offers a huge amount of help.
Facebook Insights is a tab on the top bar which is really easy to miss. It gives you many of the analytics you need to know about your fans, likes and customers to make the most of your Facebook Ads.
The overview page gives you a snapshot of what is happening in general on your page. It’s all the ‘at a glance’ information that you sometimes need. It shows you how many likes you got in the last 7 days, reach, popular posts and you can select other Facebook pages to compare your stats with theirs, but it’s the menu on the far left that you need to be familiar with before you can get the most from the overview page.
The ‘likes’ page is exactly what it says it is – analytic about the ‘liking’ habits of your audience. The top graph shows you how many likes and unlikes you have achieved that week, where they came from – paid vs organic – and how that averages out into ‘net likes’. From this you can see how well your page or campaign is doing if likes are your goal, but also how well your content is consumed by the whole audience. If they don’t like what you did – your net likes will be in the negative.
The bottom graph shows you what device those like came from. This may not seem like very important information, but it’s very valuable if you own a website. If your social media is feeding visits to your website (which it should be) you need to know how many are on mobile, where they are entering and how quickly they enter to optimize your website design. By using your web and Facebook analytics, you can make a better user experience for your customers and convert more into sales.
On the reach page the top and bottom graphs show you how many people you are seeing your Facebook page and Facebook Ads. This number should be bigger than your total amount of followers, as it shows you the power of who you can get in front of by people sharing your posts. It also allows you to see how effect any paid campaigns are by comparing paid and organic searches.
The other three graphs show you how many people you reached with the ‘reactions’ icon, which reactions they were and how many total people unlike, hid the posts or reported you as spam. Although knowing how many people were reached by ‘reactions’ icons, it really holds no marketing value, but the ‘unliking’ graph does. It shows you when the negative impact actions happened, and can give you an insight into what your audience does not like.
The ‘Page views’ can give you a lot of information from the bottom, ‘Total people who viewed’ graph. By using the sections along the top it will break down who viewed your material by age and gender, country, city or device. This helps you know who is consuming your content and better helps you target them. This is the most important tab as it shows you the persona of the people who like your page. You can almost visualize them from here!
Knowing if your calls to action are working is something that helps you add effective Facebook Ads strategies and shepherd your audience to where you need to go. The ‘Actions on page’ tab shows you if your calls to action are working. It will isolate who went to your website, looked for directions or a phone number and other things, on what day and who was looking. If getting people through your door is your goal or inspiring them to call, then you need to know which calls to action worked. You can track them through analyzing these graphs.
The ‘post’ tab is one tab that no business owner can afford to ignore. If you just want to track one (though that’s the idiots guide to marketing when you have such a rich, easy to read smorgasbord of information like the ‘insights’ tab), track this one. It will show you all your posts individually, and how well they were consumed. There is no question that you will have to put some money is paid ads to make Facebook work for you, and this is the tab that shows you what your audience likes. It even allows you to boost the post from there, so ten minutes checking what reaches out to your audience (and If you have tailored your post to a particular segment, it will indicated which segment you are reaching most) will make sure you put your money into the best return on investment.
The ‘events’ page tracks any events you have set up, but if you have read all the way down to here that’s a little more complicated than all the rest, so we’ll save that for a later date – it’s still important, but let’s get the rest working first!
The ‘videos’ sections is another set of analytics that help you analyses who consumes video content, whether you have created the videos yourself, or posted relevant videos on your timeline. Videos are so hot right now it’s not even funny. They are the way information consumption is heading, so knowing if they work for you is vital. All the information you need is in these graphs. It shows you your top viewed videos, how long they were viewed for and allows you boost those that are effective.
We’re not really sure why they have a ‘messages’ tab. It shows you how many conversations you have had through messages, but as you wrote them, you should be very familiar with that already!