Posts Tagged ‘business’

Have you tried Facebook Ads?

Were you happy with the results from your campaign?  Or are you convinced that Facebook Ads don’t work?

If it’s the latter, you’re not alone –  many small businesses have tried Facebook Ads and been unimpressed with the results. But the fact is, they don’t know how to do things the smart way!

You’ll have seen that tempting, in-your-face “Boost Post” button sitting there waiting to trip up unwary Facebook page managers.  To be fair, it does have its uses, but it should never be your sole route into a Facebook Ads campaign.


Boosting Posts Isn’t Always The Best Strategy

In fact, the “boost post” option is a lot better than it used to be when you could only target people who liked your page and their friends.  However, you aren’t able to use one of Facebook’s most powerful targeting tools – Custom Audiences. Your budget options are also limited.

Let’s look at a better way to do this.

The Facebook Ads Manager

Even if you use “Boost Post”, the resulting advert sits within your Facebook Ads Manager dashboard and this is where you can view your progress and results

FB ads manager


The image doesn’t show the full range of metrics but you get an impressive set of analytics to show just how your advert is performing as well as keeping track of your spending.  It’s all valuable information.

Creating an Ad

Contrary to popular belief, Facebook does care about businesses, and is particularly keen to support small business.  The Facebook advertising platform is continually evolving and it’s now far more straightforward to use than previously.  They really are trying to make it easy for us!  When you click that green “Create Ad” button, this is the screen you are presented with.

FB ad results

That looks a bit more flexible than “Boost Post”, doesn’t it?  Let’s assume you want to promote something on your website.  Here’s a tip: DO NOT simply enter your domain URL. Always enter the URL of a specific page on your site – make it as easy as possible for people to reach the desired destination in a single click.   For example, here I’ve used the landing page for one of my free downloads.

FB ads clicks to website


Your Ad Creative

By “creative” I mean the actual design of your ad (text and image).

On the next screen you’re able to add images (the default is the image on the page you’re linking to, but you can change it if you wish) – and you can enter text for your ad too.  There’s also the VERY cool option to add a “Call to Action” button to your ad.  If you know anything about marketing, you’ll be aware of the importance of calls to action (CTAs) and the fact that you can include clickable CTAs in your Facebook Ads is amazing! Below is an example – I’ve added a “download” CTA.


FB ads CTA


As you can see, on the right of the screen you get a preview of how your ad will look, and this updates in real time as you edit the text, image etc.  Note that you can also select the placement of your ad – the default is desktop news feed, desktop right column and mobile news feed.  Each option has a “remove” button.

Your Target Audience

The next section is for Audience Selection and this is where you’ll begin to see the advantages of using the Ads Manager rather than “Boost Post”.   There are more selection criteria here, including the “Custom Audience” option.  Custom Audiences are one of the hidden gems within Facebook Ads – an absolute goldmine for marketers.  It’s possible to create Custom Audiences from your email subscriber list, your Facebook Page fans, your website visitors and if you’re an app developer,  users of your app.

Why is this powerful?  Because these people are already “warm leads” – they’ve signed up to receive information, visited your website already, downloaded your app or liked your Facebook Page.  With Custom Audiences, you can show your ads to these prospects with a far higher chance of conversion than if they hadn’t already expressed interest in your products / services.

FB ads audience selection


Your other targeting options are Interests, Behaviours and Connections (i.e. other pages liked by your target group, and their friends if you so wish). I’ve done a quick example above. As you can see, you get a real-time “dial” showing the size of your selected audience.  Tip: aim to make it around 200,000 or less for best results. Think carefully about your targeting!

Campaign, Bidding and Pricing

One of the recent changes to the Facebook Ads platform was a revision of the campaign structure.  A new level “Ad Sets” was added, and even more recently amended again, so that the whole thing looks like this:

C:\Users\master\Desktop\new FB ad structure Sept 2014.png


This may look complicated at first glance, but it’s actually an improvement over the previous format.  You can now organise your campaign setup for specific objectives, ad sets corresponding to different audiences, and individual ads within each ad set (useful for split testing).

This is how it looks within the Ad Manager. You’ll probably want to change the name of your ad set to make it memorable.  Set a budget that you’re comfortable with – it can be as little as £1 per day – and whether you want the campaign to run continuously or for a specific time period.  In the “Bidding” section you have the choice of optimising for clicks (CPC) or impressions (CPM, cost per thousand impressions).  If you’re new to Facebook Ads, I’d recommend sticking with the default setting to begin with. (see below)

FB ads campaign and bidding

Give Facebook Ads A Try!

If you were one of those small business owners saying “Facebook Ads Don’t Work”,  I hope you’re beginning to see that Facebook Ads can be a powerful , cost-effective marketing tool for your small business. As with anything new, you’ll  have a learning curve to become familiar with the platform and the different targeting options.  The best thing is that you’re free to try out as many ads as you want –  once your budget is set,  Facebook will never spend more, and you’re always kept informed of progress via email.

In this post I haven’t even mentioned the very best way to set up and manage your ads – Power Editor.  This is an add-on to the Facebook Ad Manager that’s only available in the Chrome browser. It offers more options, including “Lookalike Audiences” whereby you can create a new audience of similar people based on an existing Custom Audience (think about that for a minute!) – and “Unpublished Posts”, which are Facebook Page posts that never appear on your page but instead are shown as adverts in the Newsfeed.  Watch out for a future blog post about Power Editor.

Have you been successful with Facebook Ads?  I’d love to hear what has worked for you – go ahead and share in the comments.  Please share this post to your networks too!

This blog was brought to you by Naomi Jane Johnson

Naomi is a freelance social media consultant and trainer living in north Notts. She also dabbles in web design and SEO. Her longterm hobby is breeding, showing and judging pedigree cats. A Fairtrade supporter, Naomi promotes the use of eco friendly/organic products wherever possible. Follow Naomi on Google+ and other social networks, and download her FREE Facebook Marketing Cheat Sheet

 Original Source

The words on your website are reaching readers in a certain way, whether you like it or not. The tone of voice for your website copy will go a long way to deciding whether you’re connecting with customers.

A while ago, former Apple marketing vice president Allison Johnson revealed that Apple never used to refer to marketing strategies or advertising campaigns. They used them like every other business, but it was more of a question of internal attitude: Apple didn’t want to feel like they were selling anything (consciously or subconsciously).

Johnson worked for Apple between 2005 and 2011, during which time they released several products (including the iPad and iPhone). She says that just before the release of a new product, Apple would turn into a ‘launch machine’.

What does that mean?

Effectively it meant that Apple would just focus on teaching and informing people about their new product, rather than selling.

This technique has quickly become part of Apple’s culture and it is highly effective: when Apple has a product that’s ready for consumers, the whole world writes, tweets and blogs about it. That’s not a coincidence.

Apple’s tone of voice and ethos is to focus on the facts: what have they launched, why do you need it and what problems it will solve? And they keep their words as simple as possible. They’d focus on these principles so hard that you’d forget you were being sold to. That’s magic, stealth-like marketing.

I don’t think a lot of companies think about their tone of voice and their attitude to communication. Certainly, not many businesses operate like Apple and I wonder why.

So what’s your tone of voice? Who are your best customers? Who’s most likely to visit your website and how do they want to be talked to?

Look at the words your business uses and make them work as hard as possible. You could do far worse than focusing on your customers’ relationship with your products, rather than the products themselves or their relationship with you.

Matt Press, Splash CopywritersThis blog was brought to you by Matt Press of Splash Copywriters 

It always interests me that when sports people and teams do badly or well, the coach is seen as integral yet in business, which is even more complex than sport, people often don’t even think that they need a coach. Few people in sport would expect to achieve success without a coach, so what is the difference in business?

For example, this weekend Mo Farrah broke Steve Ovett’s 36 year old British record for the 2 mile distance. His coach, Alberto Salazar, has been seen as having a key role in transforming Mo into a world beater since he started working with him early in 2011. Within six months, the Londoner was celebrating a 5,000 metres world title and a 10,000m silver medal in Daegu, South Korea, before going on to win the 5,000m and 10,000m double in London a year later and then to repeat the feat in Moscow in August 2013. The International Association of Athletics Federations presented Salazar with its Coaching Achievement Award at its annual gala in Monte Carlo 2013 and the British Olympics team is now using him to oversee coaching of all the UK runners.

Renowned for his attention to detail and his use of cutting-edge science, Salazar has worked with Mo on changing his familiar bouncy running style into something more economical and energy-conserving. Farah trusts his judgement so even though he is about to celebrate his daughter’s birthday he’s checking with Alberto “if I can go on the bouncy castle, maybe if I take off my shoes.”

The message from sport is that a coach will help you to success in the beginning and then help you keep there by honing your skills and adjusting, focusing on the details as the challenges change. They seem like really good reasons why businesses should have a coach as well.

inspire2aspireThis blog was bought to you by Inspire2Aspire. Sarah and Bob Brown are a husband and wife team who help you focus on actions and create better decisions, innovative strategies and plans, leading to improved results.

Original Source

We were asked to do a presentation on Social Media for business, which we gladly jumped at the chance to do. The Leeds Driving Instructor Association meets once a month and discusses various issues that concern them all, so it was very interesting to hear how they used social media to communicate with their pupils past and present.

Back when I was learning, I found my driving instructor via the yellow pages but I am not sure that the kids of today know what the yellow pages are anymore and they are turning more and more to social media to find local services such as driving instructors. They are also much more likely to use a driving instructor that has been “recommended” or “liked” on Facebook/Twitter by one of their friends.

If you would like to learn the power of Social Media for your business, then please get in touch for a 1-1. If you would like Fionnuala to speak in front a group, then simply send us an email. We have a fee for small groups and 1-1s but will speak for free to a group of 5 or more.

I wish this recession was over, I really do. For one thing, I am bored hearing about it!

As business owners, we need to be very savy and try everything to get business through the door. I hear many business owners complaining of a lack of footfall due to the recession, but they are not looking into new ways of marketing their business or increasing their sales.
Tip No. 1

Get on social media!
(Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked-in etc)

This one is a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how many SMEs have not yet realised its potential. If you have the time to manage it yourself, it is free. You can tap into an online market that is also free, get your brand awareness increased through “likes” and “shares”.

  1. Post regularly, on average once a day mid afternoon is best, but this sometimes will depend on your target audience. Don’t have time? You can schedule posts in advance.
  2. Post relevant information. The odd funny photo or update will not harm things, but if I have “liked” your business page, I want to hear about your company, your products or your ideas, so tell me about that, don’t bore me with irrelevant information. Visual content such as photos of your products, your staff (with their permission) and your events will always do well.
  3. Remember to remind your followers about your website (if you have one). The easiest way to do this is to add a blog to your website and then post a link to your blog on your social media. Or if you add new products, don’t forget to tell your followers about them. Post a link to your products on your post.
  4. Engage with your followers and encourage them to engage with you. You can do this by asking their opinion on subjects or asking a question for them to answer in your post.


  1. Post too often. You will lose “likes” and potential customers if you fill their time line with your updates. At best they might hide your posts but at worst they might “unlike” or stop following you.
  2. Forget to give them vital information. If you have a website, give them a link in the “about” section. Tell your story about your business or information about your products.
  3. Spam your followers. Even I was guilty of this one last year, but I have since given myself a telling off! Your followers like you and want to engage with you and feel they are talking to the human behind the company name. Don’t annoy them with template emails and messages. You are likely to lose them.
  4. Mix business with personal life unless it is relevant. I “like” your company, but that doesn’t mean I am interested in your kids or your pet dog.

If you want to get on social media but have no idea how or don’t think you have the time, don’t despair! We can help! Contact us for a chat or book one of our social media training sessions!

Next business tip:

Website collecting dust? (Coming soon)