3 Must Ask Questions Before Running Social Media Ads



Good morning internet fans. Ryan Perry here. Simple biz support. Today is Wednesday, July 13th. Therefore it is, Social Media Wednesday. As usual, I have my very lovely and talented social media expert, Sarah Giometti with Provaro Marketing. Good morning Sarah.

Sarah Giometti: Good morning Ryan. How are you?

RP: I’m doing good. Today, we’re going to talk about something new because it actually involves actually spending money. And that is paid advertising on social media. And as the title states, there are three things that you really should ask yourself before you get over excited, ’cause there’s a lot of great articles about all the success that people are having, especially on Facebook using paid advertising. And a lot of that’s true, but there’s a lot of planning that goes into it before you just throw your money at Facebook.

SG: Right. And there are more things that we can talk about, but since we only have 15 minutes, lets start with the very basic first three questions that… ‘Cause Facebook advertising can be very effective, very lucrative. However, if you don’t properly plan, most likely you’re throwing money down the drain. And that’s not good for a small business because as we all know, we’re all small businesses. Our budgets are… I don’t want to use the word ‘limited’, but our budgets can be a little tight. And so we want to make sure that we use our money appropriately. And so, we want to make sure you’re not wasting your money and throwing it down the drain when you do social media advertising.

RP: Alright. It’s really about how can we maximize and recoup as much information, as many sales, and not just necessarily sales today because not everybody is going to be selling a product per se. But it’s also about how can you build a list? That’s one of the real powerful tools of social media. The whole digital marketing is that list building aspect, because that can pay you dividends years from now.

SG: Whoops! I forgot I was on mute. Yes. Yeah, so that’s where… The very first one we’re going to talk about is the sales funnel, and that goes into what you’re talking about it. It could be just building a list for now, so that you can get in front of people on a more regular basis, potential clients that you’re… Nurture them to a sale down the road. But you’ve gotta have that set up. If you just run an ad, and you don’t really… You just send them to a random page on your website, there’s no way to capture them. There’s no way to see if they eventually turn into a sale. Especially if you’re trying to drive them to your brick and mortar store. So you really need to have a plan in place. That’s our first tip, is make sure you have your sales funnel in place. And that doesn’t mean it needs to be a sale at the end of the funnel that you run them through, but you need to have some sort of a funnel planned to capture who these people are, and communicate to them on a regular basis, and then be able to track if they eventually buy, you can back-track it back to the ad.

RP: Right. I love the fact that you say that a sales funnel doesn’t necessarily have to lead to an ad. It really depends on what the purpose of the ad is first, and with that intent, if we’re going to put people in the top of the funnel, we know not everybody is going to be interested. So they should have places where they’re going to opt out or maybe they’re not going to move forward through the process. By having that funnel in place, you are able to check at each point along the system how many people actually converted, and part of that sales process should be an expectation that, “Okay, if we put 100 people in, I want 10 people to come through the first check point. And so I want a 10% conversion and then after that, I want to get a 50% conversion. So I expect five people.” And then actually analyzing each step of the process. And what’s nice is, when you have that process that Sarah is talking about, is then you can now check and go, “Oh, you know what? We’re only getting a 2% conversion at the first step. We were expecting 10%. Let’s re-evaluate this step and try and fix it.” Once you fix this step, then you can evaluate the next step, so on and so forth, down the funnel.

SG: Right. A little caveat to remember: It’s okay that people don’t go through all the steps, because kind of what you’re trying to do is help people self-select out, if they’re not a good fit for you. ‘Cause then they’re not… Wasting your time is a bad phrase, but they’re not wasting your time, because they’re not the right fit for you, and you don’t have to talk to them. They realize that through your sales funnel, that’s part of the goal of a sales funnel is to have people who are perfectly in your target market, really interested in making it all the way through. And the people who are not a good fit make it on their way out, and you’re not spending time on people who ultimately are not a good fit.

RP: Yeah, and I think that easy just… I don’t want to beat it to death, but I think what’s really important with what you’re saying is that, as a business owner, would you want to talk to five people who are really interested in your product, or do you want to talk to 50 people, but only five are really interested and now you have to weed them out personally? Let the funnel weed it out.

SG: And if you find your funnel is not weeding them out well enough, that’s a metric to go back and look and see where the misstep is if you’re not funneling out the people that are not a good fit.

RP: Right. And I think the sales funnel in this sense is, this is your plan. Before you just go like you were saying… And I’ve run into people and they’re paying for paid advertising and it just goes to their homepage and I’m like. “Aah, you can’t do that.” For a multiple of reasons but definitely the first one is, there’s really no tracking that goes on at that point. So you need to have a plan and that sales funnel is going to be that plan that’s going to hold you accountable to make sure that things are working. And if they’re not working, that you can evaluate it and fix it, therefore maximizing your ROI.

SG: Right. So now that you’ve got your plan, you know what you’re going to do when you run the advertising. The next one is, how are you going to track the results? And so, part of it depends on what platforms you’re using for your sales funnel, for your email marketing, whatever it is. But its also… You’ve have to track it all the way through. So comparing… Finding a way at the end spot to figure out if somebody who buys from you was from that funnel. And if you’re a brick and mortar store, it’s a little trickier, because you’ve got to convert them from the… You brought them in the sales funnel online through social ads, through a sales funnel, and then they’re walking into your store to buy. So you’ve got to make the connection and e-mail address, and possibly name, are the easiest and most common way to do that. And so, build that into your purchasing portion of your sales, so that you can track it back to the advertising and see if it really worked for you.

RP: Yeah, another one would be promo codes. And the one issue I’ve seen with business owners and promo codes is, they’ll use the same promo code on different platforms. And they can go, “Oh yeah, we got 100 sales through this promo code,” and it’s like, “Okay, but you marketed on two or three different platforms. Which ones did they come from?” And they’re like, “I don’t know.”

SG: Make sure your promo code actually exists in your system. We ran across that, that they… In spot-checking, the promo code they gave us was not actually implemented into their system, it was different. So double check your promo code exists, but yeah, definitely have multiple promo codes. Have one for every single different thing that you… Every different thing that you are running. So if it’s a postcard, a flyer, a radio ad… Each different social media platform. Every single one line item ad promotion that you do should have a different promotional code so that you can track it and segment it out.

RP: Right. Even going maybe a little bit deeper, you maybe said this and I just didn’t hear it is that, let’s say you’re on Facebook and you’re running three different ads… Each one of those ads on Facebook should have their own promo codes. It’s almost like an A/B test at that point, if you run two ads as an example… Two different promo codes, which one’s getting a better response than the other? And not only just on the ad side, who’s clicking the ad, but through that sales funnel, which one is converting better?

SG: Right. Most platforms, if you can create a promo code… Especially if you’re doing online e-commerce, you can create as many as you want. Just make sure you keep track of which ones are where, so you don’t accidentally use them on different platforms. That’ll give you more insight, and it goes back to your tracking… Again, you can see what’s working, what’s not working, and adjust what’s not working. Definitely think… It’s all part of your plan. Think through all of this before you start spending money.

RP: Okay, perfect. And part of tracking… You can do it manually, Excel spreadsheets, there are different programs out there. Sarah and I both use Infusionsoft, which automates the process, makes tracking much easier. You can just pull reports. But start somewhere, and if Excel is where you need to start, that’s great.

SG: Yeah. Just do what will work for you so you actually do it.

RP: Alright, perfect. And then the third item.

SG: The third item is, who’s going to run your social media accounts, or ads? Because it’s not a… Put up and they will come, and leave it alone. This is not the Field of Dreams. Especially if you’re doing A/B testing, you need to monitor it and you want to monitor it on a daily basis so that you can see immediately when it stops working or… And cut it off before you waste money on a non-working ad, or ad platform. Whatever it is. And so, you need to be able to have the time and bandwidth to check it on a regular basis as it’s running. And if you’re too busy as a business owner, and you should be, this might not be the hat you need to wear. So you need to identify who’s going to monitor that, and take care of it. And if it is you as the business owner, make sure you put it on your calendar. And you calendar out… Just first thing in the morning, check what the stats look like. Calendar it out an hour, just to be on the safe outside. Look at how it’s performing, and see if it needs adjustments on the fly. And that’s the beauty of online social media advertising, is you can change it on the fly, if you see it’s not working.

RP: Yeah, definitely. And it is a fine art. This is something that you definitely, you need practice with. So, if you’re going to try and do it yourself, we recommend, 1] have a system. 2] don’t have great expectations out of the gate. You’re going to have to work it, fix it, tweak it. Work it, fix it, tweak it. It’s just the reality of marketing in general, it is a never-ending process. Even when you think you have it well, well… When you have it dialed-in, you’re going to end up… Things are going to change. You’re going to have to work it, fix it, tweak it. And then number three, start with a limited budget. A lot of people get really excited, and they’re like “Alright, I’ve got $1,000. I’m going to throw it at Facebook, and I’m going to have a million dollars at the end of the month.” Those are all great expectations, but we have to remove the emotion out of this, and be very pragmatic about the actual process. It’s a very black and white, numbers driven game.

SG: It is, and there are things like relevance score that plays into… Especially on Facebook, that comes into account, the relevance score, how much competition you have for the target audience you’re going after, is your audience correct, you need to make another custom audience. There’s a lot into it, so definitely start with a smaller budget. The minimum I recommend is $25 per month, and you don’t have to run that $25 over the whole 30 days, but start with maybe a week. Do a seven-day campaign with $25 so that you can get a feel for it, you can see how it works for you and see what you need to massage, so you’re not draining money. Do not do… Always… I recommend always doing a lifetime budget on the ad that you’re running on Facebook. Don’t do a daily budget because you might forget about it and then you’re just throwing money down the drain. So do a lifetime budget, put an end date on it. Google… Facebook will figure out, they’ll do the math for you. So just say, “I want $25 for seven days” and they’ll do the math on how much money per day will run. But put a limit on it as you get your feet wet and you start practicing and you start working with it and see how it works before you put a lot of money against it, ’cause then you’re going to just throw the money away as you get used to learning the platform and adjusting so it’s successful.

RP: Yeah, and what’s really important about that is if you put $25 in the top of the funnel, you get zero dollars out the bottom. It doesn’t matter if you put $100 in, you’re still probably going to get somewhere close to zero. That number is really not going to change until you fine-tune it. On the flip side, you put $25 in and you get $100 out, that’s four times your investment. That’s when you need to go, “Okay, well let’s make it $50. Okay, that’s working, let me make it $100.” And you can start ramping things up. We are just about out of time. Can you refresh the three items?

SG: So the first one is have your sales funnel in place, which is your plan. Make sure you have a plan. Number two is tracking. How are you going to track the success of your advertising efforts? And number three is identifying who is going to be in charge in running it, and monitoring it, and overseeing your advertising efforts on social media.

RP: Alright, perfect. So that is the three things you must ask yourself before you jump in. Remember, this can be emotional, trust me. I’ve played with it, it can be emotional. The rewards are out there, but you have to work for it. If you’re not comfortable, you don’t feel you have the time or expertise, talk to an expert like Sarah about advertising. The nice thing about working with experts is they deal with this on a regular basis so not only do they understand the system, but there’s nuances in there that experts can recognize that can save you a lot of time, energy, frustration, and money down the road. Sarah, as always, I appreciate the time and energy that you put into the show and we will be back here next week, same computer, same time, for another episode of Social Media Wednesday.


About the Author:

Ryan Perry is the founder and CEO of Simple Biz Support, Inc. Ryan started video blogging in 2009 as an alternative to written blogs to create visibility and credibility online. During the workweek, he enjoys helping small business owners harness the power of video to grow their companies. On the weekends, he enjoys hiking and searching out waterfalls throughout the state of California.

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