Facebook is so big and has been so well developed it would be foolish not to market there at least a little. At the same time, we’d rather not spend all of our marketing time there, now would we? And that is easy to do – particularly if you’re not all that sure what you’re doing that. For that reason, we need to make sure that we use the techniques and strategies that give us the best bang for our buck.
Fortunately, we’re getting better at knowing what those strategies are. What’s more, Facebook is constantly bringing new features online to help us become more efficient in our marketing. After all, they’re after our marketing money, not our marketing time.
Therefore, let’s explore some of the ways to market more effectively and spend less time.
A/B Testing on Facebook
The first step to being more effective is figuring out what marketing strategies book you the best success. That’s easier to do than you think. After all, when you create a Facebook add, you can change nearly anything from the base text. That allows you to test different ideas against each other, to see what is the most effective.
But first, you’ll need to learn about something called UTM parameters. These are little bits of extra code that you can add to your links so that you can more easily follow what traffic came from where (and what they do when they arrive on your site).
It’s really quite straightforward. Basically, they’re little bits of code that are added onto URLs so that programs like Google Analytics know where traffic came from. That’s it. They still direct to the same page and in all other ways function the same way as the original URL.
The way you use them to do your A/B testing on Facebook is by creating two different campaigns with to different UTM codes. In this way, you can vary a dimension between them (say, use a different picture, or see if emojis work, or trying a different headline) and not just see how much engagement you get, but how much of that engagement converts. After all, that’s the bottom line.
Only very one dimension and have enough people
Note that when you’re doing an A/B test it is vital that you only very one dimension between the two tests. Otherwise, you won’t know which of the variations helped your efforts and which didn’t. Sure, you might be able to create a well-educated guess, but let’s be clear about it – it is still just a guess.
What’s more, we generally we’re not actually good at figuring these things out – as we make the decision more like lawyers arguing for our preferred side than as judges weighing up the evidence. So eliminate guestimations and only vary one attribute per test.
Also, make sure that you get a large enough sample. If your sample is too small then there isn’t enough space for fluctuations between groups to even out. Besides, it’s easy to get exposure to a few thousand (or even tens of thousands) people online. So use that to your advantage!
Facebook can figure out who your audience is
A lot of time is wasted with people trying to figure out who they should advertise to. Should it be people between the age of 20 and 35 or is the 45 to 60 bracket more your thing? Where should they be located? What interests do they share?
You could write an entire dissertation about the who, what, and why of it and still not have a satisfactory answer. Heck even if you asked Supreme Dissertations, Rewarded Essays, Grab My Essay or Hot Essay Service to do it, you still would probably be disappointed. Fortunately, you don’t need to anymore.
Facebook can do it for you. Just go to your audience tab in your ad manager and instead of going through all the trouble of setting a custom audience, set a look-alike one. Here you can choose the source of your audience. Do you want to use your newsletter, your Facebook likes or – in case you have Pixel installed – your own page?
From there, Facebook will then select people who are the most similar to that group of people (you decide how many) and will hit them with your ad. No fuss, no hassle and a much higher likelihood that you’ll actually get the engagement that you’re looking for. After all, these types of people have already shown an interest before so they’re far more likely to do so again.
Use more people – but set their level correctly
Work shared is work halved or something like that. So make sure that you give other people the ability to post, share, comment, and do all the other bits that are associated with your marketing efforts.
But when you do all that there is one important thing that you have to remember – people don’t like to lose things. Losing something hurts more than getting the same thing is pleasurable. There’s a whole theory in psychology about that called prospect theory.
Why is this relevant? Because it means you shouldn’t first give somebody full admin powers and then take them away again. This will cause often resentment. Instead, give them only limited powers and enhance their status when you find they’ve behaved responsibly and in a trustworthy manner and you need somebody else to be able to do more things.
This will nicely sidestep the psychological minefield that is trying to take something away from somebody again.
Save content for later
Whether you do it in Facebook using the ‘save link’ feature, or you have some outside place – like Evernote or just a simple spreadsheet – make sure that when you find something worthwhile you put it into a special folder.
This will save you oceans of time in the future. Heck, I’ll sometimes put things in these folders to forget about it until I’m again looking for something to post up on my Facebook feeds. In this way, these kinds of places don’t just serve as a good holding space they also serve as an external memory to enhance the failing grey matter between our own ears.
Use organic interest to signify what to push
It’s not a sure-fire way to know what does or doesn’t work, but organic interest can still be a useful way to know what will actually create engagement. For that reason, first, let something that you’re thinking about pushing through paid marketing run for a few days as a normal post. Then you can easily see if it actually has any legs or isn’t generating that much interest and adjust your strategy accordingly.
As an extra bonus, as those people who are already following you are more likely to share and comment than random strangers, your content will already have some weight in that way – making it more likely people will actually engage with it.
Facebook marketing is about learning a routine that is efficient, and then re-examining it regularly so that it doesn’t become a rut. A lot of people only manage the one or the other and as a result either use strategies that aren’t so effective anymore or spend way too much time second-guessing the strategies they already have.
It’s hard to find a happy balance. And I can’t really give you any advice as to how to find it. I suspect just being aware that it’s there and to be aiming for it will already be beneficial. And the experience of course. Because like everything, marketing is a skill you need to learn and that takes time and effort.
So keep learning.