Episode 085: Show Notes
Today we’re chatting with our friend, fellow unicorn and amazing red-headed beauty, Courtney Foster-Donahue. Courtney is an Atlanta-based four-time entrepreneur and business strategist who specializes in video content creation and Facebook marketing and advertising. Courtney helps entrepreneurs to win using Facebook through her program called FB Everything™.
With over 1.96 billion people around the world on Facebook today, why are so many businesses claiming that Facebook is dead, turning away from Facebook Ads, or not seeing any benefits in them? We are covering everything from Facebook page optimization, your business Facebook page, Facebook ads, to all the tiny tips to get you maximizing your reach and growing your business. On today’s show we are busting the Facebook myths that will help you turn your business around!
Is Facebook Dead?
As of June 2017, there are over 1.96 billion people on Facebook. We hate to break it you, but Facebook is alive and kicking, honey! Not just in America, but around the globe. According to Courtney, Facebook is a bare minimum requirement as far as platforms go. It really isn’t a social media platform anymore so much as much as it is another layer of the internet. Nothing has a bigger ROI as far as Facebook ads go, there is no other platform in history that is more highly targeted, that has its level of flexibility, a lower barrier to entry or a greater capacity to scale. There’s just so much value on Facebook that you will not find on other platforms and Courtney’s big word of caution is: get in now, before it’s too late. Because not only is Facebook growing in size, but it is also growing in options, scale, and smoke.
Facebook Ads: Why Do They Work So Well?
If you believe in what you do, in your product, and your services and you want to get them out there to more people, advertising is a great way to do it! According to Courtney, Facebook advertising is probably the best way, because you can’t get the same ROI with old school advertising. TV commercials, billboards, sidebar ads on blogs, publishing websites, radio spots, magazine ads etc. were generally the only options in the past. They cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for the small hope that you’re reaching what you think is your target audience. With this form of advertising, you’re locked into a contract. With Facebook, you can go in today with little to no experience, create an ad and spend five dollars a day. At the end of the day, if you’ve spent $5 and not much has come from it, you can turn it off. Facebook advertising is so flexible, with such a low barrier to entry. That flexibility is the incredibly valuable part of Facebook ads, but it’s also what makes them scary and intimidating to people. But if you think about it, it’s not nearly as scary as other forms of advertising. Facebook Ads is the most highly targeted platform in history, where you can get so incredibly specific with your targeting: specific needs, behaviors, demographics, interests, etc. You can even target followers of a certain Facebook page. There’s just so much flexibility, and so much detailed targeting that you can’t get anywhere else.
Getting Your Page Ready Before Paid Advertising
Courtney invites people to open up their page and really try to look at it as a first-time viewer and determine their very first impression. If I landed here, would I know what this page was about? Would I know how to go about learning more about them off of this platform? Can I get to their website easily? Is this clear to me? Is this visually appealing? These are hard questions to ask. Your Facebook page is a living archive of your business. So take what’s there, as well as what and when you are posting, seriously. Are you posting consistently or are you posting whenever the mood strikes? When people click on your cover photo, for example, is there a link in the caption or is it just blank? That’s a little bit of real estate you can optimize. Those little tweaks may seem inconsequential, but they really can optimize your organic reach. Courtney really urges us to think about this: When someone lands on your page, what impression do they get and how quickly can they get from here to your website (the place where the sales happen). Optimizing these things, which may seem small, can make all the difference before you even get into doing your ads!
Posting Content to Facebook
The biggest thing Courtney sees with people who are struggling to get organic reach, or any actions or traffic from Facebook to their website is 1.) that they post the same things over and over again, and 2.) that they’re often people who don’t serve before they sell. You can have a call to action in every single post, but only if you provide value first. Your content should be fuel and not filler. It should be something that drives people to your website, that builds momentum and excitement around your brand. Something that builds awareness in a positive way by serving way before selling. That is the key to successful posting. Because then, when you do go to drop that link and sell, people are excited to be engaging more with you, rather than unfollowing you! Be careful not to become just another voice in the newsfeed that’s marketing something, because ultimately, Facebook is not marketing media, it is not sales media, it is social media. When we forget that social component, we turn people off. That’s when we get less engagement and, ultimately, that’s how we get less reach. As far as content goes, the more video the better and the more variety the better! But at the end of the day, it’s about building a trusting relationship with your followers and Courtney couldn’t stress this enough.
Getting More Engagement
When it comes to Facebook, the thing that controls what people see and ultimately engage with is the algorithm. As far as getting engagement goes, that has a chicken-egg relationship with reach. If you can get reach, you can get engagement. If you can get engagement, you can get more reach later. It’s sort of symbiotic: which one is the one we need to focus on? It’s got to be both, right? According to Courtney, engagement comes back to approaching Facebook as a social platform rather than a marketing platform. Are you posting something to educate, to market, to sell, or to entertain? You can put out great content that people are engaged with, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to keep engaging back. That’s the stuff that not only gets more engagement, but also keeps your content alive in the newsfeed for longer. You need to keep in mind that it’s not just about you putting something out there and waiting to receive your engagement, but that you also have to play a part in that. Build a friendship with your audience. Because none of the sales stuff can happen until you’ve got that relationship!
The first Facebook no-no to discuss is cross posting from Instagram. It’s so convenient, right? But there is a lot of research, as well as guidelines directly from Facebook, saying that it will more than likely limit your reach, and when you limit your reach, you limit your engagement. So whenever possible (if you are doing it from your phone) hold your finger down, copy that text and re-upload the photo to Facebook. It takes not even five seconds, but it will get you so much more reach.
The next big thing is hashtags. Hashtags are like currency. They’re worth different values in different countries and different social media platforms. When it comes to Facebook, they’re pretty much worthless. They don’t really aid in discoverability. Yes, you can use hashtags on Facebook, but if you are using them because you want to reach more people or aid your discoverability, that’s not really going to happen for you. In general, anything that will take someone off of Facebook is probably not ideal. Now, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t ever link things, because if you are not linking things, you are never getting them out of the platform, of course. But you just have to be really strategic and use links sparingly. Never link up a YouTube video thumbnail because you are trying to share a video. Always upload native because, again, if they click on that YouTube video, they can get off the platform, and Facebook doesn’t like that. So just be strategic and thoughtful about your hashtags and links and make sure that no more than 20% of your content is linked content.
Using Your Personal Facebook Page For Business
When it comes to using your personal Facebook page for business, take Courtney’s simple advice: “Don’t do it”. Technically, it is against Facebook’s terms of service to run and promote a business from a personal profile. Although personal profiles do get better reach than business pages, there is a reason for that: because it’s a social media platform, not a business media platform. Facebook owns Facebook. They own your profile, and they own your page too, but they reserve the right to shut down your profile and it happens. Here is what Courtney does instead, which is a much better option - If she’s got a piece of content on her business page that she is particularly proud of and she thinks should get out there beyond just the people on her page (she might do an ad for one thing), she might share it to her personal profile. There is nothing wrong with doing that! But when someone is only using their profile to indirectly or directly promote their business, it’s just icky! If people want to know about your business, they want to go to your business page. So, simply put, keep them separate.
- Find out why Facebook is in fact not dead, and why it is a bare minimum requirement as far as platforms go. [0:08:06.8]
- Facebook Ads: why they work so well and why it is the most highly targeted platform in history. [0:11:34.3]
- Getting your page ready before paid advertising little tweaks that can really optimize your organic reach. [0:18:33.8]
- Hear Courtney’s top tips for posting content to Facebook and how to keep the social component. [0:21:59.5]
- Getting more engagement and the importance of engaging back to build that trust relationship. [0:24:37.0]
- Facebook No-No’s and how to avoid reducing your overall reach. [0:31:11.2]
- Why you should rather not use your personal Facebook page for business. [0:36:53.2]
Determine what your page says about your brand?
Understand that your page is also an archive.
Create custom audiences sooner rather than later.
Don’t be intimidated by Facebook ads.
Know why you are doing the ad.