Setting Up Your Business for Massive Growth Through Facebook
One of my favorite tactics when speaking at conferences is to ask all “social media strategists” to raise their hand. And of those with their hands up, ask if anyone can define what exactly that is.
I’ve never gotten a clear answer…
Because there’s no such thing as a “social media strategist”.
There are business strategists and then there are channel-level tacticians.
- If something changes a lot, then it’s a tactic– not a strategy.
- If it’s at the channel level, it’s a tactic– not a strategy.
Social media changes A LOT.
If I wanted my house painted, I wouldn’t ask for a house painting strategist.
Snake oil has been peddled for centuries, so why wouldn’t social media marketing be the same?
Here’s a simple way to determine whether they’re telling you nonsense or giving you the goods:
Do they have a detailed process they openly share on what they do under which circumstances?
If you go to the emergency room (despair the thought), the highly trained medical staff has a process. And when it’s your turn, they take your vitals, analyze the data, and provide a treatment plan.
They don’t give you exactly the same diagnosis and treatment as everyone else in the room.
How many “social media strategists” operate according to well-defined procedures versus the Magic 8 Ball?
Were it only so easy to get rich quick and lose weight fast.
But actually, there is a process– just like there is a process to mend a broken bone, repair your car’s automatic transmission, or craft a 5 star meal.
And to use the cooking analogy, if you have right ingredients and follow the recipe exactly for the meal you’d like to prepare, there is no way that you cannot succeed.
Here it is:
Note: SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, remarketing, PR, and word of mouth are all different words that mean the same thing.
You still want your content shared by high authority sites, publications, and people. The “hack” is that you get crazy good efficiency when you get results with minimum dosage, which is where these 6 phases of growth hacking Facebook come into play.
If you would prefer, you can watch this video explaining how these 6 phases work, where I log in to various accounts to show you how to step through them quickly:
1. Digital Plumbing
The first phase is “digital plumbing”– meaning your tracking of audience and conversions, mainly via Google Tag Manager. Yes, Google Tag Manager, even though this is supposed to be about social media.
Social media, properly understood, is actually remarketing— following people around based on what they just did.
So web remarketing, smart email marketing, and even direct mail is remarketing.
You need this phase in place to build your audiences and track results. With reliable analytics, you can determine where an additional ounce of effort or dollar in ad spend can work the hardest.
Then there’s the next 3 phases condensed into one acronym: GCT (goals, content, targeting).
This is what you must bring to the table as the client. GCT is your business strategy (remember what we said earlier about strategy not being a channel-level thing).
If you’re missing any one of these three items (goals, content, or targeting), no amount of Facebook witchcraft will overcome your deficiency. Here’s how they apply, broken down:
The Goals phase contains your story, mission, and goals will determine the key performance metrics that will measure your social investment.
Your story and mission is your WHY– your drive that attracts people to you and aligns them to your brands message.
When determining campaign goals, ask yourself: what are you trying to achieve? Are you:
- Wanting more fans on your Facebook page?
- Driving users to a checkout?
- Collecting emails for a list?
- Raising awareness for an event?
Every campaign has a different goal, so there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy that you can apply to everything– each one has it’s own requirements and end conditions, so make sure you have your frameworks in place to support your goal.
Content is any sort of media (videos, pictures, text, etc) that delivers and supports your message, and is aligned with your Goals. Depending on where your audience is at in the funnel, you’ll identify key pieces of content that will nudge them along the funnel, until they convert.
Content can exist on your blog, on standalone pages on your site, on your pricing page, or entirely within a Facebook post. It’s up to you to come up with the proper strategy on how you structure and distribute your content…
But one thing is for sure, Social Media marketing is content marketing. A Facebook post is simply a (usually) small piece of consumable content placed closer to where your audience likes to hang out: on Facebook.
Thus your goal of any content on Facebook (be it an ad, a traditional post, a video, or even a Facebook note) is really to grab the attention of your prospective customers, and customers, and gently drag them back to your site, where you can capture additional information from them, give them additional information about you, your products and/or services, and, of course, eventually sell them something.
Without a clear content marketing strategy, you really can not expect significant results. And making content that appeals to the prospective customer and converts them into buyers rarely happens by accident, it takes a plan.
Design content for various stages of your customer’s journey, and serve Facebook ads targeting users based on where they are at in their journey. Which brings us nicely to the next phase…
Within the Targeting phase, you’ll define the audience you’re wanting to reach. This will be the top few Target Groups that will help you reach your ideal target audience.
Always start narrow with your targeting and expand to encompass larger and larger groups as you scale your campaign. The more specific you start, the better chance your efforts pay off. But don’t get discouraged if many of your ad groups fail early on, it’s been said that 8 out of 10 Facebook ads fail. Your job is to recognize the 2 that succeed and double down on them.
To determine the quality of various target groups, measure their performance against your goals. In order to do that, you have your plumbing in place with pixels tracking conversions.
Without conversion tracking, you can never really properly scale a campaign, because there will be this glaring gap in your data where you “think” you are +ROI, but you can never really be certain. So make sure and connect the dots between your ads and your conversions.
And when targeting past website visitors, there are many different types of retargeting ads that you can consider running on a dollar a day in ad spend or less.
Start with something simple, like just getting them back to your website, or sending them to your best performing blog post, and test that out vs. sending them directly to your sales or pricing page and see which one yields the result you’re looking for.
Amplification is paying to boost your content. You see these as sponsored posts or ads on social networks, and are powerful enough to target down to a single person, or even specific behaviors of your intended audiences.
Once we have established the triage of Goals, Content, and Targeting, you’ll create 3 kinds of ads and amplify the most important pieces of content that will attract the most relevant people and drive engagement.
You’ll want to intensify promotional efforts to the engaged crowd for conversions and place brand content in the news feeds of influencers to incept the media.
Compare the performance of all of your posts to determine which ones are getting the most likes, shares, and comments (LSC) from your audience and use that content, that messaging, or that strategy in your paid ads.
Once you figure out what is working and what isn’t, it’s time to fine-tune your strategy.
My favorite method of optimization is another acronym within the 9 triangles called MAA (Metrics, Analysis, Action).
Get your performance data, analyze the data, and then form a strategy based on your goals– all within a rapid iteration cycle of small, measurable changes every time.
The key here is that you have to constantly and repeatedly iterate. Stay in the game.
Use analytics to determine where to put your additional effort or dollar in ad spend.
Expand on working audiences, tweak bidding and creatives where necessary, re-allocate budgets and always measure your performance in terms of your Content and Targeting against your Goals to define success.
It’s as simple as keeping what performs, and dumping what doesn’t.
You must systematically go through these 6 phases of setting up and running a Facebook campaign in order to prepare the channel for massive growth.
Go out of order and you’ll have problems– just like a cake missing an ingredient or baked for a random amount of time at a random temperature… Hey, I wouldn’t eat that person’s cooking, either.
“Growth hacking” on Facebook is based on the same principles as old-fashioned PR, content marketing, word-of-mouth marketing, SEO, one-to-one marketing, or whatever you want to call it.
Because we’re trying to get high authority people to spread our message.
And the content plus our network has to be pretty good to convince these trusted peers to share it.
The result is that you get links in high authority places (SEO), get more media mentions (PR), and have a lot of legit retweets (social media marketing).
Different names for the output, yet the techniques are the same.
You’re still going through these 6 phases in the diagram above.
Now what’s super cool about Facebook tactically, provided you have the strategic elements (GCT) in place, is that you can get crazy good results for only a dollar a day.
Why a dollar? Because if you can micro-target exactly who you want to reach (instead of shotgun blasting the planet), then hitting the 200-300 most relevant people with your high quality message is sufficient.
The “influence the influencer” approach is to truly provide value (not sales literature) to people who have large audiences, such that they’ll share it.
That’s it. Not a big “secret”– just good old fashioned business strategy, but with a social, digital twist.
You don’t have to be a programmer or fantastic public speaker, nor do you have to have much money (a dollar a day– can you spare that?) Use the “dollar a day” technique to get your next job, impress your spouse, wreak havoc on competitors, or get your consumer complaint resolved nearly instantly.
What makes this a hack is that you need only start with one simple goal, one piece of content, and one dollar a day.
Then you can layer on as you start to see results.
You don’t need to buy fancy software, hire a social media guru, or sign up for the “secret” course. None of these can supply you with your goals, content, and targeting (GCT). Getting these items right is how you get crazy results on Facebook, which you can copy over to Google, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and other channels.
I’d love to hear how these techniques work for you, plus answer your questions below.
About Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is the CTO of BlitzMetrics. He is an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook marketing, having been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Fox News, and CBS Evening News. He is also a regular contributor for Adweek’s SocialTimes column.
Dennis has held leadership positions at Yahoo! and American Airlines. He studied Finance and Economics from Southern Methodist University and London School of Economics.
Besides being a Facebook data and ad geek, you can find him eating chicken wings or playing Ultimate Frisbee in a city near you.
You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on one of his social accounts below:
Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/getfound