You probably don’t need another person to tell you that ”everyone is on Facebook” and your business should also leverage Facebook. It’s widespread these days.
Well, these people are not lying. Facebook records a user base of about 3million people in Singapore. On average, Singaporeans spend 2.2 hours daily on this platform. These are staggering numbers from a marketing standpoint.
The problem is; Facebook introduced so many features & changes in their platform in the recent 2-3 years, its easy to lag behind and misapply outdated strategies that waste our precious resources as SMEs. Having worked with companies ranging from startups to MNCs in their advertising efforts. I have identified 8 common traps you need to be aware of:
Don’t bother posting on Facebook
Are you thinking about what to post on your Facebook page next week? Well, you can probably drop the thought.
This would have been a good move in 2012 when your post can reach as much as 16% of your fanbase. The figure dropped to 6.5% in 2014. Now, it is less than 2%. That’s not all. Only a further 5% or less of this measly 2% is going to pay attention to your post on their newsfeed. That is only about 0.1% of your fanbase. Shocking?
Facebook page organic reach to your fans per post
It would have account for something if you have a fanbase of say, 10,000. If your Facebook fancount is 1000 or less, honestly, the time would be better spent elsewhere. There is absolutely no need to put up posts daily, or even weekly for that matter, as with the case of so many businesses I see. We all love to think that we are very important and everyone is waiting for us to post. Fact? People are so busy with stalking their friends and relatives on Facebook to give us any attention.
On the other hand, you cannot totally ignore Facebook either. People need to know that you are still in business. Strive to at least post once a month, but there is absolutely no need to scratch your head agonizing what to write everyday.
Be careful of the default
So you learned that your organic posts do not go far and advertising on Facebook is the only way to reach more people at (very) reasonable costs.
You started buying ads on Facebook, only to receive alot of likes…. but zero new business. Before you start concluding that Facebook ads are a waste of time & money for businesses, think again.
The problem usually lies with how you set your targeting. By default, Facebook shows your ads to users on Facebook, Instagram and Facebook ad network.
Did you know only the first option is for advertising within Facebook? 2nd option shows your ads in Facebook’s subsidiary, Instagram and for the 3rd option, you don’t even know where your ads are displayed!
You may think its harmless but Instagram burns your money faster than fire spreads in the forest. (Instagram is hardly profitable for most businesses) If you do not have a big budget to invest for ‘brand awareness’ , do scrutinize your settings before clicking ‘confirm’, or you may just fall into one of these traps.
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Lets say you checked your targeting settings hundred times and have made sure that you are targeting high networth individuals in Singapore. Your ads are still not getting any sales. You decided to click into the profile of people who like your ads. To the shock of your life, these are not locals! You got alot of engagement with plenty of unfamiliar-looking profiles instead.
Another trap of Facebook advertising is its ‘smart’ algorithm. Facebook automatically optimizes your ads to appear infront of people most likely to click or engage with ads. Coincidentally, these people may not be people who buy, but people who like to like your posts. More often than not, these are not the locals.
What can you do about it?
Well, Facebook’s advertising platform is a powerful machine, as long as you know how to tap on its potential. Make use of the ‘exclude’ feature to exclude the audience you do not want to target! You can exclude foreigners or other groups you know will never convert into a customer. In one of our campaign for a property company, we excluded all property agents in Singapore.
If you are wondering why the options above are not accessible in your computer, you probably have been boosting posts only.
Amazon and other e-commerce stores have their 1-click purchase to make it easy for people to buy. Facebook came out with their own version of this with the ‘1-click advertise’ option, which is the boost post button.
It saves time&hassle at the expense of cutting out a lot of features you would see in ads manager and power editor. To encourage its use, Facebook repeatedly reminds you with messages like this:
Many advertisers have likened clicking boost-post to writing a blank cheque to Facebook. If you don’t have deep pockets, avoid the trap of the shortcut and instead go deeper into what Facebook offers.
Facebook’s share price has been on the rise as more and more businesses jump on the advertising bandwagon. Without proper know-how, businesses owners are just contributing to the bottom line of Facebook. On the other hand, with the right strategy, you can be among those succeeding.
Be a geek
Since Google, Facebook and other digital advertising platforms came into the picture, marketing has largely evolved into more of geeky sports. It is a great thing for businesses because the data tells us what is working and what is not, allowing us to optimize the campaign for better results.
Moreover, the reports are fairly straightforward. You don’t need a data scientist to interpret them.
The trap here is in focusing on the wrong metrics. Most advertisers are overly concerned about Cost per Click and number of clicks they are getting. They pride themselves on getting clicks for as low as 10cents per click. When you probe deeper about sales results, they are not able to answer because there is none.
Here’s the thing. The most important metric in advertising is ROI. In fact, if you refer to the screenshot of an actual Facebook ads campaign below, the cost per click is a whopping $5.11 but it doesn’t bother us one bit. This is because the revenue generated is $14,240 as shown below, from an adspend of $3,685.82. The ROI is 3.86x! This is not counting potential referrals and repeat business from the initial purchase.
The sad thing is that most businesses don’t even know how many leads are coming from their campaigns because they do not have tracking in place. It is as simple as installing pixel on the website and setting up custom conversion for the campaign. Without the fundamental data, it is like going into the battlefield with their eyes covered. Bullets fly everywhere.
In 2019 and beyond, Facebook ads has gotten even smarter. Their machine learning is quite something to marvel at. By setting the right objective, you can basically trust Facebook to find the right target audience to show your ads to. Manual targeting is becoming less important, particularly when running Facebook ads in Singapore(due to our small market size).
Yet we see advertisers spending so much time trying to get targeting right. Instead, what is going to have a bigger impact on your ROI would be conceiving the winning ads. Ads copywriting and ideation is something AI still cannot do(at the moment). Check out the screenshot below. While targeting the same group of audience, one of the ads is getting in leads at about ¼ of the cost while generating more than 100 leads. The power of ads copywriting!
Lower Quality leads
By using lead ad forms and messenger ads, some businesses are receiving leads that are barely turning into customers. Watch this video for more information.
Facebook likes to keep users within Facebook. That’s obvious, no media publisher wants to send people away. That’s why they introduced new features such as Canvas ads, as well as instant articles to confine people within their ecosystem. As an advertiser, this is not to your advantage. Facebook is the land of shiny objects where a thousand and one things demand the attention of your prospects.
Think cat videos, ex-girlfriend’s pictures etc etc. As an advertiser, instead of trying to sell your product on facebook where attention span is almost nonexistent, strive to get them to click into your website or landing page and opt in to an offer that doesn’t take alot of brainpower to process. Don’t be overly ambitious in getting them to buy on the spot. Use soft conversions. For example, by changing the call-to-action from “Get a Free consultation” to “Get a Free quote”(lower commitment) for one of our clients, we were able to lower the cost per lead by 40%.
Scaling your ads
Perhaps your Facebook ads has started to work and you are getting some leads. You excitedly increase the budget of your campaign from $5/day to $50/day. The next thing you realize, your ads do not work as well as before. Clickthrough and conversion rate starts to nosedive and you wondered what happened. Well, thats Facebook’s mechanism.
When you increase your ad budget suddenly, ad frequency starts to increase drastically and effectiveness of ads decline. To get around this, instead duplicate your adset and tweak one of the variables- either ad image, copy, targeting or campaign objective.
Alternatively, don’t forget other ads platform as well.
Youtube ads are fantastic for getting huge reach at low prices. Google search ads are ideal for established industries with proven demand. Video, search and social are all huge in Singapore(check out our stats) A laundry business we helped out with closes 20 over deals consistently a month from Google but didn’t fare well in Facebook.
At the end of the day, don’t stop trying. Getting burnt on Facebook once doesn’t make it a useless platform. Afterall, isn’t it the spirit of entrepreneurship to keep trying? Having taken the time to educate yourself on the 9 traps above, you are better equipped to deal with Facebook than ever before. Like all other aspects of your business, once you find the right formula, Facebook will skyrocket your sales. Importantly, it provides the consistency and stability of business that all of us need. Don’t miss out on this awesome opportunity! Facebook ads is going to get more expensive over time. The best time to jumpstart your engine is now. Don’t want to spend time and money paying ‘tuition fees’ to Facebook? Check out our Facebook marketing services!
Based in Singapore & Malaysia , Ice Cube Marketing is all about turning your customers from ice cold prospects into hot leads and happy advocates. We do so through ROI focused and data driven campaigns aimed at helping SMEs improve their sales.