by Alex Houg
Please click here for Part One of this post.
Just because there are lots of shiny social media platforms and tools out there doesn’t mean you need to use them all. If you’re social media savvy but find you’re not getting the ROI you really want, we have tips for you to get back to Facebook basics and automate your social media with your email list.
Last time, we talked about laying the foundation for this automation. Now, we’re going to get into the nitty-gritty of setting up this automation.
Let the network do the work for you
There are three sections that comprise the marketing framework: business strategy (goals, content, targeting), the funnel (audience, engagement, conversion), and optimization (metrics, analysis, action), all explained below.
GCT (Goals, Content, Targeting): Business strategy
Your goals are not just specific numbers (like revenue, leads, clicks and cost per lead), but your mission. Have you clearly defined what you stand for and your unique differentiator? It's not only a social media thing—all your efforts flow from this. Select one metric from each point of the funnel (below). And have an authentic mission statement that goes beyond making money or serving the customer better.
Your content emanates from this mission. If you're not in alignment, then no amount of email marketing or blasting to social channels will solve the issue. The customers' words are more believable than yours. So have you gathered feedback across all social channels to have a war chest of reviews and testimonials to use? Are you using email marketing to actively and automatically solicit feedback from customers?
Targeting is segmentation of your customer base, usually via ads. There's just way more data and analytics in ads, especially if you reach out to lookalike audiences on Facebook and Google.
Ad targeting can help you reach your core audience, people who are already connected to your business; and your extended audience, people similar to your core audience who you’d like to influence. Our preference is workplace targeting on Facebook.
Get your GCT set up properly and your social media channels (Facebook to start) will work just like your email (marketing automation), where people get delivered a sequence of content triggered by who they are and what they've just done. For example, if they've just signed up on your list or have been to your website, the system automatically starts sharing messages with them on Facebook in their News Feed.
AEC (Audience, Engagement, Conversion): The Funnel
Your audience is not just current or potential customers—it's your partners, employees, media, and anyone in your ecosystem. Do you have content for each of them? If not, better get going.
One of our favorite tricks to produce content is to create a Top 10 List by asking 10 people each to provide a thought on some current issue. Pretend you're a reporter. If you've done a good job assembling your audiences, you'll have a group of distinct personas and their underlying stories. Check out Buyer Legends if you want to get into the psychology of your customers.
Engagement is what you hope will happen once you've reached your audience. You shouldn't be selling in the audience-building stage any more than you propose on a first date. When people click on your messages in any channel, whether delivered through ads or not, you have an opportunity to get them in your email list, visit your website, or perform some other action.
If you set up your plumbing properly (see previous post), then when readers visit your website, you automatically start messaging them on Facebook. Or if they are a fan, you automatically send them a sequence of messages. If you get them in one channel, then the messaging sequences fire automatically in another channel.
People don't typically think of social media as driving direct sales—perhaps in some vague, branding way, but not concretely. The retargeting offered by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube lets you reach people who were in the process of buying but abandoned it.
This is called "custom audiences" and you're importing your email and web audiences to retarget into Facebook, Google, and Twitter. You could try to convert prospects directly, but without nurturing people, the hard sell may backfire. You might reuse the same sequences you have set up in Infusionsoft, if you're using this platform for marketing automation. If not, then this still works.
And since you're triggering message delivery on what people just did, you don't have to keep creating new content each day. Look at all that time you just freed up.
MAA (Metrics, Analysis, Action): Optimization
Use the MAA optimization methods to get right to the business drivers and prioritize what action to take.
Metrics are measurement of your business objectives
If you have your goals set up properly as part of GCT, then you're measuring your business objectives. You'll use the exact same business metrics across all your channels, whether it's Facebook, email or by your website. Don't use social media metrics such as Twitter impressions—they're bogus. You shouldn't be looking at metrics unless they're actionable, no matter how pretty the charts are on your iPad.
For small business owners, you'll want to peek at your Google Analytics and Facebook analytics for 10 minutes once a week. Unless you have a large ad spend, a ton of time to optimize or your content engine already working smoothly, this part isn't going to do you much good. Respond to people in social media, not charts.
Analysis is understanding the WHY
Most tools say they're analytics, but really they're report generators. They don't tell you WHY conversion rates went up or down or why that new landing page isn't doing so well. Usually, the problem is one of content as opposed to choosing the right keyword, interest target or bid.
So you'd ask yourself, "If one of my business objectives changes by more than X percent, what could cause it and what would I do about it?" Be sure not to jump at statistical noise like fluctuations caused by random variations or seasonality—it's like looking at stock price changes from minute to minute.
Action is what you do about it
Start from the potential actions you can take and map it back to the situations that would cause you to pull that lever. Then look at the data you'd need to trigger that situation. Going from action back to metrics is getting just the data you need, instead of trying to fry a fish by boiling the ocean.
Another variant of this is called "Top N," where any time you look at a set of numbers, you sort by the key metric descending. Then you look at just the top N rows. Let's say N is 5. Then you might have 500 keywords in Google, but you look at just the top five by spend.
It could be the top five Facebook posts or the top five referral URLs into your site. Just look at the top N items every few days. Spend 10 minutes doing this as opposed to a whole hour each month. Short rapid cycles give you opportunity for quick iteration. Find the profitable content and audience pairings and tune them with the least amount of effort.
In the next post, we’ll look at ideal goals and checklist to make sure you’ve got your targeted Facebook messaging covered from start to finish.
Alex Houg is the co-founder and CEO of Portage. He is an expert in Facebook advertising, social analytics, content marketing, and search engine optimization. His clients include the Golden State Warriors, Rosetta Stone, and Jack Daniels. He has been called the young Steve Jobs, selling his first business at the age of 15. He loves Infusionsoft, small businesses, and entrepreneurship. Alex writes for AdWeek, Inside Facebook, and Social Fresh. His textbook, Facebook Nation, is being taught at 469 universities. He has been featured in USA Today, Forbes, and Search Engine Journal. He is an Eagle Scout and has a passion to teach. You can reach out to him at [email protected], his blog or on Facebook.