The Myth About Facebook Likes, Comments And Other “Vanity” Metrics

Myths

“Likes and comments don’t matter. They’re just “vanity” metrics!”

That’s the basic sentiment around the internet. A quick Facebook search on “vanity metrics” revealed a number of posts mocking those who pursue likes, comments, and shares.

The argument among marketers is that only the bottom line matters. After all, likes, shares, and views don’t pay the bills.

Assuming you’re not a social media influencer who gets paid to advertise on a channel, can likes, comments, and views actually pay the bills?

At Marigold Marketing Group, we’ve found the answer to be a definitive, “yes.”

as long as you know how to monetize your page’s engagement.

Specifically, these likes, views, and comments can translate into a lower cost per lead and customer acquisition.

In this post, you’ll discover which metrics actually matter and how we’ve been able to monetize using those metrics with an overwhelming majority of our clients’ Facebook ad accounts.

The Metrics That Matter

Before we move forward, let’s define the metrics we’re focused on.

First, we’re assuming that all numbers (or a very large percentage of your numbers) represent real people who are current, former, or potential customers of your company.

So, if you’ve “purchased” a number of Facebook likes for your page, those numbers won’t increase your ROI.

Not sure how your page fares? Let’s do a quick health check.

Jump into the “Audience Insight” section inside Power Editor.

Once inside, choose to view the audience connected to your page.

Set the demographics to reflect your ideal buyers. Is your page mostly composed of those people?

For example, if you only serve the United States, you should see that most of the people connected to your page live in the U.S.

Unless you are specifically focused on India, be skeptical of too many likes coming from that area of the world. Sometimes, well-meaning (or not) page admins will purchase likes online.

The likes are then “created” using bots, and they mostly originate from places like India.

This would be an example of a page that possibly “bought” likes (and therefore can’t monetize these fans).

In contrast, here’s an example of a page that’s in good health. This company serves people in a very specific geographical area. Their audience reflects this.

Assuming the numbers on your page are representative of “real” people (not bots) who are potential buyers, here are some metrics that we’ve found can be turned into leads and customers.

  • Fans

  • Video Views

  • Page Engagement

  • Post Engagement

Let’s look at why these particular audiences matter.

Audience Temperature

When analyzing a group of people who could potentially purchase from you, they can be broken down into three basic categories:

  1. Cold Audiences

  2. Warm Audiences

  3. Hot Audiences

A cold audience is full of people who have never heard of you. They don’t know who you are, what your brand stands for, or why they should care.

This audience isn’t necessarily a bad fit for your product or service, they simply haven’t heard of you… yet.

That can change. And when it does, they’ll join the warm audience.

The warm audience is full of prospects who know who you are. Maybe they follow your brand’s blogs, listen to your podcast, have read or listed to an interview your CEO did recently, or even saw your shop while driving to work in the morning.

For whatever reason, they have “warmed up” to you.

A warm audience is far more likely to purchase from you than a cold audience. That’s because typically it takes a prospect a couple “touches” to get to know, like, and trust a brand.

Assuming you’re a good fit for the audience, the more you interact with them, the “warmer” they’ll feel toward you.

The warmer they feel, the more likely they are to join the “hot” audience group.

A hot audience is full of people who have purchased from you and who will likely purchase from you again in the future.

This is your customer list. For most brands, this is the list that is easiest and most cost effective to market to (side note: Digital Marketer gives a really good overview of audience temperature, as well as what you should be pitching to each).

Building Warm Audiences

Now that you know that warm audiences are more likely to buy than cold audiences, you might be wondering, “how do I build a warm audience without blowing my ads budget?”

Good question.

Some warm audiences cost more than others.

For example, it likely costs you more to broadcast a television ad then to post a blog post.

The same is true when it comes to Facebook advertising.

Typically, conversion campaigns will cost more per lead than content views.

This means that asking people to sign up for your newsletter, or to buy a product or service (even if it is low cost), will typically cost more than asking someone to read a blog post, like your page, or watch a video.

However, in all of the above situations, you’re building a warm audience.

We’ll talk more about how to build a warm audience in a future post.

Monetizing Warm Audiences

Now that you’re sold on the importance of building a warm audience, it’s time to turn those so-called “vanity metrics” into cold hard cash.

Again and again, data shows us that when it comes time to ask for lead information or for the sale, warm audiences cost much less per conversion than cold audiences do.

Let’s take a look.

Here is a screen shot from a recent campaign. You can see that we’ve broken the audiences into two groups, warm and cold.

The cost per conversion for the cold audience is $7.22, whereas the cost per conversion for the warm audience is just $2.65.

Here’s another example. In this example, the goal was to get registrations for a webinar.

The cold audience resulted in $3.47 per webinar registration, whereas the warm audience resulted in just $2.76 per registration.

These warm audiences are made up primarily of people who have liked a client’s page, interacted with posts, or viewed content in the past.

For example, here’s what the results looked like specifically for the sub-set of audience members who interacted with the client’s Facebook page in the past:

You’ll see that for two of the three photos, the cost per conversion was well below the cost of conversion for the cold audience.

Note that these audiences were being sent to the same landing page. Having an optimized landing page is critical, but even the best landing page will work better on warm audiences when compared to cold.

How To Target A Warm Audience

Facebook makes advertising to warm audiences very easy.

If you’ve been active on a Facebook business page, you can start advertising to your ready-made audience right away.

The Facebook Power Editor allows you to choose an audience to market to. This is always done at the “Ad Set” level.

Inside the Ad Set section, you’ll see a place to choose your audience.

(Creating custom audiences is too much to cover here, but be on the lookout for a post about that in the future.)

Now, you’re ready to run your ads!

Give it a try. Are you able to cash in your likes, comments, and views using your own campaigns?

We’ve had so much success using these metrics to lower conversion cost that growing engagement is part of our system for every single client we work with.  

Let us know if you find the same success in your own campaigns!

7 Simple Tips For Better Landing Pages

Landing Page

You’ve finally nailed down your targeting, warmed up your audience, and now you’re sending your dream clients over to your web page.

People are clicking, so your job is done, right?

Just kick back, sip a hot, delicious latte and let the leads roll in!

Until… nothing happens.

Don’t panic!

If your target audience is clicking on your ad, but they’re not following through, there’s likely a problem with your landing page.

We see this sometimes. A client wants us to send traffic over to a page, but that page just isn’t quite ready to do the job of converting prospects to leads, or leads to buyers.

Luckily, the problem is fixable.

Here are 7 simple tips for creating better landing pages.

Our Facebook Ads team uses this checklist to review every client’s landing page before sending traffic their way.

Use this checklist to quickly evaluate your landing page and make any corrections to help improve your landing page and your conversion rate before you hit “run” on any of your Facebook ad campaigns.

Add Your Pixel

Before you can get an accurate depiction of what’s happening with your campaign, you’ll need to accurately track all traffic.

If you’re not yet using Facebook’s tracking pixel, make sure to get that on your landing page (and any other page your audience might land on).

The pixel is fairly easy to install using Facebook’s instructions, or you can ask your tech team to get it up and running for you.

You can create a pixel inside Facebook’s Power Editor.

Just go to the Power Editor Menu, then find it under “Measure and Report.”

Once the pixel is on your page, check to make sure it’s working properly.

An easy way to do this is by using Facebook Pixel helper. It’s a Google Chrome extension that lets you check which pixels are installed on any web page.

Now that your pixel is properly functioning, you’ll be able to get accurate data on how many people are landing on your page. You’ll also have the ability to retarget them later if they don’t convert.

Make it Mobile

If your landing page isn’t mobile-friendly, this could be a big part of the problem. Mobile traffic is taking over desktop as the preferred method to browse Facebook (and click on ads).

Having a desktop-only site will alienate a large percentage of your audience, making it impossible for about half (or more) of your Facebook Ad traffic to convert.

Check your page on a mobile device.

To do this, navigate to your landing page inside Chrome. Then, hit Command+Alt+I (Mac) or Ctrl+Shift+I (Windows, Linux) inside your Chrome browser to pull up the developer tools.

From there, you can simulate your page on a variety of device by clicking on the image in the upper left hand corner that looks like a tablet and a mobile device.

When checking mobile, make sure the user won’t have to scroll to the left or right to read the text, that your CTA is still viewable on the first screen (above the fold) if possible, and that the buttons and forms are easy to use on a mobile device.

Check the Details

Do a once over and check the details on the entire page. Check for glaring typos, grammatical errors, and readability.

Then, go a little deeper. It’s common to reuse a landing page from another campaign, and that’s ok. Just make sure to check that you’ve updated all the details.

Are your times and dates correct for any live events? Is your offer showing the correct expiration dates? Is your offer consistent throughout the entire page?

Make sure your page reflects the current offer and is ready to receive your prospects!

Check for Policy Violations

Facebook updates policies frequently and without warning. It’s easy to have a landing page that meets all requirements one week, then have one that breaks a policy the next.

Before you run a campaign, review the ad policies.

The policies change so frequently that our Facebook Ad Team reviews the ad policy at least once a week. We often find new policies and update our clients’ accordingly.

If your landing page is violating any policies, don’t chance it. Before sending over any traffic, make the necessary changes to avoid possible complications.

If you’re in certain industries, you’ll need to be more careful than others. For example, if you are offering weight loss products, money making, work from home, gambling, alcohol, supplements, or adult content, be extra vigilant when proofing your page. These are restricted areas and you need to be careful about your offer and the promises you make.

Fix Broken Functionality

It’s easy to get wrapped up in all of the moving pieces that go along with a new campaign. Sometimes when that happens, it’s easy to overlook something major, like page functionality.

Check that all your videos play, the sound works, forms function, and emails go out as planned.

Not only can a non-functioning landing page get your campaign shut down, but it will definitely kill your conversion rates and skyrocket your per conversion costs.

Privacy Policy

This last tip isn’t sexy, but it’s absolutely necessary.

Facebook requires all landing pages to display a link to a privacy policy.

Don’t skip this step. Set up your policy page and outline your privacy policy to let your potential prospects know what you will and wont’ do with their information once they trust you with it.

Link to that privacy policy page somewhere on your landing page to meet Facebook’s ad requirements.

Create Consistent Messaging

If your page looks good, reads well, and you haven’t found any major errors when running through this checklist, it could be your messaging.

There’s good news and bad news here.

The good news is, if people are clicking on your ad, there is interest!

The bad news is, your messaging on your landing page isn’t creating the same desire.

The solution is to make the messaging match. Are you promising something in the ad that isn’t mentioned on the landing page?

Is there conflicting information? A different tone?

Make sure that everything from the copy to the images are consistent. Not identical, but consistent.

Give your prospect a clear reason to sign up, let them know what will happen when they do sign up (receive an email, book a call, claim an offer, etc.), and make sure your offer itself is compelling.

These steps won’t just ensure that Facebook continues to happily send traffic over to your page, but that you will reap the rewards when they do.

Use this quick guide to assess your landing page. Make necessary changes, and then it’s time to finally kick back and enjoy that latte!

The #1 Facebook Advertising Myth

Facebook Advertising

Running a Facebook advertising campaign is easy.

Running a Facebook advertising campaign that is scalable, makes money, and delivers solid ROI… not so easy.

Sadly, advertisers are lured into believing a myth that suggests a simple, pushbutton, solution.

So…

Why can’t Facebook advertising be mastered in seven simple steps?

Because every campaign has its own unique attributes and its own variables.

No two campaigns perform the same.

This doesn’t mean that best practices don’t exist.  They definitely do.   There are common threads you can replicate that appear in every campaign.

One of them is following a process of testing and optimizing.

Nobody knows for sure how many times Thomas Edison tried to find a filament that worked for his light bulb.

Probably more than a thousand, and Edison wasn’t exactly starting from scratch.  Other inventors had already used electricity to create light.

Even after he was granted a patent for a bulb that burned for 13 and half hours, Edison stuck at it, searching for improved performance, and optimizing.

That process led him to discover a carbonized bamboo filament that burned for 1,200 hours.

How To Optimize A Facebook Ad Campaign

It’s this process of optimization that debunks the myth of instant Facebook advertising success.

Even when the first campaign you run is profitable, you can’t possibly know if it’s as profitable as it could be.

You could find a change just like Edison found a filament that would burn for 1,200 hours instead of 13 hours.

What’s the best way to optimize?  What accelerates the process?

One of the most common ways to optimize a Facebook ad campaign is to use a Lookalike Audience.

It’s a terrific tactic.  We love it and we use it to our clients’ delight.

But its success is determined by the quality of the Custom Audience you ask Facebook to mirror.

The response of the Lookalike Audience will rarely outperform the response of the Custom Audience, particularly on sales.

Sometimes it will outperform the Custom Audience on conversions, but rarely on bottom of funnel sales.

It’s the “Garbage In, Garbage Out” syndrome.

Here at Marigold, we like to have our Custom Audience dialed in before going down the Lookalike Road.

We do this by…

  • Starting off with a clear campaign objective
  • Working on tightly defined audience segments
  • Making sure target audiences don’t spill into each other, duplicate, or overlap
  • Interpreting data correctly
  • A/B testing

The Big Facebook Advertising Lesson We’ve Learned

It seems we can never spend too much time creating as much clarity as possible on campaign objectives.

But we try not to confuse our quest for clarity with a rush to assumptions.
In most cases, website conversion is an appropriate goal.  But it shouldn’t be a given, and the alternatives should be weighed, especially clicks to a website.

Sometimes, when the objective veers off in a different direction, goals such as app installs or app engagement could emerge as the clear choices.

Making clear choices feels good.  Arriving at these choices takes some work.

It requires the marketer’s rare blend of humility, curiosity, diligence, and discipline.

Assumptions about who the target is can be easy to rush into and difficult to dislodge.

So can assumptions on the ability of the landing page to provide congruent and persuasive copy that can fulfill the objectives of the campaign.

The size of the segment, the right metrics to measure, they all matter and they can all make a difference.

But we need to put all this in context.  Knowing what to do next to optimize a campaign takes time.

Ultimately, that’s why the notion mastering Facebook advertising in seven simple steps is a myth.

What’s not a myth…

Like most other things, with time and effort, mastery is achievable.

In the meantime, why not find out how to avoid the 7 biggest mistakes not to make with your Facebook Ads here:

7-biggest-mistakes

Get more tips here.