The Art of Facebook ‘Stalking’: The Business Edition
August 31, 2015
News Flash: You have a stalker.
Okay, maybe no one is outside your window or sending you anonymous love notes – although, if that is happening to you: Stop reading this post now, call 911.
For all of those who are safe, let’s move on:
Remember that plane ticket you almost bought yesterday? What about those shoes? Now imagine that as you drove to work this morning, every billboard you saw displayed the latest airline rates and shoe sales. It’s as if, overnight, only the ads you are interested in seeing light up your drive to work. Thanks to Facebook, this concept has become an everyday reality - online, that is.
As a business owner, once you get past the creepy factor, I believe we may all appreciate the genius in this. Now that it is possible to specifically target an audience based on interest, age, gender, location, e tc… what is your next step?
Become an educated stalker: Make sure your ad is not just scrolled past - make sure it is engaging, effective and eye-catching.
1. Make Sure Your Ad Includes a Clear CTA
What is an ad worth if it doesn’t take your customer anywhere? If it doesn’t inspire action? Nothing.
First things first when creating your CTA (call to action) ad – avoid phrases like “Check It Out” and “Click Here” as if it were a two-week-old Chicken Pot Pie. This is a great rule of thumb for obvious reasons: it’s old, incredibly overdone and no one likes it. Original and fresh CTA’s are what will get your audience involved.
Example: You’re a restaurant looking to advertise your 1/2 priced wing night. Instead of an ad that simply reads, “Join us for 1/2 Priced Wings!”, try one that engages: “Wednesday is 1/2 priced wing night! Which do you like better, the BBQ or Honey Mustard?”. Use an image that displays both types of wings. Most importantly, link this ad to an article on your blog that explains 1/2 priced wing night and features ALL of the wing flavors you offer. This will prompt fans to engage with your post, as well as encourage them to click over to your site.
2. Be Relevant, Know Your Audience
You own a business – let’s call it “Charleston Coffee House.” You are running a promotion: 1/2 off any coffee for College of Charleston students with a valid ID on the first day of classes. You made the perfect ad with captivating, original copy accompanied by a great graphic that ultimately reaches 25,000 people.
Fast forward to the first day of classes - almost nobody is aware of your special. Why? Chances are, you did not choose your audience effectively. This is where the stalker mode in Facebook is on your side. Facebook has already done the “dirty” work – they have organized their 1.2 billion users into categories that considers specific interests, search history, age, profession, location, and much more.
Where you may have thought that choosing Downtown, Mt. Pleasant, West Ashley and Summerville would be effective as your target location, choosing ages 18-54 for your age range and selecting all professions would enhance your reach opportunities, this actually significantly hurts your campaign.
Consider the facts:
-Almost 80% of CofC students live downtown – You wasted a large percentage of your ad dollars marketing to locations with very few students, as opposed to focusing on downtown Charleston.
- An overwhelming majority of the college is under 24 years old – Only 19% of the age range you selected, 18-54, includes those 18-24. Therefore, 80% of the rest of your chosen age range has a very slight possibility of being an enrolled CofC student.
- Your ad specifically calls for students – Similar to above, there is very little effectiveness in targeting professions outside ‘students’ – focus on those that fall under the CofC student categories.
3. Be a Head Turner
#FunFact of the day: 91% of information that your brain receives is visual. (You can’t debate this, it is science….)
So naturally, being relevant isn’t enough on it’s own. The aesthetics of your ad must be visually interesting to initially make your audience stop scrolling. The trick is this:
Make sure your ad image includes what your ad is about, incorporates your brand, and in someway displays all information a potential customer may need. Bottom line: your customer shouldn’t have to read the text of your ad to know what it is about. On the other hand, remember that your Facebook ad image must contain less than 20% text – you can test yours here.
Ultimately, Facebook has a feature similar to Ad Rank in Google Ad Words – the more relevant and engaging your ad image, link and copy is, the higher your relevance score will be. Higher scores are treated more favorably by Facebook and therefore lead to a more successful campaign.