Bricks-To-Clicks® Marketing Podcast

Social Media Mistake #5

Episode Number





Dr. Barnes shares the fifth social media mistake that many business leaders often make: They don't use social media ads because doing so can be overwhelming. Dr. Barnes explains how to create social media ads to grow your business, personal brand, or nonprofit without feeling overwhelmed. This episode is based on Dr. Barnes' book "5 Social Media Mistakes Your Business Should Avoid." 


James Barnes (00:07):
Welcome to the Bricks to Clicks Marketing podcast. If you're a small business owner and you struggle with marketing your business, this podcast is just for you. I'm your host, James Barnes. Thank you for listening today. Let's get started.

James Barnes (00:22):
Thanks for joining me again, back on the podcast. We've been talking about in season one, the five social media mistakes your business should avoid. Today we're going to talk about mistake number five, and this is it. Most businesses don't use social media ads because it's absolutely overwhelming to use them. I get it. I work with businesses all the time, and one of the things that they struggle with is using ads. Where do I start? How much money do I spend each month? What kind of returns should I be getting for the ads that I'm putting out? Should I use search ads or just should I focus on social media? There are so many questions surrounding this topic that you literally, there are just podcasts out there completely about social media ads and advertising and the whole idea and what you do to be persuasive and lots of other things.

James Barnes (01:13):
But I wanted to boil this down into not just here's the mistake because that's one step to helping you, but the rest of it is I want to layout three ads today that you can implement that's going to help grow your brand, that's going to give you more engagement, going to get you out in front of more people and get noticed. They're really simple ads to run. I'm going to tell you how to run them and things that we've seen be successful for companies we work with here at Mississippi State University in the Bricks to Clicks Marketing program for the past nine years. So we're going to share some research about all that today with you to help. The mistake is that you're just not using them. And it's completely understandable because it can be overwhelming to get started. So, that's really the hardest part is getting started into which type of ad should I use.

James Barnes (02:00):
So I'm going to talk about using Facebook Ads, but you can generalize this to Instagram as well and/or some other platforms because a lot of it's the same thing. The ad copy itself is going to be a little different depending on the platform, the words you use, and the imagery or video, but at the end of the day, how you execute and who you serve these two are going to be very similar. So with that in mind, let's talk about three ads you can implement today to break the overwhelm, get you unstuck, to start using social media ads.

James Barnes (02:34):
The first thing is I start with a small budget. Most of the companies that come into our program are small businesses. They have literally, it's probably 500 to $1000 or less oftentimes to start experimenting. How do I experiment with using social media ads? The first thing that you have to get comfortable with is you're going to need to continue to learn. You're not going to run a set of ads this month and that be what you do the rest of the 12 months or the rest of the 11 months. You're going to learn. You're going to be implementing ads. You're going to see how you do. You're going to make adjustments. You're going to run them again.

James Barnes (03:05):
So, the mindset here needs to be, that this is the beginning, not the end, and you're going to have to make changes to it. That's completely acceptable and that's completely normal. That's the way everybody does it. You put something out there, you see how it does. You make edits to the ad copy, to the image or video, or even to the target market who you're serving it, and then you go again and you try it and you see how you do. It's always about constant improvement as to what you're doing in ad space. So that's pretty much the mindset that you need to have.

James Barnes (03:36):
All right. Ad number one that you want to be running is to first start to build awareness about maybe your Facebook page. You want to talk about Facebook. So in this ad space, what that's going to look like is a page-like campaign. There are several objectives you can choose when you're in the Ads Manager on Facebook, and this one is going to be focused on getting awareness for the brand or your company. You're going to be running ads to create and get page likes. That's what you want. You want more followers to be aware of what you do and who you serve and how you can help them have a better life. That's the kind of thing you want to focus on.

James Barnes (04:13):
When you're running the page likes ads, one of the things I would recommend to you as you implement it is that we normally run these experiments almost like a pretest. Whatever the ads and the images and the words, whatever we have in our hands that we're going to execute, we will run that for about seven days and see which ads tend to outperform one another. Then for the rest of the month, we'll put the rest of the money on those ads that are performing best. You may start were three to five ads, and you may be narrowed down just to three. That's typically a good step to not only figure out what works early on in the Facebook algorithm but also just so you can minimize the cost to your business of actually doing this because if you just run them the whole month and then you see which one is best, you've missed out on a window where you could have got probably more page likes per dollar spent than if you don't do the pretest stage of the experiment, is what we call it.

James Barnes (05:09):
So we do that a lot. They do that with brands all the time and try to help them save money while they're learning which ad's going to actually work best for them. So, that's what you want to do on ad number one, page likes. You want to build awareness. You want to target the audience that you really want to have on your page. These are people who they're your ideal customers. It could be men and women, ages whatever to whatever. They live in a specific area, a state, a region, or a set of cities. They have certain activities and buying behavior. There are all sorts of ways you can target your ads with the Ads Manager. Don't go crazy about picking a dozen or more characteristics of your target market. Try to pick three to five that really get into, close as you can to your ideal customer. That's really what you want to do with your ad, this first ad, is what you're going to serve to your target audience.

James Barnes (06:04):
The whole idea is that you want to attract people to your brand and you want to attract people to come to your page, like the page, so they'll start getting other ads that you're going to run or content that they're going to see organically when you post. That's the whole idea. You want to get more people to your page. That is ad number one.

James Barnes (06:23):
Now, ads two and three are a little different. In the first ad, you're trying to build awareness. That's the goal. That's the mission. That's the objective of it. In ads two and three, you're starting to build something different. So in ad number two, you're trying to build engagement. You're moving past, now they're a fan of your page, they're a follower of your page, they're seeing some of your content. They're not going to see every post you made because you know how Facebook works probably. You don't see everything everybody posts on a Facebook page because it depends on how engaged they've been with your page.

James Barnes (06:57):
So to really help that along and to build that engagement with your fans, you give them something that they can download that's a free piece of content. Maybe it's a free PDF, it's a free video series, or it's a free webinar. Maybe you're doing something live and you're asking them to register or something, just some registration or there's some way. But at the end of the day, you're trying to build engagement. You want to target just the fans of your page and really try to figure out how many people are really going to download the PDF and get into that series of content, whatever you have planned. And you want to do that. You want to build a relationship with them, and giving them a free piece of content is a great way you do it.

James Barnes (07:39):
This is called a lead ad inside of Facebook. Typically we serve these just to the fans of the page, just those who are following, both followers and fans who have liked the page. So, that's what you want to do with ad number two. So you're building engagement, you're serving it to the fans. You're giving them a free piece of content. At the end of the day, that's going to help you build an email list. Ad number one is helping you build awareness and you're getting page likes. Ad number two is helping you build engagement and building that with your fans.

James Barnes (08:11):
So now you're getting their emails. So make sure when you do this, you have a set of automated emails ready to go, five to seven, that once they download this free piece of content, you have them in some kind of a marketing series, a marketing email series, where you're starting to build more of a relationship with them. We talked about some things that give you some ideas on what to put in those emails, but in the next couple of episodes coming up, I'm going to tell you detail by detail, here's how you do it. This is what should be in those emails. So we're going to cover that later. But that's ad number two.

James Barnes (08:45):
Now ad number three, we start to shift from awareness for ad one to engagement for ad two, but now we're starting to build trust with ad number three. So this goes back to just being a testimonial that you can share and promote with ad dollars to your fans. Typically we will have either a video testimonial where a customer explains the problem they were having and then how using the product or service, whatever it is that the business is selling, helped them have a better life, helped them save money, time, effort, anxiety, stress, whatever. And then life today is great because I've been using this, and here's what it is. It's saving me all this time. I have more time to spend with my family, whatever it is. The whole idea is that you want at least a quote from a customer, something that tells other customers when they see the ad, yeah, you know what? This company really is helping people with the product or service they're selling on their website and giving exposure to it on social media.

James Barnes (09:46):
So you're really trying to build trust in this third ad. You're going to serve it just to the fans of the page. At the end of the day, when you put these three ads together, they're very simple. This is not a complicated ad system. But remember, this is to get you unstuck from the mistake of not using ads to promote your business and build your business with social media ads. In this case, we're just talking about Facebook. So you want to avoid that mistake. To do it, you're going to implement these three ads. This will work.

James Barnes (10:17):
Most companies will start off spending $500 a month just to learn how to use three ads. And until they really master how to use them and execute them and read and understand the analytics that comes with it, there's no reason to go to spend a whole bunch of money and put maybe 10 more ads out there. You don't know yet. You need to gauge how people are responding to the content you put out. So again, ad number one is building awareness. Ad number two is building engagement. Ad number three is building trust. So you go from getting page likes, giving them free content to sharing a testimonial. That's the backbone of a minimum type of ad campaign that we see companies running typically when we work with them here in the Bricks to Clicks Marketing program. That's the minimum that they do. There are some other things they do too, but that's after they start learning the process.

James Barnes (11:11):
So if you want to get unstuck, all you've got to do is implement those three ads to get you started. Put three to $500 down. You're going to spend it this month on ads and you're learning. You're going to learn a tremendous amount about how people are downloading your content, responding to your Facebook page, like ads, and so forth. You're going to start to see, maybe I should do something a little bit different next month when I run my ads. You'll see what's worth working best and you can make those adjustments. That's going to help you save money in the future and get more engagement for your page or your business today, and also in the future.

James Barnes (11:48):
Well, that's it for the podcast this time. I wanted to share with you that mistake number five and how you can avoid it. Use those three ads to really start growing your business with social media ads. We gave Facebook as an example, and how you do that. In the next podcast, we're going to talk about five principles to give your social media a makeover. We've talked about the mistakes, but now we need to shift gears to saying, okay, we can avoid those mistakes by using five basic principles that we can start to give our social media a makeover, and it's going to help our business grow because we're going to get attention online. We're going to start to grow relationships and start to really have an opportunity to sell whatever it is that we're selling, our product or service, whatever it may be.

James Barnes (12:29):
So, that's what we're going to cover next time on the podcast. Thank you for being with me. Remember, you can get the downloads and show notes and much, much more for all the episodes of the podcast just by going to our Facebook page. Just search for Bricks to Clicks Marketing. See you again next week.