Best Practices for Facebook Audiences: Part 2 – A/B Testing: When in Doubt, Test it Out!

If you’re worried your social media ads are getting stagnant, an A/B test can provide a needed refresh. Running two ads that have only one varying element can offer valuable insights about what is working (and what’s not!) as well as inform strategy for future social campaigns.

A/B testing can be particularly helpful when determining audience. For example, if your goal is to grow your audience base, you could try targeting a lookalike of website traffic against a broad/detail targeting audience. The broad audience will help you continue to establish your customer base and the lookalike will help ensure some of your ads are also directed at users similar to your best customers.

Perhaps you’re still waiting for your Pixel data to gather? Try testing media and move to the audience later. In a world of endless customization, A/B testing offers a low-pressure scenario to freshen up your campaigns and learn more in the process.

Online retailer Sole Society wanted to compare how the square image format performed compared to a traditional landscape format. The ad featured the same pair of black boots. They learned that the square image outperformed the rectangular one and delivered a 27% increase and sales and 32% increase purchased products. For future campaigns, they could now feel more confident in selecting square images.

When trying to decide what to test, focus your goal on what you ultimately want to learn. Perhaps you want to sell more products, get more in-store visits, or simply want to more fully understand a particular aspect of your business. Stepping back like this can help you examine which of Facebook’s tools may work best for your needs.

Stay on the lookout for our next post in my Best Practices for Facebook Audiences series. I’ll share how to create audiences that comply with Facebook Special Ads Categories. Miss the first article in this series? Check it out here.
In the meantime, check out our Resources Page for Part 1 of the Best Practices for Facebook Audiences series and other social advertising best practices. 

Laura Kraay is a marketing services specialist for Tiger Pistol. She got her MFA in creative writing. Outside of work, you’ll likely find her doodling, reading, or spending time with family.

Best Practices for Facebook Audiences: Part 1 – Creating Audiences

Creating the perfect ad leads to the next step — who are you doing to show it to?  Here we’ll go over terminology and best practices for creating audiences for your social ads. If you’ve been asking questions about audience size, detail targeting, or Facebook custom and lookalike audiences, this is the guide for you.

Audience Size

When creating audiences, keep an eye on the Potential Reach. Facebook ads can run with a minimum audience of 1,000, but if an audience is too small, Facebook may have trouble finding users to show your ad to. This means your ad might underperform or be shown at a high frequency, causing ad fatigue among users seeing the ad over and over again! While there is no real “sweet spot” for audience size, we recommend trying to create an audience of at least 50,000. If you’re really in a pinch and are creating an audience in a lower populated area, try and keep the size to at least 10,000.

Detail Targeting

When adding detail targeting options, you can select from a variety of Facebook interests. Use OR targeting instead of AND (also called narrow) targeting when you want your audiences to be larger. Let’s talk Dogs, Cats, and Pets to illustrate the point.  In OR targeting, you would fall into the audience if you liked any one of those options (dogs, cats, or pets), but for AND targeting, you have to like all three. That’s why AND targeting produces a smaller audience. You can see the remarkable difference this can make in this illustration, where the audience difference between OR and AND is 590,000 people!

In general, it’s best not to overuse detail targeting. A broader audience may lead to potential new customers — you never know who may be interested!

Curious about detail targeting but want to use it to greater purpose? Learn how the conversions objective optimizes the delivery of your Facebook Campaign specifically towards a conversion event, rather than driving general traffic to your site or for brand awareness. This means you can still use detail targeting, but also further optimize for those people more likely to take a specific action on your page like “Add to Cart” or “Sign Up.”

Custom Audiences

Looking to apply remarketing strategies? That tactic begins with custom audiences. To create a custom audience, you will need to provide Facebook with identifiers about your customers (like email addresses or phone numbers) or have a Facebook Pixel installed on your website. Whether the uploaded identifiers or the data from your Pixel, this information is compared with the information on Facebook profiles. The overlapping group becomes your custom audience! To ensure the Information remains secure, it undergoes a hashing process before it’s sent to Facebook. (Hashing turns the information into randomized code.) After the custom audience is created, Facebook deletes the information.

This is a great way to show your ads to people who may have already interacted with your business. For example, having a Facebook Pixel installed means you could create audiences from your website traffic. Specific pages or events can also be used. A retail location who wants to focus on their summer shoes could select users who visited the “Sandals” section of their website.

You can also use custom audiences to exclude people from viewing your social ads. A fitness center whose objective is to get new members might exclude a custom list created from membership email addresses and names. This would ensure that their current customers aren’t in the ad’s audience, ensuring the business doesn’t waste its precious ad dollars.

When Beekeeper’s Naturals wanted to increase orders for its product sampler box, they showed video ads to a Custom Audience of people who had visited the Beekeeper’s Natural website within the last 30 days, added the product to their cart , but did not purchase it. In return, they saw a 39% increase in sales of a specific product bundle. They also had a 4.5X increase in return on ad spend. Custom audiences offered them the ability to show their ads to users who had already shown a demonstrated interest in the product.

In order to upload a list successfully, you’ll need at least 100 matches. This means your list might have to be a bit larger than 100 because it’s matching the information you’re providing with that on a user’s Facebook profile. If your list is uploaded, but you worry it’s a bit small for retargeting just yet, a lookalike audience might be more suited to your needs.

Lookalike Audiences 

A Lookalike Audience offers a way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they’re similar to your best existing customers. How does it work? Like a custom audience, you need to upload a data source. (It undergoes the same hashing process mentioned above.) Facebook then finds users with similar characters or qualities to that of your source.

In the “Power of the Facebook Pixel” Chris Mayer explains how this works in the case of a Lookalike Audience created from website traffic:

“A golf related e-commerce website might have a lot of users visiting their website, who also like the PGA Tour Facebook Page, and/or are “interested in” golf. The Lookalike Audiences will account for this. Facebook will literally find more people who like the PGA Tour Facebook Page, are also “interested in” golf, and share similar traits and demographics as the website visitors.”

Although Facebook doesn’t reveal which traits are generated, the value lies in its ability to optimize your audience. Clothing retailer Trina Turk was hesitant to turn to Facebook advertising because they were unsure if they could target enough people willing to spend money on a luxury brand. They first ran a dynamic campaign for broad audiences. Utilizing that campaign’s learnings “the team created and reached out to lookalike audiences based on the new shoppers who clicked through to the website from the dynamic ads.” Their year-over-years results for the following period speak to the power of the Lookalike Audience:

  • 75% increase in return on ad spend
  • 33% decrease in cost per purchase

These results are dramatic, so it’s important to highlight the two-part campaign here. Running a broad campaign helped them first get more website traffic. Just like with custom audiences, having an ample amount of data helps produce better results. If you’ve just installed your Facebook Pixel, first try running a broad or detail targeting campaign to further establish your base audience.

Hungry for more? Coming soon – how you can utilize A/B testing to find your most effective audience. In the meantime, check out our Resources Page for more social advertising best practices. 

Laura Kraay is a marketing services specialist for Tiger Pistol. She got her MFA in creative writing. Outside of work, you’ll likely find her doodling, reading, or spending time with family.

On-Demand Webinar: The Critical Role of Local Social Advertising in Economic Recovery

Tiger Pistol’s Casey Zaffin, VP of Client Management, discusses why local social advertising is a must have for your economic recovery and revitalization efforts, the role of local social advertising in the economic rebuild, and how facilitating connections can be done at scale, whether you are a large multi-location brand, and agency, or an SMB reseller.

During this webinar, you will learn:

  • Companies that invest in local social advertising with precise targeting, refocused and flexible creative and messaging will capitalize on recovery opportunities and dominate in 2020 and into 2021.
  • With store visit optimization still off the table in many areas, we’ll define what measurements can be used to define social advertising success. ○ How engaging with consumers and the community on a personal level will establish a long-lasting connection and how ads can be dynamically scaled for localization.
  • How SMBs should take advantage of conversational commerce ○ Best practices in social advertising through the lens of three industry-leading companies:
    • A Global Fortune 500 beverage company using social to reach into communities to support local bars and restaurants
    • A Fortune 500 real estate company that’s enabling its agents to make critical connections at a time when human interaction is limited
    • A leading SMB reseller that’s empowering their customers with new and innovative tools to enhance personal connections.

Watch The Critical Role of Local Social Advertising in Economic Recovery 

Facebook Shops is a Bigger Deal Than You Might Think

Starting last month any Facebook or Instagram Business Page will have new features enabled allowing Brands to create fully established e-commerce experiences within the app. Facebook announced this feature calling it Facebook Shops, and this move will make it easier for customers to access Shops on both Facebook and Instagram.

The best part is that creating a Facebook Shop is free and you can choose which products you want to feature with a customized look and feel. Anyone can access Facebook Shops on a business’ Facebook Page or Instagram profile as well as discover them through Stories or ads. Facebook has also taken this opportunity to gather more data about your interests and saved products, even enabling checkouts without leaving the app. Take that Amazon!

Photo Credit: Facebook

If you don’t have a Facebook Shop setup yet don’t worry. Facebook will still direct you to your website. As this becomes more widely adopted, Facebook will further establish itself as an e-commerce platform with even greater insight into buying behavior and order tracking. The future of Facebook Shops is an exciting opportunity to tie in other tools, and the possibilities seem endless. 

Facebook Live Just Got Even More Powerful

Let’s take a look at Facebook Live. Originally positioned as a way to broadcast a conversation to your Page, Group, Profile, or Event, Facebook Live now has a new application by making it easier to showcase, shop, and purchase products on your Facebook Store – all without leaving the app. We could see a shopping channel like QVC taking full advantage of this feature once it’s made more widely available.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Facebook’s Move to Loyalty Programs

The next phase of Facebook Shops will be loyalty programs. Whether you have a current  rewards program at your favorite coffee shop or you’re a new business that needs a way to create a program for your customers, Facebook is testing how they can make it easier to earn rewards at your favorite stores without leaving their app. Only time will tell if these features will begin to compete with bigger reward players like Rakuten. Our bet is on Facebook.

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

How Can Facebook Marketing Partners Help?

The introduction of Facebook Shops has arrived at a critical time, allowing companies to sell products directly through the native Facebook Platform and further increasing Facebook’s market share of online interaction. While this could be a game-changer for many small businesses, the need to advertise through all e-commerce channels in order to drive conversions is still a necessity for any company.

As a preferred Facebook Marketing Partner, Tiger Pistol provides the expertise to help you grow your business and test new tools like Facebook Stores as they become available in Facebook’s API. With nearly a decade of Facebook experience, Tiger Pistol provides a SaaS solution enabling Brands, SMB Resellers, and Agencies to localize their message at an unprecedented scale.

Want to learn more? Please contact us, we’d love to connect.

Sources: Techcrunch, Facebook

David Delaplane is a Regional Sales Director for Tiger Pistol. With over 9 years of experience in SaaS and paid media, David demonstrates his passions for strategic thinking and problem solving by delivering innovative and custom solutions for our clients. As a Chicago native, David enjoys exploring the diverse cultures of the city through food, music, and long runs and bike rides through the many neighborhoods.

UPDATED: Global Analysis: Using CPMs as a Leading Indicator of Economic Recovery

Can CPMs be used as a leading indicator of economic recovery?  Tiger Pistol’s Paul Elliott, CEO, and Chris Mayer, Solutions Engineer, put this question to the test. Check out their global analysis of the weekly growth of active COVID-19 cases in six countries and how they correlate with the average Facebook and Instagram CPMs during the same time, based on a cross-industry sampling of 4 billion ad impressions.

What they found was a formula that brings a level of certainty to these uncertain times.

Paul Elliott is the Chief Executive Officer of Tiger Pistol. He is a recognized thought leader in integrated marketing and customer engagement, with more than 20 years of experience helping global brands and their local outlets achieve significant results and return on marketing investments. Elliott was a recipient of Ad Age’s 40 under 40 and the Smart Business Smart 50 honor.  

Chris Mayer, a Solutions Engineer at Tiger Pistol, specializes in helping digital agencies, SMB resellers, and global brands build scaled Facebook advertising solutions with an emphasis on local activation.

Tiger Pistol Named Finalist in AdExchanger Awards

Tiger Pistol was recently named a finalist in the prestigious AdExchanger Awards for Best Social Media Campaign. The award honors “the marketers behind the most creative and effective social media campaigns when it comes to achieving real business results.”

Tiger Pistol achieved this honor for the remarkable results generated for a Global Fortune 500 beverage company.

Winners will be announced at the AdExchanger Awards virtual celebration, which takes place Thursday, May 21 at 5 pm ET.

 

 

How to Set Up Your Local Facebook Business Pages for Success

A true global-to-local approach to social advertising relies on campaigns run from local Facebook Pages, increasing relevance with localization and driving foot traffic to your local stores or channel partners.

All of the benefits of this approach start with the proper set-up of your brand’s local Facebook Pages. Local Pages not only represent your brand at the community level, but they are a hub for highly relevant information for customers and prospects alike. Having well developed local Facebook Pages can help build your brand’s credibility and online presence. 

Here are seven steps to set up a local Page for success. 

  1. In order to create a Business Page, you must have a Facebook profile
  2. Once logged in, in the top right corner you will click “Create” and select “Page”
  3. It will ask you to name your Page 
    • It is recommended that you name it the name of your business because this is what will show when potential customers see your ads and posts
    • This is difficult to change, so make sure you are confident in your Page name.
  4. Next you’ll describe your Page to help categorize your business. That way if someone is searching for online reviews and they type in “Insurance Agent,” your business can pop up!
  5. After that, you will fill out your business information so that users can locate or contact your business
    • Fill this out completely so the user doesn’t have to leave your Page and can contact you directly
  6. Now give a face to your Facebook Page with a profile image
    • Choose an image that is representative of your business, like a logo. 
    • We suggest a Profile Photo of 1000×1000 to ensure it displays crisply across all devices. 
    • If you are having events or would like to test profile images, you do have the option to set a temporary profile picture. 
    • Also keep in mind that in ads and posts, profile photos are cropped in a circle.
  7. Lastly you have the option to add a Cover Photo. 
    • It gives you the chance to add more creativity to your profile and can be updated whenever you choose. 
    • Cover photos are rectangular and dimensions of 820×360

Make sure to be active on your Facebook Page by posting photos, videos, and statuses about anything interesting happening in your business. If your Facebook Page is inactive, it runs the risk of being deactivated. 

We also recommend utilizing other interesting features like events and reviews to help grow your following! Build relationships with customers, solve their problems and be a resource for them through your local Business Pages. 

Once your local Pages are set up, you can unlock the wonderful world of best practice social advertising.

Learn how Tiger Pistol unlocks local activation at global scale for brands, resellers, and agencies. Request a Demo today!

Yanira Durant is a marketing specialist for Tiger Pistol. An Austin local with a passion for social advertising, Yanira strives to break through the noise in fun and creative ways. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the city, trying great queso, and managing her pug’s Instagram account.

What are the Facebook Advertising Best Practices for Scaled Local Video Ads?

People are drawn to video. It’s just a super simple way to get information without exceeding the average person’s effort threshold. So it’s no surprise that video consumption has grown at a staggering rate, especially on mobile devices. Consider these stats from Social Media Today: 

  1. 100 million hours of video per day are watched on Facebook.
  2. 1200% more shares are generated by social videos than text and images combined. 
  3. Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users. 
  4. 80% of users recall a video ad they have viewed online in the last month. 
  5. 50% of users take some kind of action after viewing a video ad. 

Considering video as part of your scaled social ad strategy? You’ll want to be sure to use Facebook’s best practices to get the most out of your video ads. Check out this infographic for six tips to increase your viewership and drive action. 

Learn how Tiger Pistol enables video advertising at scale.  

Beyond Store Visits: Better Objectives for Current Times

When the world is not under stay-at-home orders, it’s easy to gravitate towards Facebook’s Store Visits Objective as the best option to drive foot traffic into brick and mortar locations, but it’s far from the only option. Especially considering SVO’s setup requirements, now’s a better time than ever to consider how multi-location businesses can leverage other objectives locally. It also doesn’t hurt that Facebook’s overall cost of advertising is down between 20 and 40% (dependent on placement) across its family of apps, and previously passive users are becoming more active and engaged. This is the perfect recipe for businesses that want to re-engage their communities with social, gaining brand impressions while usage is at its peak and competition is at its lowest.

Locality, by its very nature, is a chief concern during the COVID crisis. As different states and countries have different responses to the COVID crisis, marketing campaigns must be flexible enough to shift to a highly volatile landscape. For large, multi-location brand clients, this might mean that some of their stores are open, some are closed, some do delivery, and some don’t. Therefore, preserving your execution flexibility is paramount. You don’t want to be caught with a singular national campaign that suddenly doesn’t work in certain regions.

Of course, given the COVID-19 situation, the very concept of driving footfall is more difficult. But this is exactly why you don’t necessarily want Store Visit Optimization to be the only tool in your toolbox. A more adaptive framework that allows campaigns to still operate with the hyper-locality of a SVO campaign, but without the specific objective requirements is timely, not only because of COVID, but also for your strategic flexibility overall. This framework can actually be replicated with other objectives too, especially with specialized tools. Developing campaigns across other objectives that utilize local pages and localized copy still provides the same local performance benefits as an SVO campaign, as well as the attribution models to ensure you can still prove ROAs.

For service-based businesses, Conversion or Traffic campaigns that utilize offline event sets to attribute footfall engagement is another means to achieve the same end. Especially when the buying decision is complex. Take for example car shopping, where there is value in driving users to view content and engage in top-of-funnel sales activity, while still preserving the ability to know whether or not these campaigns resulted in a consumer coming onsite.

A responsive local strategy that allows for different tactics ensures that you can more easily account for different scenarios.

  1. That local Conversion Objective campaign that facilitates online ordering for in-store pickup might also need to be a Conversions campaign, driving people to convert online purchases for home delivery for the state next door.
  2. Many businesses explicitly address COVID-19 concerns publicly, in terms of supporting donations and community efforts. Ads can cover content-based and awareness-driven needs, even in cases where stores are shut down, providing credibility and continued presence in the local community allows you to identify early stage micro-conversion events that can shift to full scale attribution as situations begin to normalize.

In either case, being able to do both at the same time ensures you can still deliver results for your partners, customers, or clients that operate and deliver the same results in aggregate as any Store Visits campaign. It’s not as straightforward as it was before, of course, but with the right tools, these sorts of scaled activations can be executed with just as much ease as a SVO campaign. It’s just a matter of thinking outside the box and utilizing the great toolbox of advertising options that Facebook offers.

Ready to discuss a scaled social strategy that helps your business stay ahead of the curve with the best opportunity for revenue growth in 2020 and into 2021? Contact us today. 

Chris Mayer, a Solutions Engineer at Tiger Pistol, specializes in helping digital agencies, SMB resellers, and global brands build scaled Facebook advertising solutions with an emphasis on local activation.

 

Why Paid Social Advertising is Better than Organic Posting

Facebook’s algorithm can have a big impact on how many people actually see your posts. With more and more content created on Facebook every day, organic reach continues to steadily decline. Still on the fence about the value of Facebook advertising?  Check out this infographic to understand how Facebook advertising extends your reach and drives real business outcomes. 

Ready to get started with social advertising at scale? Contact us today.