Marketers spend an unprecedented $37 Billion in Social Media Ad Spend in 2019 out of which 80% of ad spend was on Facebook ads (includes Instagram). Companies though are still struggling with optimizing their ad spend on social media including not knowing what metrics to measure the success of their ad campaigns.
Tune in to this exclusive episode of BobCast, where the role have been reversed and Bob Tripathi is in the hotseat as a speaker. Bob breaks down why companies are still struggling with Social Media ads and why many are doing it wrong. Bob provides his 7 proven tactics that can turn any campaign into a profitable Facebook ads campaign. A must listen to episode if you run paid social media campaigns.
Our Guest Speaker for this Episode:
Bob Tripathi, CMO & Founder at Digital Sparx Marketing
Bob Tripathi is a passionate, holistic Digital Marketing leader helping companies build their digital business and professionals transform their careers with marketing for 15+ years. He has co-authored a book, spoken at numerous conferences, written tens of articles, given interviews, created digital training workshops and spoken at hundreds of webinars.
Bob has marketing skills in both the B2C and B2B industry helping SMB’s and enterprises like Discover Financial, Sears Holdings, iEmployee.com and many others achieve massive growth through his marketing skills and thought leadership. He is a self-starting entrepreneur and his passion for marketing led him to start Digital Sparx Marketing, a company specializing in digital services.
Transcript of this podcast – Social Media Advertising – 7 Tips for Managing Facebook Ads
Megan Marschik: Welcome to this episode of Bobcast, today we will be talking about how to manage your social media ads for profitability. So today we decided to do something a little bit different and reverse the roles. And this time I’ll be interviewing Bob and getting his insights on his seven tips for social media ad profitability. So Bob welcome. How does it feel to be in the hot seat.
Bob Tripathi: Thank you Megan. Yeah. It feels great to be on the other side where somebody is interviewing me as you know in the past. I’ve done this so many times and then in the last season, which is Season 1 of BobCast. I started interviewing people but no, this is great. And hopefully you don’t throw any super super tough questions at me.
Megan Marschik: I’ll try no to. So before we get into it, one question I have is, What i the most common mistakes you see with people when they start running their social media ads?
Bob Tripathi: Yeah. Actually there’s two things to it, I’ll give you two common mistakes. Number one, is expectations right. So what I have seen is not a mistake but it is a mistake because people have wrong expectations. And the reason is most of the people who start with social ads you know especially in company organizations or even smaller businesses at some point in time they have been exposed or they have been running Google search ads or rather search ads in general. Which is known as PPC advertising. Now what happens is the the buyer funnel or the conversion funnel is pretty linear when it comes to paid search ads or PPC ads. So you know you have a problem you’re searching for it and then you look at an ad you click on that and hopefully you can convert
Bob Tripathi: It’s a very linear form of conversion now. So people then start with social media ads they expect the same form of linear conversion to happen in social media. So that is a wrong expectation. So then people come to us and they say oh my social ads are not working. But actually it’s the wrong expectation. Right. So that’s the number one mistake of false expectation that I’ve seen people make. And the second mistake that I’ve seen people make is if you know the classic legendary code by John Wanamaker is you know my advertising dollars is wasted, I just don’t know which half you know half of my advertising dollars is wasted. It’s so true because people run social media ads especially on Facebook and Instagram but they don’t know what metric to measure you know. So how do you measure the success of a social or paid social campaign, And because they don’t know that that is. You know there is a dissatisfaction with the medium or rather the platform whether be snap or Facebook or Instagram. So right off the bat these are the top or the high level really really macro level mistakes I’ve seen people make.
Megan Marschik: Awesome great insight. You know I think it’s important to identify your goals and KPIs and you know decide what you’re going to measure in the type of media you’re going to be using.
Bob Tripathi: Absolutely absolutely. You’re exactly right. You know like you know the goals and the objectives not goals and objectives are different right. But either way either way. And then the KPI is you know what are you going to be measuring what your success is going to be and you know what are some of the things that you put in place that you that you can say OK. This campaign is running great. So on and so forth. So yeah hopefully in the next few minutes you know we can talk a lot more about it. So.
Megan Marschik: Yeah great. So let’s not get into it. What is your tip number one?
Bob Tripathi: Right. So you know for this I had prepared like seven tips as you know. So yeah my first tip rather or tactic however you want to call it and this is a thing we have seen a lot. I have worked around with campaigns of smaller – larger campaigns. And the first thing that happens when we take or a client campaign or a client account if you will the first thing we do is we try to look at the low hanging fruit and what that means is just like any weight loss program or getting fit program. The first thing you want to do is you want to cut the fat and become lean. Correct. And that you know you’re paid social, you’re paid advertising, you’re paid media campaigns are no different. So the first step rather the first tactic I really recommend everyone do is cut the fat and cutting the fat meaning trimming down all the waste that is in your current paid media campaign and making your campaigns lean you know so that’s like right off the bat.
Megan Marschik: OK. And can you give us a specific example.
Bob Tripathi: Yeah. I was hoping you would ask me but you know there are a lot of campaign attributes right. So for example you can look at many attributes so when we take a take or account as you know we first look at things like you know how is the account structure, how is the audience targeting. So on and so forth. But when you specifically talk about paid social campaigns, especially on Facebook, the one thing we see again and again is the targeting. So for example we took over a client campaign that you know and when we took over the client campaign what we saw was 99 percent of the conversions for that client was coming from a specific geo city or geo location. Right. And you know they had that city and 99 percent of conversions was coming from 25 mile radius from that city whereas they had about only 70 percent of impressions coming from that city or the 25 mile radius of that city. And 30 percent of the impressions were coming from outside the city. So right there you see that the conversions and the impressions are not aligned well. So right there I was able to look at it and see like this is an area that is wasted and that is the first fat you are a target right. And eventually what happened was at the end of the day we were able to flip it and I think we got about 95 percent off impressions from that Geo other 25 mile radius of that Geo. And about 98 percent 99 percent conversion from the same geo. So now you know right there with this example that I gave you is we cut the fat we trim down the waste and you know we were able to increase the return on that ad spend by 25-30 percent right off the bat. So that’s my point number one.
Megan Marschik: Awesome. And sometimes I see ads that are targeted to me from events and businesses in other cities and states. And I was wondering you know why that is.
Bob Tripathi: Yeah. And sometimes what happens is you know because of Facebook algorithm and finding new audiences paid media managers are not aware that this is happening. You know. And then you know there are certain settings that you have to do to make sure that you know it stays within the same geo and you’re targeting that same audience within that year. You know and there are four different categories you know. So for example let’s say you went to California last week right and you clicked on an ad now as a paid search or paid media manager you’re going to by default select the option that Facebook is giving you is to show your ads to anybody who has visited that location or who was in that location. Right. So now you are in a different state whether you’re still seeing ads from this business in California and that is because the paid manager forgot to or probably miss or probably didn’t know that there was a setting where you can actually uncheck it and only show the ad to people who live in that geo location. So that could be the reason is what I’m guessing right off the bat in your case. But yeah these are like some of the things where you know you can cut and trim down the fat right off the bat.
Bob Tripathi: So definitely. Great. Great. Let’s move along, what is your tip number two?
Bob Tripathi: Great. So yeah. Tip number two is again unlike the traditional Google search right on AdWords where you know what we’re trying to do as marketers as business owners as campaign managers is we’re trying to capture the hand raisers which is people who have shown that they have an interest or an intent for a specific service or a product. And then we are serving them ads and then capturing them, well on social media especially on Facebook and Instagram what you can. You have to do is you have to build your own audience. That means you have to target your audience. And what we have seen on social ads is building your audience is the name of the game. And that means that you know if I build an audience today that that audience, you know you have to keep on improving it but build lookalike audiences matching audiences so on and so forth. And then you can just go on with different variations you know like the closest to one percent of the audience to 2 percent of the audience. Well it is closest to the target persona that you want to target. So in social ads, building new audiences is basically going to make or break it. If you don’t you know. And what we have seen is a lot of paid media managers the first few weeks, three weeks or maybe a month sometimes the ad performances are great. And then suddenly it starts dipping down. And the reason it starts stepping down is their marketing to the same audience, over and over again and they are not bringing new audiences into play. So again tip number two is to build an audience and then keep on building either look alike or mash and then go anywhere from 1 percent to 10 percent of the audience, again Facebook algorithm is super super powerful and as you know there was information at the fingertips. So yep that’s my tip. Number two.
Megan Marschik: Awesome. Yeah. Sometimes I see so many ads specific on Facebook with the same creatives and images over and over again And those I tended to skip over and keep going through but is Facebook charging people for those ads.
Bob Tripathi: Yeah that’s a great point that you brought up. And yeah. Basically what that paid media manager is doing is they haven’t they haven’t experimented with new audiences nor they have experimented with new creators. So for example if you see the same ad like four times, five times six times you’re going to be jaded right. And then when the next time you log on your your Facebook feed and you’re scrolling through it you’re just gonna go past that ad because you’ve seen that over and over again. So yes as a business you’re going to get charged because. The settings usually you know most people get charged per impression. Right. So that is an impression and not just from an impression cost point of view but also the quality score or the relevancy factor of your ad is gonna go down you know. So the trick is even if you are showing it change your change of creators. So for example if you see the same message from the same company but with a different creative. Your eyes are going to get attracted to that ad and the chances that you might click on them and then you know you could be part of the cookie pool and we can retarget and so on and so forth. But yeah that’s a great point. That’s a great point.
Bob Tripathi: Great great great insight. So I’m not going along to number three.
Bob Tripathi: Number three is not many social media managers or social media paid man paid social media managers are doing and that is they’re not creating fomo that means they’re not creating. You know a rush the fear of missing out okay.
Bob Tripathi: And how does that apply, you know you’re missing out in social media ads.
Bob Tripathi: And yeah I mean you’re right like that is FOMO in all areas of our lives. Right. And social media is social right. So that is a great book on social proof. By Robert Cialdini it’s kind of a classic among marketers but you know social proof is what it is. Is the social proof is if you see an ad which has got 1,000 comments or you know a hundred thousand likes right. You are more prone to click on that ad because that is a social proof that has been created on that ad and as an user either on Facebook. Instagram or Snap. You don’t want to miss out right. So intrinsically that ad has created a fear of missing out in your mind you know and basically with that kind of a fall more if all of us paid media managers and create then what we are doing is we are basically altering your trigger states and if we can alter your trigger states then we can change your behavior so if you, who is not looking at an ad certainly are now going to notice that ad and probably will make sure by creating a social proof and then in your head creating a FOMO you’re going to click on that ad and that is called altering behavior through creating more in your social ad. So yes creating FOMO is super super critical.
Bob Tripathi: Great yeah. Awesome. And moving into the next tip number four.
Bob Tripathi: Yeah I’ll be moving and fast but no four supercritical ride and I don’t see those people doing a lot. I mean you know there are paid managers and there are a lot of stuff on the plate. I get it but what people are not doing is they’re not leveraging their organic social media averages. Their Facebook community. The Instagram community that the Twitter followings and all that and they’re not leveraging it enough with the paid media ads because you know in marketing we live in a multi omni channel holistic kind of a digital marketing world. So all channels need to work cohesively with each other and only when it does that. Then you can create a ripple effect you know and in order for you to create a ripple effect as a marketer you have to make sure that your organic social media is helping you to boost your page social media apps you know and you know we’ve done it over and over again for clients where we leverage the organic social media basically to lift our social ads performance you know. So that is one way you can do it is leverage paid with organic.
Megan Marschik: Yeah. It’s interesting cause I love a lot of clients sometimes just say just run the paid ads don’t worry about organic social media you know And they don’t think that organic social media is as important as the paid ads but that’s incorrect.
Bob Tripathi: It is because you know what happens with organic is the there is a vanity metric right is and the first thing people ask is how many followers you have right. And it’s a vanity metric. I mean sure you know that the targeted, engage in the right kind of followers is super critical and we see that mostly it’s about only 20,25 percent would have that kind of followers but you know to give you an example or build upon it one of the easiest ways you can do is you know you can even if you’re a follower you take in social media like Facebook post for example or Instagram posts posted on one of your channels first. Right. And then people are going to like it. Comment that stuff like that and then use the same post and then create an ad out of it. And that way what happens is your ad relevancy score in the eyes of Facebook algorithm is gonna grow up because it already has some form of engagement right. And that at all what it does is fuel relevancy score is high Facebook is gonna serve up your ad to a lot more people you know with the higher frequency. So the this is one way you can actually use your organic social media to basically boost your page social media you know and you know one has to live off the other end to basically bullshit because at the end of the day remember organic social media is not different from paid because they both are on the same platform which is Facebook or Instagram.
Megan Marschik: Exactly. Those are some great tips. Anything else you want to add for Tip number four.
Bob Tripathi: No I think yeah I mean there are a lot of other tips do in terms of organic social media you know that you’re posting again. It’s not just about posting. Right. Like we talked this with our clients a lot because most of the times what happens in organizations is you know you look at some of the you know the person with the lowest amount of age enough or somebody who’s a recent graduate and then you see them there on Facebook Twitter on Instagram and you let them handle your social media right. But social media postings for business is so different than when you’re posting for your business you know. And sometimes that’s the mistake people do because you know at the end of the day it’s marketing communications right. So when you when you’re posting something is not just posting just because it’s a platform but how you can use that communication to essentially you know boost up your other side of your marketing channels and you know at the end of the day it’s all holistic. Right. Digital media marketing. So yeah. So there are many other ways you can leverage organic for your page.
Megan Marschik: Awesome. Great. Great. So moving to tip number five.
Bob Tripathi: Yeah. So tip number five. You know you’ve covered so far. How to create FOMO, How to cut out the fat, how to build new audiences, how to leverage your organic and paid. And yeah the tip number five is testing creatives and to do it cheaply right. Creators or your ads basically there are a few variables in it. One is your actual clear asset meaning how your ad is going to look like rather it be an image or a video and the other part of the creative is the is the ad copy right. So when you write an ad copy. How are you going to write it. In what. tone Are you selling it all you’re creating engagement. Right. So testing your creators both on the image side but also on the copy side is super critical. Now this is where many marketers and the social media managers make a mistake but marketers too the reason and most of the marketers were trained to write copy to sell okay. And on social media you should not be in the writing copy to sell but you should be writing copy to engage your users because once because the conversion funnel is not linear you know where you see an ad you create beautiful copy that could convert with a call to action and then discount coupons so on and so forth. You can’t, You don’t want to do that on social media. Posting instead of what you want to do is you want to create a copy which is engaging with your only goal is let them click and go to your landing page. Whether it be your product or your service. And that is what copywriting, writing ads and testing creative is about. A lot of people you know make blanket statements like oh vidoes work great on social media but again it all depends you know. So if you like in a week you’ve met so many folks in on the client side and even from the industry side and people make a blanket statement or videos are great on Instagram right. But that is not true. They cause yes videos were great but you have to understand who your audience is right and and what are they looking for. For example at that specific time it just depends on the audience and the platform. What we have done successfully is basically create an ad group and then have two different ad groups within that you know one is for images one is for videos and then you test it out. And so that’s one way to basically test your creative and you know many times we have seen a lot of times we have seen that a static image you know can outperform a video by a long shot. So it just depends on your audience on the medium as well. So it’s not that all because it’s a video and because it’s a video it’s going to perform better on Instagram you know if there is no hard fact truth for it. So the easiest way you want to do it is you want to do a small test. You know you can just spend 50 dollars or 100 dollars and you will come to know the results of people are engaging. That means it’s gonna work out.
Megan Marschik: I think the Facebook Facebook ads allows pretty easy. A/B Testing right. It’s pretty user friendly when testing creatives
Bob Tripathi: Creators. Yeah absolutely. So they give you the tools right. And that is why you know everyone still needs humans right. So they give you the tools to test it. Now as a as a paid campaign manager it’s your job to look at that data and you know data is not reporting what inferences you can get out of it right. So that’s the human intelligence will come in. But yes if somebody is inclined and they know then that a lot of tools available right now on the Facebook platform because they’ve done such an amazing job to improve it. But again at the end of the day it is the human intelligence because you know I can tell you we both can look at the same number but can have different inferences you know so that is where it makes a lot of difference you know. So.
Megan Marschik: Yeah good point great point perfect. So moving on to tip number six.
Bob Tripathi: Yeah. Tip number six. This is one of my favorites that you know I’ve always worked on. And you can actually do this with cutting the fat or making your campaigns leaner and that is implementing dayparting in or dayparting essentially means what time of the day you should be running your ads. OK. Now you know and this is where science and marketing comes in. So one of the easiest ways to do it is you can actually if you’re running your campaigns already and we know for our clients me you when we take over their account we have the we have the luxury of the past data so we can look at it and we can see between what time to what time we are seeing the maximum amount of conversions. Right. And sometimes because a push is not typically done in one session depending on the cost or the price of the product or the service you will see that people could be clicking at say 9 AM for example but they’re converting at 3 p.m. You know but you can still correlate that data because you can separate the click data with the conversion data. Either way you’ve got to look at your click data your conversion data and once you have that data then you can actually use day parting. So for example for one of our clients we saw that you know most of the clicks and the conclusions are happening between 9:00 in the morning to 11:00 a.m.. Then there was a quiet period in the afternoon and then the conversion started back picking it up from 3:00 p.m. until 6 p.m. or something. Right. So now what we did is from a ten or twelve hour window we cut down to about six hours you know five hours or six hours. So suddenly we compress that time and right off the bat we saved our client. Obviously a lot of wasted marketing dollars. But this also helped us to increase the total investment and the returns from the investments are day parting is super super critical. And you know most paid media managers do not look at this data carefully and you don’t have to run all your campaigns because you know there are many ways sometimes you want to first get people in the funnel. And you know ones first that click then they’re going to come back and then they’re going to convert. So it’s not going to be everything happening in one session but if you have data you can make better inferences you know and you start with a few ad groups and then go on from there. And you know another point I would make is not just time of the day but sometimes for a specific service or product. We have seen the day of the week helps a lot too you know. So for example one of the clients who you work on their Facebook accounts what we saw was traditionally you know if you’re working in an e-commerce thing Monday’s is super busy. You know Monday’s is sometimes the highest volume day but for this client that was not the case because you know they’re they’re basically sales or have been happening a lot on starting Thursday through Friday. So what we did basically is we started implementing day of the week so then we would not completely shut off the ad but allocate like only about 20 percent of the budget on a Monday on a Tuesday and then wrap the speed the ad spend out for the rest of the week. So that way you save money and then your relevancy scores are also not impacted you know. So yes not just departing but you can also implement the day of the week tactic. So yes that was my tip tactic on number six.
Megan Marschik: Now have for example like specific numbers or percentages that you think people can save by using day parting.
Bob Tripathi: Yeah absolutely. Like for example to do to offer client data without naming the client obviously for confidentiality purposes but yeah we saw like in an increase like you know we were very able to cut down about 35 percent of ad span by implementing day parting you know. And that is huge because just just right off the bat right. If you’re running ad for 12 hours and if you compress that to about 5 6 hours only in a day right there you will see you know a lot of improvement because you’re not wasting dollars just on impressions. Right. So yeah have you seen that happen. Yeah. Thirty five percent on that specific line. And know I’m sure you can. There is data. You can do better than that.
Megan Marschik: Awesome. So I got my last tip. Tip number seven.
Bob Tripathi: Yeah. Tip number seven. It’s interesting. This could be either the first or the last but you know again I’m going to call John Wanamaker again and that is the legendary coach right. We all in marketing have grown up listening to this quote that is half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The only trouble is. You don’t know which half of that advertising dollar. is right. You know as funny and as basic and straightforward as it sounds. But we see this every day where the clients or even paid media managers. They don’t know what is the most important metric that they should be measuring. Right. And I’ve just seen this happen in social media ads a lot more than other kinds of paid media. And you know sometimes people see that they’re getting conversion and they’re seeing the people they’re selling stuff and they’re making money but they just don’t know what is working. And because they may not know what is working obviously they don’t know what is not working right. And if you don’t know what is not working then how can you trim down your campaign save money and make your campaigns lean so that. So that is the thing. And you know getting right at it that are many variables a metrics you know like you can look at a return on investment which is a really broad broad term when you look at return on investment because there are so many different variables involved. All you’re looking at a metric like lifetime value and you know like I worked in a large store e-commerce brand Sears and you know we used to measure a lot about online impact to offline you know. So are we creating ads that we used to spend millions of driving ads with the sole purpose of driving people to the store in different zip codes around the country which is the online offline impact. But to answer your question the one metric is return on ad spend you know which is ROAS which is a super simple term and that is how much money you’re spending, how much money you’re making. Whatever that ratio is that is your return on ad spend so far more spending one dollar. Am I making my one dollar back. Simple as that. And that is known for having a parody of what that means you’re breaking even if you are spending one dollar on your social media ads. And if you are making 90 cents that means you haven’t written on ads spend of 0.9. Right. And that means you’re losing 10 cents on every dollar you make. And every dollar you spend so that is negative. So that is the first thing that I think most businesses don’t or know, they don’t know what to measure then even if they’re measuring that which is the return on ad spend you know they don’t know what is the right return on ads. That’s right. So what is the right ROAS And typically if you look at advertising costs the costs of the people who are working on then campaigns then you need to come up with a number which is like OK. This is sustainable. Either it’s 2 or 3 return on ad spend, four or more you know whatever that is. And of course there are a lot of other variables too like you can count the lifetime value of a customer. So you know the ROAS is a very short term way of looking at the efficacy of your programs. But if you measure and lifetime value of your customer then you can better measure the impact of your social ads performance and how they’re performing. But yeah that’s all I have. Those are my seven tips.
Megan Marschik: Also come from the southern tip I didn’t have one question Is there an average only as the people should try to achieve or it doesn’t depend on the business.
Bob Tripathi: Overall though the typical is you should not run ads where you’re losing money. So like one anything about one is better. Right. But you should not go below what you know and we feel out of businesses where they are below 1 You know like one client we took in. If you remember they had an ROAS of .28. That means they were losing 72 cents for every dollar they were spending. Right. So but because the overall business they were still making money and people were coming in and stuff like that they just didn’t know which oh you know what is not working again goes back to the John Wanamaker quote you know the trouble is I don’t know which half is not working right. A rich half of advertising is not working. So again it’s you know every business is different. And you know I’m going to let the audience know that you know they can e-mail us at any time and we have a worksheet and we can help and basically input so those numbers you know because a lot of variables into what is a success as the business measures you know. So.
Megan Marschik: Yeah. Awesome. Well I think that wraps up the seven tips various social media and profitability. Thank you Bob for great insights. And do you want to wrap up the 7 tips.
Bob Tripathi: Yeah. This is great. You know it feels great to be on the other side so hopefully I did as good as other speakers have done in the past. But yeah you know just to do a quick roundup the seven tips or the seven tactics to run your social media ads to profitability. One is to cut the fat, make your campaigns leaner. Right. Even if they don’t meet the tip number two is keep on building new audiences. Target audience. Obviously that’s number one. But then keep on building new audience, are you going to your ads are gonna get jaded you or your viewers are going to get jaded. Number three create FOMO fear of missing out, huge on social media. Number four which I think is super critical and this is where the art in marketing comes in is to leverage your organic social media and blend it with your paid ads and that is tip number four. Tip number five was testing your creatives, you know both your copy as well as your ads. And that is super and you can do it cheaply. So basically testing and creating ads cheaply. Tip number four was to implement day parting and the day of the week. And tip number seven is measure the most important metric that is FTB either it’s ROAS whatever it is you gotta measure. The important metric because you should know that you know you which marketing dollar that you’re spending and what you’re getting out of each one of them. So that’s that’s it. Those were my seven points.
Megan Marschik: Awesome. Sounds good. I think that wraps up this podcast. Thank you. Thank you again Bob.
Bob Tripathi: Thank you so much and it was fun. Thanks Megan.
Megan Marschik: Thank you.