More than just boosting — Facebook is a direct channel to your customers

Love it or loathe it, social media isn’t going anywhere. Unless you live in a hermetically sealed bunker, or are morally opposed to the internet, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the rest are attracting your eyes, thumbs and (increasingly) wallets to their digital environments.

There’s a lot written about why people use social media, and the psychological insights for the advertising industry are pretty fascinating. If you told an ad man 30 years ago that you’d be able to directly target a potential consumer through a handheld device — all day, every day — they’d have told you go back to watching Tomorrow’s World and continue dreaming.

The reality today is that social media is a powerful and persuasive way to show people your stuff. Facebook in particular has become an essential tool in any business, brand or organisation’s digital strategy; providing low cost and easily traceable methods to deliver content to consumers. Despite this, there’s still a stigma attached to social media marketing and we often encounter people who are skeptical of its benefits or are flat out confused as to how to effectively use it.

A common misconception is that Facebook advertising is just about boosting posts to loosely defined audiences. This is one of the ways in which Facebook’s “advertising for all” strategy has backfired — they’ve made it too easy for everyone to spend money on advertising. People put £5 behind a boosted post after being told it will work wonders for them, and then are left scratching their heads when the promotion ends and they’ve either seen nothing happen or have received engagment they don’t understand.

Part of what we do at Empire is demonstrate the powerful tool that Facebook is when it’s in the right hands. We build it into a clearly defined digital strategy, based on a set of tangible goals, all of which are specifically tailored to maximise the benefits of the tools that Facebook provide.

Take Fresh Ego Kid as an example. When the brand started to use social to advertise their products, they would put a considerable amount of their advertising spend into boosted posts, but they didn’t know how to track their success. They were using Facebook’s audience creator, targeting interests that aligned with the brand, but had no way of knowing if these users were engaging with their content or if they were likely to purchase an item from their site.

Our first port of call was to install Facebook’s tracking pixel into the Fresh Ego Kid website which allowed us to begin pulling in valuable user data and build a picture of what the brand’s audience looked like and how they behaved digitally.

This is a key moment where you can see if perception matches up to reality. If a brand thinks their audience is socially engaged millennials primed to spend but is actually socially disengaged baby boomers then something has gone awry and their strategy needs looking at! In Fresh Ego Kid’s case, perception and reality lined up and we were then able to inspire this audience to invest in the brand, either with their time or their hard earned cash.

Check back here soon, I’ll be talking about playing the social long game and how to avoid coming across like a cheap, cold calling shit pile online.