Ever Wanted To Clone Your Customers?

We all have customers. We all want more customers.

Finding them and hunting them down on Facebook is literally rocket science. I see lots of debate about Facebook advertising.

Some Facebook users get annoyed with the ads (even some business owners, who should understand that marketing is a necessity). I quite like them, usually because the clever marketing peeps know that I have a weakness for wine and gin.

If you are getting sponsored ads pop up for things that are of no interest, then it’s time to have a look at your interests.

I have been to networking meetings with other business owners who were saying that paid advertising doesn’t work for them and they prefer to grow organically.

I was new to the networking group and didn’t feel brave enough to tell them that all of our growth for the martial arts business has been with paid Facebook ads.

The chances are, they just aren’t getting it right.

Back to my opening, this is rocket science.

It also isn’t a sledge hammer, it can be a subtle, sophisticated, marketing tool.

Think of TV adverts. A business can select which channel, time, programme that they want to advertise in or around. So pizza delivery adverts arrive at dinner time. Now imagine if you are a vegan, a pepperoni laden pizza isn’t going to do it for you but a vegan pizza would totally rock your world. So clever sorcery would make sure that this is the ad that you see.

That’s the magic of Facebook advertising. Facebook knows you and it knows your past, present and future customers.

Putting together an ad campaign is rocket science.The variations and options are huge. Facebook does try to help with lots of optimisation and suggestions. If you are new to this then get some help.

There are 11 types of ads to choose from, as a Facebook user they are all the same, so what’s the difference?

In a nutshell you have ads which are designed to increase awareness of your brand, ads designed to get engagement and those that are for selling.

This seems pretty straightforward, if I want someone to watch a little video (videos are great for ads on Facebook) I choose a video ad.

Depending on which Campaign type you choose, Facebook will give you different options so this might take a few attempts to get the result you are looking for.

Once you have a campaign chosen you need to create an audience. This is the beauty of Facebook, it has been collecting all of your customers clicks, pauses and reactions.

You can advertise to anyone who has ever looked at any page of your website! If you have a website and you are not using Pixels then you need to get some help. It’s the best tool that any business owner could ever have invented.

Remember that I told you that Facebook knows EVERYTHING. If you imagine that those customers are all aged 35, live in Kent, married, two kids, drive a BMW, have 2 cats, and wear Ted Baker socks.

Facebook can create an audience of other people who fit the same sort of interests. So you can create an advert which will go to those people which are just like your current customers. It’s so beautiful, I love it.

Many Perfect Customers!

A little game I like to play is to look at what interests Facebook has for me. You should play this game too. On a computer go to settings in the drop down menu, then select ads from the menu on the left.

It’s probably a good idea to go through and tidy up your interests. Try not to get freaked out about what Facebook knows. Treat it as a way to make sure that your newsfeed is full of stuff you actually want to see. I get loads of ads about wine, which suits me perfectly!

Don’t get me wrong, we do promote in other ways. It’s all part of the mix.

A few years ago we did a massive leaflet print and shoved them through doors. We once spent a whole Christmas holiday walking the streets of Tunbridge Wells promoting a ladies fitness class.

We also advertise in some local print magazines, which are very popular with families in a small geographic area. We do this at the same time as having a Facebook ad campaign running. We want people to see us multiple times.

The big marketing peeps generally agree that people need to see or hear from you 7 times before they make a purchase.

That’s a lot of hard work if you are doing things the old fashioned way.

The beauty with using digital marketing is that you will know if someone SLOWS down over your ad. Then you can shove another ad on their newsfeed. Brilliant. Genius.

There is of course a down side, *sigh, learning how to use this Facebook functionality and making sure your ads are going to the right people is difficult. I call it rocket science and have heard it called the Dark Arts this week.

If you can afford to pay someone to do it all for you then perhaps you should. If you are on a budget, you need to do it for yourself. Find someone who can teach you, there are loads of people who can.

Look for recommendations.You don’t want to work with someone who is super technical but can’t break it down into easy to follow steps. You will just be overwhelmed and give up.

Ultimately, some of us will choose not to advertise and be working hard to grow organically, also known as for free. The trade off is that this will take more time. This involves working harder in groups, engaging with more people.

Should organic growth be your preference then put aside a couple of hours every day to make it happen.

For Facebook we actually use a mixture of both paid and organic, depending on which business we are promoting. For our Martial Arts it is predominantly paid. For our work with business owners it is predominantly organic.

You will need to weigh up what works for you and your business, think about the best way to get the attention of your customers and decide how quickly you want to grow your business.

Whatever marketing you choose, knowing a little bit about how Facebook works is fascinating..

Welcome to the Dark Arts fellow Facebook Ninjas.

Confessions of a Small Business Owner