Take my money Facebook!

Not too long ago I wrote my first blog post about creating a space for team brainstorms and workshops. In this blog I want to share with you learnings from promoting Creative Point at social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and some data regarding their effectiveness.

If you haven’t read my story of creating Creative Point you can read it here: https://medium.com/@tpieta/creating-a-user-experience-a8dbf57d4918

Reaching out for leads

I am not a marketing expert and my experience with social media marketing is limited. Nevertheless I had to give it a try!

The obvious problem that comes with a new business is the lack of customers. Right after launching www.creativepoint.nl we started running campaigns to promote our business and inform our potential customers that we are open for business. We focused primarily on:

  • Facebook including Instagram
  • LinkedIn

Starting with Facebook campaigns

Campaign type: Get website visitors

We started 2 campaigns focusing on which photos can be more attractive to our audience. That’s why our first campaigns had identical copy with different photos.

Facebook provides a great tool to filter your audience based on interests, gender, location, education, occupation etc.

Which photo would you expect to generate more clicks?

The Post its photo on the left performed 120% better that the team image on the right

With approximately € 300 spend on facebook promotions we generated roughly 600 website visits. Doesn’t sound too bad right? My next move was to create a report in Google analytics filtering the referral links that our promotions generated.

The conversion from 600 website visits was 0%. Yes, that’s right… Some very interesting numbers from GA and their intelligence tool are:

52.06% of your site traffic is from the Referral channel. Within Referral, lm.facebook.com is 5.76% of sessions, and performs worse on some key metrics.
52.06% of your site traffic is from the Referral channel. Within Referral, l.facebook.com is 7.91% of sessions, and performs worse on some key metrics.

What WORSE means and what are the key metrics? It was stunning to read that this 5.76% and 7.91% of sessions had 100% bounce rate and 0.00 minutes time spent on my site. This bounce rate in combination with the 0.00 minutes time spent should mean that every visitor that came from facebook was either a bot or irrelevant audience.

Even thought I saw my websites visits increasing significantly, was that generating any potential leads?

Campaign type: Get your visitors to reach out to you

The outcome after 2 days as I wouldn’t let the campaign run for a minute longer

To protect the anonymity of the responders I am not attaching the messages or the people that interacted. What is worth mentioning is that I paid facebook to receive two thumbs up messages from two users.

They were targeted because they live in Amsterdam without taking into consideration their interests, occupations and my filtering criteria.

It might mean that when you target your audience in Facebook it’s an OR condition instead of AND condition? For example people that live in Amsterdam AND have interests like Agile methodology AND have a job title like Project manager.

That was by far the worst € 8.54 I have ever spent. I even felt stupid for starting this campaign..

Campaign type: Get more visitors to like your page

Does this even work? I have read so many articles about farms in India and Indonesia that create fake accounts and randomly like other people’s pages. Since I am in this social media marketing exploration I decided to give this a try as well.

My campaign didn’t survive more than 2 days, or better say, I didn’t want it to run a minute longer. I stopped it right after the first two page likes.

I imagine that you get the point. This has nothing to do with the audience that I targeted.

It’s hard to find a relation between the audience that I targeted and the two people that liked my page considering that my target audience was set as below:

Interests: Business, Workshop, Agile management or Human resources, Employers: Technology, Job title: IT Project Manager, Event Manager or Business Office Manager and Industry: IT and Technical Services

Those are the other worst € 3,33 that I spent.

LinkedIn content promotion

Since LinkedIn was very generous to offer a promotion voucher for our first campaign in addition to the fact that it’s a professional social network. We gave it a try as well and started with creating the target audience.

Targeting the audience in LinkedIn is very precise and you can narrow it down to a specific company and even people. That was really impressive and made us feel that we are reaching out to the right people.

This ad is considered as completed by LinkedIn even though it received 0 visitors

I was surprised to find out after a month that my campaign was completed. What does completed mean for LinkedIn? I was not charged any money but at the same time I didn’t receive any notifications that something is wrong with my campaign.

I duplicated my ad and tried to restart it. Do you see the status toggle? Because I cannot…

Looking at the campaign today I still cannot figure out what is wrong with it. I have a potential audience of 34.000 LinkedIn members and have no idea how to get this campaign to run.

The user experience of LinkedIn ads is very poor without any feedback to the user. You simply can’t tell when something is wrong or when things are running nice and smooth.

Conclusion

I don’t have a budget of thousands euro per week to spend on social media marketing. Neither I have the budget to pay a social media marketer to do it for me. Taking those 2 factors into consideration, I was very disappointed by the usability and effectiveness of Facebook and LinkedIn when it comes to small businesses and people with limited experience.

Promoting your page in Facebook to get more likes or messages might be effective if you spend a fortune or if you want more likes besides your own regardless the audience.

We are now focusing our efforts to generate leads on direct marketing by attending meet up groups, conferences and creating events to promote our space. For now paid promotions on social media are put in the ice.

We would be happy to hear your thoughts on promoting a small business online!