THE Single Critical Factor For Successful Advertising On Facebook

Since I first wrote about techniques for Facebook advertising and getting more fans, I’ve had a flood of requests for assistance. The reality is that it’s really easy to tell if a company is going to be wildly successful or suffer an exercise of futility.

Let’s first mention some of the minor factors that hurt your success—trying to re-use your Google PPC ads on Facebook, not testing with hundreds of creatives, casting a broad net instead of micro-targeting, not having an engaging landing page, sending traffic to your website instead of your Facebook page, not having robust analytics, not integrating your Facebook page with your website, not regularly interacting with fans—ok, you get the idea….

But that’s not THE biggest factor—not even close. The single most critical factor is how well you are known in your targeted audience. Thus, when we’re evaluating companies we take on as a clients, this is what we look at in qualifying them.

When you are a major brand, you already start with trust—that gives us high CTR and high conversion rates. You’re unlocking the offline value of your brand—converting what is already there into online gold. This is so easy that it’s almost like cheating. Instead of suffering with 0.002% click-through rates, it’s not unusual to get 100 times the CTR. Instead of a 10% click to fan conversion rate, you might get 70%.

Thus, you can reasonably expect to do 100 times better than the average Facebook advertiser – maybe even 700 times better. If you happen to be an ad agency, you might just take credit for harvesting what is already there.

Consider the most popular Twitter accounts – they are celebrities and large brands. Does anyone else really care what the average Tom, Dick, or Harry had for breakfast or that they’re about to walk their dog? But if you are familiar among your targeted audience, enquiring minds to know. They will lap up every juicy detail about every mundane action of your life. But if you’re not known, who cares?

Here’s how to tell if you qualify. Imagine you walk into a random Wal-Mart and ask 100 people if they’ve heard of your brand. If more than 20 people respond, you’re golden, as that’s the critical mass necessary to get people to pay attention to your ads and to be able to unlock friend of fan targeting in a massive way.

If you don’t have a household brand, then you’ve got a tough road ahead of you. Your fallback strategies are to leverage your competitor’s brand that does have such a presence and then run switcher campaigns. If your value proposition is compelling, you might be able to leech on their brand value – provided that you are not an imposter and don’t anger an already brand loyal community.

Now back to the household brand that has awesome offline presence, but a pathetic Facebook presence (less than 100,000 fans). We call this the “gap”—the difference between real world and Facebook popularity. The bigger the gap, the greater the inertia to pull the Facebook presence up to where it should naturally sit—and the greater the likelihood of having fantastic results. In a future article, we’ll discuss how a magnified Facebook presence enhances the productivity of your other marketing channels, plus increases your organic search traffic as well as offline awareness and conversion. Facebook has view-through conversion tracking and we’ll showcase a few examples.

If you are a local service business of the yellow page variety, you’re in luck! What is true for a Weekly World News is true for the local chiropractor, too. In their market (albeit a 50 mile radius from their location), they are or can be a name brand. The Cupertino chiropractor doesn’t need to be known in Boston or Chicago—they can be the big fish in the little pond, needing only to outcompete other chiropractors in Cupertino, California.

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