Today I’m going to show you how I’m (probably) the only advertiser that can reach all of Moz.com’s users via Facebook. I’m also going to show you that for every industry you care about, you should have at least two fan pages to cover it. I’ll also show you how you can steal the best content ideas from any of your competitors right under their nose.
Welcome to the guide I’ve been hyping up for a long time. I call it the $1,000 Facebook guide partly because I had planned to sell this information as part of a premium product but mostly because I think it will be worth far more than that to any Facebook advertiser. If you’re looking to promote any type of website on Facebook these days, this guide will show you information I haven’t seen elsewhere.
This is the first part of what I predict will be a three part series. Today’s post will cover how to learn everything there is to know about your industry on Facebook and tips and tricks on how I make my Facebook pages reach far more people than the competition.
The next post in this series will be getting into ads. The types of ads I run, the pictures I use and how I’m able to get clicks for as little as $0.00. There are no typo’s there, that’s how Facebook reports them (they’re really something like $0.002558 per click).
The following post will likely cover a lot of Facebook angles and opportunities that didn’t really fit in with the first two parts.
And yes, I’m talking about US traffic as well.
Before we get into this huge post, you are probably asking if this is for you. Well, the headline is clear: If you are willing to put in $5 per day on Facebook ads you can learn more about your industry than pretty much any other advertising channel.
This post will apply to people looking to promote blogs, forums, online stores or anything similar.
Here’s a warning though: If you’re looking to promote diet pills, whitening creams, muscle building pills or anything of that nature, I can’t help you. I don’t have experience with that kind of thing and it’s not something I really want to get into. Even if it has made some of my friends millionaires.
I really want to start with the basics but to keep you interested in this post here’s one idea that works incredibly well for me.
And I target the exact same people for both pages in most cases.
Because, like Google, Facebook gives more weight to something that has been recommended (links, shares) by more than one source.
Later in this post I’ll explain why they both tagged themselves which helps as well
The styling of this link share is much more favourable to to getting a higher reach and having more people click through to your link.
Car Memes and Car Throttle both have more than one million likes and regularly push the same links. Car Throttle – the London based automotive blog – show no signs of slowing down their growth:
Their traffic has doubled in the last 6 months (and it was already huge). You can see a large part of that is thanks to Facebook which they’ve clearly figured out.
As an interesting side note, in the early days of Car Throttle they noticed a traffic spike whenever the owner of Car Meme’s linked to them. So…they bought the page.
It’s not only Car Throttle who figured this out of course. The guys at DoYouEven – who also own Gym Memes – do the same thing. Since Facebook publish joint shares so heavily (and there’s no branding at the top of the shares) I decided to start building new pages to compliment the ones I have.
I will talk about this more in the next post on ad buying, but basically just requires you to target the same very small, targeted interests when running ads. They’ll likely both get the same fans and you can just keep posting links which will, now and again, get featured prominently like this in a the News Feed, resulting in big traffic spikes.
ViperChill isn’t about the basics. For that reason, I’m going to skip the lessons on why you should choose a good name for your page, select a custom URL, create a cover photo and all of the other little steps you can read about elsewhere on the web.
I will say – with a matter of importance – that your Pages profile picture should stand out. Even if you have no intention of building up a large Facebook Page, you need a Page when you’re running News Feed ads, and standing out is part of the challenge.
On my biggest Facebook page, the colours I use are literally among the most garish the human eye can see. I don’t just put them for the sake of it of course; I try to use them in a smart way. For instance, one of my competitors uses a bright green colour in their Facebook picture by modifying the object they’re promoting. That could be a bright green golf club, or football, or legal document.
Just be sure that your Facebook picture still stands out when you reduce it to 40 x 40px in Photoshop. Standing out doesn’t mean that you have to get in the way of branding. Companies like Chanel, Ferrari and Harrod’s have still found ways to keep branding in mind and make their profile picture ‘pop’.
With the very basic stuff out of the way, let’s cover what my main focus is when I work with Facebook.
I hope you found that first section on using multiple Facebook pages interesting. It’s a taster of things to come. For now though, I want keep things scaled back a little so I can explain exactly what my plan and thoughts are regarding Facebook Marketing. Or more specifically, Facebook Advertising.
One thing a lot of people ask me is whether it’s worth buying Likes for the pages that you build or whether you should just send traffic directly to your website. To be very blunt: I very much believe in buying Likes for Facebook fan pages. While the organic reach of pages has obviously decreased over the last few years (due increased competition for eyeballs and a desire from Facebook for more money), you still get reach.
Here’s something I posted just a few days ago that had 30,000 people see it without a single boost or ad.
Link clicks for this reach are usually much higher, but I wanted to show something I hadn’t boosted at all.
I’ve bought Likes for dozens of different pages and continue to do so to this day. As I write this I’ve spent around $60/day for the last 3 months just for one page. I’m not doing it just to have a cool fan count: I genuinely believe I’m getting or will get a return from having a large audience.
Depending on the niche I operate in, I don’t like to pay anything more than $0.15 per like and preferably under $.10. For the last few months I ran an American-only campaign for a specific niche and was able to get thousands of likes at $0.04 each. Right now I’m also running campaigns in non-US countries and buying thousands of likes for as little as $0.01.
That’s 10,000 fans for $100. Not a bad return at all, especially when they’re so targeted.
Today I’m going to reveal the primary secret for me being able to get such cheap fans and cheap clicks from Facebook. I’ve had thousands upon thousands of link clicks from $0.01 and less (Facebook shows $0.00 in ad stats).
The secret is simply targeting the right interests.
When you run a Facebook ad from the normal Ads Manager you get to target people via their Education, Relationship Status, Income and many other similar angles. The only thing I’ve been touching is the Interests section of Facebook.
I honestly don’t do anything overly complicated in the Power Editor or things like that – though I will be talking more about ads and my tips in the next post in this series – but simply find Interests that other people probably aren’t targeting.
In this post I want to show you how to I build upon what I shared in the last post about spreading your focus as far and wide as possible, then start to connect the dots as you have a better view of the bigger picture.
The following tactics should not only be useful for finding potential interests when you run ads, but give you a very clear picture of the niche you’re operating in, no matter what it may be.
What I also want to discover when I follow these steps is pages in my industry that I can learn from in order to improve what I’m sharing to my own fans or improve the content I’m putting in my ads.
Without further ado…
In my most recent post I showed you how you can find similar pages to any other page on Facebook. So, instead of having to click “Like” on a page and wait for Facebook’s similar suggestions to kick in, you can instead use a little URL trick to bypass the process.
I showed you how to find the ID of any page as that’s the ID you need to make the “trick” work. However, one smart commenter told me about a faster way which I’ve used previously but totally forgot about.
For any Facebook page you want to learn the ID of, just add the graph sub-domain to the start of the URL.
So http://facebook.com/viperchill becomes http://graph.facebook.com/viperchill. If you go to that website you’ll see something a little like this:
My page ID is highlighted in the red box
Once you have the page ID, you simply add it to the end of this URL:
Changing ID for the actual number.
From a page for a Magician with just 30,000 fans you can find a lot of relevant, similar pages, like so:
This is by far one of my favourite tricks to utilise to find more pages.
The key is putting the time in so you find yourself going further and further down the rabbit hole. From one page you may find two or three interesting alternatives. Then you do the same trick for those two or three pages and on it goes. You really can just keep going on and on and on, putting new pages into the URL, and finding more opportunities and potential interests for future advertising.
If you head over to a page you’re an Admin of and click on “Insights” on the top navigation bar you’ll learn more about your own audience and the reach of specific posts.
What Facebook also allows you to do in this section is watch other brands to see how they’re performing in terms of not only growth but also their top posts for the week.
All you need to do is add a few pages to watch, first. Then, Facebook will show you other pages they recommend you watch based on the audience of your own page:
The suggestions here from Facebook aren’t very good in this example but please keep in mind that I only just added pages to watch for this screenshot – I really don’t follow ViperChill stats too closely – so it may take a while for Facebook to give me more relevant suggestions.
Make sure you implement this for your own pages which you manage and see what Facebook algorithmically suggest if you haven’t already.
Though the following suggestion can feel a little slow and “manual” when implemented, I have found some great pages to follow or interests to advertise to when researching with this method. What you probably already know is that Facebook allows pages to Like other pages and those likes are then shown quite prominently on their page.
Here’s an example of Likes by Pages after checking Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income page and MJ DeMarco’s The Fast Lane Millionaire page.
You can also click on the text that says “Liked by this page” and a pop-up will appear showing more results.
While some pages will simply like people they want to be associated or friendly with, you will find a lot of genuine recommendations this way if you keep going through this process with every large, relevant page that you find.
The headline really explains this one so there won’t be any fancy images here. Once you’ve built an audience and start having people share your status updates, go and check out their personal profiles. You won’t be able to see all of the people who shared your update – only the public ones – but I’ve found that the people who share any post generally share a lot of posts.
I’ve found at least one great page per industry that I didn’t know about just by “stalking” the people who share my own posts and see what else they share.
Sadly the only examples I can give would give away the other niches and countries I operate in. If a miracle happens and people start sharing ViperChill statuses – hah – I’ll share some examples.
Running a small ($50-100) impression-based campaign on Google Adwords in your niche can teach you a lot about an industry.
Whenever I do this I don’t spend time testing the ad or trying to make it look amazing so I suggest you don’t either. Just make it relevant enough for at least some people to click on.
Set the category for your ad which should be relevant to the industry you’re targeting and only target the Display Network. Then sit back and look at the sites where the ads are being clicked.
With less than $20 spend I found a website I had no idea about previously that turned out to be an interest with 230,000 reach. All you have to do is start entering the name of the sites you find as possible Interests and see which one Facebook recognises.
This $20 example is still one of my cheapest campaigns to this day because they are an older brand who kind of died off – and most people wouldn’t think of – but still have a lot of people attached to their name.
You can see lots of links which have just sent a single referrer to my site. These are all from an Adwords campaign using this tactic
If you know an industry fairly well then you are less likely to get any great finds with this one but since I didn’t know my industry too well – and Google searches only got me so far – it was a real winner for me.
For this to work even better you can run a retargeting campaign by tracking people who visit your site and then finding out other websites they spend time on.
Like the previous suggestion, utilising Social bakers works far better if you don’t know a lot about the industry you’re entering. Though, now and then you could get a few surprises.
For instance, let’s say I’m using Facebook to promote a Football news blog or forum that I’ve just started. I know that I could target people who are interested in Real Madrid, Barcelona, Newcastle United or any other amazing football team (see what I did there?). Then again, everyone else in this niche who are running ads are probably going to be doing the same thing.
With Social Bakers (not an affiliate link) you can not only rank the biggest brands in different industries but you can also look at the fastest growing. Here are the fastest growing brands in sports this week:
While there are a lot of obvious contenders there’s also one result I’ve never heard of: Spartan Race. I’m probably alone there since they have 4 million fans but they’ve gained a few hundred thousand in just the last week alone. With a little imagination there are probably a few angles I or you could take to capitalise on the event.
“Which Premier League players would be Amazing in the Spartan Race”, “Which Premier League players would be Terrible in the Spartan Race”, “Why Football Players Would be Better than Rugby Players in the Spartan Race” and so on.
The Social Bakers feature I like most is the ability to delve into categories by country. I do run one page in a country I don’t know too much about and I’ve found a few results from the site which, again, I’ve been able to use in advertising campaigns and get very cheap clicks for.
The opportunities are endless with this one if you’re willing to do a bit of digging.
The Audience Insights tool, here, is great when you have a page that has started to grow an audience. This tool allows you to see a lot more information about your audience than you can from the Pages Admin area.
Here are some interesting stats about the ViperChill audience, for example.
From this we can see that ViperChill readers are more likely to be either Single or In a Relationship than the Facebook average. They are also far less likely to be Engaged than the Facebook average.
Perhaps more intriguing is that 15% of my audience is in Grad School, which is 150% more than the Facebook average.
There are a lot of other interesting things to check with the Audience Insights tool so I recommend going through all of the options on your own. These example findings could be especially useful when I start ad campaigns by doing things like excluding people who are engaged or people in High School and so on.
Unfortunately the ViperChill audience seemed to small to test to but I was able to use another page of mine to find relevant pages that my chosen audience would have a strong Affinity with. You can use a lot of other variables, such as interests, to find other potential pages to learn from and target as well.
Facebook describe Affinity as “How likely your audience is to like a given Page compared to everyone on Facebook” so I’ve found a great list here of pages with a large number of Fans that I could potentially target.
And target, I have 😉
Now that we’ve covered these 7 examples, let’s start getting into some specifics. To begin, I want to show you how I’ve been utilising my knowledge of Facebook interests to advertise to Moz fans for months, very cheaply.
Besides Moz themselves, of course.
The trick, as I mentioned earlier is all about interests and knowing what Facebook look for.
Check this out.
I type in Moz.
Nothing. Unless you did actually want to target people interested in Islam instead.
Let’s try SEOMoz, since that’s what they used to be called.
Just 6,000 people yet they have 187,000 fans.
Now, something else in that screenshot is why I wish I had taken it earlier.
Facebook – literally only this month – now offer Moz (Marketing software) as an option. Until now this has never been the case (please, ask Jon Loomer if you don’t believe me since I showed him this before).
I now realise how cooler this example would have been if Facebook weren’t offering that suggestion but again, trust me, they weren’t until I tried to get a screenshot for this post.
For months I’ve been able to market to their audience because I knew their interest was tagged as “Moz Software” and nothing else. I never received it from any kind of suggestion like in that screenshot.
The result is that my Likes and clicks to website were cheaper than ever before because very few people, if any, ever knew how to figure out the interest to reach their audience.
How did I figure it out?
Well, what you can often do when you can’t find a page in interests (they don’t show up by default) is to look at the category their page is in. Look how Moz have their fan page targeted:
Just based on how they categorise their page is how I found this interest well over six months ago and have been using it ever since.
Now, I don’t know the exact process of how a brand or page can become an interest. By default, pages aren’t really interests. I heard a true Facebook expert describe interests basically being generated when a page / brand generates a lot of activity, gets tagged a lot, has people writing hashtags about them and so on.
It’s basically thought to be a combination of activity around a company or brand that allows it to show up in interests.
In the case of Moz, it was simply entering a lot of words around their brand name – such as their category – that allowed me to figure out how to reach their audience.
This persistence, with a bit of luck, is how I’m able to find brands and topics that don’t have other marketers advertising to already. And when you can find those, prices come down by default.
I say feel, because it’s not something I can definitively prove, and it’s not something other people seem to talk about.
I know there is some importance between categorising yourself as a local business or online brand (so you can enable check-ins, reviews and so on) but that’s not what I’m referring to.
I’m instead talking about changing the category of your Facebook page in order to improve the reach of individual Facebook posts.
The thing that made me question my current Facebook category was a competitor – who only had 20% more fans than me – getting far more than a 20% engagement and reach advantage on their posts. I know my industry inside out and they were absolutely not writing better content than us. I could also see when they were boosting posts, yet the non-boosted post still received insane engagement.
While researching what they might be doing that I’m not, I happened to notice their category was different to mine. Previously I had chosen my category as something very specific towards my niche i.e. Software or Football but theirs was the very broad “News / Media Website” category.
After I changed my category I found that my reach for Link posts (not photos or videos) grew higher than it had ever been. I could also share more links per day and get more reach for each individual article I share.
Interestingly, my competitor only post links, never a single picture or video update, so I decided to do the same. To utilise the two page trick which I mentioned earlier, I decided to create another page in the same industry to share photos and videos that I might have shared previously.
Now, again, I have zero proof that changing my page category had any effect on my results here. It could be that my page hit a certain likes threshold, Facebook started viewing my page as more valuable or dozens of other possible factors. However, when you try to think about it logically, it makes sense that Facebook would give more exposure to links when you define yourself as a website.
If any of you try this, please let me know if you see any changes in the comments.
A few months ago I hired a programmer to find the top posts on any Facebook page. Basically the idea was to input any Facebook page, then it would go through all posts, and return back the posts with the most Likes. Logically speaking, this is the kind of content that their audience found interesting and if I’m in a similar niche, my audience would like too.
Fortunately at the beginning of development, I found a company who does this already; they’re called Fan Page Karma.
They don’t really advertise this feature too much which is odd to me since it’s the most useful part of their service in my opinion.
Let’s go back to the Magic niche which I was talking about in the last post and analyse the page of the UK’s Derren Brown. The date I inputted to monitor was all posts from October 1st 2014 to March 1st 2015. Here’s the result:
On the left hand side you can see his most popular posts and on the right hand side you can see his weakest (amazingly, some didn’t get a single like). Sadly you can only see 5 posts per search result – even with a paid account – but if you keep messing around with the date range (I.e. check October only, then November only) you can return a lot of results.
Let’s do another example.
Being the greatest TV show in the world and having 15 million fans on Facebook, checking Top Gear’s most popular posts should be interesting. This time I’ve only looked for their top posts in the last month:
I know they have a large audience but people across the world generally respond to the same type of content. If I ran a car blog, for instance, then I can use two of those three posts however I please. I know people will react to them because they’ve already proven to do so.
It’s like how if you’re a regular reader of Reddit.com you’ll see “reposts” on the homepage a lot of the time. The image or story being shared ticks just enough viral boxes that if you reach enough people with the content, they’ll react to it in the same way people did in the past.
The Dubai police video is just a Youtube video that they shared themselves and the Ferrari 488 GTB pictures were released by Ferrari anyway so there would be no copyright issues with sharing them myself. I could put those on my page or website – if I had one – right this minute.
In return I would likely get similar viral results. More often than not, I do. And, you could too.
Please note that I am a paying member of Fan Page Karma but never had any issues getting this information on a free account. I honestly don’t know what their limits are for free accounts but you could definitely run a few URL’s without signing up.
I think it’s fairly well agreed among Facebook marketers – or at least those who focus on growing large fan pages – that the first hour or so of a status going live determines how far and wide across your audience and the rest of Facebook it will spread. If you get a lot of engagement early on you’ll likely have your post reach far more people as the day goes on.
I personally call this the 10% engagement rule. I tweeted about it a few days ago.
Shameless plug: If you want to follow me on Twitter you can do so here.
If you’re looking to reach as much of your potential audience as possible while a post starts to go viral – this won’t work for boring updates – then look no further than the Insights tab I pointed out earlier.
If you click on Insights (from the top nav of your own Facebook page) then click on Posts you can see exactly when most of your fans are online. Here’s an example from one of my own Facebook pages:
While days of the week are fairly consistent, it’s clear that there are times in the day that my audience use Facebook the most. I predict noon is popular because that’s when people get a lunch break from work and late afternoon is also popular because people are again home from work and free to browse the web.
Every single day I try to publish something before noon and something around 6pm. This gives my content – if it’s good – the best chance to get seen by a lot of people as Facebook shows it to more and more people if the response is good. As more of my potential fans are online, there are more potential people to see the content.
For my last post when I was researching pages for the Magic niche and giving examples I accidentally (honest!) clicked “Like” on the Manchester United Facebook page. Interestingly, I haven’t seen much from them, but what I have seen shows how well tagging works.
Both of the following pages – Goal.com and Mirror Football – tagged the team in a status update and I got to see it:
Notice that I don’t like either of their pages. Facebook simply assume I will be interested in the story because I have already liked Manchester United. None of my friends liked these posts either – because they’re smart enough to support Newcastle – so it shows the power of tagging.
Now, unless you are a news site there aren’t many opportunities to take advantage of this. I use it very sparingly and often in a nice way so I might say “[Tagged brand] also talked about this story today”.
The results are hit and miss, but can often result in a very big hit to help a post that is going viral to reach more people.
We’re wrapping up this post now and I hope I’ve given you some great angles to work with, no matter which industry you may find yourself operating in.
Here are a few additional tips to help you make the most of your time marketing on Facebook.
In 99% of cases your website will be set-up just fine for Facebook to be able to take the necessary pictures and summary text of your article automatically. I discovered recently though that while Facebook could pull in my article headline and picture, they weren’t pulling in my summary text.
In my frustration in trying to figure this out, I came across the Facebook “lint tool“. I’m sure the name has some proper meaning.
Anyways, what it allows you to do is enter any URL and see how Facebook pulls the information for that site. So if I put in my most recent ViperChill blog post, this is what I see:
Not only can you diagnose problems like I did (my meta description tag was empty), if you’ve set up a default image for sharing and want to see if it works, this is the perfect place to do it.
I post 5-6 links per day on most of my Facebook pages – made possibly by categorising my pages as websites (I believe) – so have a good idea of what people like and don’t like.
What I like to check is which days I receive more unlikes on my page than others. Just because you have someone as a fan of your page, it certainly doesn’t mean they’ll be around forever.
I can generally correlate the spikes in Unlikes to the type of content I’ve posted. Often when I try something new and irregular to what I normally share, the spike will be higher.
To access this information head back to the Insights Tab and select Likes in the secondary navigation bar which appears.
The hard part about writing this series is that I’m always learning something new about my industry as a whole and how Facebook promotes content. For instance, Facebook just launched a Call to Action button at the top of pages which you can use to send Page visitors pretty much wherever you like.
Organic reach is always going to change. The type of content (links, video, pictures) and the reach they get will constantly change. Your competitors and new players in the space, will also change.
The most important thing you can do is accept that these changes are going to happen – don’t try to fight them, you don’t own Facebook – and continue to learn as they happen.
That is the difference between success and failure in this space.
This post is getting very long so I’ll think we’ll stop it there. I have one slight deviation blog post coming after this then we’ll continue with the series.
I hope you liked the first entry. I have nothing to sell or promote here, I really just care about your thoughts and comments, so all feedback is much appreciated!