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January 31, 2017

Are Facebook Messenger Ads Worth it?

What’s this shiny new option?

So you’ve been looking in your Facebook ad manager and you’ve noticed a shiny new placement for Messenger ads! As you know we always recommend testing out anything new that Facebook roll out because they usually try their best to make new options work!

What are they?

Facebook messenger ads are quite similar to LinkedIn ads. You set up an ad and it gets posted directly into your audiences inbox rather then in their newsfeed. This is great, it’s almost like having their phone number and sending them a text message. However, there’s a bit of a catch!

What’s the catch?

The catch is that you can only use this placement type on Facebook users that have ALREADY messaged your page in the past. Initially this feels frustrating, but it’s Facebook’s way of respecting it’s users privacy. If everyone suddenly started getting direct messages to their messenger app from pages they’d get pretty annoyed. When there has already been some direct communication between a user and a page, it’s a little easier to slip in an advert without it being too intrusive.

Who should use it?

If you think about it, only being able to use this placement type to people who have already messaged your page narrows down your target audience considerably. If you haven’t got a fan page that’s incredibly well known and only gets a few messages per day, your audience isn’t going to be that big. There’s nothing stopping you going into the messages each day and sending the exact same ad copy directly to the people who have already messaged you. It may take more time, but it doesn’t involve spending any of your Facebook ad budget.

However if you do have a huge audience and 1000’s of people that message your page, the ads are really worth doing!

How should they be used?

There are 2 routes you can take with Facebook messenger ads.

  1. Offer a discount
  2. Start a conversation

1. If you’re going to try and sell to your message audience, you better be willing to offer them a special discount! Don’t just shove a link to your products down their throat, make them feel special and give them a limited time to claim the offer.

2. Why does this have to be about selling? Why not start a conversation with your message audience and get them to open up to you about what they think about your products or services?


January 30, 2017

How often should I post?

How often should you post to social media?

This is possibly the question we get asked the most by new and current clients. “Are we posting enough?” “Are we posting too much?” There are so many variables that determine how often that you should post that it’s tough to say without knowing exactly who you are and what sort of business you have.

However there are certain factors that we can go into that may help you decide how often you should be posting to your social media pages.

Are you doing any paid ads?

If you’re investing a lot of money into paid advertising on social media then there are 2 categories your strategy may fall into (ideally you fall into both!) that help determine how often you should post.

My paid ads are for direct sales: If your paid ads are for direct sales only, then you’ll need to be posting more than just once per day. You’ll be getting organic fans and followers from the paid ads and these people will be your ideal fans and followers. However if you want to reach them with your content, you need to get it out there at the times of day they’re most likely to be online.

My paid ads are for brand awareness: If you’re doing paid ads for brand awareness then some of the budget should be set for sponsoring your content. This means you can post much less frequently (5-7 times per week) and still reach enough of your target audience with each post, because you’re paying to do exactly that. Assuming your target audience isn’t incredibly small, it won’t matter if you only post 1 piece of content per week because it will still be getting seen each day.

Are you already established?

If you’re already an established brand with a good reputation, then posting regularly isn’t AS important. If people are likely to have already heard of you they won’t feel the need to check when your last update to Facebook was. However if you’re new or just not well-known then potential customers/clients will check to see if you’ve been active on social media lately. It’s the modern way of checking that you’re still running your business. If the last post you made was this morning and it was a really useful post, then your potential customers/clients are going to feel a real sense of trust from that. If your last post was last year then they’re going to look for other businesses that appear to be open…

What are you aiming to do with your content?

The reason for your content can have a big impact on how often you will want to post. If you’re posting content to be informative to your audience and add value to their lives then once a day can be enough. However if for example you’re a fashion brand with a huge line of products, there’s nothing wrong with posting cool pictures of your products in action through out the day. It creates a sense of “why am I not wearing that too?”

What if I just took a really cool picture?

Post it! It’s quite difficult for us to write this as a social media agency, but spur of the moment content is THE BEST content to post to social media. That’s what social media’s about and we always try to add an element of this into all of our posts, which is why we do them on a daily basis instead of scheduling them out in the future. You should never be so strict on your posting schedule that you film a video or take a really funny picture you don’t post it straight away. Just get it posted before the moment’s gone! With our service, if you feel like you want to add to the content we post then you’re absolutely free to. It won’t affect what we do at all.

Think you could do with some help with your social media marketing? Use our contact page to get in touch today.

January 27, 2017

Facebook Video Campaigns

SMR Social’s Video Method

When we start a new video campaign using Facebook ads, we always start with the same method. Try it out and see if it brings you the results you’re looking for.

  1. Start with the broadest audience you possibly can: Whether you have multiple videos or just 1, you should be starting your campaign with the broadest audience you can. So if you’re looking to target people in the UK only who are passionate cyclists, start your campaign targeting EVERYONE in the UK. It seems strange because you’ll inevitably reach people who couldn’t care less about cycling, but read on…
  2. After a few days check your stats: Facebook have a habit of being able to find your audience without you actually targeting them. The best Facebook ad campaigns in history have been done with next to no targeting. Although it’s not guaranteed, there’s a chance that Facebook will start to see which type of people are responding well to your video and serve it to more people like that, even though you only chose to target the entire UK. If this happens you’ll see some good engagement and video views over 30 seconds on your video. If this is the case, BINGO. If not, then it’s time to add some targeting on to the campaign. The aim here is to get as many people to view over 50% of your video. Once you get around 1000 people who have viewed over half of your video then you’re ready for the next step.
  3. Create those audiences: Ok so you’ve had around 1000 people view over half of your video. Now it’s time to put them into an audience. Head into Facebook audiences and create a custom audience of people who have viewed over 50% of your video. This audience will be dynamic, so as more people view over 50% of your video they’ll be put in that audience and any ads you have that use the audience will be seen by them. Once the audience is ready in Facebook, create a Look A Like audience from these 50% viewers.
  4. Set up new ads: Now it’s time to set up some more ads. If you have more videos you want to follow up on your first video, then set up an ad for the second video in the series and target the new audience of 50% viewers. These people are clearly interested in your content, and will therefore react well to your second video. You can also set up a new ad to your first video using the Look A Like audience you created. This will be more targeted than your very first advert and will increase the 50% audience for your new videos.

There you have it. Our basic method to build targeted audiences using nothing but people who have already shown an interest in your videos by watching over half of your first video. The initial step of using the broadest audience possible may not work the first time you try it, or the second, or the third… That’s why it’s so important to monitor your ads. Set them up, let them run for a few days and then see if they’re performing. If not then start again from step one but layer an interest on there to see if it helps. The only way to find out is to test.

January 25, 2017

Your 1st Facebook Ad

Here’s how to take the plunge!

So you’ve seen all these other people getting success from Facebook ads and you’ve decided now’s the time to jump right in and set one up. But where do you start? You can have all the content and graphics or videos in the world but if it’s your first time in Facebook Ads Manager you might find yourself a little confused.

The Facebook way

If you’re an admin of a Facebook page you’ve probably seen the ‘Boost Post’ button on many of your posts. Facebook are explaining to you that if you spend x amount you can reach x amount of people with your post. This is Facebook’s way of getting you hooked on their ad system, and it works. However using this method to run your Facebook ads isn’t as effective as setting ads up from scratch in Facebook ads manager, or better yet…Power Editor.

The best way

Now this is very subjective and depends on many things, including opinion. But we wanted to offer our top tips for setting your Facebook ads up, to help you keep things organised for when you start to have lots of ads running at once. This method assumes you are running ads from one ad account for one business.

Campaign = Objective
Ad Set = Audience
Advert = Ad Creative

When you set up a Campaign, you have to choose the objective. So if you’re objective is to get people to engage with your content then you’ll choose the Post Engagement objective. Once you’ve set up a campaign with this objective, you should then use that campaign to put any ad sets you set up with the same objective. So if your first ad has the objective of getting people to engage with a post about your new products, and your second ad has the objective of getting people to engage with your old products, they should go under the same campaign. We would tend to call this Campaign “Post Engagement Ads” and if it were a campaign for getting people to click through to the website it would be “Website Clicks Ads.” This should be done for each objective. 1 campaign per objective, then as many ad sets and ads as you want under those campaigns providing the objectives match up.

Ad Set
Ad sets should be used to test different audiences, so you can find which one performs the best for your content. You might have a very specific audience but that doesn’t mean that further down the line you won’t want to try and target all the people who have been on your website, and they would go in their own ad set. We tend to name our ad sets based on the audience they’re targeting, so that we can tell what the targeting options are by looking at the title of the ad set. This can include placement and other targeting options if you’ve used them.

This is the creative part of your campaign. You can either use posts on already on your page or create posts that will specifically be for adverts only and will never be published to your page. It’s entirely up to you, and you can have as many adverts in your ad sets as you like, but Facebook will weight it’s spend to the best performing one (See ‘Tricking Facebook’ for more on this). If you want to test the same post out to different audiences, then you can direct different ad sets to the same post. Or if you want to have the same audience see more than just one post it can be a good idea to create multiple ad sets that are identical, and then choose a different ad creative for each ad set.

There’s the structure

So that’s the structure we tend to use when setting up and running Facebook ad campaigns for businesses. Unless there are other factors that come into play that cause for alternative set ups, that’s how we do it! Give it a try, it should help you to keep things organised for when you’re checking results to see which ads are performing the best.


January 24, 2017

Is Your Website Social Media Friendly?

What makes a website social media friendly?

We’re not talking about whether or not you have your Twitter feed displayed on your website or whether or not you make it easy for your visitors to share your content via social media. If you don’t have those features handled by now then you’re still way back in 2014. We’re talking about whether or not your website is friendly for your Social Media Marketing campaign.

You need to look at what your main social media marketing strategies are and see whether your website is optimised to cope with the campaign, and make it even more successful.

Desktop Vs Mobile

In this day and age we’d probably say that 90% of websites NEED to be mobile friendly. However your business might specifically be targeting people who are using a desktop, which is fine. If there’s a reason, then stick to it and make sure that the traffic you’re driving to your site is using desktop. You could even come up with a mobile landing page that has a button to “Send an email reminder” to your mobile visitors to have a look at the site next time they’re at their desktop.

However the majority of businesses are going to be reaching people who are using their mobile phones, and if they click on your ad and it leads to a website that requires them to keep zooming in to click the right buttons then they’re going to lose patience.

Getting the most out of your traffic

If you’re an online store selling products, you’ll know that just because you send someone to your website today doesn’t mean that they’ll be buying any time soon. But they might still buy in a few days, a week or even a few months. Is your website equipped to get them to place that order sooner? Is it equipped to send information about that person back to the social networks so you can re-target them with a special offer or reach people that are similar but may buy sooner?

The best example of this is Shopify websites. WordPress is great, and it’s what we host our website on. But many physical product stores found that there were many limitations to using WordPress especially when marketing on social media. Then Shopify came along. The ultimate solution for any online store that uses social media to drive sales. You can integrate social media pixel to your site seamlessly, you can even import your products into a Facebook shop so people can buy natively! Then there are the multiple apps that let you offer 1 time discounts to get your visitors over the line, display other purchases by other people as they happen to give social proof, and accurately track everything in your Facebook ads manager.

If you’re an online store that sells physical products then you HAVE to be on Shopify. It makes your social media marketer’s job a dream! If you’re looking to make the switch then we would recommend contacting Jag Chohan at http://www.sociallyinspire.com/ He’ll get your Shopify store up and running in no time and it will look incredible. He’s agreed to offer a 10% discount for anyone who we refer because we often work together on projects where we do the social media marketing for website’s that he’s built.

January 23, 2017

Carpet Bombing

What is it?

The term carpet bombing in digital marketing refers to an ad campaign that aims to reach as many people as possible in a certain demographic. We often use this method when targeting for local business or any campaigns aimed at a specific area. In Facebook advertising we class any audience under 1,000,000 as small. You’ll find that when targeting most cities in the UK your audience will often be under 1,000 000, especially if you layer on any other targeting such as parents or interests.

Why should I reach more people instead of targeted people?

We accept your point. If you could reach 1,000 people who may be interested in what you have to offer it’s better than reaching 1,000,000 who aren’t But Facebook ads usually perform better with bigger audiences. So if your audience is 1,000,000 Facebook will start to realise which people from those 1,000,000 are going to respond well to your ad and it will serve them the ad first.

How can I use Carpet Bombing to my advantage?

Here’s a scenario in which we would use carpet bomb ads.

A toy shop in Liverpool, UK wants to advertise their video of their new toy that’s made for 5-10 year olds. So naturally they want to reach all parents and grandparents of children from age 5-10. When targeting this demographic with Facebook ads the audience size is very low so the ad may not build much traction. So instead of targeting parents we could:

  • Set up a video ad optimised for Link Clicks that links to the toy shop’s website. Target the ad at all people who live in Liverpool, possibly selecting an age range that are likely to be parents.
  • Along side this we would set up a Page Post Engagement ad to the same video to increase it’s engagement and organic reach through shares.
  • Set up a custom audience of website visitors of the page that the video links to.
  • Create a new ad that targets anyone who has visited the website page with an offer on the new toy that they just can’t refuse!

So although you start out with a very broad audience that will have many people in it that you wouldn’t normally want to reach, you soon narrow the audience down by people who have shown an interest by clicking through. Custom audiences could also be created with people who have engaged with the Facebook page, and people who have watched the video for a longer period of time rather than just skipping past.

So next time you’re setting up your ads think about whether it might be better to Carpet Bomb and then narrow down by people who have shown you some interest!

January 20, 2017

Social Media – “We’ve tried it but it doesn’t work”

Well you haven’t tried hard enough!

When we’re not working and we’re out and about, it’s sometimes hard for us members of SMR Social to take our minds off social media. We’ll often stumble across a cool shop or cafe and start creating a social media plan before we’ve even walked through the door! Naturally this often leads to us having a chat with the owners about whether they’re on social media. This often leads to some great new projects but all too often it leads to us hearing the words: “We’ve tried it but it doesn’t work.”

It’s particularly bad when we hear this in a coffee shop, because I tend to spit my coffee out! There are still far too many businesses that have an outdated mindset when it comes to marketing, and especially social media marketing. Expecting results right away, and an initial ROI should be reserved for those people who can create the latest viral products (do they really exist or is there some luck involved?).

In it for the long haul…

If you have a new or established business that’s in it for the long haul, then your marketing plan should be in it for the long haul too! You can’t just expect to post a picture of your product or and description of your service and expect to make money from it. Why should anyone buy from you instead of the other companies that offer something similar? Social Media is a chance for you to show why you are the better option! Invest money in it, invest time in it and invest ideas in it!

Re-frame your goals!

Perhaps a good way to think about social media marketing is to plan it over the course of around 5 years. The first year should be about nothing more than building your reputation and audience. The goal here isn’t to make any money from social media advertising, it’s to set yourself up to start making money when you’re happy with the results.

January 19, 2017

Emojis for Business

Should you be using them?

This is something we admittedly were a bit late on. When conducting business and communicating on a professional level, if any of us ever saw someone using an emoji we would cringe! It’s just not professional in our eyes. But that doesn’t mean your business shouldn’t be using them on Social Media! Now this all depends on the type of business you have and the tone of voice you want to be giving off.

Will emojis work for my business?

You have to think of your social media posts as a way to connect with your audience on a personal level. You’re not trying to sell to them directly with your content, so it doesn’t have to be proper and professional. It can be casual and if you want to get on the same level as your audience to connect with them, emojis can really help you get there.

There are certain circumstances that emojis should be avoided though. Many B2B businesses prefer to leave emojis out as they’re target audience is professional people and businesses. You really have to get in the minds of your target audience and wonder what they’d think if they saw you using emojis.

A little tip!

Using emojis can help your adverts stand out from the crowd! For example, if you sell Jewellery why not use the 💎 emoji in your ad to grab your audience’s attention? Or even better if you’ve got a special offer on why not use sirens to create a sense of emergency? 


January 18, 2017

No Conversions

But I’m doing everything right!

We know exactly how you feel. There’s no perfect way to run a Social Media Marketing campaign, because it works differently for every business. But when you’ve ran as many campaigns as we have you start to understand what works and what doesn’t. There are times where we have done everything that works and more but when it comes to actual conversions (defined by your goal, not just a sale!), people just aren’t converting.

So what’s going on?

If you truly believe that you’re getting the social media side of your campaign right, then it’s time to look at your landing page/website. There are a few things to look out for on Social Media to make sure you’re getting things right there:

  • Are your audience engaged?
  • Do people reach out to your pages in private messages enquiring about your products/services
  • Are the people you’re reaching on Social Media clicking through to your website and looking around?

If you’re confident on all of the above then let’s look at what could be the barrier to people actually converting.


  • Is your website new and relatively un-heard of? People are happy to buy products from places like Amazon or sign up to events on places like EventBright but when they’re taken to a website they’ve never been to, they can be a little bit hesitant. The first thing to do is to go through your website as if you were a customer and in every step of the conversion process ask yourself “Would I trust this website?”
  • Pricing. Now of course pricing makes a big difference. Price your products/services too high and it may scare people off, price them too low and people might not think they’re good quality. Look at your competition, don’t always try to under-cut them.
  • Images/Videos: Do you have enough images and videos of your products/services? In this day and age people don’t buy from the internet so that they can get it in real life and hope it’s everything they expected. They need to see that it’s everything they expect before they hit buy! If you’re selling products, make pictures and videos of them. If you’re selling services, make detailed case studies to prove the worth of your service.
  • Branding: The journey from becoming a fan of your brand on Social Media to visiting your website and look at your products/services to actually converting has to be consistent. If your profile and cover photos on Facebook are orange and your website is blue with a blue logo, it just feels weird. Get everything matched up!

The Facebook Pixel

If you’ve read any of our previous blogs you’ll probably realise that so far we’re quite bias in terms of which social media we think is the best. Even if you don’t sell through your website, if you’re getting ANY visitors at all then you should be tracking them with your Facebook pixel and building audiences in Facebook. This will really help in the future if you ever try to get people to convert.

January 17, 2017

Our Perfect Client

Why would you want to know?

On one of our daily walks this week the SMR Social team were discussing some of the current projects we’re working on and how one of our current clients happens to be the ideal client for us. There are two reasons you might want to know this.

  1. Would SMR Social enjoy managing my social media campaigns for me?
  2. Do I have the right idea about Social Media to understand what SMR Social can do?

What makes the perfect client for us?

We’re a small team here at SMR Social, so we make the most of the skills each of us have and try to get the most out of them. We see there being 2 sides to a social media campaign. Branding/Audience Connection, and Selling. If you’re a long-term business and want to utilise Social Media to sell, then you need to create a good brand presence and CONNECT with your target audience. It’s no good just showing ads of your products to your target audience if they don’t know who you are yet, because they’d much rather buy from someone they trust like…Amazon. When we come across a business that understands this concept, we jump for joy! One of our team members, Abby, is incredible at understanding a target audience and finding content that they will absolutely love. She always manages to post content that gets the perfect mix between Likes, Comments, Shares and LINK CLICKS. If people are genuinely interested in reading more, they click.

Behind the scenes however, Stephen is always working away trying to find the buyers within the target audience as well as branching out into new audiences with potential buyers.

The combination of these strategies works incredibly.

Give us an example…

Ok go on then, here’s an example of a client that we are using social media to build presence and SELL to their audience: https://www.facebook.com/PewterhooterLondon/

Pewterhooter understand that without us posting regular content that their audience LOVES, we wouldn’t be able to sell to them as efficiently as we are doing.

I get it, so what now?

If you understand the importance of branding and CONNECTING when it comes to social media, then we’d love to hear from you to see if we think we could help you. Use the contact page to get in touch.