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April 28, 2017

This is How Much You Should Spend to Start a Facebook Marketing Campaign

Here’s exactly how much you should spend to kick start your Facebook Marketing Campaign

Some of you aren’t going to like this. We always get asked in the beginning how much is necessary for ad budget, and it of course depends on so many factors, the main one being budget! But here’s exactly what we do and how much we spend when we launch a campaign for a new product/website.

Start with high budgets

There’s a number of reasons for starting with really high budgets, and then decreasing/increasing depending on results. But there’s also a way to calculate what those high budgets should be:

How much does a conversion cost you?

It all depends on what a conversion costs you. Now if this is a brand new product you need to come up with an estimate based on your knowledge of previous campaigns. But let’s say you’re optimising for purchases and your cost per purchase on Facebook ads is usually £10. This means for every £10 you spend on your Facebook ad, you get 1 sale.

Test with 10x your cost per conversion

You want to test around 10 ad sets to start with, and each ad set should have a budget of at least 10x your cost per conversion. This means £10 x 10 = £100 – £100 x 10 (ad sets) = £1000 per day.

£1000 Per Day

This allows for optimisation

You need this sort of budget so that Facebook can properly optimise your campaign with the right amount of data, while still being able to test enough different placements and targeting. You can try multiple ads in each ad set to see if any of them out perform the others.

Do less testing if you have a smaller budget

If your budget doesn’t allow for that many ad sets, do less. If you did 5 ad sets at £100 per day that’s £500 per day total spend. It just means you can’t test as many variables.

Cut and scale

Once you have these ads running for a few days you should have enough data to see which ads are bringing in the conversions and which aren’t doing so well. That means you can increase or decrease the budgets for the ad sets based on how they are performing.

Are you confident enough in your product?

This strategy isn’t for the faint hearted. If your budget is limited then other methods are much more advisable until you have the sort of capital that can handle a campaign like this. It’s still important to be completely confident in your product even if you do have the capital to use this strategy. No amount of paid ads can sell a product that no one wants to buy.

If you’re looking for some advice or for someone to run your Facebook ads for you, just fill in the form below with a brief description of your business and your goals and we’ll be in touch.

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April 27, 2017

Stop Throwing Money at Your Campaigns & Take a Step Back

No Amount of Paid Advertising is Going to Fix a Bad Campaign

It’s time to stop complaining that your ads aren’t working and improve your whole campaign. Users have to go on a journey from seeing your brand/product for the first time to clicking that buy button. If that journey isn’t smooth, then you’re leaving money on the table!

1. Your Product

Let’s use drones as the product for our example. They’re relatively high ticket, and quite a new trend for the general public. It all has to start with your product. Is your drone as good as the other popular drones out there? If not, is that reflected in the price? Is your price competitive compared with others? The best thing about most of the businesses we handle social media for is that they already have an established product that they know they can sell. That’s half of the battle!

2. Website/Landing Page

Next is how your product is presented on your website. Here at SMR Social we’re marketers, not web designers. But we know a good website when we see one, and we know a bad website too! The best thing to do is look at what successful competitors are doing on their product pages and take inspiration from that. It’s good to get ideas from popular market places like Amazon, but remember they are slightly different to your own brand. Amazon could get away with having awful product pages now and people would still buy from them. Generally speaking the key is to have high quality pictures/videos of your product, a buy button, a good description and usually another buy button at the bottom. If your product page looks rushed and there’s any reason what so ever that someone might question whether they can trust it, you’ll lose your customers.

3. The Rest of Your Website

Don’t think that a good product page is all you need for your amazing new product. You need to back that up with a full website that is just as stylish and informative as your product page. People are going to look around to check that they can trust you as a brand. This includes an easy way for customers to contact you. The best example of this is how you can integrate the Facebook Messenger app with your Shopify store so people can just click the messenger button and message your brand directly on Facebook. Make sure you have someone check everything for spelling and grammar mistakes, and make sure all of your payment gateways are working just fine.

4. Your Ad Copy & Creative

In the year of the video, there’s no excuse for bad ad copy when it comes to direct product ads. If you’re not using a video to market your product, then you better be sure you’re using the most creative images and copy to get people interested. You can’t just post up a nice picture of your product and tell people to buy it anymore. You have to really make the effort to stand out to your target audience in their incredibly busy news feeds. We saw a fantastic ad in our news feed from Epitomie Fitness yesterday that we couldn’t resist checking out. It just stood out from the rest of the ads in our feed.

It’s bright, bold, simple, clear and the offer is great. You don’t get 50% off many products these days. It’s not world breaking, but when you take into consideration all the factors including target audience, it’s a really solid ad.

5. Targeting

This is unfortunately where most businesses start before they’ve made sure the previous 5 steps have been addressed. They rush to get their product available on their website, make a quick ad and then spend hours trying to find the right target audience. In our experience a great product, on a great website, with a great ad will still perform well even if the targeting isn’t very good. We’ve spoken before about how with Facebook targeting it’s often better to go broad and let Facebook find the right audience for you, rather than narrowing your options. This only works when everything else is up to scratch. As a business owner you should know your target audience like the back of your hand, so finding your target audience on social media should come quite naturally to you.


April 26, 2017

Time to Freshen Things Up

Facebook want you to re-do all your ads!

Well, not officially! But after multiple tests it appears those old ads you’ve got running that are going stale need to be re-done. Even if they’re re-done EXACTLY the same. We’ve been noticing a dip in performance on all of the ads we have had running longer than a couple of weeks so we thought we better take some action. Sometimes it’s better to just ride the storm and hope Facebook sort things out, but this time it seems that they just want new ads so they can start fresh after their latest updates.


You can easily just duplicate any ad sets that are starting to under perform and that should help give them a boost again. Just turn the old ones off once the new ones are set up. We’ve tried this exact method on multiple ads for our clients and the difference has been amazing in just a couple of days!

Don’t you just love it when Facebook give you extra work to do!


April 25, 2017

The Great Debate: Direct Response or Brand Awareness?

Is this still really a debate?

Brand Awareness

Well you wouldn’t think so by now. With everything that Gary Vaynerchuk has pushed out there regarding Jab, Jab, Right hook and giving value without looking for anything in return, it’s a wonder than anyone in marketing would run a campaign without some form of brand awareness involved. Granted there are certain circumstances in which brand awareness is pointless. We spoke with a local company recently who are looking for our help to get their Facebook ads performing properly. While we were discussing what we were going to do for them they kept shooting us down when we mentioned the brand awareness aspect of the strategy and we thought we were going to have to walk away. But when they explained the reason why they don’t want that side of things, it was completely justifiable.

We called someone out!

We don’t tend to jump into discussions on advertising groups unless it’s to share results or seek advice, but this one we couldn’t resist. A user has started a Youtube series making fun of all the awful Facebook ads he comes across. It’s really funny, but the first ad he calls out was called out for all the wrong reasons. It was an ad by a large alcoholic beverage company that was basically just a cool video with no call to action. He was arguing that it’s completely pointless to have an ad that doesn’t link back to your website.

Direct Response vs Brand Awareness

The Big Brands are Big Brands for a Reason

If you think about the biggest brands in the world that we just see as part of the furniture, it’s hard to ignore the effort they’ve gone to just for brand awareness. Before social media came along, the big brands were all over the TV, Radio and Billboards with brand awareness campaigns. Did Coca Cola run ads saying “Buy our drinks, we have a special offer on!” No. They made ads that made you feel thirsty, and made drinking Coca Cola look ‘cool.’ Then the stores that sold the Coca Cola products would run their own ads with special offers on. From brand awareness to direct response, the old fashioned way!

Turning the Old into the New

The modern day spin on this for small to medium businesses is to run brand awareness campaigns on social media to build interest before running their offer. Make really cool images and videos of your products/brand, get some modern day celebrities to start talking about your brand (we’re talking insta-famous!) and start interacting with those people who are engaged. Once you’ve created a big enough buzz, you’ll have a large enough audience to market to!


Re-marketing feels like it’s the wrong term to use here, because you haven’t directly marketed your products yet. But in running your brand awareness campaign you have built up audiences that you can use. Firstly, if your brand awareness campaign was successful there will have been enough interest for you to have had a fair amount of people visit your website. That’s audience number 1. Then there’s the great features of Facebook audiences. Anyone who engaged with your page during the brand awareness campaign can now be targeted. Anyone who watched your videos. They’ve all seen your brand now, they’ve seen your products presented in a cool way that got them interested. Now it’s time to get them over the line!

April 24, 2017

5 Facebook Audiences You Should Build Right from the Get Go

The Beauty of Dynamic Facebook Audiences

It’s really important to remember that all of your Facebook audiences are dynamic. Even just the Saved Audiences. So if you set up an audience of website visitors before you even drive any traffic to your website, once you’ve set up that audience it’s good to go and you can leave it to build up over time. So if you’re just starting out with your business, or just starting out with your new website, or just starting out with Facebook ads, it’s really convenient to create the following audiences so you never have to do it again.


Facebook Preparation

Before you set up your audiences make sure you have your Facebook pixel created and correctly installed on your website. Also make sure your Facebook page is properly set up.

The Audiences:

  1. Facebook Page Engagers (365 Days) – This is an audience of people who have engaged with your Facebook page in some way over the past 325 Days
  2. Website Visitors (180 Days) – This is an audience of anyone who has visited your website over the past 180 days
  3. Website Visitors (30 Days) – This is an audience of anyone who has visited your website over the past 30 days
  4. Website Visitors (7 Days) – This is an audience of anyone who has visited your website over the past 7 days. You may not think you need to go this small but one day you might want to run an offer to anyone who’s been on the site recently etc
  5. Lookalike (1%) of your page fans in your target countries

How to set up an audience:

To set up an audience in Facebook go to your ads manager, then click on the menu in the top left and expand it by clicking ‘All tools.’ Then click on ‘Audiences’ under Assets.

You’ll see your audiences page where there will be a list of audiences if you’ve ever created any. Click on the ‘Create Audience’ button.

If you’re creating an audience of website visitors, page engagers or video viewers you need to click on Custom Audiences. Lookalike Audiences lets you create audiences similar to those that you have already created, and Saved Audiences are audiences on Facebook you choose through targeting options.

You’ll see 4 options for audience creation. For the purposes of the 5 audiences in this article, you only need Website Traffic and Engagement on Facebook. Customer file is for those of you who have a large database of customer’s phone numbers and/or email addresses that you can upload into Facebook to create an audience of previous/current customers. You can also create a lookalike audience from this. VERY POWERFUL! App activity is for those of you who have apps connection to the Facebook API.

April 20, 2017

A Quick Summary About Facebook’s F8

F8 – Facebook Developer Conference

Incase you missed it, F8 was a conference for Facebook to announce it’s latest plans and show off some of the cool stuff they’re working on. You can see the official website here: https://www.fbf8.com/

Some notable announcements include:

But what’s in it for Advertisers?

If we’re honest, there weren’t actually that many great announcements when it came to Facebook Advertising! We were a little disappointed, but there were still a few gems that could prove great for the future of Facebook Marketing…

Messenger Conversation Ads!

Messenger Conversation Ads enable you show a newsfeed ad that triggers a Messenger Message with a coupon code and link to the website. This will be really powerful for those businesses that use the messenger function a lot on Facebook.

What else?

There’s plenty more for us to get through from the F8 conference, such as how “Facebook Hit 5 Million Advertisers By Turning Users Into Marketers” so we’ll keep you updated with our blog posts. We’re off to test the messenger ads!


April 12, 2017

It’s Time You Reached for the…Best Audience!

You probably know your audience well enough by now!

Whether you’re targeting women, hipsters, business owners or stay at home Dad’s, if you’ve been running a social media campaign for any length of time you probably know which audience is responding the best to your content. Which means part of your strategy should now be to reach as much of that audience as possible, because you know they respond well!

The 80/20 rule

It’s way too common now. Everyone’s using it for all aspects of their work and life. It’s a bit boring. But unfortunately we’re about to tell you to use it! If you’ve established which audiences respond the best to your content, then focus 80% of your time and budget on them. For specific offers and deals etc. you’ll have different objectives, but when it comes to your general content have you considered reach? If you know your content is good, and you know which audiences respond the best to it, don’t you think it’s better to reach as much of that audience as possible rather than optimising for post engagement and not reaching as many people?

Try it for a week and see what affects it has front end and back end. If you’re reaching more people on Facebook but less are engaging and clicking, then it’s going to affect back end. If it doesn’t affect anything on Facebook but in the back end users aren’t doing what you want them to when they’re on your site, then you’re not reaching the right people and the only people in your target audience that genuinely like your content are the ones Facebook optimise your ads for. 1 week is enough to see how good your audience is by reaching more of it.

The 20%

In this instance, the 20% should be focussed on finding new audiences that also respond well to your content. This is where you’ll want to continue using objectives such as post engagement and website clicks.

April 11, 2017

Is Health Research Finally Catching Up with Social Media?

The Pressing Issue

At SMR Social we’re people too. Just like everyone else. We’re of a generation that grew up as children before the big technology boom, but we were young enough to see it unfold right in front of our eyes and not be too late to understand it all. We’re grateful for that, because we feel it gives us a good balance between keeping up with the latest trends, and remembering that there’s a real world out there beyond our phones. But this isn’t the case for everyone, and we’re not just talking about a younger generation than ourselves. Just yesterday on our walk along the Nantwich canal there were 2 men in their 40s-50s walking the opposite way to us glued to their phones. 1 of the men nearly bumped into us because he didn’t once look up, and when he was startled by our presence he quickly began to panic and look for his dog. It’s a bit of a shame. But the issue here is the latest news we’re reading about ‘social media depression.’

They’ve Given it a Label

An interesting health study in the US [Source: http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/is-social-media-making-you-feel-depressed/story-30261237-detail/story.html] has found that their participants were more likely to develop depression the more they checked social media to see what other people are up to. You can see it unfold in front of your eyes if you’ve ever watched someone who’s new to social media start to enjoy it. They love to see what their friends are up to each day, and start to post updates themselves.

Then Things get…Complicated

Unfortunately, it doesn’t really stop there. As marketers we often get caught up in the numbers and algorithms and all of that good stuff, but at SMR Social we’re constantly reminding each other that behind those numbers are real people. People that may be having a great day, people that may have just got some bad news and are scrolling through Instagram for comfort. We bare this in mind a lot, so that we can put a positive spin on all of our content and adverts. Wouldn’t you rather people associate your brand with content that cheered them up that time they were feeling a bit lonely? Content that they shared with their best friend because “omg this is so you!” There’s an opportunity here for brands to have a positive impact on their audience, and we say take that opportunity and bring some joy to your audience. But why are people getting depressed because of social media?

False Validity

We’re possibly very lucky here at SMR Social. Our job is to post content for your business on social media, and our desire if for that content to spread like wildfire and get a huge reaction from your audience. Our need for people to respond to your content on social media is fulfilled every day when we check the stats and see if yesterday’s post got more ‘likes’ that the post from the day before. We sit on social media for most of the day. It means that when it comes to our personal lives, we’re not really that bothered about what’s going on. I personally try to kick social media to the back of my mind when I’m not working so that I get a break from it. Which means on a personal level, I’m not hunting for likes or comparing my own life with all of my friends. Which is a huge problem in the world we live in today.

This Video Demonstrates it Perfectly!

April 10, 2017

Sometimes You Have to Just Run with it

Numbers Don’t Lie

If you’ve ever ran any form of digital campaign then you’ll know that it’s important to listen to the metrics. Usually, this means looking at which ad creatives or which audiences are performing better and weighting the budget in favour of those performers. But sometimes the numbers can be that significant that you change the objective of your whole campaign.

From Views to Clicks

The inspiration for this blog post has come from a campaign we’re running targeting the people of Liverpool. We’ve been using our Video Carpet Bomb technique as the aim of the campaign is to get as many people to watch the videos as possible. But there’s something we’ve noticed in the numbers! The campaign has been going very well, with video views over 75% higher than expected. But what we noticed was that people are actually clicking through to the landing page where they can see all of the videos in 1 place. So rather than using the budget on multiple videos on Facebook, we’ve decided to change the objective of the campaign to website clicks to get people over to the landing page with all of the videos. It’s much more efficient because that’s what people are doing anyway! We’re getting really low CPC’s and people are watching all of the videos on the website, which is the opposite of what you would normally see with a Facebook video campaign.

You don’t Always have to Follow your Gut!

It was a really hard decision for us to change the objective of the campaign, because native videos perform so well on Facebook. The videos were performing well but we just couldn’t ignore the amount of website clicks they were getting! Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and go with what your audience is telling you they want to do.

April 7, 2017

The Pros and Cons of Selling on eBay and Amazon – The Social Media Perspective

The Pros

That High Traffic is Tempting!

It is indeed! We work with a number of companies that have literally built their business on Amazon or eBay. It’s great, they’ve built such a reputation on those sites that they’re top of their categories and selling products without really doing much more. That means they have time to come up with new products and listen to their customers. Amazon has nearly 184,000,000 visitors A MONTH. Could you imagine that sort of traffic on your own website?


With your own website, it’s hard to build trust, especially for new businesses. One of the biggest benefits of running a proper social media campaign is the level of trust it can build with your audience. But with platforms like Amazon and eBaby, customers have that trust right away. We’ve helped Amazon best sellers to move over to their own websites and it’s taken a long time to get people to start ordering regularly. That barrier just isn’t there with people who shop on Amazon and eBay.

New Customers

Sometimes with these marketplaces, especially Amazon, it almost seems too easy to acquire new customers. The moment your products start climbing up the ranks and getting to best seller status in their categories, your sales can go through the roof. Many people of have never heard of your brand are buying your products! But what next?

The Cons

Who are your customers?

This is probably the biggest problem, and it’s not even to do with social media. If you’re playing by the rules of Amazon, you can’t really contact your customers directly. You don’t get their email addresses, you don’t get to send them a follow up email with special offers, and you don’t get to retarget them with ads anywhere online…it’s all in Amazon’s hands. Wouldn’t you rather be able to connect properly with your customer?


This is the big one for us! As Social Media Marketers, we like to know what people are doing when they see our ads. We also like to create audiences based on their actions, including purchases. Then, when we’re using Facebook, we like to let them optimise our campaigns to reach people who are more likely to take actions that we want them to…like purchase! Imagine spending £10,000 on a marketing campaign to your Amazon products. There is no genuine proof that it works. Sales could pick up drastically, but that could be down to Amazon and nothing to do with your campaign. When you have everything on your own website, you’re in control. If people aren’t doing what you want them to do, you can stop your campaign and adjust.

Knowing who your customers are and being able to offer them discounts as a thank you is priceless.