Hi Lyndsey, welcome to KND Connect, and today we’re going to discuss all things Facebook, you are a self-confessed Facebook nerd, it’s widely publicized. Would you just like to give us a bit of a overview of your business and why are you so passionate about Facebook and what’s your main drivers?
Yeah, so self-professed Facebook nerds putting it lightly. Yeah, look, I specialise in the Facebook platform, it’s my favorite place to hang out on social media and it’s a massive core of what I do in my business. So what I do is I teach and I educate social media marketers how to actually use the Facebook platform to drive better results. I work with small to medium sized businesses in terms of how they build and utilize the tools on Facebook. And I also work in a partnership program for Facebook as a technical services consultant. So helping clients on behalf of Facebook with some of the more complex tracking and reporting systems and ad builds that they might need to do. So I’m a bit of a Facebook diehard nerd, but I love the platform because it’s such a sophisticated advertising tool yet it’s available to everybody. And the core of the platform is centered around adding the most value to the user and around relevance in advertising. So because of those two factors, it actually makes it a place where all businesses actually have a very equal opportunity to be successful on the platform, because it’s all about the relationship they build with the user, not about who’s got the most money to spend. And so, because of all of that and all of the sophistication that goes on with how Facebook looks at data and uses it and targets people and all of those cool things, I think it’s just a phenomenal tool for any size of business to really drive results from.
Yeah. It’s certainly changed the whole landscape of businesses being able to get out there and get their message out or interact with their communities and their audience, so it’s just been a massive shift in the last, five plus years and even more so now than whatever it used to be. We just used to as a kind of bolt on to a business, but now it’s just so integrated with part of your overall digital strategy. We used to, we’ve been in the digital game for 18 plus years, so before Facebook was around. And we’ve always kind of got our clients to really focus on content first, generating all the written content or interactive content or video, getting it onto the website and using Facebook as like a amplification of that. Now, obviously as Facebook gets more crowded, there’s lots of different content now being generated, is that still a worthwhile strategy? What other options are there for business? You can boost posts, you can distribute your message in multiple different ways, but what trends are you seeing in that space?
So I think it’s content for all businesses, marketing hasn’t really changed, the tools in which we execute our strategies are changing and evolving all the time, but the fundamentals of marketing is building a relationship with a customer, then being aware of your product or your service, them understanding it and considering it that it meets their needs to the point that they make it a transaction or they sign up for your service and then you continue to nurture a relationship with them if you’re looking for repeat purchase or advocacy after that. That’s always been marketing 101, It’s always what we’ve been trying to do. So you’re right in the sense that content is super valuable and it’s never not valuable to a business ever, but the formats of content and the way we consume content has changed, that’s all. We know that people are less likely to listen to the radio and they’re potentially more likely to listen to a podcast. They are more likely to watch a video that pops up on their mobile via Facebook, via YouTube than they are to research and to go and spend time reading in-depth articles or to go to the library and check out a book, for example. So all we wanna do with our social platforms is we still wanna deliver content and we still wanna deliver messages to our customers and to our audience and educate them and help them make buying decisions and help them move down that funnel that we talk about in marketing, but we’ve just got different places to execute that strategy now. So it’s not that it’s ever changed, it’s still as important to be building and nurturing relationship with clients, but you now have the opportunities to place videos into Instagram stories or to send people to a landing page and a video series, or to re-target them with video content. There’s now lots of ways of actually delivering that content to the right person.
Yeah, yeah. I’m pretty confused about stories and video, just publishing video into your feed and Instagram stories, and now YouTube has a vertical-
Oh, every platform has got stories at the moment, we don’t need, every platform doesn’t need stories, LinkedIn stories is the one that irritates me the most at the moment.
Yeah, yeah. So what should we be focusing on? What are your recommendations there?
I think the biggest thing is not to get too caught up and swept up in the trends from the platforms and let your target audience make that decision for you. Like if my audience is hanging out on Snapchat, I need to be producing content on Snapchat if I want to reach them. In the same way that if my audience is watching television, that’s a great place for me to place my product. So it’s not, I would say to people that it’s easy to get swept up by the latest trend and now I’ve got to do this and now I’ve got to do that and now I’ve got to be in all these places, but really stay close to profiling your audience, your ideal customer, and look at where they’re consuming their content and then show up for them on those platforms. Not everybody, not every business needs to be in stories and needs to be doing the behind the scenes of here’s us in the office and here’s me eating an apple and putting it on LinkedIn. There’s only so much people are gonna care about and be able to consume.
And there’s only so much time you have as a business owner to actually generate that content.
Yeah, absolutely. It’s about where is your best effort put in and where are you likely to see your most reward?
Yeah. And I guess in that, to boost or not to boost? That is the question.
It is and it’s one of these questions I get asked a lot. So the boost button’s a little bit confusing and it’s had a lot of updates and extensions essentially added to it in the recent years. So boosting a post, used to just be a fast way for you to put some advertising dollars behind a piece of content to increase its visibility on the platform. So simply the post that you put up gets seen by more people, more people watch it, more people are likely to interact with it. That is the goal of a boost. So if you understand where in your customer journey, where in that sort of funnel kind of marketing cycle, you using a boosted post, it’s absolutely fine to do that. As long as you understand, when you press the boost button from your page, you are essentially asking Facebook to show that piece of content further and wider amongst your audience. You didn’t ask Facebook to do was now get me more people who are gonna message me, get me more people to sign up to my email list and then go through to my website and make a purchase or transaction.
So a lot of people are getting upset going, “I hit the boost button, “I’m boosting all these posts, nothing’s happening.” But really that’s not what you asked for, it’s not the objective or the goal behind what you were doing. So Facebook brought out all these new features and now there’s a dynamic feature on the boost post, where it’s like, “Hey, Facebook will figure out the best thing “to do with this piece of content. “We might try and use it to get you more sales, “we might try and get more people to message you. “We’ll set the objective.”
I would be wary of doing that, I think, if you’re gonna spend money on the platform, understand what result you’re trying to create and just understand that there’s nothing wrong with boosting a post, it’s part of a top of funnel brand awareness, watch my content strategy, but it’s not a detailed, targeted, fully thought out advert funnel.
Yes. And I guess it comes down to the old adage of the advertising campaign objective. And whilst you can boost anything, not all is necessarily worthy of boosting, but also you need to have that offer or the trigger that’s going to encourage that person to move through the sales funnel, if that’s your attention.
But you do see a lot of crack content boosted without any real carrot to actually go and buy that. Yeah, it’s a really interesting one. For our content, I tend to only boost content that I think is much more engaging than other content that I produce. So if it’s got a more general audience or a generalistic approach to it. In B2B, it’s a different, we’re building relationships, so we’re not, okay, click here to buy this product, but it’s an interesting flow if you like. if we are selling in Facebook and this crosses over into the old e-commerce approach. Now Facebook are doing some really interesting things with e-commerce now and it’s just been released in Australia where you can transact through the platform, shed some light on where that’s going or where we’re just entering that process, a pretty exciting stage for small businesses to access the market in a much more direct way, instead of having a core e-commerce platform sitting over here, you can potentially build up that, can you give us a bit of an overview of that?
Yeah. So Facebook definitely took a big, with all the stuff that’s happened with the global pandemic and it’s okay, we’ve had to pivot businesses to sell online, smaller bricks and mortar stores have had to close their doors, how best could they support communities? So the shopping features that have been available on Facebook and Instagram for a couple of years now, but they’ve never really had the same push to really help and support small businesses. So the idea is that you can now build up a store within your Facebook or your Instagram account, and you can transact through the platform. Now that feature hasn’t yet been rolled out in Australia, it’s starting to be dripped through in what we call a beta group, So selected people are getting it, but it is available in the US. So it’s a partnership between the platforms and PayPal, where you can actually directly take funds through the Facebook and Instagram platform. At the moment what it will do is divert them, you can use your shop to divert to your own e-commerce store where they can transact that way, or it can divert them to transact with you in messenger, if you’re using things like Minichat or Stripe, and some people are starting to get the direct integration where they can pay through the platform, but it’s not quite fully rolled out yet, it was announced in July this year, but it’s definitely for e-commerce, it’s a really exciting space for small businesses because it’s meeting your customer where they’re hanging out and spending their leisure time. But it’s also combining it with all of that really rich user data that Facebook has. It understands you, it understands how you like to shop and how you like to purchase and things you’d be interested in and things that you’ve been browsing for. So it’s very efficient at matching up the right product advert for the user and the most likely to get you an outcome or a sale. So you’re not just getting the bang for your buck for the fact that people are spending their time on the platform, they’re in a relaxed kind of browsing researching state, it’s easy for them to see the visuals and understand your product, but they’re also making it easy to actually profile and put your product in front of the right customer. So what we call social commerce now, is a huge part of the Facebook and Instagram family of services and e-commerce tools that are available. And it’s fundamentally, if you have an e-commerce store, you really, really want to have your Instagram and Facebook shopping set up as well, for at least, we’re seeing some sort of doing 50% and more of their sales through social commerce platforms, so it’s a huge driver of that.
Yeah, it’s massive, it’s massive. I did a review of the Instagram buy online and click throughs about 12 months ago now. And it was a little bit disjointed, and you needed a plugin in your e-commerce platform, and you were landing on a separate type of page that wasn’t totally integrated. And that was kind of a few messy steps to get through. Has that changed on Instagram at least?
Definitely the cleanup of the shopping tags is getting better and it is one of my pet peeves of advertisers that use the platform, use the catalog style features of shopping ads, here’s the product and I click on the product and they haven’t deep linked to that product, they’re taking me to a separate landing page where I have to scroll again for the product and it becomes, instead of being a frictionless experience, it becomes a friction full experience and it’s really frustrating. It’s really, really important for advertisers, that one, your integration between your Instagram platform, where that product page is going to land, are you using a landing page, are you using different product sets, that you really make sure that when you are sending a customer from a social platform, that they are gonna get the best possible experience and land on the right product so that you can continue that purchase cycle, they’ve already started research and look at it, if they hit view on the website, they have to be able to see that product on the website or else you are just causing more friction in your advertising.
Absolutely. And certainly in the testing that I did in that video was that problem, sorry the UX usability issue,
I have just seen one of the world’s largest beauty brands, like top makeup brand, running something very similar, and it was actually a product that I wanted to purchase and I clicked on it and I went through and they had a horrible user experience, horrible landing page, really badly displayed on mobile. And then I literally couldn’t search or find the product. And I was like, how did one of the biggest beauty brands in the world get this so wrong? To the point that angered me so much, I actually left them a comment on their posts. And I don’t usually do that, but I was like clean up your UX. Can’t find it.
I do that all the time now. Is there anyone out there that you think is actually doing it really well? That you’ve seen, that is experimenting in the right way?
There are some definite, definite brands that really understand. There are certainly different brands in e-commerce that are more suited to selling on social commerce and social platforms and these things. Just because you have an e-commerce store doesn’t naturally mean, yes, there’s a lot of traffic and visibility and targeting these things, but there are some brands that have massive success because their product really meets the customer that’s already using the platform and meets their behavior and sits at that kind of sweet spot. So the guys that do it really, really well tend to be in things like fashion, beauty, homewares, more of the sort of visual lifestyle and aspirational products, because one, they naturally lend themselves to those sort of Instagram shopping style environments. They’re highly visual, they’re highly aesthetic, sort of looking content which suits that platform, it also suits the audience and the demographic on that platform. And those things work really, really well. So brands like, if you look at some of the top brands, I’ll use Mecca Cosmetics as an example, some really growing and evolving skincare brands that have just understood the platform. One is called Cocoa and Eve, another one called Sand Skin and Sky? I believe it is an Australian brand, but there’s just some people that have just really understood how to use and leverage the platforms and do it and sell it very, very well. Not all brands, you would think you’d look at some of the larger brands and go, “Wow, you’ve really gonna understand this “and we’ll understand how to use social commerce.” there’s definitely quite an uneven playing field going on out there at the moment.
Yeah, fantastic. Now FloSocial, you very much involved in mentoring and training and providing online courses for those in the social media game, to up their game and learn a lot more about how to use and benefit from the Facebook platform. Are you seeing, there’s this argument to in-source or outsource your social media. In our experience, our clients that have a culture of really driving content and messages through social do much better than just going, “Oh, give this to someone else to do “and we’ll be a little bit hands-off.” In the early days, it was a very much hands-off, we’ll get an agency to do that sort of thing. But what are your thoughts around that?
Look, I think it’s gonna come down to the model and the structure of your business, and what’s gonna be the best decision for you. I think, as you say, businesses, as much as all businesses wanna just go, “Okay, we can just pay somebody to do it.” At the end of the day, an agency, no matter how good that agency is. And that varies as well. But no matter how strong they might be, they’re never gonna know your brand or your product inside out in the same way that you do as the business owner or working closely as a brand manager of being in that company. So there’s always arguments about can you hand everything off? And can just somebody produce all your content and do all of your ads and things for you? if they work very closely with you and they’re very well directed, yes. A lot of businesses will see more success by actually keeping it in-house and up-skilling their current team or bringing people into their team that can fulfill the needs of producing content and distributing it on the platforms and these things, because they simply are more reactive and they work closer with the business to understand the audience. Sometimes for businesses, it’s gonna come down to the decision of where is there capacity. So is there capacity within the team that can be developed and up-skilled, or is there capacity within our marketing budget to bring somebody on board who can do that for us? And so sometimes it comes down to that decision of, do we have the people or do we have the funds to find the people?
Yeah. And who are you working with in that space? Are they getting the junior to do it or the grad? Or are you really getting involved with older business owners like myself, 40s and 50s perhaps? Are you seeing a trend there for growth in that space?
I think it’s very, very broad. What I will say is, I tend to find business, more established businesses, if they don’t already have a culture that adopts and adapts to changes and evolving business practices, they are more likely to go, “Oh, there’s a young person or office, “they are always on Instagram, they’ll be able to do it.” And that’s handing over such a significant part of their business to somebody who may not potentially, they may have an interest in it, but they may not potentially have the skillset yet to meet that requirement. And so there is sometimes a lot in businesses where they go, “Oh, somebody is young and on their phone, “they’ll know how to do it.” Which is absolutely not the case, there are so many, it’s like saying, “Well, that person’s good at maths, “they can do the books.”
They might be good at maths, but they still need a training and an understanding of how these practices should actually work together. So that businesses that are evolving and adapting and doing that, will find that they can actually take social on themselves or build up these skillsets because as I say, they’re not completely new marketing skillsets, they’re new tools to execute them on, but the same idea about producing content, if you can write a blog, you’re very good at writing a script or something for a video, you can transfer and bring a lot of these skillsets existing into your business and just now channel them into the social platforms.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. And in that, talking about usage of the platform from an internal perspective, if you’re really starting to drive ads through Facebook, what are some trends you’re seeing there about the types of ads people are generating? There’s so many variants in there, it moves so quickly and there’s so many different new features coming out. Give us a little bit of insight into what a standard B2B business could do to benefit from the tools that are in that platform now?
I think for B2B business is to understand that a lot of B2B businesses think that Facebook and social media platforms will work for them in the same way that they work for an online e-commerce business, where the transaction takes place online. For B2B business, the transaction will take place generally offline or after some form of consultation, phone call, sit down, communication, there’s usually another step in there before we actually transact, generally with B2B, especially for service providers. So it’s understanding that social media is not a conversion met or a conversion platform for you. It’s a lead generation platform. It’s about getting people to understand you, opt in, open your emails, wanna book an appointment, wanna sit down with you, wanna get your ebook, it’s getting people up to those points so that when you do sit down and have the sales conversation, you quote them, you take that, you go to work to convert them, that they’re in a good position to do so. So for B2B, it really is around lead generation and relationship building. So anything, the ads that will support that or any things that you can do that will help your customers understand more about you or to find a way to actually, if you’re going to nurture that relationship through emails, find a way to actually generate that lead magnet or that value exchange to get the email address. And there are certainly ads that are specific to generating emails and grabbing people’s email addresses and value exchanging with them for that. So I think for B2B it’s positioning an awareness and about, do people know who you are? Do they to start to like you? Do to start to trust you? Finding a way to then bring them closer to you, so is that using social to drive them to a booking page where they book an appointment with you? is it to get that email address, where they’re then gonna nurture with you? Is it to get them to come to an event that you’re hosting so you can then meet them face to face? So understand where social needs to drive people to and that it’s not going to complete the full transaction for you.
Yeah, yeah, lots to think about.
Yeah. People love it when I’m like, yeah, there are actually no black and white answers, I can’t just go, this is the magic hat, now spend it on this and boom, it goes.
If only that was the case.
It would be so much easier.
We’d all be rolling it. But I guess from our perspective, a lot of, we do a lot of integrations and complex business systems, combining systems with other systems, from the Facebook perspective, we’ve bolted in that what we were talking about before e-commerce stores, WooCommerce stores into Facebook. Are there other integrations that people should consider, business owners should consider that can make their life easier with Facebook?
I think for all business owners, it’s about understanding what, the idea with the integrations is to either automate, to make things easier or to collect data to make a better decision. So out of those systems, which ones do you need? ‘Cause you might not need all of them, but you probably need some. So I say for some businesses, it’s about tracking interactions on the websites, for some businesses, it’s going to be about tracking what happens when that transaction goes offline. So there are a number of different integrations they can use, but it’s first of all taking a step back and mapping going, out of all the things I could track about my customers, I could automate or I could integrate, where’s the value, what decision could I make from knowing that? And therefore making sure that you put some markers in place so that you can, as we say, close the feedback loop, if you’re going to invest money into the platform, you wanna know it’s working, how are we going to do that? Where do we need to track people to? What systems do we need to put in place for that to happen? And then we focus on making sure those points capture the information or integrate properly.
Yeah. So it’s ensuring your pixel is functioning, tracking and appropriately feeding that data?
Yeah, look, the pixel’s definitely one side of it, but there’s also tracking for things like your mobile, if you’re using a mobile app, there is tracking for if conversions take place offline and you can reload that information back to Facebook and then cross-reference it. So it’s different for every business, sometimes it’s sitting down at the end of the month with the sales team and going, “Okay, let’s have a look at how many more leads we got. “And out of the uplift and the leads we got, “what was the quality of the leads like?” And it’s manually tracking stuff on a document or a sheet.
Not ignoring the manual process and not ignoring-
Yeah, you know what? The thing is that sometimes, as I say, there isn’t, unless it’s like, e-commerce as I say, it’s one of the easiest things to do on social media because the full transactional cycle is tracked, the pixel is set up to watch and report back that data. And it’s very easy to see, the dollar went in, this is the dollar that came out. Whereas with B2B businesses, when that conversion takes place offline or takes place as part of a nurturing or a quoting series or these things, we need to sometimes put in a manual step that will help, follow up and complot that feedback so that we actually could still understand how we did all this stuff on Facebook, where did it get us as a business? And sometimes we can’t avoid some of that manual work as well.
Yeah, fantastic. Now those have been pushing ads, not just ads, but actually product feeds as well into Facebook have been experiencing quite a bit of knock back in the last couple of months. Can you shed some light on that?
Yeah, it’s Donald Trump’s fault. Quite literally. No, the platforms themselves, obviously at the moment, because of the pandemic, you’re going to notice that there’s an increased level of screening and censorship on the platforms. Then we combine that with the US elections and obviously there was a lot of political unrest, a lot of protesting, a lot of things happening all at the one time. Now social can sometimes be a bit of a powder keg that if you, all of this information starts going and people start doing all of these crazy things. So they have to find a way to suppress as much misinformation, inflammatory content, anything that could potentially add more fuel into a very precarious situation. So when they did this, they turned all of the screening tools that they have up to the maximum, which they’d never fully tested on the platforms before. We’ve never been in a situation where we’ve got huge amounts of political unrest, an election that was breathtakingly tense and then a global pandemic at the same time. So the platforms had simply never had to deal with all of these different tools and screenings and things that they had to endure. And what started to happen is that when you put a product through screening on Facebook, when you load an advert, when you boost a post, it goes through a review process. Now that’s not done manually, it’s done through Facebook’s AI and it gets the ticks and it will go off live. Well, because that was all turned up to the maximum, it’s simply couldn’t cope with the volume and with the level of security. So the most innocuous things started getting flagged, ads were disabled and two or three days before the US elections, we had a full platform, basically meltdown, where all of the ads that were running started getting disabled and accounts were getting disabled and the whole thing just went. So if it has happened to you over the last couple of weeks, it’s not your fault, it’s getting better. We’re definitely seeing things screening and coming through. And just follow any of those little appeal functions that you’ll see from Facebook. If you get refused, there’s usually a reason and there’s usually a request, a manual review feature that you’ll just have to go through and tackle. But I promise, it’s not your fault.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now we’re getting very close to 2021, thank God. What are you seeing trends wise in this space? Status quo or are there some really interesting developments coming through the pipeline that could be really cool for businesses?
Look, trends wise, I’m always wary about these sort of trends that people come out with. ‘Cause I remember, and I’ve had a couple of people ask me, I might be in conference and it everyone’s like, “It’s voice search, “voice search is the biggest thing ever to happen.” And not so much.
Not so much, didn’t really cut through the way we thought it was going to. So I’m always wary about talking about trends, but there definitely will be a continuation of short format video content, things like stories, things like the videos that you see in your feeds, TikTok and Snapchat, and these guys are really owning that space at the moment, but I don’t think that’s reached its peak. I think we’re going to see a continuation and I think it’d be interesting for businesses to adopt things like the augmented reality and the virtual reality tools. We just know that Facebook is pushing into Oculus and some of the things it can do there, and we’re seeing more businesses and brands experimenting with filters and games and features and things that make content more interactive. So I don’t see that being a trend that slows down, I think that’s going to definitely continue. And I think for businesses as well, it’s about taking these platforms seriously and not focusing on the, “Oh my God, “if I can’t grow my Instagram to 10,000 followers, “it’s not working.” But really focusing more on that relationship that you have with your existing followers and what you have with your audience, the biggest metric or the biggest thing I’d want businesses or brands to track, is not follower growth, but engagement, if that was the only thing you did in 2021, follow your engagement and watch how if you can focus on that, it will change your business, your follower account, that’s a dying metric.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like I’ve seen it just in my own experience. You put content out there expecting an outcome and that outcome may not happen as you would’ve expected-
Happens all the time.
– and you seeing thousands of views and tens of thousands of views and millions of views. I wish I could really get there with more content. And you don’t realize that it’s actually still a very long game, very difficult to just get that cut-through straight away. Would that be part of your advice to business? Just keep generating content and experiment with different things, That’s the way I see it.
Yeah, absolutely. I would say keep generating content, but do it mindfully. Look at the risk, don’t just go, “Okay, well, “we’re just going to smash up six months worth of content, “we’re going to hammer the platform, “we’re going to post every day.” Really stay close to what people are responding to. And like you said, experiment and tests with that. So if they responded to a photo of your lunch and you’ve just filmed this three-part video series where you’ve interviewed all these guest experts, but they actually wanna know what you’re having for lunch, that’s where their interest is, lean that way and follow with what your audience are showing you the engagement is at. So I think that’s, as I say, if you get to stay close to one figure, it would be your engagement rate. And that will tell you, people will vote very quickly what they actually wanna see from you versus what we think they wanna see, keep leaning in the direction of where people are showing you through engagement, through comments, through shares, through inquiries, through those kinds of things, the value of your content.
Yeah, fantastic. Fantastic. So thanks very much, Lyndsey, for some fantastic insights into Facebook and social, it’s been awesome to chat. For anyone wanting to know more about Lyndsey Fraser’s expertise, where should they go, Lyndsey?
They can reach out to us obviously, we’re at FloSocial and obviously we’re on all the social media platforms that we need to be, but you’re welcome to reach out to us there, as I say, we focus on education for the social media industry and some of the more advanced ads and skills. I always like to caveat with saying that because a lot of people are like, “Can you build our ads?” My answer is probably not, but I can teach somebody in your team how to build your ads.
Yeah, yeah, fantastic. It’s a really good approach, I think it’s such an organic way to build your business and start to understand your customers more, if you can get inside their heads a little bit more and that’s by learning to get your hands dirty in the platform and the different options that are available. So thanks very much again, and we’ll catch up soon. Thanks Lyndsey.