Do you feel like Facebook is constantly changing and you can’t keep up?

In this podcast episode, Facebook ads specialist Liz Melville shares her thoughts on what’s working on Facebook right now, including whether we should ditch free Facebook groups, why the algorithm isn’t to blame for poor engagement on your content, plus what you need to know to get started with Facebook ads.

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes}.

Here’s an overview of the advice Liz shares in this episode.

Get good at creating organic Facebook content before spending on paid ads

If you’re struggling to sell your products/services, you may think Facebook ads are the answer to your problems. But remember Facebook ads are just paid content. So if you don’t understand how to write engaging copy for your Facebook page - and how to select the images/videos that will attract your ideal client/customers to your organic content, you’ll end up wasting money on Facebook ads that don’t convert. This is why Liz recommends you get good at creating organic content before investing in paid Facebook ads.

Don’t blame the Facebook algorithm if your content isn’t getting engagement

If you’re posting regularly on your Facebook page but you’re only getting handful of likes and comments - you may wonder if it’s worth having a page at all.

But if this sounds like you, this is nothing to do with the Facebook algorithm. “It’s because your content is rubbish,” says Liz.

The way the Facebook algorithm works is that the more people who are engaging with your content (through comments, likes and share), the more people will be shown your posts.

This means there is a lot you can do to improve your engagement and generate leads and sales for your business (without spending a penny on advertising).

Creating engaging Facebook content is about solving your customers’ problems

Liz believes posting content that helps your ideal customers/clients is the best way to get engagement on your content. Which is why questions, polls and/or anything that encourages your audience to engage in a conversation with you works really well.

Many business owners find themselves in a ‘chicken and egg’ situation with their Facebook page. Because few people are engaging with their page to start with, even great content may not get shown to many people. The only way to break this cycle is to find ways to get your ideal customers/clients over to your page.

Engaging in relevant online communities, adding the link to your Facebook page to your email signature and starting comment pods (groups of business owners in similar industries who commit to commenting on each others’ content) are some of the ways Liz suggests you can break the cycle. But she warns against getting friends/family to like and engage with your page as this may result in your content being shown to the wrong type of people.

Free Facebook groups are still worth the effort -as long as you’re seeing an impact on the bottom line of your business​​

Many business owners are reporting that it’s getting harder to get engagement in Facebook groups. So is it still worth having a free Facebook group? Liz Melville believes it is - as long as you’re seeing an impact on the bottom line of your business.

Liz closed her free Facebook group at the end of 2017 because engagement was poor and she wasn’t seeing an impact on the bottom of her business. Janet closed hers at the end of 2018 for the very same reason. Both are now building their Facebook communities around their page, which is working really well. And they are both still using pop-up Facebook groups for free challenges (as part of their email list-building strategy) and report that setting up smaller, more focused groups that they close at the end of the free challenge is much more effective than having free groups that are open all the time.

Listen to: Why I'm closing my 13.5K Facebook group 

Do your own Facebook ads before you outsource

Liz believes it’s important to do your own Facebook ads - or at least learn how to find your way around Facebook Ads Manager (Facebook’s tool for creating and running ads) before outsourcing to a specialist. If you understand the basics, should you decide to outsource, not only will you be much better equipped to find the right person to handle your Facebook ads, you’ll also be able to diagnose and fix problems if the need arises.

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  • Facebook
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Build a relationship with your audience before you try to sell anything​

One of the biggest mistakes beginners make with Facebook ads is thinking they can ‘cold sell’ their products/services - without building a relationship with prospective customers/clients first. But as Liz points out, people aren’t on Facebook to buy. They’re on Facebook to socialise with their friends/family. So unless you’ve got your targeting absolutely spot on (like the companies who managed to sell Janet a running belt  and ponytail beanie hat because they knew exactly what kind of content their ideal customers would be engaging with) people are unlikely to buy from a person/company they have no prior relationship with. And even if you’re targeting is spot on, most people need a bit of ‘warming up’ before they buy, says Liz.

  • Facebook
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Understanding your customer journey is key says Liz. She uses a three stage approach she refers to as ‘attract, build and convert’. An effective way to attract your ideal customers/clients can simply be to start by turning a Facebook post that is getting great engagement into an ad (which is different to ‘boosting’ a post, which Liz advises against).  For example, prior to launching her 2019 Media Diary, Janet invited her Facebook followers to vote on the cover they liked best for the diary, which got lots of engagement. According to Liz, this would have been the ideal kind of post to convert into an engagement ad. The next step is to build a relationship with this group of prospective clients/customers by re-targeting them with more engaging content. For example, Janet created a media calendar as a ‘lead magnet’ for her 2019 Media Calendar - a downloadable pdf with key dates/awareness days for January, which is basically a DIY version of the 2019 Media Diary. Facebook users who had downloaded Janet’s free Media Calendar were then re-targeted with ads for the 2019 Media Diary (the ‘convert’ phase)

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Read: How to create a media calendar for your business 

As Liz points out in this episode, serving up cold Facebook ads to your audience is a bit like asking someone to get into bed with you on a first date. You need to ‘woo’ your prospective customers/clients before you even attempt to start selling to them.

Podcast shownotes 

  • Liz Melville’s business story (and how she’s honed her niche) (4:44)
  • How to improve your Facebook marketing (8:10)
  • How to increase engagement on your Facebook group or page (14:30)
  • How to create engaging content on Facebook (20:08)
  • Do free Facebook groups have a future? (28:32)
  • What you need to know about Facebook ads (37:15)
  • How to get started with Facebook ads (46:45)

 

NEW PODCAST EPISODE

Do you feel like Facebook is constantly changing and you can’t keep up?  In this podcast episode, Facebook ads specialist Liz Melville shares he thoughts on what’s working on Facebook right now, including whether we should ditch free Facebook groups, why the algorithm isn’t to blame for poor engagement on your content, plus what you need to know to get started with Facebook ads.

You can listen here: http://bit.ly/2RJRok6

Teaser: So it becomes about, ‘How do i get that engagement?’ and most people will say there’s no point me trying because the algorithm is gonna stop people from seeing my content.  And it’s simply not true, you can get that engagement, and if you’re not getting it, it’s because your content is rubbish!

12:38

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • Liz Melville’s business story (and how she’s honed her niche) (4:44)
  • How to improve your Facebook marketing (8:10)
  • How to increase engagement on your Facebook group or page (14:30)
  • How to create engaging content on Facebook (20:08)
  • Do free Facebook groups have a future? (28:32)
  • What you need to know about Facebook ads (37:15)
  • How to get started with Facebook ads (46:45)

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