I got so many messages asking if there was a video of the Facebook presentation I gave to my peers at the RewardStyle conference – also known as #RStheCon. While they did not video the classroom sessions, I’m happy to share what I feel are the key points I went over in case they might help any of you.
Facebook is quite a different animal than Instagram. Because the majority of RewardStyle bloggers are fashion or home interior bloggers visual content drives much of our business. Instagram, being a social platform built around images, is an ideal place for bloggers to share their inspiration.
Don’t Forget Facebook For Your Blog
There are a lot of people (me before I had a blog) that don’t want to be giving time to multiple social media platforms. Before I started my blog I had shut down my Facebook page because it was taking up a lot of precious time. Some people do that but keep Facebook and shut down other accounts. This is just one of many reasons there is a wide audience bloggers can reach by showing up on their Facebook business page and not just on Instagram.
BUT UNLIKE INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK DOES NOT OFFER A SEARCH TOOL LIKE HASHTAGS OR INCLUDE A DISCOVERY PAGE.
You will hear this term thrown around a lot when discussing a Facebook business page: “Pay to Play”. Facebook shows business page content to such a small portion of that page’s audience because they want you to fork over cash to get in the game.
My Facebook Journey
I made it my top business goal in 2018 to grow and utilize my Facebook page. At the beginning of that year I was working exclusively with ShopStyle Collective and suddenly my Instagram audience could not shop my outfits through the Liketoknow.it App.
With much of my income coming from the commission on purchases my Instagram audience was making I have to admit I was in a bit of a panic. But, that panic turned into action and a little over a year later I was asked to speak at The RewardStyle Conference about my Facebook success. I can’t tell you how honored I was!!
IN 2018 I GREW MY FACEBOOK AUDIENCE BY OVER 50,000 FOLLOWERS.
ADVANTAGES that many bloggers overlook when it comes to Facebook.
- DIRECT LINKS – unlike on Instagram you can put affiliate links directly into your Facebook posts. Followers don’t need to leave the platform to find items so they’re happy and you’re happy they’re clicking on the content.
- OLDER DEMOGRAPHIC – at 37 I was on the older side of the age curve at the RewardStyle conference. Facebook has an older demographic than Instagram so it’s a good way for me to reach women my age and above.
- LESS ENGAGEMENT – while I am SO GRATEFUL for the comments on Instagram I used to spent 5+ hours a day responding to comments and DM’s in the app. It was unsustainable and most of the comments were other bloggers showing me some love, not actual followers who were helping support my family my purchasing outfit pieces through my links. On Facebook there is just a small fraction of the engagement which means it sucks up a lot less of my time while still getting clicks from people who want to shop. A photo that gets 75 likes may still get over 1,000 clicks. PSA – if you enjoy a blogger’s content, taking 1 second to “like” their photos really benefits their business and is much appreciated.
- INFORMAL (QUICK) CONTENT IS KING – it takes WAY less time to take a mirror selfie or outfit flatlay and those types of photos generally perform best in terms of sales. So rather than styling a grand photoshoot at a location an hour from home – snap 10 pics in your bedroom and share away! I know a lot of bloggers don’t want to give up editorial content, but as a 37 year old mom of 2, it’s hard to not look silly trying to “model” clothes while my husband is behind the camera. Mirror selfies save me a lot of awkward moments out in public and my audience responds better to them than DSLR camera photos.
PAID ADVERTISING ON FACEBOOK FOR BLOGGERS
Most bloggers don’t have a background in marketing so paying for advertising seems very intimidating. I was a cardiology nurse practitioner before I became a full time blogger. So learning the ins and outs of paid advertising is an ongoing learning curve for me….and maybe you too!
Here are some of the ads that came across my personal Facebook page the day I was drafting my slides for the RewardStyle conference:
Push a post that’s doing well in front of more eyes!
- Video content does particularly well.
- Some companies you might work with will offer to boost content for mutual benefit. You see the most above the “The Mother Chic” was boosted by L’ange hair tools.
- Can be done on any budget!
I used to boost a lot of posts that were driving a lot of clicks (like a mirror selfie with sale items) but a word to the wise. Sale items sell out quickly! If you boost a post with sale items (ie: items that convert well) you have to watch for sell-out items because you don’t want to be paying to drive clicks on items that are out of stock.
On a pay per action affiliate program it’s tricky to get a quick turn around on the return on your investment when it comes to these types of boosted posts. I have been boosting less posts in general, but particularly those with affiliate links because I don’t prioritize my time to watch that items stay in stock.
I see these posts a lot on my personal Facebook feed when I log in. Most of the time it’s retail sites I visited that want to retarget me (based on info from their Facebook Pixel which I’ll get into shortly).
So while I more often get ads from places like Nordstrom today I got an ad from Peloton. I haven’t visited Peloton’s website (though I probably should as I sit here for the 3rd straight hour behind a laptop), but you can see why you were targeted by clicking on the 3 dots in the top right corner of the ad.
Here’s what I got from the Pelton ad when I clicked those 3 dots and selected “Why a I seeing this ad?”:
So they used a “look alike” audience and you may have noticed on the ad image above several of my friends “like” Peloton. They also targeted based on age and geographic location.
Bloggers can use carousel posts to drive traffic to a blog post with multiple images. For instance a Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Try on post would be a good one to advertise with a carousel set up.
Page promotion exposes your page to a new audience in hopes of gaining new “customers”. I like to think of my Facebook followers more like friends – but blogging is my “business” so the terms can be tricky.
I have been running a page promotion for quite awhile. I have varied the amount based on what my budget allows (I had to spent less when we were renovating our house and lots of bills were coming in and when I had to fork over my taxes to the IRS). I would say I generally average $25-$50 per day if that is helpful. I have spoken with other successful bloggers who spend even more.
It’s VERY common to see bloggers on Instagram doing giveaways which is a paid advertising tactic. But unlike giveaways where someone is enticed to follow you in hopes of winning a prize – the people who follow your Facebook page based on a page promotion are following for the benefit of your content. Because of this, hopefully they’re less likely to unfollow you than many of the “followers” those Instagram giveaways attract.
Make sure you use a call to action if you create a page promotion. WHY should someone follow you?? What content do you share? AND BE CLEAR. People are swiping through Facebook, likely while multitasking – so remind them to actually FOLLOW your page.
This was quite a foreign term to me about 1.5 years ago. When you sign up for a Facebook advertising account you are given a tracking code (PIXEL) that helps Facebook, and then you, know who was visiting your site (and where, when, etc). On retail sites this is even more helpful than it is to bloggers because you can get specific with tracking who purchases, who leaves items in their cart, etc. So retargeting is rather straight forward.
Unfortunately for bloggers like myself who use affiliate links I cannot track purchases because I’m sending readers to places like Nordstrom where their Pixel will get that data.
Nonetheless the Pixel will help you generate a lookalike audience so it’s a useful piece of code to install. If you’re like me, coding makes you cringe, but Facebook’s directions actually make it quite simple. I was able to do it myself so I’d recommend giving it a shot on your own before paying someone else to do it.
FACEBOOK ACTION PLAN FOR BLOGGERS
If you made it this far – I’m impressed! I know this is super wordy and I’m actually trying to keep it to just the basics! But really the key to become successful at anything is STARTING!!! You have to start and fail many times so you can improve. I suggested these 3 steps to the audience of bloggers I spoke to at the RewardStyle conference.
- Insert the Facebook Pixel
- Make 3 audiences in the Ads Manager on your desktop (I find it easier to create audiences on the desktop – there are a few more options you can’t access on the mobile app).
- Get your feet wet! Start an ongoing page promotion with a a couple difference audiences for $5 a day and see which performs best. You can go up from there. Boost a video and review the insights to see how you might improve next time. While small budgets won’t get you a big payout they can be valuable learning tools for the future.
And just to touch BRIEFLY on where I mentioned making 3 audiences, these were my suggestions for the groups I met with at RStheCON.
- People who have visited your page (if you don’t already have the Pixel you’ll want to let it acquire data for a couple weeks).
- A look-alike audience (again, once the Facebook Pixel has acquired data on who is visiting your blog it can create an audience of similar people on Facebook and you can include or exclude people who already like your Facebook page depending on your advertising goal).
- Create an ideal audience. Where do you most often send your audience? Perhaps Nordstrom? You can select criteria such as: women, in the United States, age 30-50, who “like” Nordstrom, and are engaged shoppers.
If you find certain audiences don’t perform well – scratch them and try something new!
Paid advertising is not the only way to grow your Facebook business page.
While paid advertising is the most widely utilized and effective way to grow your business on Facebook there are other ways to grow your audience as well. You can ask brands to repost your content to their page and tag you, or do something similar with other bloggers.
If you are friends with a blogger who has an audience you’d like to tap into ask if you can exchange a “share”. I have done this with one of my favorite bloggers on Facebook – JUST POSTED blog. That said, don’t ask people you don’t have a good relationship with – it’s bad etiquette. I get asked by total strangers all the time if I will share them and I decline….not because I don’t want to help them, but because it’s important to keep my voice authentic.
I hope those of you who asked for a quick summary of the content I shared at The RewardStyle Conference found this helpful. It didn’t end up being as quick as I had hoped. Please feel free to drop any questions in the comment section below and I’ll be sure to get back to you. Thanks for much for stopping by.