When I logged in to check my Facebook page yesterday, I received a notification from Facebook informing me that I can now see what ads people are running. I was like wow, it’s finally happening, according to Facebook, it wants to make advertising more transparent on its platforms by allowing you to view the ads that a Page is showing, even if you aren’t in the intended audience. This feature is currently being tested only in Canada.
It’s possible that very soon unless you pay to promote a post on Facebook, It will not show up in users newsfeed. Facebook is testing a new feature where it will be separating its news feed. The company recently launched the explore feed, which will contain post from pages that users do not follow. Currently, in the primary news feed, we see posts from friends and pages we do follow.
I keep reading articles online talking about the demise of Facebook and how Facebook is losing favor with teens and mainly being used by older people. I never understood that notion since whenever I am on Facebook, all of my teenage family members are very active on there and their friends. As a Facebook marketer, I am always looking up what’s new and always open to learning how to use Facebook better. I am also a member of different Facebook groups catered to Facebook marketers. One such group is managed by the queen of Facebook herself, Mari Smith. About one week ago, a member of the group posted that she was in a business masterclass and someone announced that Facebook would be dead in 5 to 7 years.
As a digital media enthusiast, there are two people I look to. One is Gary Vaynerchuk, the ultimate hustler, and the other is Douglas Rushkoff, a media theorist whom I had the pleasure of meeting on his visit to Ryerson University. Both men are accomplished authors. Gary’s books include, “Jab Jab Jab Right Hook”, “Crush It”, “#AskGaryVee”, and “Thank You Economy”, and Rushkoff authored “Programme or be Programmed” and “Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus”. I see Gary as the practical industry practitioner and Rushkoff as the academic. However, both men agree with me on one thing, and that is, we live in an attention economy. The ultimate asset in business today is attention. Businesses are all vying for our attention and he who knows where to find the attention will win. I believe Caribbean businesses can find attention everywhere, but the variable of success could be much more valuable if underpriced or cheap attention is found.
Many Caribbean businesses invest a large part of their budget in radio and television advertising which often times does not pay the dividends that entrepreneurs envision. Admittedly, it would be irresponsible to declare that mass media advertising doesn’t work; however, much better ways to spend your advertising dollars exist. Let’s take Grenada for instance. As a business, you could advertise your products or services on Grenada Broadcasting Network (GBN) or Maitland Television (MTV) at premium cost. With such an investment especially for prime time programming, I am sure you would be able to reach the people you intend to. However, I think there are more effective ways to spend your money, reach the same or possibly more people when compared to television but at much lower costs, and that is using Facebook advertising.
The cheapest form of advertising right now and entering 2017 is Facebook advertising, and it will be the case for a while until everyone jumps on board which would most likely drive the cost up. Therefore, now is the time to start putting some of your advertising dollars into Facebook ads. Facebook is the most powerful social media platform in the world, outside countries like China. With 1.6 billion monthly active users and the ability to get as targeted as you desire, how could you lose? With Facebook ads, you could probably reach most in your country that are interested in a particular product, between a certain age, and of a particular gender. Let’s say, for instance; you have a product for women between the ages of 25 and 40. When you advertise on TV, do you have any guarantee that only women in the aforementioned age range would see your product? No, you don’t, but with Facebook ads you could. Now analyze your personal television watching habits. When you watch TV and the program breaks for advertisements, do you sit and intently watch all the ads, grab your phone to tweet or post on Facebook about what you’re watching, or do you use the time to get a glass of water or go to the restroom? Based on your personal admission, you may see why television advertisements may not be as effective even though it is costly.
Additionally, if you are an advertising or marketing agency, adding Facebook advertising to your services will be a huge boost for your business. One of the excuses I always hear is that people do not understand Facebook ads, but I have a secret weapon for you to learn about Facebook advertising. It’s called Google. You can learn anything from Google and Facebook advertising is no exception. Unfortunately, some persons falsely claim that Facebook ads do not work when they have never tried them. However, I challenge you to give it a shot because I have been running ads for the last two years, and I have been getting positive results. Therefore, try it and tell me how it goes.
When I younger, I wanted to become a soca artist. I even started writing songs with my friends, but I quickly realized I didn’t have what it took, so I decided to focus on what I was good at. In the past, soca artists advertised themselves to the public with the help of radio stations, DJs, and promoters, who booked them for shows. Therefore, artists didn’t have much control over their brands; however, because of technological advancements, the script has been flipped. Today’s technology now gives artists a significant say regarding the distribution and exposure of their musical products. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram practically give soca artists, regardless their stature in the industry, a somewhat even playing field. Artists now have the power to control and build their brands while bypassing the “badmind” DJs who often times intentionally neglect to share their music. Consequently, social media platforms are now making it easier for thriving musicians.
Uploading Music Natively vs. Sharing YouTube Links
Facebook is now big on video sharing as evidenced by their push with video ads, 360 videos, and Facebook live. Sometimes, when artists share their music on Facebook, they first upload it via YouTube then share the YouTube link to Facebook. Going forward, however, consider uploading your videos natively to Facebook instead. Facebook is in direct competition with YouTube and unfortunately for soca artists, Facebook’s algorithms punish videos shared with YouTube links. Therefore, you will be rewarded with more reach and views if you upload your videos directly to Facebook. Mind you, you should upload your music to YouTube as well, but just be aware that if you want more reach on Facebook, don’t share the YouTube link.
Share Short Clips on Instagram
Before, videos on Instagram could have only been 15 seconds long. Today, however, you can upload 60 seconds videos. Therefore, don’t be afraid to share a one-minute clip from your video to pique listeners’ interest.
As previously mentioned, video ads are now a major part of Facebook’s product. So do you know that by spending $5US or less it is possible to get thousands of video views on Facebook? Obviously, you would need to know how to setup and run a Facebook video ad, but hey, it’s not difficult. You can visit YouTube for tutorials or contact me, and I will show you how. At the moment, one of my clients is a jazz artist, and we have been using video ads to promote her music and concerts, and the results have been phenomenal. Consequently, I advise soca artists to start taking advantage of this opportunity as well. Instagram ads are now becoming a big deal too, so you should definitely give it a shot also. Just imagine it’s the carnival season, and you are a new artist with a “wicked tune”. However, only the established names are getting radio time. Instead of accepting the status quo, here is a simple solution. You could circumvent the system by spending just $5US to promote your music even if you don’t have an actual music video, which isn’t totally necessary. Many persons, including myself, often listen to music on YouTube or Facebook with just a still picture. Therefore, with such a small but effective investment, you have little reason to sit and wait for radio play when you have the tools to get your music out to a much wider audience than the radio can offer.
Consistency and Building a Community
Shows like Power or Game of Thrones are successful in part because they don’t ignore social media. Even after each season’s finale, they are still active on Facebook and Instagram reminding you of the just concluded episodes and in preparation for the new. With that said, soca artists should pattern their social media habits after those successful franchises instead of using a cyclical approach. From observation, many artists are very active on social media during the carnival season; however, after the festivities are over, they make a huge mistake by going silent. Therefore, they should consider year-round promotions on social media to garner as many supporters, sales, and job opportunities as possible. Also, many soca artists mismanage Facebook and Instagram. Instead of using the platforms as a vital business tool and as a means of building a community around their music, they unfortunately, use them to spread their unfounded information, divisive topics and display unsavory conduct, which may alienate supporters and potential patrons. Consequently, artists should refrain from the negatives and strive to build a community around their music. And if they need help building, their music community, it is advised that they speak to a Facebook or Instagram strategist.
In keeping with the use of videos, I have realized that some Grenadian promoters now use live streams to increase their business ventures’ reach. Further, as soca artists, you can also live stream your performances through platforms like Facebook Live. Obviously, the actual streaming would have to be done by someone else like a member of your management team or friend of course, but you should consider live streaming your performances, the process of making your music, or practically anything you think will interest your fans to build brand equity. Right now Facebook’s algorithms are very favorable towards live videos so don’t pass up on this opportunity.
Pardon my tone but please stop posting nonsense on social media. Remember that most patrons tie your contributions to your products. Therefore, if you are deemed to be a constant poster of valueless material, it is possible you would tune out your intended audience when it matters. Therefore, please ensure that your posts are entertaining, educational, positive, or provide some kind of significance to your fans. Like I stated above, be consistent while providing value.
Admittedly, many more strategies for brand building can be done; however, these are some of the basic approaches that every Grenadian soca artist and those throughout the Caribbean should take if they intend to make a mark in a potentially lucrative business. At #IamGrenadian, we have shared the stories of many Grenadian soca artists, and as a digital marketing strategist, I felt it was my obligation to write this article to hopefully help others. Also, these methods go beyond soca music; they can be effective for any genre. Therefore, since you now have the power to build your brand using these platforms, just ensure that you use them properly or seek the services of a social media strategist if necessary. Also, for those who may object to getting help because you have a Facebook page and Instagram profile consider this. Having a car doesn’t make you a mechanic, so having access to the necessary social media platforms doesn’t make you a Facebook or Instagram marketer. Consequently, if you are trained in social media marketing, perfect, if not, then get up to speed or work with someone.
Without a doubt, the best platform to reach potential and current customers and build your business is Facebook. Unfortunately, on a daily basis, I see so many entrepreneurs wasting their time and money doing Facebook advertising the wrong way. As time goes by, Facebook advertising is becoming more and more complicated since the ads manager and powereditor change frequently. Also, a huge number of entrepreneurs are not making use of Facebook advertising, therefore limiting their businesses’ potential for growth. Hence, in this article, I will take a look at some basic strategies to get you started with an ad to generate leads and customers
- Targeting– From the ads I ran in the past, I realized that targeting is one of the most important factors that determines their eventual success or possible failure. Your ads can target likely or present clients based on their interests as well as specific Facebook pages. To determine where to focus your attention, conduct research to find the Facebook pages where your potential customers hang out and target those pages with your ads. These are the two most basic and efficient ways for ads targeting.
- Use a Lead Magnet– If you really want to get warm leads that can potentially turn to customers, you need to give away something of value, which is known as a lead magnet. Lead magnets can take the form of how to guides, tool lists, ebooks, and training videos. Generally, humans have an innate longing for things that are free; therefore, people will willingly give you their email addresses in exchange for your free giveaways. Consequently, once these people are on your email list, you can share valuable content and possibly sell your products and services to them.
- Create a Landing Page– Creating a high converting landing page is an effective way to collect leads. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be a programmer to create a landing page. You can use a service like leadpages.net or even optimizepress 2.0 to build your landing page. Thus, once individuals click on your ad, they will be taken to your landing page where they can be added to your email list
The video below will take a more in-depth into Facebook advertising and how to get started with Facebook ads.
Consider the following scenarios. Imagine you have two options to market and promote your business. The first option costs $4000 and requires you to sign a contract with a radio or TV station or a local newspaper that will the run your ad three times a week. Accompanying the deal is the nervous wait to see if your investment will pay dividends. You have to hope that they are able to reach the audience you intend to target, trust that people do not change the station or channel during advertisements, and to make matters worse, if you want to make changes or add additional content, you have to pay more. All in all, this arrangement provides no guarantees and can be an uneasy period.
In the second scenario, you run ads on Facebook, spending as little as 1 dollar a day to as much as you can afford. You also have the added benefit of targeting the specific audience you want to reach. For instance, if you own a pizzeria, you can direct your ads to only pizza lovers. You can run ads to anyone on an email list, people who are similar to those on our email list, or even the persons who visited your website. Also, if you are selling a product online, you can retarget people who visited your checkout page and did not buy. Additionally, you have control over when your ads run, and you have the liberty to make changes whenever you want at no additional cost.
Personally, I am all for spending money on advertising and promotion; however, I believe that such an investment should be done smartly. While traditional advertising like radio, TV, and print media have their pros, social media platforms like Facebook is making it much easier for entrepreneurs, especially start-up and small businesses to advertise and reach their target audience at minimal costs.
Therefore, which of the following options would you prefer? Which one would you choose? For me, I do not have a huge marketing budget like some of the massive companies, so I will go where I get the most bang for my buck. That is why I prefer to use Facebook advertising. Using Facebook allows me to generate targeted leads, customers, and get maximum brand exposure. Small businesses could potentially double, triple, or even see their companies grow as much as tenfold without spending a fortune using Facebook ads.
Now it is your turn to choose so choose wisely.
In the meantime, I have a FREE gift for you. if you use Facebook for business, you need to download this Free E-book by Kim Garst that shows you 27 Killer Facebook Post Ideas for your business.