Facebook-Advertising-Burgers-1Facebook emailed an invite to join them for burgers last week and well when Facebook email, you show up.

The Burgers and Business event is part of Facebook Advertising’s focus on small businesses. It’s a natural connection because helping small businesses do well will mean they’ll spend more on social media advertising. Win-win. That said, I’m not sure why I made the invite list. I’ve cut back on freelancing projects, and only one of the pages I admin uses social advertising. And I’m not the person who runs those campaigns. But as social advertising is something I need to learn, I confirmed my session and headed to Dick’s Burgers.

The Facebook Advertising Event Set-Up

When I arrived, the team had a long table outside the main restaurant entrance (can I call Dick’s a restaurant?). I was a little early for my 2:30 session and there were probably around 15 people there. Several were chatting to the Facebook team members, and a few more waiting. I checked in and because I had specific questions, was asked to wait near the table. Others stepped to the side for a general overview of the Facebook advertising product.

While waiting I chatted with a couple of the people in line. One man’s business was rather unique, and I was happy to hear the team give some honest feedback (no, social media advertising can’t fix a broken business model). Another was a local real estate broker in the neighborhood. He’s had success with the product and wanting some tips to make more money. He just happened to be going past and stopped by. From the number of people and how long we were waiting I suspect that happened a bit.

Q&A with Facebook Advertising

Facebook-Advertising-Event Soon it was my turn, and I was armed with an iPad full of questions from the amazing Nelle. She has been asking me about Facebook Advertising so I just asked her for a list. In Law and Order style ….and here are their answers.

I’m interested in the idea of video in ads – do people get better results (sales) from promoted content (in my case recipes a la mini cooking show) or TV-style advertisements?

The answer here was interesting. I’d use the team member’s name, but I’m not sure if he introduced himself.

He launched into a textbook recital of the campaign types (awareness, clicks, likes) and how Nelle should be aiming for clicks to her website (selling subscription box produce). So TV-style videos would be best.

It’s not the advice I would give (subscriptions need more trust and are more involved than just a click), but maybe I’m not content marketer than an advertiser. Or perhaps I know that Nelle needs to keep her current customers engaged so recommend a mix of video types.

Why do things I publish via Hootsuite seem to get throttled?

We all know the official line on this: posting via a third party platform does not impact results. I’ve seen mixed results, but Nelle is monitoring her social media closer than I am. I trust her when she says that reach is decreasing.

His recommendation is to increase the number of posts. Hmmm, OK.

Can I target people who have done Google searches or visited websites recently which aren’t mine? How?

Yes. Visit Facebook.com/business to discover how. No, I haven’t yet.

Can I exclude crazy organic folks from my target audience?

Disclaimer on Nelle’s wording: She gets a lot of people asking for organic produce, but it has never generated significant sales when she has offered it.

I was told that there’s no way to exclude people. He wasn’t quite sure what we wanted to know, so I did switch to AdWords-speak and asked if you can use negative keywords. However, I learned I can exclude people who already like a particular page. I think that was added because he felt bad that Facebook Advertising can’t do many of the things we need.

When targeting “Melbourne” how do I prevent this from getting false hits in Geelong and Reservoir when I want to target the CBD?

Yes, I did translate this into a more US-friendly form, but it was still a tad confusing. He explained I can only target the city people have listed in their profiles. Not very useful for a product with limited delivery range. I had to explain it as excluding Greenlake when you want downtown, Seattle. All would list their location as Seattle, but not all would be in downtown Seattle. Greater Melbourne has more than four million people. The Melbourne suburb has less than 30,000.

He then checked with a colleague and discovered that Local Awareness ads will work. We can choose an address and a radius. Actually, thinking about this more, I’m not sure it will work. If the location is from the user data, then it can’t be defined enough for the post office plus a 5km radius. Does anyone know if it’ll work?

On the whole, the session was useful to discover local awareness ads, but probably not worth attending again. He didn’t really make an effort to understand Nelle’s business or customize the responses. He did suggest that as an agency I would benefit from the Blueprint for Facebook training. I already had it on my list. And I also sent the link to Nelle. We’ll probably get more from the training than the session.