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Amy Porterfield's New Facebook Techniques

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Written by Patricia Redsicker   

It’s estimated that in just a few short months, Facebook will have 1 billion users. With those kinds of numbers, it’s hard to believe that the company didn’t even exist 10 years ago!

Despite its global popularity, Facebook is a tough nut to crack for marketers and small business owners, who have expressed their frustration with the numerous changes that it has undergone. But as it is such a compelling platform that can drive high engagement, they have no choice but to figure out ways to make it work for their goals.

Recently I spoke with someone who knows a lot about how Facebook works: Amy Porterfield. She is a Facebook marketing expert and co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies. During our talk, Amy offered some excellent Facebook techniques that really work. Here are some of the important themes we discussed:


To listen to the entire Q&A session with Amy Porterfield, listen to the podcast here.


Full Q&A Transcript:

Patricia Redsicker:

HI, I’m Patricia Redsicker, blogging for Content Marketing Institute, and today I’m joined by the very lovely Ms. Amy Porterfield. She is the co-author of Facebook Marketing: All-in-One For Dummies, and she is in my book The Other Queen of Facebook. Many of you might know Marie Smith as the reigning queen of Facebook; but make no mistake ladies and gentlemen, Ms. Amy Porterfield is a very, very serious contender for that title, isn’t that right Amy?


Amy Porterfield:

Well I guess so, if you say so, but Marie has always been a great mentor of mine, so that’s a huge compliment, thank you.



You’re very welcome, and it’s so good to have you. I want to talk about Facebook because a lot of people are very frustrated with Facebook right now; so many changes happening all the time and it makes it very hard for us to keep up. What’s your casebook for Facebook, Amy?



My case for Facebook is that even though Facebook changes on a rapid basis — let me tell you I definitely dealt with that as I was writing the book and as I teach my clients how to use Facebook. It’s kind of a scary thing when you hear Facebook’s coming up with a new change and you’re thinking, ‘Oh great, what’s it going to be this time?’


However, my case though is that Facebook is where it’s at; you hear the numbers all the time, now we’re saying almost 1 billion users are on Facebook, and when you hear those numbers and you hear people spend something like 700 hundred billion minutes a month on Facebook, they’re just astounding. So your audience is on Facebook — I can pretty much say that with all certainty — so they’re there and you just need to find your sweet spot there that makes you feel comfortable. You have to find a way that you enjoy using Facebook and it all starts to come together a little bit more smoothly for you.



And on a slightly different note, because Facebook is so large and because it is the platform that so many books have been written about — so many books have been written about Facebook marketing and how small businesses, and large businesses can use this particular social media platform to promote their products. What makes your book different from all the others?



The book is different because, since it’s in the “Dummy” series, it is very hands on. We hold your hand through anything that you need to know how to do on Facebook. So if you look at the book, it’s almost 600 pages and it’s like a bible for Facebook; it is a big heavy book and it’s not meant to be read from cover to cover. It’s more meant to be read, you find the section that you need the most, you flip to it, and we literally have step-by-step instructions to show you exactly what you need to do. So that’s how it’s a little bit different; it’s not all strategy and thought, or big ideas — it’s more how-to.



And has it been challenging writing a book about Facebook? Because, as we said earlier, it’s a changing platform; it changes rapidly and there’s a risk when you’re writing a book like this that the book might be slightly outdated by the time it goes to print. Is your book, Facebook Marketing: All-in-One For Dummies, still relevant?



It’s extremely still relevant. We’re actually working on a version two just to always keep it up to date. But if you were to go into the store and buy the book today, 99 percent of it (I would say) is still extremely relevant.


The changes Facebook made recently really applied the profile and more so in how things are showing up in the newsfeed, and this book is very much about business. When you talk about business on Facebook, you’re talking mainly about business pages or fan pages (or however you want to say that), and so with that there weren’t that many changes on the Facebook pages side so we got really lucky with that.



Now let’s talk a little bit about the actual content in the book itself. You speak of the importance of having a Facebook community manager for your Facebook page; can you explain to our audience what that means? What is the role of a Facebook community manager, and what are the expectations that they should have?



Yes, so a Facebook community manager is someone that you would hire, or somebody that’s maybe already on your team, to do just that — manage your Facebook on a daily basis. Now let me give you an example so it makes more sense: When I was working with Mike Stelzner of Social Media Examiner, I was the Facebook community manager right when we started the Facebook page (I’ve since moved on). But when we started it my job was to monitor the conversations, get the conversations started with great content, questions, pictures, and video — really mix up the media in order to have a great array of different types of content to attract different people.


Everybody looks at content in different ways, so you want to always make sure you mix it up. And also, monitor their page to make sure that people aren’t advertising on your page, leaving links to their websites everywhere — once it gets cluttered like that you lose an audience really quickly, so you always want to make sure that your Facebook page is really clean. So my job was just to monitor it on a daily basis.


We had a rule at Social Media Examiner (and they still do this) that everybody who posts on the page we wanted to comment on. As an admin, we wanted to thank them, we wanted to let them know that they were heard, that they were listening, and my job was to make sure that a comment didn’t go by that I didn’t address. And so those are some of the main jobs that I would do as a community manager.



One of the biggest challenges that we face is attracting new fans and having enough fans. It’s very hard to get a large number of fans on Facebook. What are the best ways to grow your Facebook fan base — and when you answer that question, talk a little bit about Facebook advertising and how it fits into that whole strategy.




You are so right, the number one thing I hear from most of my clients is that they struggle with growing a lucrative or a quality fan base. Fans, if you have a bunch of fans on your page that are not going to take action, then Facebook marketing becomes a huge waste of your time. So attracting quality fans is really your number one objective to build a really strong Facebook foundation.


So a few ways to do that; one, you need to make sure that people know you have a Facebook page and what that means is to step outside of Facebook and make sure that it’s prominently displayed on your website — there’s a link to your Facebook page there — it’s in your email signature; it’s possibly on your marketing collateral that either you print out or it’s digital collateral; but you need to make sure that people know you have a community on Facebook.


Then take that one step further and let people know why they should “like” your page. So give a reason behind why you want to connect with people on Facebook. It’s not enough to say “like” us on Facebook, you see that everywhere now and people are really missing the boat with an opportunity to get people to really take the time to come over to your page. Tell them why:


  • Are you going to give them tips and strategies to learn how to do something new?
  • Are you going to help solve a problem for them?
  • Are you going to give them really valuable information to make their day easier?


What are you going to do on Facebook, and why should they come over? The big question is what’s in it for them. So once you establish that, make sure that you communicate that everywhere where your customers are spending time.


In addition to that, everybody (in my opinion) should have a custom welcome tab — and that’s a tab where you create it through iFrames, and anybody who’s not a fan of your page, when they come to your Facebook page for the first time, they fall on a custom welcome tab. And your main goal with that is to do a very clear call to action that says, “Click the ‘like’ button above.” Studies have shown that you can increase your “likes” by 50 percent if you first have non-fans land on this custom welcome tab because you’re actually telling them what to do: Click the “like” button above. If they don’t click the “like” button, you’re not getting out into the newsfeeds on a regular basis of these people; so you really want to get in touch with them on a daily basis and you do that by getting them to click the “like” button.


The third way to increase your “likes” is what you mentioned before, Facebook ads. Now I am a huge fan of what are called engagement ads; Facebook engagement ads are ads that you run to build your fan base. You’re actually having people click “like” inside the ad, and every time they do, they’re becoming a fan of your page.


So let me give you an example: I have a client who’s a personal trainer in New York, and we ran a series of ads for her to grow her fan base. So first we targeted her ideal audience — that’s what’s great about Facebook ads: You can really get down to the laser-focused level of who you want to go after — and once we did that, we created ads that said things like, “Click ‘like’ if you don’t want to gain 10 lbs. over the holiday season.” Now her audience is women, probably in their 30s – 50s, and so that really struck a chord with them. So all they need to do is click “like” in the ad that they see in the right column of the Facebook page. Now they’ve instantly become a fan of her page. They don’t change pages, they don’t go to her Facebook page, they just click “like”.


So we did a series of ads that were similar to this — one ad was, “Click ‘like’ if you want to break up with your scale”, so that one was another really popular one for her target audience. But every time somebody clicked “like”, she got a new fan. Now she’s almost up to 1,000 fans in just a series of weeks.



I think the tricky part with Facebook advertising, where people struggle, is how much money is this going to cost — is it going to be worth it — and figure out what the right advertising strategy is for them because these are a little technical. How do you explain that?


It is a little bit technical, and I will say that Facebook advertising takes time and patience. And so when I’m running a Facebook campaign, I’m checking it on an hourly basis (probably) in the beginning, at least and so you have two options.


One, you can educate yourself and really understand the Facebook ads dashboard, read all the tips you can about what makes a great campaign — tips such as running maybe five or six different ads at one time to see which one pulls the best. Using really great dynamic pictures — usually of faces, usually of women; they tend to pull better than logos or pictures of men — so you need to know these tips and tricks in order to have a really solid Facebook ad campaign. So to do your research; really learning what to do is important if you’re going to be running your own Facebook ad campaign because you can run through a bunch of money really fast if you don’t know what you’re doing.


The other option is to hire someone to manage the campaign for you. Hire someone that is experienced in Facebook ads — they’ve gotten really great results — and have them manage your campaign so you’re not spending where it really isn’t going to make a huge difference in your overall results.



Amy, talk to the person who has not given Facebook marketing a good chance; maybe they got discouraged because they weren’t getting the results that they would have liked to get. What’s your advice to them regarding Facebook marketing, in general?



My advice is that, first, Facebook marketing success does not happen overnight, so if you can really have patience — and I say you’ve got to hustle when it comes to Facebook marketing and really get in the game and be consistent with your posting on your Facebook page — you will start to see results. And when you start to see results, you’re going to get a little bit more engaged and excited and start to think, “Ok, maybe this really could work for my business.” But my very first tip is to be patient and be persistent.

But the second thing is that you really need to understand your audience at a very, very precise level when it comes to Facebook marketing, and the reason is that you have the opportunity to speak directly to them, but your messages, your posts, and your content really has to be tailored to the point that it can break [through] all the other noise on Facebook. So it really truly comes down to content and engagement. When you know what content is going to grab the attention of your ideal audience and you know what content really will make them think, get them interested, empower them, entertain them, educate them. When you know what content works you have a HUGE, HUGE advantage on Facebook because that will break through all the noise and get right to your target audience when you use Facebook strategically.


So if you’re thinking that Facebook hasn’t been working for you, or you’ve tried it a little bit and now you’re just frustrated with it and you’re thinking Facebook is not where it’s at when it comes to your business, I encourage you to look at your ideal audience; do you really understand their needs, their wants, their challenges, what really makes them tick, and are you producing content that speaks directly to them? If you can answer yes to both of those, I would encourage you to go back to Facebook and try that again because those are the two components that you really need to master in order to have Facebook success.



That’s a great conversation, but unfortunately we’ve run out of time. Amy, can you tell people where they can find you online if they want to get in touch with you?



Yes, I am at AmyPorterfield.com, so make sure to come over and say hello.



And on Facebook, as well.



Yes, Facebook.com/amyporterfield.



Well thank you very much ladies and gentlemen. We’ve been talking to Amy Porterfield and she’s the co-author of Facebook Marketing: All-in-One For Dummies. Please be sure to pick up your book at your local bookstore or at Amazon.com. Amy, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me, and thank you all for listening.

















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