What I Learned at Facebook Boost Your Business San Diego #fbboost
Last Thursday I attended the first San Diego Facebook Boost Your Business conference held on the gorgeous Broadway Pier at the Port Pavilion. I am very familiar with a lot of business tools Facebook has to offer being that I use them for both myself and for clients but I knew this would be a rare opportunity to learn about the latest technology Facebook has to offer as well as meet people from Facebook HQ in real life, yes they exist! I appreciated their cost effective $25 entry fee because it’s something all business owners can afford to invest in. The $25 entry fee also included a $50 credit to advertise on Facebook. (Although I went to use my credit a few days ago and even though the credit says it expires in April 2016, I entered my code and got an error message that the code was already expired! I’m not sure if anyone else had this issue. I am bummed, so will look into seeing who I can contact about this error).
SIDE NOTE- Wearing Facebook Blue at a Facebook event will give everyone the impression that you work at Facebook. I guess it was not a bad marketing strategy to match the conference since this tripled the amount of people who came up to talk to me during the event.
The event started off with an introduction by Mari Smith. Mari is a Facebook rockstar! I am lucky to have connected with Mari many times during the course of my career. She is always positive and has great advice. She shared her own stories on the power of Facebook for her brand and business.
The event kicked off with Jonathan Czaja, Director of Small Business for Facebook. He started his session with eye opening facts:
- 40 million small businesses are active on Facebook
- 2 million small businesses actively use Facebook advertising
These numbers are astounding! If there’s a place you want to reach people where they are already captive and active, that place is Facebook! I snagged a photo with Dan after his talk to prove there is a human behind the Facebook name.
Next, 4 local businesses who successfully use Facebook for their business took the stage, Jelly Skateboards, Tri Swim Coach, Suja Juice and Chef’s Roll. They shared success stories and insight on properly using Facebook and other tools, plus they gave us authentic feedback from one local business owner to another.
This brings me to now share the things I learned that I feel will also be helpful for your business. I add a lot of my own insight in this summary to elaborate.
1. Creating Targeted Facebook Ads– Facebook advertising is very powerful because of the targeting options it gives to marketers and it was the dominate topic of conversation at the conference. It’s the one place on the web where users voluntarily give an abundance of data about themselves. I bet even your spouse can’t compete with the amount of information Facebook knows about you! There are so many options for advertisers when deciding who to target that most people just pick and choose a few options to quickly get their ads set up. However, to be more effective with Facebook advertising, it’s important to take advantage of their targeting options. Perhaps you’re growing an alumni network for your area. You can target women of a certain age who went to a specific school, who are now living in a specific area. You can also target people who work at a specific company. Here’s an idea: If you’re looking to get hired by a certain company, whether it’s as a partner, consultant or employee, why not create an ad and have it targeted to people from that company? I also love the idea of targeting friends of people who like your page because this provides social proof. There are a lot of other creative ways to create targeted Facebook ads that I could go on for days. Next time you set up a Facebook ad, be specific on who your audience is to really optimize your investment dollars. If you need help with this, reach out to me and I’m happy to walk you through it.
2. Facebook MailChimp Integration for Remarketing- MailChimp was onsite helping small business owners understand the power of their email marketing tools. I use MailChimp and I use Facebook, but I didn’t know about the easy integration of both. (This is why I love being open to learning, no matter how much time I’ve spent on a certain platform the beauty of it is that I can always learn something new). When choosing who you want to target on Facebook under “target ads to” you can create a custom audience by uploading your MailChimp list (or any email list) to remarket to your prospects. Remarketing is very powerful. This means that after you send someone an email, the same person will then see your Facebook ad, so you’re connecting with them in more than one place on the web. We were assured that privacy is not an issue with uploading your email list because the list will never be shared and once your list does get uploaded, it’s encrypted so additional data from the emails can never be accessed or leaked. By having the ability to remarket through Facebook, your email list is gold and becomes even more valuable.
3. Make Your Photos “Pop” with Apps- During the panel discussion it was recommended by Suja to have great photos and images as part of your content strategy. The term they used was make your photos “pop”. As a small business owner, it’s not always in the budget to hire a professional photographer, so I learned about 2 photo editing apps Snappseed and Afterlight. I have since downloaded Snapseed and am trying it out. So far I find the app to be very intuitive and easy to use. I personally take photos of many different things, including random objects and scenarios, I recommend that you do the same. I do this because you never know when you’ll a need a photo for content you’re creating such as in a blog post. There have been times where I have needed a random photo and rather than trying to find a free a photo where you aren’t breaking any copyright laws, it’s much easier to just pull a photo for your own personal library. Now that I have a photo editing app on my phone, I can make these amateur photos look more professional.
4. External vs Internal Hashtags- A few years ago when I used term “hashtag” everyone just gave me a puzzled look along with a reply along the lines of “Hashbrown? Hash what”? Alright who am I kidding, to this day when I say “hashtag” I still get blank stares . Well now there’s even more lingo to learn. There are external hashtags and internal hashtags. Jelly Skateboards gave great information on how they use both. Since Instagram, was highly visible at the conference (Yep Facebook owns Instagram) and hashtags are widely used on this site, they went with Instagram when explaining the difference between an external vs internal hashtag.
- External hashtags are used by potential customers. Jelly Skateboards actively searches hashtags connected to photos that are posted by people interested in skateboarding. For example, to target females they will search the hashtag #skatergirl. They will then start liking photos with that hashtag and following people they find through that hashtag who are potential customers. After they engage with the new people they are following a while, they usually get noticed so they have that personal relationship already built when someone wants to buy a new skateboard. This increases the chance Jelly Skateboards will be top of mind for a purchasing decision.
- Internal hashtags are usually created by businesses. They are more specific hastags used to track things related to their company such. Jelly Skateboards can use the hashtag #JellySkateboards to showcase photos of all their skateboards or #JellySkaterGirl to showcase female skaters they may be sponsoring. Having hashtags related to your own events is also a great idea. If Jelly hosts a skateboarding competition this year they can create a specific hashtag so everyone can follow the photos posted for that event such as #JellySkate15. Internal hashtags are a great way to start building photo libraries of things your own business is posting.
After the presentations Mari Smith hosted dozens of one-on-one sessions allowing each attendee who was lucky enough to snag a 3-5 minutes spot with her to get specific questions answered. My questions to her were about professional speaking since I’m working hard to grow my business as a professional speaker. I’m really glad I scheduled a few hours out of my day to attend the Facebook Boost Your Business conference. If you have any success stories from using Facebook to grow your own business, please share them!