How not to be frustrated with Facebook

Tiffany just posted this last night.


Ever feel like Tiffany?

Is your Facebook Reach and engagement way down?

Do you have that sinking feel that Facebook pulled a bait and switch to force you to pay just to reach your own fans?

Worn out from trying to keep up with all of Facebook’s drama?

This downward spiral isn’t doing you any good.

In fact, you might be missing out on all the goodness Facebook finally has to offer.

Maybe your competitors know this and are taking advantage?

Here’s the goodness

If you’re looking for new donors, participants, volunteers, and advocates, Facebook is one of the best outreach advertising opportunities available today because you can target YOUR audience and only pay for ads that reach your audience.

And, at truly affordable price point.

You can’t say the same for  television, radio, newspaper, billboard, or even direct mail.

For most of us, SEO drives more traffic to your site than social media ever will. See the chart below. So always maximize your SEO and site conversion first and foremost. Email is still the most effective way to convert new leads. So you need a professional email program in place.

But you’ve got to get email addresses “somewhere” in order to convert those leads into supporters. Unless you have budget for a sophisticated re-targeted display ad campaign, social media is the next best driver of leads for those of us on a tight or shoestring budget. Facebook is still king, because that’s where people go to connect, be entertained, and take the latest Buzzfeed quiz.

The numbers don’t lie. Here’s the latest data on online customer acquisition:

Acquisition by Channel

I get it. You don’t have time to figure this all out.

Read on and I’ll try to make this as easy as possible.

I’ll admit that it takes a bit of testing and tweaking, but I promise it’s worth the time because once you’ve got it down, it drives a steady stream of new leads.

Facebook Lead Funnel

You have two options for your “lead funnel” via Facebook. They each perform well for different situations, so test which works best for you. They are:

Funnel 1: Get People to Like Page > Gain trust with great page content > capture an email address with high value offer > convert that person to a donor

Funnel 2: Capture an email address with high value offer  > gain trust with welcome series and get them to Like your FB page > convert to donor

Critical steps to your lead funnel, whichever approach you use, are:

  • Develop your target persona. Everybody groans at this, but I’ve found that your previous ads probably didn’t work because you didn’t understand your audience. Just targeting advertising based on interests is a crapshoot. Don’t waste your time.
  • Attract your relevant audience both organically and with paid ads, here’s a quick summary:
    • Organically offer something of value (safety tips, photo contest, blog subscription) to capture email addresses via website light box (we now have the non-intrusive ones that pop up from the bottom of the page), ask for email addresses in your blog posts related to specific topics, ask people to sign a petition, collect email addresses physically at your check in desk. I recommend asking for email address if you have something of value to exchange, but also send them to your Facebook page. Often people will prefer to get to know you via your Facebook page before giving up an email address.
    • Download and use Power Editor for your Facebook Ads if you’re not already using it. If you’re a beginner, stick with the Facebook Ads Manager and target based on Interests, with interests being other FB pages your target audience is likely to be following.
    • Run paid “Page Post” ads that offer value to either get people to Like your page or capture their email address. Shoot for an audience of between 250,000 to 500,000. I personally like capturing an email address, but you really have to offer something of huge value for that. Remember to select Sponsored Stories option too. Using Power Editor you can target the most likely people to respond to your ads, including:
      • Custom audiences This allows you to target your email subscribers that aren’t fans on Facebook.
      • Website Custom Audiences Facebook’s newest ad feature allows you to target your website visitors that aren’t Facebook fans or email subscribers
      • Lookalike Audiences is generated by Facebook, in Power Editor, as an audience of users you can target that are similar to one of your custom audiences listed above
      • Interests – I always look for people that are fans of competitive and complementary Facebook pages. If I’m a social justice group, someone already a fan of the ACLU on Facebook is more likely to care about free speech and social justice issues. Make sense?
  • Earn people’s trust by sharing useful content on your Facebook page. Yes, I know “engagement” is down, but honestly, conversions didn’t necessarily drop when Reach did, so posting relevant content still makes a lot of sense. It isn’t always obvious on a daily basis, but when you consistently share high quality content, you’re establishing your organization as credible and worthy of  someone’s trust. Also, keep in mind that you are also talking to existing supporters too, so you’re getting value in loyalty from current supporters with your content as well.
  • Collect Email Addresses. Get creative about what of value you can offer in exchange for an email address. Remember, people are on Facebook to be entertained and we all expect value in exchange for an email address.
  • Convert. Once you’ve got an email address, do your best to convert that person to some kind of action, donation, volunteer, sign a petition, sign up for an event, within a 30-day window. Leads go cold after 30 days. You can do this through high-value welcome email series that identifies your supporters interest and geographic location gives you the best information for creating a high value offer to convert them. I’ve seen nonprofits use telemarketing effectively to convert new leads. Again, test what works for you.

Here’s the kicker. Once you’ve figured out your audience, the right ads, and the right conversion tools, with some monitoring, this system keeps on sending you a steady stream of leads.

Worth a try?



P.S. If you’re not using Facebook for acquisition. Instead looking to use Facebook as a community of interest, or to distribute content, not to worry. I’ll cover those topics in upcoming posts.

Thank you for stopping by. I know you’re a busy person and I really value your time. YOU are my business. My business is to create tools, share insider knowledge, and give you confidence that you’re doing the right marketing at the right time to hit your revenue goals.