Having trouble converting your social ads into sales and leads?

The world of social media advertising can be a confusing place so in this episode of Not Another Marketing Podcast we’re demystifying things with Chris Madden from paid social media agency Matchnode.com.

We talk Facebook Ads, creating audiences, building landing pages, YouTube, Twitter and much more.

Grab a coffee, sit back and learn how to get better results from your social ad campaigns.

Websites and services mentioned during the podcast include:

Unbounce
Google Analytics
Facebook Ads
Seth Godin

 

Transcript (edited for clarity)

Jon: Hi, Chris. Thanks for joining me. I appreciate your time. Tell me a little bit about Matchnode.

Chris: Thanks, John. I’m excited to be here. Thanks for having me. Matchnode is a paid social advertising agency. We are here in Chicago with a team of six. We work with B2C brands that are growing, oftentimes scaling. We spend a lot of our time in any of the social ad platforms with our different clients, but definitely most of that market, based on the market share and where the ad spend is and where we see results is in Facebook and Instagram ads.

Jon: Where can we find you online?

Chris: Matchnode.com

Jon: Fantastic. All right. You’re going to persuade me and a lot of other people that social ads actually work. Let me tell you a story. I was with somebody just last week, they were boosting Facebook posts. We’ll talk a little bit about this later on, but just to give you an idea. They were getting 500 clicks through to their website and not getting a single sale. I see this and I hear this an awful lot. Especially from business to business clients. They say it’s quite easy to get engagement, it’s easy to get a click, it’s easy to get a like, and it’s easy to drag people to their website but it’s really hard to actually get a sale, or a lead, or a conversion of a goal. Is this true? Convince me it’s not.

Chris: Well, I’m very happy to convince you that it’s not because we see it every day. Between the start of this podcast and the end of this podcast, they’re going to be, just within the small team that we have, they’ll be dozens if not hundreds of conversions happening that’ll be the leads and purchases coming directly from those ads.

There’s a lot to unpack there. The first thing to say is of course it depends on business. It works better for some businesses than others, assuming the same level of very high quality execution. Sometimes I’ll hear a story like that. “I get 500 clicks to my website and nobody bought,” and they get mad at Facebook. Then I pull up their website and I think, “Well, your website’s not very good, it’s not optimized well. How much traffic do you have outside of this Facebook ad? How many sales did you drive in a normal day? What’s your conversion rate?”

They say, “My conversation rate is 2%.” I say, “Okay. So if you drive 500 clicks, you would expect 10 sales.” If that’s the case, then you have a steady history of traffic and a 2% conversion rate, say, from Google ads and organic, direct, other things that you might be doing, marketing events, content marketing, all these different things. I’d say, “Okay, cool. Now let’s look at what you’re doing in the Facebook ads.”

You really have to take apart each piece. It might be that the creative in the Facebook ad isn’t ideal. There’s a continuity between the message in the ad and what the pages that people will get to on their website. The people get confused and they leave. It might be that the website loads slowly, and very frequently, you said boosting posts. I hear boosting posts, I also hear, or I start to think, those ads are not properly targeted.

Just like anything in life that’s worth doing, the first pass, you’re not going to get it right, so you need to keep at it. It’s a lot of trial and error, it’s a lot of optimization and there’s no silver bullet. It’s a series of incremental improvements, both on your website, assuming you have product market fit on Facebook ad side and created on the Facebook ad side that you’re targeting.

Jon: Okay. Let’s start with landing pages then, because I’m a bit of a believer that every page is a landing page. I suppose when you’ve got social advertising, it’s nice to be able to drive people to a specific page. What would be a perfect landing page?

Chris: Great question. Great question. To your initial point, every page is a landing page. When you look in Google Analytics, of course, they call a landing page as the first page that a person visits on your website. I understand and I buy that definition. When we think of landing pages, we are thinking about a post ad page that we’re creating specifically to campaign our concept that is behind that ad.

A couple of key points here. This is a huge piece of our business. First, don’t even look at your landing page on a desktop or a laptop. A lot of people are sitting at work and they’re looking at these landing pages that look great. Build it for mobile first. Almost all the traffic on Facebook– not almost, I would say 70% of traffic on Facebook ads is mobile so you have to be driving a mobile experience. First thing is build a mobile landing page, not a desktop or one that looks nice on your laptop.

Second thing is attention ratio. Some of those were taken, we learned a lot and we worked over the years a lot with Unbounce, which is our preferred landing page platform. I know there are a few competitors out there that are probably also quite good. We’ve just worked with Unbounce for years and we really like it. One of the things we’ve learned from them is the concept of an attention ratio. It’s the ratio of things you can do on a page versus the things you want the person to do on the page, and it should be one.

Meaning, it counts up all the clicks, clickable links on your landing page. If you’ve got a navigation bar or a footer on your landing page, I would argue that’s not a good landing page. People will just go away. As soon as they click out to one of those places on your navigation, you might think, “That’s nice. We want to let people go deeper on our website if they want to,” but you’ve lost them. They’re out of your flow, they’re not going to convert.
You should have one thing for them to do. If you want them to become a lead right there on that landing page, then have the form there and the only thing that’s clickable is the button to submit the form. That’s a very hard rule. Of course, you might put a Learn More button after testing because people are bouncing off the landing page, maybe it’s a complex sale.

First thing is mobile first. Second thing is don’t give them a lot of places to click. The fewer places to click, the better, you really just one. Totally understand, even on our pages that we build for clients, oftentimes, there’s 2 or 3, but don’t have 100. I’ve seen plenty of pages that have 100. Thirdly, they have to be fast. They have to load quickly. You’re going to lose people. There are different stats, but every second it takes a page to load, your conversion rate drops by 20%. A lot of people don’t buy that, a lot of people don’t do that. They load slowly. Those are just a few quick things.

Another key concept in landing page is continuity, meaning you don’t want to show people in an ad for a promotion with a specific percentage off for some holiday that’s coming up, and then show them a landing page that doesn’t say anything about that promotion and doesn’t mention the holiday. People are like, “Wait, did I click on the right thing?” As soon as they start to think that, that cognitive dissonance clicks in and they’re gone. We all have thousands of claims bombarding us every hour that we could choose to pay attention to. As soon as you lose them, as soon as you make them think, “Wait, this isn’t what I thought I was going to see,” it’s over.

Jon: I think it’s good sometimes as well to look at the words on the page as well. It’s very easy to get into a– particularly with a landing page where you have space, is to get into a situation where you’re saying too much. Your social ad is going to have some value to it, be it an offer or whatever the value is. You carry that value through. We don’t waffle, we just keep things simple.

Chris: Totally agree with you on that. You’re a podcast about copywriting and what are those best practices. We definitely agree. One of the things that we like to do is to write the copy on the page on a plain white piece of paper. Write the page, write the words you want to have on the page separately. I’ve just mentioned Unbounce, so many people would dive right into their landing page builder, or the page that they’re copying to edit for this particular campaign and just write directly in the page. “There’s three bullets here. What are my three bullets going to be?”

I really believe, that to your point, you just need to step out of the computer really and be like, “What is the message we’re trying to write and write out, not necessarily by hand, but on a blank sheet of paper if possible.” That really helps. There’s a great Seth Godin post today about how you have 10 words. People only read 10 words that are on your page. What 10 words do you want them to be, to summarize to make them watch, to go deeper into your page? I really like that a lot.

Thinking about the reality that, especially on a mobile page, people flip very quickly. The certain words that you emphasize are the ones they’re going to see. You need to draw the people deeper in if you’re going to write more for them to want to read more.

Jon: Having multiple landing pages, is this a good idea? Maybe doing some A/B testing? Even if your sample isn’t big enough for proper A/B testing, is it a good idea to have different landing pages and test different things out?

Chris: That’s a tough one, because you mentioned a small sample and that really matters. You have to combine the qualitative with the quantitative.

When people say qualitative, everybody thinks right away, “Oh you do a survey.” Sure, of course, but you also just have to use common sense sometimes by looking at the deeper metrics that are behind why your page might not be converting. Even if you only have 100 visitors to your page over, say, a five-day period, you’re not going to be able to A/B test that page. You shouldn’t say, “I’m going to change the color of my button and see what that does.” That’s not going to help.

What we would suggest and what we try to do is you look at what the behavior was. In your case, 500 for your first example. We started with 500 people come and nobody buys. Let’s say for example, that’s a high-priced product or it’s a premium product. It’s a very nice thing that you might be able to buy and it tends to be on the higher end of cost, because it’s well-made and because it’s a premium brand. What we would do in that case is we would move the price higher up in the fall. Sometimes all the way up to the ad.

You say, “We have a hypothesis that people are not buying because they’re surprised by how expensive it is.” We put the price of the item in the ad so that no one will even click on the ad if they don’t want to pay $500 or whatever, whatever the high number is. You have to use some intuition, you have to use some common sense. Some of that comes with experience certainly. Because we do this all the time, we might be able to see these things quickly, but you should have a hypothesis to test and just don’t test small things, that’s the big thing.

Jon: Okay, let’s move on to Facebook ads.

Chris: Happy to.

Jon: Facebook ads, you could probably pile everything on the Internet that’s been written about Facebook ads. It would just go to the moon, I would imagine. Boost a post or actually have an ad?

Chris: It’s not even close. If you want to do this sort of iteration, that’s the only way on what you can compete and be profitable. You have to be making ads, and I think most people by now understand that those two outputs can look exactly the same to the person you’re advertising to, to the audience is receiving your message. The formats are exactly the same. You can have a post that is made in the ads manager, but we would almost never recommend you boost a post.

Jon: Is it all, particularly– let’s talk about Facebook for a little bit, is it all about targeting the correct audience on Facebook because you can waste an awful lot of money, can’t you?

Chris: That is probably where we spend more time. When we are going to do a test, we are testing and checking out audiences very frequently, and it depends upon the scale. If it’s a small or medium-sized business, sometimes there’s not as many sources to get that data, to make a lookalike audience off of. Oftentimes, the sources can be actions taken on your own website. Let’s say people adding to cart, if you have an e-commerce site, you can just create an audience of that to re-target those people or make a lookalike audience.

Yes, audience segmentation, in an intelligent way. Some people might be selling three different products that are clearly, one’s a hobbyist and one who’s a professional, and one is extremely expensive, because it’s the top of the market thing for a super professional. We would create lookalike audiences off of people who saw each of those pages, and understand that they use the product differently and then back into ad creative or copy that speaks to each of those slightly different use cases, because they’re different audiences.

It’s really like, goes back to basic marketing where if you have the sort of business where there are common sense segments, you should be creating different lookalike audiences based on those segments, and their behavior on your website, or the list of people who purchased one segment versus another in the past. Yes, audiences, so, so important, there’s so much nuance. Assuming you have creative that is good enough.

Our single straight edge is does it work and is it good enough? Those are a little bit– well, it does it work is not subjective. It’s really about the metrics behind is the ad working, is it good enough, is sometimes subjective. Certainly, we have larger brand clients where there’s very specific brand guidelines, and approvals, and things like that, that we need to get into. It depends on the situation sometimes you can’t change creative as much as you’d like to for certain constraints. We’re a very analytical agency. If creative’s on one end and analytical’s on the other, we tend towards analytical. We tend to test audiences when in doubt.

Jon: You mentioned lookalike audiences. Can you give an example of how that would kind of work in the real world?
Chris: Yes sure. If you’re an e-commerce company and you sell t-shirts and handbags on the same website, and it’s the same design, you can get this design, A, on a t-shirt or you can get this design in a handbag, and there’s lot of different designs. Maybe the different designs fall into different categories, different types of people. One thing that we would do is we would take all the people, say in the past year, that bought handbags and usually the client is very happy to upload that list, as a hash list, so it’s private that there’s no risk of that data being lost, or out there, or hacked.

You upload your list of handbag buyers and you similarly upload your list of t-shirt buyers. Now you’ve got a list of the exact number of people who bought handbags are on Facebook, same thing with t-shirts. You can re-target to those people. Maybe this is the sort of thing that people might buy quarterly and you have a lot of different designs. You know these people, at a certain time a year, tend to buy a handbag from you. The other thing that you’d do with those same two lists, handbags and t-shirts, is you create lookalike audiences.

Basically, that is telling Facebook, these are the people who bought in the past. We want to find people that are most similar to them, most likely to buy, and you can cut that into percentiles of 1% up to 10% with everything in between. 1%, 1% to 2%, 2%,3%, all the way up to 10% lookalike audiences. Here in the United States, there are 200 million people on Facebook, so a 1% lookalike audience has 2 million people in it. You can cut it further from there, but the algorithms, Facebook algorithms have been getting so good that we weren’t doing less and less of layering on top of those lookalike audiences because the audiences were just working.

Jon: You’re basically saying, “Everybody who likes this handbag, everybody who bought this handbag, we’re going to show you this t-shirt or these shoes, because we know you might like them.”?

Chris: Everybody who bought this handbag, not everybody who likes the handbag, like people who– interest audience for handbags would be very unlikely to perform. Even if you might think that you know a brand of handbag that you think is similar to yours, or you aspire to be like, that is very unlikely to perform as well as a 1% lookalike audience of people who bought your handbags.

Separately, I think you were saying also, like shoes, like if they bought a handbag, maybe they’ll be interested in shoes or t-shirts. No, not really. It’s like they bought a handbag so let’s find other people who will buy handbags possibly. They bought shirts, here’s a lookalike audience of people who bought shirts and we’d show them a shirt ad not a handbag ad, if you’re following me.

A segment implementation would run from the ad creative, to the audience, then to the landing page, to your point, to your previous question and on the landing page, we have one thing to do on it. For whatever reason, you might want to say, click to see t-shirts. For some reason, you don’t want to drop them out of the homepage that has handbag, shoes, and t-shirts. You know this person’s interested in t-shirts. They saw a t-shirt ad, they’re on your t-shirt audience, you show them a t-shirt landing page and say, click to see t-shirts and that’s another conversion you know in your conversion stream that you can optimize off of.

You can create a lookalike audience of that because you can use Facebook Pixel to create any audiences or lookalike audiences and then move them into your t-shirt page. That’s an example of how it all comes together.

Jon: How does remarketing have fit in with this on the Facebook Pixel and things like that? How does that work in there? Do we need a certain level of traffic to be able to do remarketing on Facebook?

Chris: Good question, great question. Maybe. If you have a type of business that does five transactions a month and you want to re-target people who bought in the last year and you have 60 buyers, that could be a wonderful business. It might just be a very small side project for somebody. Both things could be wonderful, but the reality is you can’t create a remarketing audience off of 60 people and expect much to happen. Now, the good news is you’re not going to be able to spend more than like $2 into that audience.

It’s not going to cost you anything either but, like in a more real holistic example, maybe more useful example. We have started to take a broader definition of remarketing or re-targeting people often think, you bought before, now I’m going to re-target you. We sometimes think of it as anybody whose interacted with your brand one way or another on your website. We then will create different re-targeting audiences. Going back to like the t-shirt or the apparel example, we could have a list of people that we want to re-target to have that purchased. Depending on the sort of t-shirts, it’s very unlikely, someone’s going to buy a t-shirt from you this week, then also want to buy a t-shirt from you next week.

We have to be empathetic to the people on the other side, the ads because there’s nothing worse than bad advertising. There’s nothing worse than bad re-targeting. We’ve all had the experience of something that we’ve purchased and then that thing is following you around on the Internet for six months. You’re like, “I already bought it. Please stop showing me the ad. I’m not going to buy, a t-shirt from you a day for six months.”

Jon: Amazon.

Chris: Yes, Amazon. We almost always will exclude recent buyers. We could say, “Don’t show this ad to anybody who’s bought in the last 90 days however, has things in their shopping cart but they didn’t purchase.” That’s a very common one that we probably also all experienced. You put things into your shopping cart, you don’t buy it. It kind of follows you around on Facebook and Instagram.

Again, there are examples, there are ways in which you do that, that it works well and is respectful of the ad budget and the audience, and there are ways to do it that are just like too much, and the frequency gets too high, it’s not intelligent. You need to think through the buying cycle of your business, and when you should be excluding people who’ve already purchased.

One last point on expanding the concept of re-targeting. We think of re-targeting to, let’s say, anybody who’s visited your website. Let’s say you have a lot of traffic and a lot of people are buying t-shirts, but 97% of people aren’t buying t-shirts because you have a great 3% conversion rate. That 97% is a very fertile place to look for more buyers potentially. However, a lot of them visit your site, are clear that they don’t want to buy from you, that’s why they didn’t. What we do is, we will create an audience of, say the top 25% of traffic on your site, or top 10% of traffic on your site, and you can do that by time on site.

It will exclude all those people who just bounced off your site or accidentally clicked or got there and realized they didn’t want to be there or that it’s not for them. People who have been coming back, engaging on your site, hanging out, but not taking the action you want, those are usually people we should go back to.

Jon: Let’s talk a little bit about creatives and actually ads which is more of my thing. Are we talking about– should we create multiple ads for the same audience? Should we look at– I mean I’m a big believer that we look at the audience deeply. What do they like? What are they– What language do they like? How do they like to–? What things do they–? What is this person who’s viewing the ad? What are they like? Is this important in creating the creative?

Chris: Extremely important in the creative, yes, it’s better for us from an agency perspective. The more the client knows about that already, the better. The business owner or the people who are inside the business hopefully already know that. If they don’t know that and they haven’t studied and thought about it a lot, it’s going to be a bad sign for Facebook ads working at all.

It really works well when you have product market fit, you know who your market is, you segmented that market intelligently. Absolutely would look deeply into the audience, say, “Who is this person? What is their day like? What are the other things that are bombarding them? What are the things they care about?” Not that you want to be too psychological about it, because in our experience, just being very clear is what works best almost in the fewest number of words possible. Clear always beats clever in our opinion. I think people like that.

In our opinion, our experience people like to be clever in copy, in ads, because it’s a creative endeavor, but it’s much better to just be very clear with who you are, what you’re offering them, because again, you want them to just flip past it if they’re not interested and you want to grab the people who are interested. You should create multiple pieces of creative in a single ad set. We are, almost every single account we work on is heavy video and not video.

You don’t need to hire a video crew and go and shoot original footage for three days. What you can do on a phone and the various editing apps out there right now, is extremely powerful and works really well.

We’re talking about 15-second videos with small pieces of animation. You can find somebody on Fiverr, Upwork for $20 to help you with that, or less. One quick tip would be, in the same ad set, you put a still image and a video as two ads and it can be the exact same thing. Meaning the imagery and what it says and everything about it, is as similar as possible, but one’s technically a video with some motion on it, the other’s a still image.

The reason you do that, we see that working, Facebook has told us, is some people, Facebook’s algorithm know that some people like video and they will click on video and engage with video. Other people don’t, they like still images. When you put the post into an ad set, the algorithm optimizes for whatever the audience’s preference is. If you only have one or the other, you’re automatically going to miss, and have to pay more to get into some segment of your audience that doesn’t prefer that format that you’re offering them.

Jon: Right? Facebook is clever enough to understand that this person prefers more still image advertising than video advertising, and it will deliver the still image?

Chris: Absolutely. The algorithm is that sophisticated for sure.

Jon: Let’s talk quickly about Instagram because there’s– you can go shopping on Instagram now, can you? Does this work? Do people buy stuff on Instagram?

Chris: I believe that they do and I believe in the future people are going to buy more and more on Instagram. Instagram shopping is an organic tool. There are these DTC as they call it, direct-to-consumer brands, which is a perfect case study of, for better or worse, small companies, lean companies that have been completely enabled by Facebook and Instagram ads. This class of business would not exist or would not be thriving without this channel, so on Instagram, those companies have done extremely well and they have very large followings.

Yes, there is this Instagram shopping thing that a company can load up all their products into Instagram and those products will be viewable by people who are on their pages. Now, you cannot promote that. You can’t put paid dollars behind that at this point. Maybe in the future you can. People buy things on Instagram, in our experience, the same way that they do from Facebook. That is through then the website, the landing page, website flow for an e-commerce company or leads for a lead generation focused business. We do see that working. Different of course, it works differently.
It works differently, meaning there’s some businesses that can thrive in the Facebook News Feed, but won’t do well on Instagram. Of course it’s just an extremely visual medium, it’s different from Facebook ads. While they have the same engine and the same back end, because of course Facebook owns Instagram, and the ads are run in the exact same way and you just literally click a button to have it be on Instagram or not, it does work differently. People do buy things from it.

You said, Facebook’s been around for 20 years. Yes, it has. The ad platform in its sophistication has probably really kicked up in the last five to six years and Instagram’s a part of that. You’ll recall when Facebook bought Instagram and it first allowed you promote posts. You could even link to anything. There was this link and bio thing that everybody who knows Instagram, you literally have to say, “Click from this image that I’m paid to promote, to my bio.” Then in that bio you’ll find a little random link they put in there. Click that link and then that’s going to take you to where you can buy the thing.
Now of course there’s overlays where you’re just saying, “Hey, click to buy and there’s carousels that you can flip through and video and stories and all the rest. Instagram’s a very powerful piece of Facebook’s platform. We do buy stuff on it. Buying on the platform is generally organic food products, but it’s an advertising platform the same way Facebook is.

Last thing I’ll say about this is this, you mentioned what’s going to look like in 20 years. I’m not sure, but in 5 to 10 years there’s going to be a whole lot more commerce run through Facebook as Facebook moves to this decentralized model, with the Facebook cryptocurrency. That company’s going to be very embedded in all these products, so that you can move money, move value more easily when you want to buy something, some money to your family or friends, whatever the case might be.

Jon: The Bank of Facebook, what could go wrong?

Chris: [laughs]. I wonder if it’s going to be better or worse than the Bank of England or the US Federal Reserve.

Jon: Yes, could be right there. YouTube is social media–

Chris: I’m not sure which one would be better.

Jon: YouTube is social media, do YouTube ads work or does everybody skip them?

Chris: They work, in our experience, for large brands that have tapped out what’s available to them on Facebook and Instagram. Of course, there’s certain types of companies, class of companies that YouTube works extremely well for. The whole maker movement, learning how to do something on Instagram. We were talking with a company recently that makes, it’s not a 3D printer, but for simplicity’s sake, they call it a 3D printer. They have this large channel with people making things on their 3D printer. People want to go learn how to do things like that.

Another thing that’s coming to mind is learning how to play an instrument or learning how to cook, so for certain types of businesses that are selling guitars or that are selling recipes, YouTube can be very powerful. YouTube ads to your specific question, I think we have had– We have not had a whole lot of really positive use cases. We’re a direct response agency. We’re trying to get people to buy the thing from the ad that we’re showing or fill out the lead over time, even if it might be a longer consideration purchase, but, we don’t see– YouTube ads in our experience, and given that we are direct response, has been more of something that ties it together like a display almost where we can show people who are already considering this product. Remind them that we’re out there.

The other thing that we see and that you might notice on YouTube ads is they tend to be very large companies. It is very analogous to TV ads. A lot of large companies just take their TV ads, they edit or adapt them for YouTube and now you’ve got all this reach. I think some of those lines are blurring, but then there’s concern of course about what are your ads playing next to and that is another thing for, similar to the Facebook discussion we’re having, we’re just like, you have to play whack-a-mole sometimes to be sure that your ad is not showing up next to objectional content on YouTube.

Jon: We can’t forget Twitter can we? There’s this– I don’t suppose it’s new, but it’s reasonably new, where you can pay $99 a month, £99 a month, €99 a month. It’s called promote mode I think, where it’ll just basically pick first 10 posts that you post. It’ll promote them as an ad. Does this work?

Chris: I would be so shocked if it did. It does not work. The idea that your next 10 posts need to be promoted, no matter what and you’re just going to write them because you don’t have time to remember to go in and promote them and it’d automatically be promoted. I don’t think that’s a great idea. Now, if you want to pay €100 or £100 or $100 a month to do that, and you’re some sort of– I can see why people might have a reason to want to do that.

If they’re trying to expand their reach because they’re– I almost said run for political office, that’ was a bad example, but if they want to expand their reach because they’re in the media business or things like that.

Where you’re really just looking to reach people and try to get people to follow your account, because over time you want to stay in touch with them. It’s like a personal or media branding platform. That is what we’ve seen working on Twitter ads.

Now, I don’t want to get too deep into the muck in the details, but Twitter did reboot their algorithm nine months ago and they started reaching out to businesses and agencies and say, “Hey, you’ve got to give Twitter ads another try,” because it’s not a secret at all that Twitter ads have not worked well to drive direct response. You try and get a purchase or lead. It’s a tough place to go fishing. They retooled their algorithm supposedly, nine months ago. We have a hard time getting it to work, but some of our clients have relatively large ad spends, a direct line right into Twitter reps, Twitter ad reps.
I would tread carefully and if you have a specific use case, like we said, where it’s a media thing and you’re trying to reach people. Again, maybe you’re a big brand and you’re trying to fill out a much larger integrated strategy, where you’re already tapping out search, you’re already tapping out other paid social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, then I get that there’s people who want to advertise on Twitter, but if you’re a small business or medium sized business and you’re looking to get ROI, we have not seen it.

Jon: I was reading the promotes FAQ from Twitter, just before we chatted today, and they say that on average people are getting 35 extra followers a month from spending £99, $99 and €99, which works out at £2.82 a follow. That sounds like a lot of money for a Twitter follower to me.

Chris: Right. What are you going to do with that? If somebody has an ego and they just want to have followers, sure, you can blow your money on that.

Jon: You might as well just go and buy some of them. You might as well just head out and just buy 10,000 for $50.

Chris: Exactly. That’s not the business we’re in. It was a long time ago that people were buying likes on Facebook. I’m not talking about buying likes in an underhanded gray hat. What I’m talking about, you run an ad to get a like on Facebook and everybody knows how that went. It’s like you’re buying this vanity metric at best, at worst it’s decreasing in value over time as Facebook’s organic reach went to nil. No, if you want to pay £3 for a follower and you have a good reason to do it, you’ve got your own reasons, but it’s not something that we would see be broadly applicable or successful.

Jon: Let’s finish off. Three things. Just three things that you think are the most important to get right when you are creating a social ad.

Chris: The entire thing is about, and people don’t like to use the funnel visualization, which is so simple and it’s just helpful. We don’t think it really looks like a funnel, but I would say, at the top, consider your audience. Then, as we discussed, the audience piece is really the piece where you can find wins. Then, in the middle, you really need to have specific landing pages for a specific campaign so that you can work that combination, that continuation from the ad through to the landing page, through to whatever you want them to do.

You have to be able to build the whole story. You have to build through line through and so that goes– that’s the ad to the landing page piece. Then finally, it sounds like your friends, that you talked to last week, that got 500 clicks and no sales, is you have to iterate. You have to have a plan, you don’t even have to plan for average, you just have to plan for average. If you spend, let’s say, £500 for this 500 clicks, well, is that his whole budget? Why did you blow all that in one go? Maybe he has a £2,000 budget over six weeks and he looked at those 500 people who quit and didn’t buy, well, what was their time on site? Did they bounce? Did they stay a long time and look at the product but not buy or maybe they’re price sensitive?

If that’s the end of the story, I don’t think they’re trying hard enough. You have to iterate. Iteration is absolutely essential and your first go is not going to work. One, audience, two, landing page, three, iterate.

Jon: Fantastic. Thanks Chris, really appreciate your time. It’s been really interesting to know.

Chris: Thank you.

Jon: That’s really interesting. Quickly, give me some contact information about Matchnode in case anybody wants you to do it all for them, which sounds a lot easier.

Chris: It might. It’s easier for our clients and we have fun with it and we enjoy helping people with it. Like I said, matchnode.com is our web site. You can feel free to reach out to me. Of course, contact forms are up on our website. I’m on Twitter, not super active. My personal handle is @MaddenCM, so feel free to give me a follow and definitely reach out if you’re interested in talking more about this.

Jon: Thanks, Chris. Appreciate your time.

Chris: Thank you, Jon.