Saturday, February 26, 2011

Finding Your Targets

I've received requests, and many super nice emails, inquiring how to find good targets. I'll do my best to explain what I did, but I'm no expert - all I know is what worked for me, so here goes...

**Know your Competitors!  You know better then anyone else what you sell.  Use that information to choose your competitors. Where do you believe your customers would also shop?  For example, many people who shop at Nordstrom's would also shop at Sax Fifth Avenue.  If you sell baby items, enter in Babies R Us, if you sell graphic tees, enter in Zazzle or PalmerCash.  If you are not sure, then do a Facebook search.  I had one shop that sold hand-painted tote bags ask me who to enter as a competitor.  I went to the Facebook search, typed in 'hand painted totes,' but I didn't get much so I tried just 'tote bags.' This gave me a bit more, so I looked  for which page had the most fans and chose that one. Which leads to the second tip...

**Pick Winners!  When doing a search, you may come across a shop that is perfect as your competition, but they only have 11 fans. Don't even bother.  Choose pages with many fans so you will reach the most people.  Also, many interests will have several fan pages.  A quick page search will reveal which one has the most fans, thus, which one to choose.  For example, I may enter 'Etsy' for one of my 'likes and interests,' but there are several Etsy fan pages.  I will see which one is the most popular and pick that page.  Remember, it's all a numbers game and you want to win.

***Stand Out in the Crowd  When you pick your photo, remember, your ad will probably be shown in the bottom corner - so you want to catch some eyes!  Think bright colors, bold images, and basically things that will draw the eye down to your ad.  If you choose a light pink photo of a necklace against a white background, it may not get seen.  Remember, you are fighting for fans, and fighting against other ads (you will be in a group of about four or five other ads).  How will YOURS stick out?  A great tool is the 'preview on page' button.  You can see what your ad will look like on a page.  I highly suggest trying this out.  See if you would notice your ad or not. How well does it stand out?  Does it draw your eye down? If not, rethink your image. Also, you don't have to use a product photo. I've had success with other images that I think relate to my overall look or feel.  As long as it's relevant, you're good!

**Think Outside the Shop!  Don't just think of other stores to enter in for 'likes and interests,' you can choose TV shows, music, celebrities, popular websites, anything.  For example, I add in 'tattoos' and 'True Blood' for my interest targets. It's a safe bet that my customers will like tattoos since I sell many tattoo inspired items. I also know True Blood will be good one to pick because on the right side of my page (under 'recommended pages') it tells me how many of my fans like certain pages, and if many of my current fans like something, it's probable many future ones will too. As you gain fans, you will have better information on this. I also enter in Kat Von D as a target interest because she is relevant to tattoos and she has a similar style to my shop; basically, I can see my customers liking her.

**Know Your Customers!  We all know choosing likes and interests are important for targeting, but what about age? Location? Relationship status? Well, again, you know your customers best, use that knowledge.  If you sell dresses or baby items - target women.  If you sell trendy, magazine inspired items - target younger people.  Think about your typical customer and enter in targets that fit that profile.  You may be hesitant as you see the targeted audience dwindling, but don't worry - this goes back to wanting a high CTR that I discussed in the last post.  I would think as long as you're over a couple hundred thousand, you're ok.  You will probably be in the millions actually.

**Take Facebook's Suggestions!  After you type in some 'likes and interests,' Facebook will suggest some pages to you (below the grey box).  When I see these, I will open another tab and do a search for the suggested pages I think may be a fit and check if any of them have lots of fans.  I will also type in a word and see what pages it thinks I'm going to type. I will do a search on those too.  For example, if enter in 'Steampunk' for an interest, a whole list of pages with 'Steampunk' for the first word will pop up in the prediction text. If any are a good match, I may add it- but only if it fits with my shop aesthetic.  Don't just add things that are sort of like you're shop. This will waste money and lower your CTR.  You want to target people who will possibly buy from you.

Here is an example of what a possible ad I could run would look like:

Destination: Ballyhoo Jewelry
Type: Facebook Ads
Destination Tab: My Etsy or Default - wherever you want people to land
Body: Follow Ballyhoo for Steampunk and tattoo inspired jewelry! 20% off for Facebook Fans!
Location: US, UK, Australia
Age: 18-33
Demographics: Women
Likes & Interests: Toofast, Hot Topic, Tattoos, Kat Von D, True Blood, Etsy, Punk Rock, Rockabilly,        
                            Zombies, Sourpuss Clothing
Connections: Only people NOT already connected to Ballyhoo Jewelry
Interested in: All
Relationship Status: All
Education: All

Friday, February 25, 2011

Short and Sweet Facebook Advertising

My page is here:

When I first opened my shop, I set up GA (Google Analytics). I noticed that the majority of my visitors came from Facebook. I had a fan page with a few friends on it, but nothing much. I wanted a fan page with many fans whom I could interact with, and get feedback from, and show my new listings to. I'd heard paid advertising on Facebook could be beneficial, but I had never taken out a paid ad, and I had NO clue where to start, what to do...nothing. Honestly, I started by googling Facebooks Ads. That's how clueless I was.  I pulled up the form and started entering my information, the photo I wanted for my ad and what I wanted it to say. I'd read some tips for this so I had an idea of how I wanted it to look.  After it started running, I frequently checked my stats to see what worked and what did not. 

Bottom line: 157 fans in one month and rising daily! About 40% of my sales are from Facebook. Today I sold out of an item just from listing it on Facebook and telling my fans how many were selling out, to act now etc....I already have requests to hold some the next time I make more. Also, once you get a solid number of fans, you can pull back on advertising, because now that you have so many connections, you can sit back and let Facebook networking work for you - you'll be surprised.

So, here are my tips for anyone who is considering a paid Facebook ad:

**Do bids per click. Paying for impressions is good if you just want your name out there, but if you want people to take action, as in 'liking' your shop, you want to pay per click. Trust me, I won't bore you with more details but it's the best way.

**Direct your ad to your Facebook page NOT your shop.  Many people make the mistake of directing their ad to their Etsy shop (or where ever) - thinking, ' I want people to see my shop, then they can browse and buy' -but don't do this. People are more likely to 'like' a page, and they don't feel like they HAVE to spend money. And this way, you can advertise to them OVER and OVER again. Also, some people may not have extra cash to spend right now, but enjoy 'window' shopping. If they check out your store now, you have just spent money for that with no result. On the other hand, if they 'like' you page, then they will have your posts in front of them so whey they are ready to shop - there you are! Also, when people 'like' your page, their friends will see the activity with your shop link, and if their friends click on it and 'like', then their friends see it and so get the idea.  This is networking at it's best!

**Use interest targets wisely.  Using my shop as an example, many people would be tempted to put in: jewelry, shopping, necklaces. That's not always best.  I can add 'necklaces' as a target, but that's such a broad term. How will I know they like MY style of necklaces. It won't hurt to add this type of target, but make sure you add in more specific interests as well that will improve your CTR and target people that may actually buy something someday. The best thing to do is to enter in the shop/store names of your competition; use similar 'big name' stores. For example, I could put in 'Hot Topic,' or 'Too Fast."  Chose specific things, not just umbrella terms.  I put in my competition, but also popular TV shows that many of my fans like, music they like...etc... As you gain more fans, it will show you how many of them like certain things. For example, 40 of my fans like True Blood, so I will type that in for a target. You get better stats on this as you get more fans.

**Don't focus on impressions.  Some people just want their ad shown as many times as possible, but this is not the best way for several reasons. Yes, I can use fewer targets and hit more people, but I don't think many men over 50 will be buying my jewelry, so why waste my time and money. Actually, they probably won't click on my ad anyway, and now I've lowered my CTR (click through rate).  Facebook favors ads with higher CTR so you really want to target well with the purpose of viewers taking action, i.e. clicking. For example, Facebook will favor an ad that is shown 2,000 times with 20 clicks over an ad shown 50,000 times with 30 clicks. It's a numbers game and you want a high percentage of viewers clicking through.  This is why it's better to have your ad shown less with more clicks per view than just focusing on your ad being shown as many times as possible.

**Don't forget our overseas friends!   I get many orders from overseas buyers, but not many from say, Iraq. I will enter in United States, United Kingdom, and Australia since that's where many of my buyers are from. See where the majority of your buyers live and use that information to target users. Again, it's about a high CTR and getting the results you want  - like orders.

**Monitor your ad frequently. 
You can check in whenever you want and see how it's performing and trending. I checked my stats after two days and switched my photo. I then checked that after two days to see which photo attracted more clicks. I would then change my wording, and watched that. You see where this is going? I eventually found certain photos and wording that attracted the most clicks.  Play around with it. After you edit, it will say the edit needs to be approved, but that's no big deal, it will be. Edit away!

**Set your budget.
Set your daily limit to the amount you are not willing to go over, this protects you. I set mine around $5.00 a day with a total ad budget of $50.00 or so over two weeks. You can use any budget that works for you.

**Use suggested bid, or a bit unde
r.  This is debatable, but I find it's better to use a higher bid if you want to advertise aggressively. If you have a healthy number of fans and just want to ad a few more, then go lower. For shops looking to gain fans, you want a higher bid. Some people bid at like $.20 per click thinking they will get a good deal. I'm pretty sure all that will get you is bad slots or no impressions (times ad is shown) at all. I've never really talked to anyone who did this successfully and I'd be interested to hear how it went. I'm sure it's worked before, but don't go this route if you're a new shop looking to really increase your fan base quickly. For me, the sales I got from all my new fans paid off my ad costs, and I set my daily limit so it's not like bidding higher cost me more in the end.

**Block your Fans.  Don't forget to set your ad to block targeting people who are already your fans, that's just wasting money - they already 'like' you.

**Play around with it
.  Change your photo, target just women, or both men and women, up your age bracket, add some countries, change your interest targets, see what gets you the most out of your ad. 

**Don't bore your Fans.  Once you get your fans, don't bombard them with listings, they will tune you out. Post normal everyday things like you do on your regular profile, but remember these are potential customers so keep it professional. Tell them about yourself, things you do, funny stories, etc...keep it interesting so they post back and stay connected. Also, if a fan posts on your page, their friends may see the link - remember, Facebook is all about networking and making connections.

**Go for it!  You can set the total ad budget and daily limit so why not, and they won't charge you until the ad is done running. Be warned, they don't send a bill, they just automatically deduct it from your method of payment - they will email you first to let you know. You can also cancel the ad at any time. 

My page is here:
Hope this helps!! Please add your experience, I'd love to hear about it!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I'm a sucker for a good book!

So, being as I have my degree in English, I feel compelled to always be reading. I had been hearing about 'Hunger Games,' so I decided to check it out of my local library - I'm a library freak! Anyway, come to find out, this book is young adult. What?! It takes place in post-apocalyptic US and there is the Capital and 12 outlying districts. Once a year, the capital randomly picks one boy and one girl aged 12-18 to participate in the Hunger Games. These are games shown on national television, and it is basically a blood bath. The last person, or child, standing wins. The story is soooo good! I can't wait to start the second and third. I also love love love trilogies. Anyway, I checked out a couple books to keep my company until my second book in the trilogy comes. I'll let you know if they're any good...stay tuned!