Sarah Russo (S): Today, on the Help Me Grow My Business Podcast, we speak to Senior Paid Social Strategist and all-round champion Myles Hart about the secret to success for Facebook ads.
Katrina Stapleton (K): We ask him how to get started, how much you need to spend and the truth behind the controversial iOS 14 update.
S: Let’s get into it!
S: Welcome and thank you so much for joining us!
Myles Hart (M): Thank you.
S: Alright, so how we start off every podcast is to get people a little more familiar with you, so we have some questions…
K: We have some fun questions.
M: Hoy hoy!
K: I will ask the first one. So, what’s the most underrated app that you use on your phone?
S: Other than social…
M: Oh, gosh.
K: It’s a bit of a tricky one.
M: The weather app.
K: That’s what we said!
S: That’s ours!
M: I love the weather app.
S: But which one? Just like, the Weather app, or like BOM?
M: Well, I used to use the weather app and I’ve used a couple, but I actually just downloaded BOM this morning and the new BOM app is really good. ‘Cause I had it a little while ago — not that great.
S: It’s so pretty!
M: And like, online, not that great. But, the new one, wow!
S: So obviously, you’re currently a senior paid social strategist, right?
S: Yes. Okay, what is your proudest career highlight, across your entire career?
S: I know it’s hard.
M: Entire career? Wow. Does it have to be with social?
K: No, it can be anything.
M: Oh gosh. I used to be a ski instructor, a qualified ski instructor, and I specialised in teaching kids.
K: And when I couldn’t work in America anymore and had to come back to Australia, one of my friends that still worked over there sent me some photos and this little girl had come back specifically to be coached by me.
S & K: Aw!
M: And they paid for five days, and they were willing to just write that off and said no, there’s no point skiing if it’s not Myles and they had my name tag and all the stuff and my report cards and everything that I had given them. So yeah, and they took photos and luckily this person they saw actually knew me and was pretty good friends with me still, so she’s like, “I actually know Myles,” and they sent the photos through and everything, so that was pretty cool.
S: Aw, that’s so cute!
K: That’s such a sweet career highlight.
S: Where can our listeners connect with you? So like on LinkedIn? If they had any other questions.
M: Yep, I’m on LinkedIn — I’m not going to lie, I don’t use it a whole lot. But, I do jump on there every week or two.
K: What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you started your career?
M: Probably, I mean I got into it just to lay the career goals, so it was the natural progression of a career. So I would’ve liked to have known where I was going, just so that I could’ve gone into it a little more prepared because it was definitely the first 12 months was really just fumbling my way through, not realising that’s the direction it was sort of going, because there was other little bits on the side.
And then all of a sudden, I ended up there and had to really go, “Oh, okay, now I’m specialising in this,” and had to really sort of do it overnight and when you’re talking to other people like, “I’ve been doing it for 12 months,” and so have I, but you know a little bit more direction and picking up on it, this is where it’s heading and what I actually enjoy and what I’m good at.
So, I started learning from the start, opposed to realising — and having to learn a lot of it really quickly and then go from there.
S: Because you’ve obviously worked in Australia and the U.S.
S: So you’ve learnt some… varying skills?
M: Haha yes.
S: So in the U.S. their market’s very different, so your career’s different to someone else’s, doing the exact same thing.
M: Yes, yeah exactly.
S: Alight, so we also have the Help Me Grow My Business Podcast Facebook group as well, so if anyone has any questions they can get in touch with both myself and Katrina and Myles on there as well.
So, we should probably get started on to why we’re here, which is the wonderful world of social media marketing.
S: So, obviously the first question is, give us a run down of what the basics of social media marketing is, who should be using it and what they need before they do it.
M: Okay, so social media marketing, it’s interaction marketing, you’re on your Facebook, or Instagram or Messenger or anything like that, or any other form of social media, to waste time.
The kettle’s boiling, there’s an ad on TV, it’s your lunch break, you’re on the bus, whatever it might be. You’re not on there to actually do something, you’re on there to just pass the time.
M: So, that’s really key when it comes to social media ads, is keeping that in mind, the fundamental reason why people are on there is not to purchase or buy or call or get a quote or anything like that, it’s to waste time. So whatever you put on there needs to sort of break through that, whether it’s an ad or a post or whatever.
When you keep that in mind you need to go, “okay, this needs to be interesting, this needs to get their attention,” because it is very easy to scroll past. You can be in a mindless wonder and scroll past.
You know, we’ve all been there where we sort of stop in a conversation as we’re doing something else and go, “wait a second, did someone just say something?” That’s exactly what it’s like.
So definitely keeping that in mind before you start, or before you’re sort of doing a post or an ad.
Who should be doing it? Everyone.
K: No matter which business you’ve got?
M: No matter which business, I mean there’s a few limitations, we’re not allowed guns or ammo shops, we’re not allowed adult shops and that sort of stuff. In the realms of what is allowed to do ads on there…
S: That’s more Facebook’s guidelines, isn’t it?
M: That’s Facebook’s guidelines for ads. So it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, you should be doing some form of social media.
M: Instagram, keeping in mind is sort of geared towards the younger generation. Facebook tends to be a little bit older generation, so depending where you are, that’s where you want to be.
S: So, in saying that everyone can pretty much do it, what sort of budget would you say that people need to be expecting minimum of getting started, even if they’re doing it themselves?
M: So, if we’re breaking it down, when we’re talking about organic, it’s free.
M: So free to post, free to open up a page, free to get your likes, if you want to sort of build that, you can put a few bucks behind it, promote it, Facebook will show it a bit more. But at the start, Facebook wants people to like your page just as much as you do, so it proactively shows it.
You tend to get your first few likes pretty easily, just organically.
When it comes to money, when you’re running actual Facebook ads, you can run your boosted posts, they have their place and you can put a few bucks behind it if you like, it’s great for market research.
M: It’s a short term gain, what you’ll see is a lot of interaction with it and keep in mind, Facebook counts everything. So if you say, boost ten photos and somebody looks through ten photos, that’s ten interactions.
So one person could be responsible for 20, 30, 40 interactions if there’s a few photos on it, a few comments and what not.
M: So take all those results with a grain of salt, but what you’ll also find is it’s a great way to sort of see what posts are working if I put five or ten bucks behind it.
S: Yep. So it’s good for working with the organic side?
S: But if you’re getting serious, that’s where you kind of want to be looking into the Facebook ads, Instagram ads side?
M: Yeah, exactly. Because there’s no long term results from boosting posts, you can’t do remarketing, that doesn’t have all the targeting and stuff that ads do.
M: It’s great for just a little five or tenner, maybe 20 bucks here or there. And just as market research, just as pushing a message, “hey we’re actually open this Australia Day.”
Put ten behind that, because if you’re a café, that’s perfect. You know, that’s worth putting a few bucks behind.
When we get into Facebook ads, it’s a different ballgame. This is the long term strategy, this is what really lets you grow your business. Heaps of different ways to do it, heaps of different objectives and whatever you want. Anything from app installs to purchases to just traffic through to your website. Lots of different ways there. So, depending what you’re after depends on your budget, but the minimum is $1 USD a day.
M: Which translates to $1.60 AUD, depending on the exchange rate at the time. But if you call it, let’s say three bucks a day, that’s your minimum spend on Facebook, you have to put at least that in.
M: Then what it comes down to, if you’re trying to figure out a budget is the size of your audience. If you’re in the middle of Sydney $3 a day is not going to get you very far. If you’re in Mount Isa, it’s going to get you a lot further, because it’s going to reach a very similar amount of people, but obviously, Mount Isa — rural, anywhere you are, is a lot smaller population, a lot smaller audience, so you don’t want to burn through all of that.
If you stuck a couple of thousand bucks into that in a month, you’re probably going to reach every single person more times than you need to and burn your audience. So yeah, it comes down to audience as well.
So that’s your minimum. On a rule of thumb, if you can afford five or ten bucks a day, on any sort of decent sized audience, that’s where you want to be.
S: So it’s probably more affordable than people think it is.
M: Ah, 100%!
K: So there’s obviously different types of social ads. You’ve got Facebook, Instagram, Messenger ads, but which one would you recommend that people who are starting out start on?
M: It does depend on the industry a little bit, but rule of thumb you’d say Facebook.
M: Instagram is… because it’s a younger demographic and generation and it’s more photo-based, it can make it a little bit harder to get your message across. A lot of people don’t tend to read the actual creative on Instagram.
M: So if you can’t sort of get it across in your images, you’ll find it a lot tougher. What does tend to work on Instagram — general rule of thumb is those sort of industries are targeting a younger demographic but are very visual, may be able to make that work, but you’ll find the bulk of your traffic and the bulk of your conversions coming from Facebook.
S: So, for people out there who are experimenting with doing their ads themselves, or even if they have an agency doing them, what sort of things should they be looking for to know that their campaigns are working on social?
M: It comes back to what we were saying earlier, Facebook being interaction marketing — people not getting on there to purchase or buy or convert, you do need to keep that in mind.
So what Facebook is really good at is driving branding home.
M: And delivering the driving home to a particular message, so whether you want people to know that you’re an emergency plumber or whether you want people to know that you’re the cheapest price in town or you do free quotes or you’re open every public holiday, whatever it might be, that one particular message is really good.
What you want to be looking at to see if it’s working or not, like depending on what you were promised, is that it’s delivering those clicks through to the website. And delivering those clicks through to wherever you’re trying to send traffic because at the end of the day, if you’re not getting clicks, then there’s something missing with your ad.
M: Now, if you think about that, it’s a bit of a… I’m scrolling through, if I stop and click on something, that means that it’s caught my interest, and it’s obviously relevant to me. But for me personally, I’m not clicking on an ad for a bikini or makeup. Because…
K: Haha, just not what you’re into?
M: It’s just not what I’m into!
So, I’m just going to keep scrolling past that, that’s obviously targeting but I’m just going to keep scrolling past that. So, you’ve made that fundamental, “Okay, I’ve decided I want to… I’ve seen something interesting and I’m going to click through to the website.” So if you’re not seeing those clicks, at the very least, even on those low budgets per day, then there’s something wrong with your messaging and who’s seeing it.
It’s not to say it’s a bad ad, it just might be shown at the wrong times or to the wrong audience when you’re targeting sort of out, or it might be a bad ad, or whatever it might be.
S & K: Haha!
M: Funny, that does happen!
So, you really want to look at ad click-through-rate and look at those clicks and make sure that it’s fundamentally doing that. If after say, 6 to 12 months, you’re going it’s doing absolutely nothing, then maybe you need to have a look at say your website, because if people are going through to the website, but they’re not doing anything after that, then maybe there’s inconsistencies with the branding or with the messaging. I’m expecting one thing, clicking on it, going to the website and it’s saying something else. Or it’s not saying the special or promotion or it’s not saying whatever you’re pushing on the web, on the ad itself.
So there’s a few different things you can be looking for, but fundamentally, are people clicking on your ad, because if they’re not, then you need to look at something.
K: Now, obviously, people can do their social ads themselves, a lot of what we’ve been discussing here, but at what point do you think it’d be worth someone looking at outsourcing that?
M: Um, to be honest, from the start. The platform is not user friendly, it’s not easy, it’s not easy to learn, it’s not intuitive, it bugs out a lot. And if you’re not up-to-date with all the Facebook advertising policies and that sort of thing, then you can also have your ad account shut down pretty quickly.
S: Yes, not what you want and it’s quite easy to do as well!
S: Like, so easy.
M: Like silly little things. If you have somebody with their arms spread and you cut off their hand [in the ad frame], Facebook doesn’t like showing portions of body parts. So, your ad can be denied for that. And if you don’t realise that and you just click appeal, and they go no no, it’s still denied and you go well wait a second, no, and you appeal again, and they deny it again, they can disable your ad account.
I mean that’s one reason why you should be with an agency from the start. The other side of it is: how much is your time worth?
M: Because yes you might save on agency fees and you’ll be able to spend all the money yourself and all that and you’re going to save some money, but the time that you lose learning it, the time that you lose appealing it and finding out what’s wrong, the risk you run of getting your ad account disabled and once it’s disabled, you don’t get another one.
It’s not that easy anymore. So, all of that plus the hours, the after hours every day depending on how often you’re running it. You know, how much is your time worth, work on your business, not in it. This sort of stuff is an investment into the long term of your business, into the longevity of your business and keeping those new clients aware of you and coming in and visiting your website and all that sort of stuff.
Focus on converting your clients or getting new clients and all of that, leave this to the professionals.
S: And finally, so every single episode we like to give people out there who are trying to give Facebook ads a crack themselves a checklist of what they can pretty much.. What they…
K: What they kind of need to get started.
K: So what are your top three tips for people who kind of want to get started right now after this podcast ends?
M: So first, if you don’t have a Facebook page, get one. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s super simple. You have to have a personal account to have a Facebook business page. If you’re opposed to that, that’s fine, create one anyway and what you can do is jump in and set the [privacy] settings to absolute maximum so someone could type in your name, phone number and address and you still won’t show up.
And what that essentially becomes is a suito, just a login for your business page. But, you have to have that personal page. If you still don’t want that, then get a partner or somebody you trust, obviously, to do that and set it up under their page.
Second, start posting. Facebook has said if you post, it doesn’t necessarily affect your Facebook ads and their results and that’s fine, maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t, but what it does do is help with the social proof. You know, particularly with COVID, a lot of businesses shut down, so if I’m seeing an ad and I click on it and they haven’t posted for two years, I’m sort of sitting there going well did they just have this running and they’ve left it on and the credit card’s still good, I don’t know.
Or, you know, this is a great big special or a promotion or they’ve just moved premises, but there’s not a photo of it. Or if I’m just trying to find it, what does it look like from the outside so I know, because I know the town, so I can see that on the post as well.
So, make sure you’re posting at least once a week, like we said earlier, it doesn’t take much.
K: No, it doesn’t.
M: It’s a one-liner, a quick photo.
S: Couple of minutes every couple of days.
M: Yeah, exactly. Yep, once a week if you can, absolute minimum and then you can build up from there, you can even schedule it. So, that’s that. Then play around with a couple of boosted posts, if that’s where you’re at, just so you can see what it looks like. So you can see what some of that targeting that’s out there is, so you can see how Facebook presents results.
Like I said, it’s going to look really really good, Facebook are really really good at getting money out of you. So don’t get suckered in because if you spend five, it’ll say ten bucks will get you this better result. And if you spend ten bucks, it will say 20 and all of a sudden if you keep doing it, it will say hey, spend 200 bucks over the next 24 hours and you’ll end up spending a lot more than what you’d give an agency, for extremely short term results.
But, just so you can sort of see and get that feeling for what it looks like and how they present results and data, you know, put five or ten bucks behind a couple of things to see how it looks.
And then the main thing, once you’ve done that, get an agency. Get these ads on, driving that traffic, get that brand awareness out there, and get in front of your clients because they are on Facebook, they are on Instagram, and if that’s where they are, that’s where you need to be.
S: Perfect advice.
K: Amazing, thank you so much for joining us!
M: Thank you!
S: Big topic I know, but you’ve done amazing!