Why your Facebook ads aren’t working & how to fix them

By Tom Ferris | 01 November 2017 | Blog, Business

Tom Ferris, owner of Blackwell Ferris Marketing, reveals why your Facebook adverts aren’t generating much response – and what to do about it…

I spend around an hour to two hours a day on Facebook groups that are full of salon owners and technicians like you. I thoroughly enjoy being involved in the industry, and getting stuck into conversations when they start to point to marketing and creative work.

I read one comment (and I’m paraphrasing here) that said ‘Hi everyone, why is it that Facebook ads are such a waste of money? EVERYONE ELSE is getting ‘likes’ from theirs but mine are losing me £6 a go for a few days and one or two post likes but no one is going on my page!’ I feel the pain.

When the comments start to fill the groups with complaints of unsuccessful Facebook ads and how techs are confused as to what steps to take to make them more effective, that’s when the ‘gurus’ and ‘hacks’ start to arrive – and they’re not coming with the miracle answers you’d hoped for.

As a marketeer in various industries for over 10 years, I’ve been part of the social media arena since its very early days – pre-adverts and pre-business pages. I’ve taken a DJ brand’s page from 4 to over 16,000 likes in a matter of 12 months, with no industry experience; just knowing how to work with people and knowing the target audience.

It’s been a long time coming, but now there are great tools that can be used to get maximum exposure, and with relatively little effort and spend. Compared to options years ago where radio, TV, and magazine ads ruled almost exclusively, now social media is the strong platform.

The problem is that ‘experts’ and ‘non-experts’ also fill the pages of Facebook and are offering advice left, right and centre, but with almost no marketing experience. The advice is often solid for the ‘How’s’ but they lack the ‘Why’s’ and.. you can’t do the how until you know the why!

Here’s an example:

I’m a nail tech in Southampton. I want to get exposure to customers in Southampton and Portsmouth as what I would consider my ‘local’ area. So I turn to Facebook ads and create the following advert:

“Manicure and Pedicure OFFER – Just £40 at ‘TOM’s NAILS’” (with appropriate image of some of my work)

According to the shortcuts and the hacks, I should be able to just reword this ad to make it more captivating and then select my local town in the audience options and I’m away.

The problem here is the same problem as going out for a day’s archery, grabbing a handful of arrows, putting them all in a bow and firing at multiple targets. How many of those arrows are going to hit the target? Any target?

But according to many users of social media – if we get 20 likes from this then that’s an achievement (and don’t get me started on ‘Like Ladders’). The issue is that we’ve scatter-gunned an advert at our local town and hope that someone will see and someone will bite.

If someone ran down your local high street shouting “MANICURES AND PEDICURES – GET THEM HERE!” are you going to jump at the chance? We’ve got enough information around us in our lives: it would be mad to think that anyone would respond to such an approach. So why is social media any different?

Break it down into these three simple steps.

  1. Who do I want to attract to the Salon (who is my IDEAL client)?
  2. Do my brand and services ‘fit’ with this kind of client?
  3. Where do they take in information and recommendations?

WHO:

Attracting the ideal client is a great way to focus your targeting and start to drive clients through your door that will spend money with you and want to return. It’s the ideal way to filter out the hassle and reluctant-to-part clients (you know, the ones that always mention that ‘cheaper place’ down the road). If you only want to have well-off clients then its time to put the building blocks in place to get your name in front of them – and forget the rest.

If you’re targeting, for example, those with disposable income, then you’ll need to write down how you picture this client. What are they like? How old are they? Do they have a job? Doing what? Is it a 9-5? Do they have a lot of free time – if so, when? What do they do in their spare time? Build up an imaginary picture and write down all the features of this imaginary client. You’ll be surprised how many of these characteristics and stereotypes can be very close to reality.

FITS:

The next is to ensure that your name, logo, and working environment match the kind of clients you’re going after.

If you want cheap and cheerful clients who are going to be in and out in a short time and want to pay the minimum price for their nails then they won’t feel as comfortable in a elaborate, high-end and ultra premium/art deco salon, and it won’t feel right or make sense to them. The same goes for high end clients – they won’t want a quick in and out treatment – they will want an experience and the best of the best customer service. So make sure this all lines up.

WHERE:

If you’re ideal client plays lots of golf or regularly attends yoga, then its time to start networking with the local golf club or yoga instructors. Get your name recommended by building relationships and offering exchange deals such as discount for discount: you recommend them and vice versa. You’ll soon be the talk of the yoga class and it won’t take long to get new clients through the door.

So how does this all impact my Facebook ads?

The who fits where process helps us to understand how focused we need to be on our clients and prospective clients. For example if we look at the Yoga Class, higher end client, they are typically less likely to be on Instagram but may be on Facebook, so an Instagram advert is wasted on them.

If we start to put together an advert for these yoga enthusiasts then surely as part of our targeting we would want the following:

  • Location: Southampton, Portsmouth UK
  • Interests: Yoga, relaxation
  • Work: Registrar

Notice how we’ve focussed our advert targeting our ideal client after careful consideration as to who they are. We have broken down the characteristics of our perfect client and allowed this to feed the advert target criteria of location, interest and work. If we target carefully the kind of clients we WANT to attract, we are more likely to be successful.

Next time you put aside £5-£12 of post boosts or Facebook ads, give this honed targeting a try – but only when you know where you want to take your business and who your ideal client is.

Remember to write down:

  • Who do I want to attract?
  • Does my business ‘fit’?
  • How can I get in front of them?

Think about WHO FITS WHERE!

For more advice on getting your business noticed, visit www.blackwell-ferris.co.uk

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