Social Media Track: Search Marketing In The Facebook Zone


This is a guest liveblog post by Gil Reich. Gil is the vice president of product management at He blogs at Managing Greatness: Strategy in the Age of Search & Social, where his favorite topics include User Generated Content, Search Engine Optimization, monetization, and leadership. Follow him on Twitter at @GilR.

Ryan Lash, VP Search, ymarketing, LLC
Bill Parkes, EVP, Chief Digital Officer, nFusion @billparkes
Marty Weintraub, President, aimClear
Dennis Yu, CEO, BlitzLocal

OK, this session is sponsored by Adobe / Omniture. And the number 7 and the letter Q. You can use their data to optimize campaigns. This is a PPC pitch. Would have been more effective in the other room. Hey Adobe, you want better coverage from me, you gotta sponsor me. Kidding. Sort of.

Danny’s moderating. We try to make everything at this conference focus on search, it’s easy to get distracted. It’s easy to think about Facebook as something else, but you need to think about it in terms of search. Let’s start with Dennis Yu.

“Don’t try to take notes, it’s going to be too fast. Just hold on” [But I have to, I promised Virginia. I’m trying, Virginia.] [Gold star for Gil! :) —Virginia]

Where did the Fan button go? I had to throw out all my slides!!

Like buttons all over the place. Am I liking the Ad? The brand? I can like on a wall. What are the differences?

Mark Zuckerberg: “Welcome to the New Web Order.” He’s creating a brand new Web where they own all the data.

Partnership with Scooby Doo. Click Like to show your support. [Clever. Get people to Like something that makes them Like you. I like Scooby.]

You can target great demographics: Job Titles, Age, Likes certain things.

You can hyper-target to an individual. [Wow. This is even too creepy for me. He did this with an employee of his. Freaky. Funny though.]

Bid on a CPM basis. Not on a CPC basis. You take the risks. You can get volume. Do the targeting and go CPM.

[This guy is good. I like.]

Don’t trust suggested bids. Ads burn out quickly. It’s like driving manual vs. stick. You have to watch it.

They’ve tested the incentivized Like. And conversion rate is triple. Click “Like” to see the page.

If you’re advertising, you don’t want to be sending to the wall. [Need landing pages, just like in search.] Send them to a custom tab.

Posts by Admins & Others. Allow others. You want participation. You can do a Shopping Cart. You can do a custom URL.

Admin access: whoever created your page cannot be removed. So make sure that your page is done by a generic name, not by an individual who may leave. But if you have a problem with this, you can contact FB and they’ll take care of it.

You have to keep optimizing your campaigns on Facebook.

A FB fan is worth twice an e-mail.

The Likes can come from anywhere.

He was fast. OK, Danny’s back. And now Ryan Lash.

How many people here have tried buying ads on Facebook? How many have been successful? Shows of hand: About 20% and 15% I’d guess.

Will you be my friend? “Looking for a friend with benefits?” – Kenneth Cole ad campaign.

The best way to get Fans is through FB advertising.

It’s like the year 2000 again when PPC took off and you could buy clicks for a penny. Party like it’s 1999. A lot of people failed. You can succeed.

Facebook advertising for SEMs. FB fundamentals:

  • Is FB a search engine? 436 million searches / month. “Search” predominates the UI. They moved it to a more prominent location, from right to left. They give you Suggestions as you type into the Search box.
  • Is FB social search? Ppl search is still the predominant use of FB search, but an increasing number of users are searching for brands, etc.
  • Fitting FB ads into the marketing funnel. [He said Bing for the Buck. Hah. Then corrected.]
  • It’s all about who your friends are.

He’s doing much better at CPC, and total clicks, on FB than on PPC.

Leads & Cost per lead he’s doing better on Google.

Use CPM. Back into an effective CPC

Facebook AnAdomy:

  • Title (25 chars)
  • Body Text (135 chars: twice as long as PPC)
  • Image (prob. most important thing)

SERPS: 8-14 ads per page. FB: 3 per page, with link to more ads.

Targeting: Deep dive:

  • Likes & interests
  • Location
  • Demographics: Age, Gender, Interested In, Language
  • Ad Copy + Image

Images are critical!! CTR went from .013% to .039% (tripled) when adding image.

Know Thy Target Demo: third-party. In the search world you’re so caught up in keywords and ad networks you sometimes forget to research your target demo. FB is demography-based, you have to know your user (instead of knowing what your user is looking for).

Run a demo report. This is one of the most interesting reports I’ve ever seen from a network. Take it, analyze it, optimize your campaign.

Run reports. They have an Insights section. Great stuff.

Refresh your creative. If you don’t change up your ads you will fail. We turn it on, set it and forget it. It dies quickly.

Run FB ads like a pro:

  • Users love pictures.
  • Test
  • Refresh
  • Name your ads with unique nomenclature so you know what’s working
  • Do CPM pricing, back into your eCPC
  • Track results. FB is beta testing conversion tracking. Also use third-party.

FB lets you do a lot of targeting at the Ad level. With Google it’s at the campaign level. So you can test multiple variables. Great presentation.

Danny: “I feel I should issue a warning before I bring Marty up.” He’s doing different stuff than originally intended. He was supposed to do organic search ranking factors on Facebook. But he tried and his conclusion was that it’s all crazy. So he’s going to do something else. “Did you ever see that movie with the squirrel on caffeine? That’s Marty before he’s super excited.” [Marty’s my favorite. I love Marty]

Marty’s starting with why he can’t do his intended presentation.

Organic is massively important in Facebook.

Ranking factor for Suggest box:

  • Friends w/ keyword in Name
  • Any place you’ve been in FB
  • Events you’re invited to
  • Evens your friends are attending
  • Pages or interest you like
  • … your friends like

There are gazillion people that study SEO. So tell us if we’re wrong. Beat this up and find ways to spam it – I mean use it for marketing.

Posts by friends:

  • Friends w/ keywords in the name
  • Pages you’re a fan of
  • Pages your friends are fans of

Groups are great for real groups.

“Don’t try to write it down.” [Now you tell me?! OK, his preso is online, see his screens.]

It’s all messed up. I’m just going to speed through it. [He’s just flying through bullet points & slides.]

Summary with 9 minutes to go. FB internal SEO is going to matter. There’s no data, because nobody cares.

This is what we really do.

[Ok, he’s done with the presentation that he’s not doing. Here’s the presentation that he is doing.]

FB changes so fast he was doing my deck overnight. Brand to informational social segments.

[Marty hurts my head.]

7 minutes, 50 slides, let’s go. Male / female. Straight / gay. Relationship status. Languages in US. Age groups. “Don’t try to type, you’ll get the deck later.” I think he’s talking to me. I think I’m offending him by my useless effort to record his thoughts. If that’s what they are.

Interest tool. Work tool. You can target the people who work at CNN.

Segment: Green. Recycling. Environment. Sustainable. Shows a picture of George W. Bush eating a live cat.

Target people who say they love their kids. Yeah, right.

Engaged. Wedding. Yoga. Pilates. Gourmet. Social Anxiety.

  • Not branding in FB paid is negligent
  • Don’t rule out B2B
  • Find Intent
  • Sell by Direct Response

Now he’s counting down to not end too early. Gets a good applause.

[To summarize: He just blew through all sorts of different segmenting that you can do.]

Bill Parkes is up last. Yeah, following Marty. Good plan there Bill. Don’t let that happen next time.

You just heard about the leading edge of marketing sophistication on FB. Let’s switch gears and talk about where we are as an industry in terms of level of adoption of FB.

Did a survey. Reaching out to a broad swath of marketers, not just the leading edge.

Where are marketers seeing the most success? In descending order:

  • Awareness
  • Brand preference
  • Loyalty and advocacy
  • CRM
  • Internal morale and culture

At the bottom of the list? Lead generation, customer generation, direct revenue generation.

[Interesting, he talks about part of the next level as getting e-mail generation from this. But I would think you want to mostly focus on what you can do from within FB.]

Anti-socials (not marketing on FB):

  • 25% not active at all on FB
  • 78% see value bur are unsure
  • 56% B2B, 30% both, 14% consumer
  • 76% haven’t secured their brand on FB [Wow]

Social climbers:

  • 51% of FB marketers are “exploring.” Don’t have a strategy
  • 4% spending > $50K / yr on ads
  • 14% equal or better ROI than search

Socialites (strategy tied to objectives, KPIs):

  • 33% of FB marketers
  • 24% spending > $50K / yr
  • 19% equal or better ROI vs search [Interesting how low this number is]
  • 44% equal or better ROI than other media

Are marketers seeing SEO benefit? About 40% said it wasn’t part of their SEO strategy, or they didn’t know it could be.

B2B marketers don’t realize the opportunity in FB. But it’s there. B2B buyers are people too.

What tactics are related to positive SEO results?

  • Unique content
  • Clear value proposition
  • Page promotion across programs
  • Most FB ads are underperforming

Compared to Tier 1 search engines, 85% seeing worse results than search engines.

For marketers seeing strong performance, the best success was those that sent people to their website, not to a page inside Facebook. But this could be because of problems in measurement systems.

[In hindsight, Bill did a great job following Marty. Calm, focused. Marty woke people up, Bill delivered more good info.]

Bill’s summary: Big opportunity, but it’s hard. People are failing. But you can succeed.
That’s been the summary of this whole session. Lots of interesting opportunities because of how directly you can target by demographic, even down to the individual [even just to freak them out … I’m going to try that. Who should I stalk first?]. BUT … it’s a lot of hard work. You can’t just do it and leave it. It’s constant work. But an opportunity.

You can get his full report. Tweet him @billparkes

And the presentation are done.

Time for Q&A.

Danny reads a Tweet (from @ToddMintz) for Marty: “I like the fact that your presentation was just one long sentence.” Punctuation is for wimps.

Danny: “You can catch people even before they know they have the desire.” [Yeah, that’s the FB pitch. I don’t buy it. Turning a bug into a feature. Since you can’t find out what people are looking for, you can just assume that this is what they’re going to look for. Right.]

Dennis: Right now 95% of FB searches are for people. But that will change. You’re not going to be searching for Seattle Dentist.

Danny: “I just realized we’re out of time. I thought we had half an hour. That’s why I was so relaxed.”

This really should have been on the paid track. I guess the part Marty was supposed to give is organic. So the Organic lesson from all this? Facebook organic search is going to be important but don’t even bother trying to figure it out right now. The paid lessons were interesting though. And the presentations were interesting. And highly caffeinated.

See gilreich's author page for links to connect on social media.

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