January 25, 2014

What’s the Biggest Mistake Your Social Ad Manager Can Make?

So, you have  successful Adwords or Bing AdCenter search ad campaigns.  You try  Facebook ads, and you don’t get the conversions that you have grown to expect from Adwords or Bing AdCenter.  What happened?


The biggest mistake that  many social ad agencies do is to treat Social ads as if they work like Search Ads.   Their Facebook ad campaigns have a tendency to just substitute the keywords of a Google AdWord or Bing AdCenter campaign with the corresponding target interests on Facebook. We frequently see this mistake as we onboard a  client who switches over to us.  An Adwords Campaign that converts very well on the keyword “American Express Card” suddenly does not work for a Facebook Ad that targets people who like “American Express”.


At Clickable, our focus with our clients is  optimizing conversions across search and social advertising channels.    Both search ads and social ads can convert very well.  But first,  you must know the differences of both.


Search advertising is powerful because your ads are targeting people who have an “intent” to buy your product at that particular moment they are “searching” for your brand name in Google or Bing.  In our industry, we call this “search intent”.


Social advertising is powerful because you are amplifying the frequency of your fans’ referral of your product to their friends. Marketing academics label the referral power of your brand as “Net Promoter Score”.


The  genius behind the “Net Promoter Score” is Fred Reichheld, who wrote the books “The Ultimate Question” and “The Ultimate Question 2.0″.  Fred created a whole new industry by theorizing that the ultimate question that you should care about is if a customer will refer your product to a friend.  Paul Graham, the very successful investor in Silicon Valley and founder of YCombinator, puts a twist to this question when he advises the companies he accepts in his accelerator: “Build something people want.”


If you have a product that people want, what should you do to sell the product?  The best thing you can do is to amplify that message so that your satisfied customer will refer your product to your friend who then refers to his friend, and so on and so forth.  How do you amplify these messages?  Simple.  Buy Facebook ads or other social ads that will promote your page post to your fans and to their friends.  Amplifying referrals is the secret to getting conversions on Facebook and other social networks. 


Once you get this concept,  improving your conversion ROI is just a matter of mechanically optimizing the content to amplify, the targeting and the usual optimization tactics: day parting, bid management and others.


What content or post should you promote?


Let us use Credit Cards because it is  a very popular category and Conversion Rate Optimization for Credit Card products is a strong interest of mine.


We analyze the Facebook page posts from 3 Credit Card products.  My earlier post , Analysis of Banks’ Facebook Pages in 2012 Holiday Season , walked through some of the metrics used to quantify the the engagement and virality of posts.  Today, I am going to show you how to use good old common sense to help you find posts with a high quality of comments that you can promote.


Quality of comments is more important than quantity of comments in choosing what content to amplify.  Most brands have a staff that can identify the posts with the best quality of comments.


In today’s post, we look at the posts of Chase Freedom,  American Express and Discover.



One cardholder praised Chase’s efforts for proactively sending her a new card in light of the breach at Target’s databases.  It is timely.  It solves consumers’ fears about security.  This is a post that I like the most.  Amplify it, put  conversion tracking and you are likely to get conversions.




This post prompted a fan to comment that “Discover is the BEST card in the world and has world class customer service! Happy Holidays to Discover!”   This is a more general comment but certainly a very good one to amplify as well.




This photo status update with Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh prompted a commenter to say “Best Card Ever!”.   This post will work  well too, especially if it is timed with the NBA Finals.


Not that hard isn’t it?  If your agency continues to sell  the power of socials ads as if they were search ads, fire them.


If you like to read more about what social advertising really is, check out Paul Adams’ short but very insightful book,  “Grouped”.


Cheers. If you will be in Austin on January 28th for PubCon, ping me and let us connect.



Clickable is a managed Social and Search ad agency using proprietary analytics and technology.  Ask us about our data analytics dashboards across your  owned, earned, and paid properties on Facebook, Google Plus, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, Foursquare, Vimeo, Tumblr, Weibo, VKontakte, Mixi, RenRen, QQ, Naver and Youku. We have offices in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.



  • American Express, Chase Freedom, Discover Card, Facebook ad optimization, JP Morgan Chase,