In this Real-Life Marketing conversation, we reveal Facebook tactics every business owner is going to want to know. Ben Mariner shares incredible, actionable ‘real-life’ social media marketing tips, in conversation with Jeremy Mason as part of the ‘Real Life Video Marketing’ series.
Jeremy : So, you are quite a Facebook whizz aren’t you, when it comes to that platform?
Ben : My specialist area is Facebook.
Jeremy : Yeah. Tell me how that started and was it a case of you’re going, “I’ve created all this stuff, I need some way of getting out there …” – tell me how it started for you.
Ben : I did look at all the social platforms and I thought, well Facebook’s gonna be the best one for me. Just because of all the features. Like Facebook is wider. With Instagram, It’s very sort of restricted. I know that some people are fantastic with Instagram. And in my niche that is what thought, “Okay. That’s the thing that’s gonna excel” But Facebook just went crazy because it’s like you can tell different stories on a different part. So, with the main content you can give value.
With the FB Stories, you can kind of show the behind the scenes clips. You can do little, you know, more fun things or you can do FB ‘Lives’ where you can come and answer people’s questions and all that together. Obviously, the groups as well – going and contributing to groups. I just found Facebook so much easy to use, and just with so much more opportunity and so many more things you can take advantage of.
So that’s really worked for me.
Jeremy : I’m going to put you on the spot now, Ben. What three tactics would you suggest for businesses starting out on Facebook? Because a lot of people kind of go, “Oh yeah, I’m going to do Facebook ads”. And it’s in the same way people go “Oh I need to do some video” and you go, “Yeah, but why are you going to do the video?” Like, what’s it for? What tactics do you have to offer? Like what do you say to people?
Ben : The number one thing that I always get with businesses when they come to me with the Marner Media side, you know, we do Facebook ad management and the one thing always comes to me and they say, “Right, I’ve been on Facebook say for like four years or three years and I’ve been posting all the time. I don’t get any traffic or any followers”. I’m like, “show me what you post”. And I know every time it’s always like, it’s going to be the same stuff they’re on there just trying to sell. That’s the number one mistake that I see all the time is – Give value, don’t sell. That’s the most important statement is that, you know, if you give value – if you try and hold on too tight to all your content, then you know, and you don’t give any value. You’re just trying to sell, sell, sell. You know, no one’s gonna interact with you.
Facebook’s more about building community, getting people interested, and then you send them to somewhere else to send them over to the website to sell them or you book them onto some say free webinar or something like that to get them in that face to face position. And then you can sell. If you just try and start throwing out offers and things like that, no one’s going to pick it up because that’s not where they’re there for. People aren’t on Facebook to be sold to. If they wanted to buy something, they go to Amazon. So, you kind of have to suggest and, and you know, give them value.
So as another example, the dog training business, she came to me, it’s about a month ago, we started working together and she’s saying, “Oh, I post on Facebook all the time, but no one responds to any of my posts”. I said, “Right, what are you posting?” And she was putting out all the courses all the offers and I said, “Well they don’t even know you. You’re going way too quickly.” It’s like you wouldn’t ask someone to marry you before you take them to dinner. You know what I mean? It’s too quick. So, I said to her, “What I want you to do is go and film some videos with your dog, like throw biscuits and do some like slow-mo stuff and do something – have them running in and like, you know, “who loves their dogs as much as me?”. She did that she, she phoned me, uh, yesterday morning actually and she was like, “Oh my God. I got 2000 views on this one”, with 36 comments on the one she did with the dogs, like running in. She’s just asking questions and she’s just doing things that are valuable to the audience, cause that’s what they’re there for. To see cute dogs. But then obviously that then makes them think, Oh that’s really cute. Click on the page. And then they go through and see what she does. They’ll follow her for more of that valuable content, which will then create a community, which then creates sales. I mean, so it’s not a straight up, “Here’s my course, please buy it”. You have to give some value. Get some shares, get the comments and interact with people and then you slowly move them across to the websites.
Jeremy : I think that’s the thing that I seem to be getting a little bit from this – some people, I think, that it’s a quick win, you know what I mean? That there’s this magical tap that you turn on. Suddenly there’s all these clients. All these platforms, YouTube, Facebook, you know, Insta, all of them that they’re brilliant, but they are just tools. And actually, what you’re doing, like you say, is you’re building relationships with people and that takes time, right? Like you say, you’re not going to go into a bar and immediately walk up to someone and go, “will you marry me?” Which is like you say, exactly what you’re trying to do. And building relationships, although it’s online, I think people get confused by the fact that, you know, it’s all very superficial. It’s not, you’re still just building, you are still having to invest the time. And like you say, offering value – genuine value.
Ben : I mean, the best example of this is Mariner Media. So, with my other company, Mariner Media, what we do is I’ll hold free webinars and I’ll put some value out on Facebook. And then from that I’ll get them to sign up for a free webinar. And on the webinar, I’ll give loads of value and then the upsell at the end – one, there’s a higher uptake of the upsell at the end. But also what you find is once they’ve had that, you find that the next few weeks, all the people on the webinar, even those that didn’t buy, will phone you and say, “Look, I’ve got this problem, or I’ve got this website or I’ve got SEO problem, but I’ve gone to a couple of companies and I’ve got quotes, but I want you to do it because, I’ve connected with you. I’ve seen you, you’ve given me value, I know how good you are”. And then they’ll call you. So, this week alone, I did a webinar two weeks ago, I’ve got three clients this week who were on the webinar who left. But then two of them came back and said, look, you know, “I’ve got this, I didn’t need the Facebook course you’re selling. However, I’ve got website I need building, I’ve got SEO stuff I need doing. And also, I recommended my friend because you’re so good. And sent her the recordings and then she phoned me, at 10 o’clock this morning and said, “Oh, I need to do this chat bot thing, I need to get that done”. So, you know what I mean? So, you give value out, don’t be too scared to give the value first.
Jeremy : I think that’s really, really good point about the whole value thing. And speaking personally, cause I’m quite old, I found that it was quite a challenge for me to get over that hump of thinking, “Oh well I mustn’t tell people how to actually make video”. You and I have been in a similar journey in a sense of getting involved in training in internet marketing and stuff. And you very, very quickly realize – no, no, no, you’ve absolutely got to tell people everything.
Ben : What I mean, by that was – if I’m on the webinar, say doing Facebook training, I’ll give enough away that I go, “This is how we do it. This is what’s new. But I won’t say, okay, well what you need to do is go and click into this button. I need to do this and this and this. So then, you know, they get the got the value, they understand it, they’d know why they need to go, but then when they have to do it themselves, it’s like, “Okay, I get it. I understand that. Can you do it for me?” And that’s fine. And of them will go off and they’ll be like, “Right, I’m going to learn how to do this myself because Ben told me to do this”. You know, you’re just giving them all the value in regards to what the mindset is. You know, what the process is. So, you’re not kind of holding anything back, but at the same time you’re not teaching them how to do your job.
Jeremy : A lot of businesses know that they should be doing Facebook marketing, or “I need to be on Facebook” is probably more to the point. And then so there’ll be doing random posts. And again, I suppose it comes back to my old thing of just plan it a bit. What kind of strategies do you have in place in terms of how to come up with content that actually will resonate with their audience? How would you move from posting about, “this is the meal I’ve just had” and “this is me in the office” type posts, to stuff that actually is of interest to your audience?
Ben : Yeah, I mean what I do normally is if it’s a bigger business, so if they’ve got quite a bit list, we’ll email out a survey or offer them something for a bit of feedback. Now what would you like to see? But if it’s not a very big business and you know, they’re starting from scratch, then I’ll try to do different things. So, we’ll try different angles. We’ll try a bit more professional, and a little bit more casual. But the main way we’ll decide what I’m going to do, is that I’ll go and look at someone in their niche, that’s doing well on Facebook, and see what they’re doing. Cause we have this saying “success leaves clues” and it’s like, “Why are you trying to reinvent the wheel?” You know, if someone is doing it really, really well, you know, go and have a look, see what they’re doing, don’t copy them. But I think, right, okay, that audience is engaged by short copy, by video or by posting in a more casual tone and then interacting. It’s just like, okay, that’s what I’m going to try. The same kind of community I’m going to try and create – because I know the people that are going into that business are my customers, and that’s what they’re responding to. So, you kind of get an idea from your competitors and then come back to your own thing. We’ll test it a little bit, but we’ve got a starting base there. And if you have got already got a big business and a lot of clients and email lists then I’ll just put an email out and just say, you know, “guys, tell us what you want.”
Jeremy : And in terms of video in that kind of equation – I mean, again, it sounds a pretty leading question, but is it better to post videos? And what kind of videos tend to get better engagement in your experience?
Ben : It does depend really – like some businesses will get better with videos. Some businesses will respond better with just static posts, but it’s just testing really. Like I test it all the time. You know, which one performs better? I think Facebook do put a lot more weight on video. Just because it’s more engaging – cause you’ve got to imagine that Facebook’s complete goal, is to keep people on their platform for as long as possible. And videos are a lot more engaging. So, if you’re posting video, you’re keeping people on their platform longer. In which case they’re going to reward you by giving you a bigger reach. They’re going to push it out to more people because we want more people to see this because then, that’ll keep them on their platform longer. I would always say video does perform better – in a reach capacity. And it’s also better for conversions as well, just because it’s more personal. So, they feel like they know you. Especially if I’m on a video and I’m talking directly to the camera and I showed them a little recipe and then say, let you know if you want to learn more to come to the website. Instead of just doing a static sales post and when someone actually can see you – it feels like they’re in the room. It’s just much better from a conversion point of view because they feel like they already know you, they trust you. Especially when you’re working with people that are in the medical profession, or if it’s like acupuncturists and things like that kind of niche – where it’s all about trust. Like when you feel a connection to that person it’s like, “okay, I want that person to be my coach or be my mentor”. So that’s really important. Video can be great. Sometimes you don’t see the effects of it directly, but video does have a much better effect, but you just don’t see it directly on the post. But people have got that better connection with you, and you’ll see it in your conversions.
Jeremy : In terms of summary, you would just say that in some ways video builds deeper relationships with your audience?
Ben : Yeah, definitely. And I would mix it up a bit. I definitely mix static posts and video, but also just have something there video wise, that people can connect with you. You know, maybe on your website, definitely on your homepage, if someone’s going to click on the home page, have a video, which is like “Welcome to the Online Pastry School. This is what we do. This is the teams”. They just feel like, all things being equal, if they look at two websites, that are the same and one’s just static copy sales copy. And on the other you’ve got a video saying “This what we do, this our team. These are things that people have said about us”. You know which one people are going to go for. So, it’s very, very important. But I would mix it up in social and just see which one gets most engagement, because you don’t know until you try.