How to Use Facebook Effectively for Your Online Magazines
by Dennis Looijenga
There are four important things in life: cat videos, quotes by Gandhi, Martin Luther King or the Dalai Lama and pictures of babies, infants and toddlers (in no specific order). At least that’s what my Facebook timeline tells me. By the way, I’m well aware this may be saying something about me, too. With its 9.4 million users and counting, Facebook is by far the largest social media channel in the Netherlands. In this article I will show you how to use Facebook for maximum effect in combination with your online publication.
After reading this article you will know:
How to embed a remarketing code in your magazine
How remarketing works through Facebook
How to convert Facebook page likers into email subscribers to your web publication
How to convert magazine visits into Facebook page likers
How to create a Facebook advert based on your mailing list
Let’s first debunk a myth: ‘Facebook is primarily suitable for B2C marketing.’ Nonsense, rubbish, BS. This is your typical Facebook user:
“I’m bored, let me have a look on my timeline to see if there’s anything entertaining there.”.
That entertainment could be information about our social environment, but equally it could be some kind of work-related content. You can create highly segmented advertising on Facebook; don’t forget you can also advertise by profession or branch.
How does remarketing work?
First, you need a basic understanding of online advertising. Remarketing or retargeting is something you experience every day. You visit website A and receive a tracking cookie in your browser. Then you go to website B where an ad based on your visit to website A has been placed in the background according to a bidding system. The assumption is that people who have already shown interest in your content, are more likely to convert. Here’s an explanation, in fewer words, of how this principle operates on Facebook:
Create a Facebook pixel and add it to your magazine
This works by using a Facebook pixel (a piece of code) which you embed in your magazine. When you create an ad on Facebook, you automatically receive an advertising account which enables you to create a pixel. For complete information, read the instructions on Facebook. Embed the code you receive in your magazine by going to the tab Settings > Advanced. Enter the code in the ‘Remarketing code’ text. That was the technical part. Easy as pie.
Objective: Convert magazine readers to Facebook page likers
Let’s say you want to want to expand your audience/page likers on Facebook through your magazine. You want to increase your reach on Facebook. Facebook users who have previously read your magazine are more likely to like your page, as they have already shown interest in your content or brand.
This is your strategy:
You distribute your magazine by email
Recipient X visits your magazine from their email and receives a tracking cookie
Recipient X has not yet liked your Facebook page and visits Facebook
Recipient X receives an ad inviting them to like your Facebook page
Facebook uses ‘custom audiences’. This feature allows you to divide Facebook users according to customized segmentations. In this case we will create a customized audience consisting of people who have read the magazine within the past 60 days. In your Ad account, go to: Tools > Audiences > Create Audience > Custom Audience > Website Traffic. Enter the data and save. Well done! From now on you are building an ‘audience’ of magazine readers on Facebook.
Tip: Sponsored links are fun, but they have been shown to be demonstratively less effective than ads on Facebook.
You get that this is important data. The next step is to create a Facebook Ad designed to convert this target group into page likes. The price per like of the advert will be lower than the price of an advert directed at a general, ‘cold’ group of Facebook users. Don’t forget to subtract existing page likers from your target audience. After all, these are people who have already liked your page! The place to do this is: Ad set > Connection type > Exclude page likers.
Objective: Convert page likers to magazine readers
Let’s say you have a sizeable number of page likers. Of course not all of them subscribe to your magazine through their email address. So you can try to convert them to email subscribers through Facebook. In general, an email subscriber is more valuable than a page like. Only 11% of your followers see your page updates on Facebook, whereas your emails give you direct access to your recipient’s inbox.
This is what you want to accomplish:
Page liker X goes to Facebook
Page liker X sees an advert with a Call to action to subscribe to your magazine
Page liker X registers for your web publication using at least their name and email address
Earlier this year Facebook rolled out a new Ad feature to enable you to do this. When you create a new Ad you will see ‘Collect leads’ underneath. This option enables you to collect leads within the Facebook environment. In Facebook you can compile a form in order to request the data you need. It’s tempting to ask as much as possible. I would advise you to start by asking only for a name and email address. This keeps the threshold for subscribing low.
Three things to take into account:
Facebook only displays lead adverts on mobile devices
- Facebook collects your leads in an unexpected location, namely at the ‘front’ of your Facebook page under publishing tools>forms library. It took me a while to find this
Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t yet have a workable integration with MailChimp in order to directly link email addresses to a list. So you have to integrate the leads manually.
Of course you could easily apply the above to the ‘Custom Audience of magazine readers during the past 60 days’ that you previously created. All you have to do is select it in your Ad Set. This enables you to convert magazine readers to magazine subscribers too!
Objective: Reach email subscribers on Facebook
Definitely recommended if you just want to attract more traffic to your magazine. Facebook (and Twitter too) offers you the option to upload your email list. Facebook does a (coded) check to identify who on your list is registered with the same email address and returns this data to you. You can target this custom audience with an Ad, inviting them to visit your magazine again or to like your Facebook page!
Upload your email list and create a ‘custom audience’. Give it a name such as ‘Mailing list 12 March 2016’
Create an Ad designed to promote your magazine
Target your mailing list and approach them through email and social media for maximum reach
What about privacy?
Furthermore, explain in the email opt-in what you are going to do with the email address and other details. Tell people how they can indicate their preferences. For example, how they can indicate by email that they do not wish to be approached through social media using the details you collect.
After all the effort you’ve put in, it’s a shame to see your magazine go live and to just put it out into the world in a one-off email. Facebook, and Google too, offer interesting options to grow your ‘audience’ in combination with your magazine and to gain insights based on data. Experiment with various ads, target groups and advertising budgets. Start by making €250 available during the launch of your magazine and discover how much added value social advertising can deliver.