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How to Assemble a Powerful and Practical Social Media Strategy




Farzad: All right. Hello, ladies and gentlemen. Farzad. We're here with the legendary, Dennis, and the one and only, Payman. I'm going to introduce them here in a couple of seconds. 

But just to kind of introduce myself, my name is Farzad. I'm the Director of Marketing, and we're here at Visme. We're doing this quick video series with SEMrush where we're going to invite one influencer, one expert in a specific field, so we're having Dennis. He's covering social media.

I want to start off and introduce Payman. Payman is my boss. Payman is the founder and CEO of Visme, the visual communication tool that's basically an all in one tool that allows you guys to create very good looking and interactive presentations, infographics and social media assets in a matter of a few minutes instead of hours with no design background. It's a free platform. 

And, of course, we got Dennis on the call. He's the Chief Executive Officer over at BlitzMetrics, and he's an expert especially when it comes to social media strategy, specifically Facebook ads. He's been covered by pretty much any well-known news outlet you can imagine. Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, you name it.

Dennis is here to kind of take us through a couple of different great strategies on how you guys would be able to assemble a powerful and practical social media strategy for your own business. Dennis is going to be taking over, going through a quick 15 to 20-minute presentation about how to assemble a powerful social media strategy, which is the title of this webinar.

Then Payman is actually going to follow up and kind of take you guys through how you'll be able to create these social media assets in a matter of a few minutes. Once you're done with that, then you guys will be able to ask questions. I'm going to go ahead and hand this off to Dennis. Dennis, we're all here.

A Three-Stage Social Media Funnel to Drive ROI

Dennis: Hey, what's going on guys? Okay. A lot of people think that social media and strategy and ROI are counterintuitive because we've talked to hundreds of businesses large and small about their social media strategy. They say, "Well, we just have to post five times a day on Twitter. We have to make these infographics. We have to respond because people are complaining. We have questions or whatever it might be."

But how do we really drive an ROI? How do we really drive something that makes sense? Because we're trying to keep up with all these different channels, right? Snapchat, and TikTok, and YouTube, and Twitter, and Facebook, and Instagram, and LinkedIn 

You're going to create a three-stage funnel. This is the same three stages that Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, even Pinterest uses these same words; awareness, consideration, conversion. Three stages in the funnel. We like to call it why, how and what. It also corresponds to know, like and trust.

Any content that you have should be able to fit into this framework. For example, if Payman is sharing “17 things that you can do while you're stuck at home”, that's a ‘how’. That's sharing knowledge, right? How do you do something?

Or the ‘why’, it's a story. How do you tell a story about something that happened? Where, for example, I have a couple Airbnb folks at my house, I have a big house and they couldn't pay, so I said, "You know what, you can stay here for free." That's a why. There's lots of different things, little stories, little things you notice that you then weave into some deeper realization about who you are, and then you share your knowledge.

Now, if you put why, how and what into a grid, it can be a video grid, it can be a series of infographics, it could be posts, it can be whatever kind of content. Remember, we've not yet talked about how you're going to distribute this content. This is when you start to get evergreen power.

When you tell a story about something that happened, which is a ‘why’. A’ why’ is something that you're not trying to sell. A ‘why’ is just, "This is who I am. I have two kids and I love them." Any little story, any little moment from your life, from your customer's lives, from anything. 

Then the ‘what’ is when you're selling, right? That's when you start to put things together and you drive sales. That's where your ROI starts to happen. 

To make this practical, I want to see three items from everyone here, large company, small company. You can say, "Oh, that's the marketing department. They're supposed to do that. Or they're supposed to be a videographer that does that. Or that's the SEO person who's supposed to do that." No, it's supposed to be you, because then it just drops through the cracks, no one does this.

Maximizing the Value of Content on Social Media 

When you have one great piece of content, you can reuse it over and over again. You can cross-post it to all these other channels, and then drive them all the way in to where you're driving a sale, okay?

You have lots of content. There's people that are in your network. There's topics that you care about. And then in the middle, that's your brand. That's your personal brand. That's your product. That's your service, whatever it is. 

Now, here is one of the things that we like to teach, for example, the 3x3 grid. And full disclosure, these beautiful graphics were all made by our friends at Visme, and you can do that too inside their free tool as Payman is going to show you a little bit.

But let's say that this is something that I wanted to share and I could say the most powerful method to share on social is via the 3x3 method. It builds relationships in multiple stages.

Look at this. I'm sharing this, right? That's on Facebook. I can then share it on Twitter. I can then go to LinkedIn and do the same thing. And you could use different tools. A lot of people, they don't have time for this. Do you know what a 3x3 grid is? Yeah, let's just do that; there. 

Now, notice that I'm distinguishing the creation of the content from the posting of the content. I can go on and post it in all these other channels at the same time. Any piece of content that lives inside that 3x3, I could then post it into all these other channels and then start boosting it for a dollar a day.

I'll say, the most popular and most effective thing we've ... I'll say I've used...over the last 10 years is the dollar a day strategy, which is what you're boosting post for a dollar a day. Dollar a day is when you take any post and you just boost it for a dollar a day.

Here's a video. It could be something I took on my phone. It could be something that I told some story. Like I said, Costco, they ran out of toilet paper and I can come in here and I can boost this post. You see this blue button? A lot of people say “don't boost this post, don't boost posts; it doesn't work”. It works very well.

I'm going to do $7 for seven days. Minimum budget needs to be at least $1 a day. This is where the dollar a day strategy came from. It gives you the math, but you need to spend at least a dollar per day. 

Then, here's the key that people mess up: the targeting. Okay, you see under custom audiences now ... a custom audience is anyone who's been to your website, anyone in your email list, anyone who's a customer. You upload that to Facebook. You pre-upload that in the audience manager inside the ads manager. Then they show up here.

I can say “anyone who's engaged on the Blitz page in the last however many, 90 days, or on my public figure page, anyone who's clicked on a particular call to action, anyone who's been in my website in the last 180 days”. All of these different audiences of people who have done this or done that.

The reason why this boosting is so important is that I can look at any content that I've ever published anywhere, anything on my 3x3, anything in my content library, anything across any channel. It could be a webinar snippet, like I want to take snippets out of this webinar because I love Payman and Farzad. And I want to take little 30 second snippets out of that and share that like here. 

From there, I can remarket. Remarketing. This is the key thing. Remarketing is when people...they see one piece of content; they went to your website, they're a customer, you have their email address, it's custom audiences. Then I can say, "If they see this, then I want to show them seven things that pizza restaurants can do if they're losing sales."

Optimizing Your Boosted Social Media Posts

You can boost on Twitter, you can boost on LinkedIn, you can boost on Facebook. I just happen to like Facebook because I just think the system is smarter when it comes to this kind of thing.

I'm going to go to business manager. You want to have everything living inside your business manager. Sometimes inside more than one business manager if you have an agency. I'm going to look at the different posts. I'm going to show you how to tell whether a boost is working or not. 

90% you're going to kill because only 10% of the time we have a winner. It doesn't matter. I boosted this one a couple days ago. 3,400 reached, 726 engagement. I'm looking for a 10% engagement rate. This is more than 10%. That's not too bad, but I also want to see how many link clicks that I get. I want to see if it's a video. How long do people watch? I want to see the balance of likes, comments and shares.

I'm boosting from the page. I'm not boosting inside ads manager. I'm not boosting inside pages manager, because I want to see the organic side. This is where people miss. If you look at only the ad tools, they show you ad data. I want to see the organic impact. 

Remember, most people on social media get no reach. A, they're saying the wrong thing, so it doesn't even matter. It's not structured into that 3x3 to sequence people from why to how to what. And then, B, it's not even being seen. 

You can take any piece of content and you can translate it to a video, to an article, and to an infographic. Okay? That's the beauty of this multiplying system. When you have that 3x3, these stories, you can multiply it to every single channel.

Notice, I just posted to Facebook, to Twitter to LinkedIn. And then I can post versions of that, that are infographics, that are articles, that are whatever it is. I can take a podcast episode and turn it to the 12 things that I learned from Farzad, whatever it might be.

You can't tell me, "Oh, this is too hard to do. I don't have enough time." I literally just did it in the same time that we taught the webinar, right? So, Payman, how many pieces of content do you think I can make out of this hour and three-minute video?

Payman: I think every 5, 10 minutes could be a subject, so that could be easily one. Yeah.

Dennis:  Yeah. We're talking about all kinds of things here, right? I think making videos together with other people on Zoom is a great way to collect lots of pieces of content. What kinds of pieces of content can I chop this? Farzad or Payman, what kinds of content could I chop this into?

Payman: It could be a listicle, so that could be one. That could even be like a pro and con. That could be an infographic. It could be a one-pager like a checklist. It could just be a simple social graphic.

Farzad: You can make a GIF, so it's a little more animated. A little more interactive.

Dennis: Yeah. Just like you see here, right? You can make these things. Let's say that's 20 pieces of content that you could easily have made, then you post that across all these different channels. 

Now, these people are starting to engage. And then they're going to make content too. I could pull up my phone, I could reply here with content. I can add my social media manager to this. Now, we're creating more content on top of content. And because I've tagged these other people, they're going to notice this as well.

I've taken this content, I've made 20 versions of it. I've posted it across all the networks, so let's call that like 100 posts. Not every piece of long-form content needs to result in 100 posts, but it could. And then for any one of these, I can boost it for a dollar a day.

That's what I have to share with you. Get your topic wheel, lots of pieces of content. Understand the topic wheels, why, how and what.. You can tell different stories. You can post it across all these other places. 

If you want tips on a powerful social media strategy: collect lots of content, especially long-form video, chop it up into pieces that fit inside this topic wheel. You need a tool like Visme if you don't have an internal in-house design team to chop it up into little pieces. 

Then you can drive people all the way to a sale. Use dollar a day to boost content, to bring people from the outside to the middle to the inside. I'm making 50 pieces of content off of one piece of content. It's not hard to do. You see this? Look at all these people here. This is the last thing I'll say. Other people taking our infographics and sharing is like, "Wow, this is really cool." And that's where this is coming from.

You can share little stories, sequence to share knowledge, which is the how and then all the way to the...product. 

Farzad: All right, thank you so much, Dennis. Boost your posts, a dollar a day, remove the ones that are not working, which is probably about 90% of the time and double down the ones that are. That's how you'd be able to use that little power of compounding to kind of get to just the power social.

I want to go ahead and actually hand this off to Payman. So, Payman, Denis actually talked about more on the strategy side of social now. A lot of folks might be wondering, "Okay, how can I actually... Once I create a piece of content, how can I chop it into social media posts?"

Making Visually Appealing Social Media Posts

Lots of folks, including myself, don't have any sort of design experience or can make stuff look pretty. How can we actually turn this information and turn it into something that's snackable, visually appealing so we can post it on social?

Payman: A lot of times it's just skimming through content. That's where visual interactivity comes into play. In a matter of a minute you could get someone's attention versus having to write a long book that people have to read about. I think that comes a little further down the road when you haven't further engaged.

One of the questions that came out that I could answer right now is about “how is Visme different than Canva?”. Canva is a design tool great for social graphics. Visme also is similar, but it has some differentiators. You're going to be able to see that in just a few minutes.

In Visme...you can basically create all forms of content. In this case, we're talking about social, so that's what I'm going to focus on. But the tool allows you to import PowerPoint and create pretty engaging presentations. 

You don't have to be a designer to do that. What you do is you basically just create a new account and then click Create. You end up in a place like here, which I'm kind of walking my way through. We gave you all the templates. Let's say you want to create a presentation. Not for social graphics, but our tool allows you to create pretty impactful, fully engaging presentations.

For example, because of the trends coming on with remote working and COVID-19, we decided to create a little infographic that's been shared on social media about COVID-19. And you see how there's little blocks here. This is actually a separate social post that we're going to be sharing.

Even though there's a very tall infographic that puts all of it together, we're able to take this information and put it into different snackable formats. It could even be as simple as a chart. 

In Visme, you can create all sorts of content. In this case, we're going to talk about social graphics, and we're going to be in just the next 24 hours launching our social graphic animated graphics. 

You can do pretty static posts in Visme. Very soon, you'll be able to do animated posts. So, maybe that's Instagram, or maybe that's going to be something for, let's say, Twitter. If I want to do Twitter post, if I want to do, let's say Twitter ads, so we have all those different ads and come in different formats.

In Visme, you can go under apps. You can actually embed videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia, and all those other ones. Or you can just drag and drop your own GIF or your video if you want to. 

Once I'm done, what I'm going to do is ... I can either share this on social media. I can just basically generate the link, and I can send this link in social. And the other way is I can actually directly post on social media.

If you want it to actually start converting them, if assuming that's the case, you can literally click this option, and then you can link it to wherever you want it to go to. "Hey, you know what, I wanted to sign up free, and I want it to maybe go to visit the website." That's how you can create pretty visually engaging content in Visme.

Farzad: Awesome. Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Payman. Definitely guys go ahead and check it out on Visme. It's free forever, the basic plan. But guys, I know we're kind of going over time here. We have a ton of questions that I'd like to kind of share with you guys, especially for Dennis. A lot of folks are excited that you're here. 

How to Approach the Facebook 20% Rule

Dennis, just to kind of start off, Heidi is asking, what's your asset creation strategy when designing assets knowing that you're going to boost your posts for a dollar a day when Facebook says, as a rule, that you can only have 20% or less of the graphic to be text? What do you recommend in terms of creating assets in a way?

Dennis: Well, Heidi, the best thing is start with video, because they're not going to use 20% text on video and you can choose the thumbnail that you want. And animation is always going to do a lot better. You see, inside the ads manager, Facebook actually has video creation tools, because they know it's so important. They create, for example, these collections or collages, all sorts of different ways.

Anyway, think about how you can make it more visually appealing instead of just trying to get around the 20% text rule. You still can run ads if it violates 20% text, but then your CPMs are going to be triple or quadruple. Another thing is that they actually have a tool as you know that puts the grid lines down where you can see if it violates 20%.

Think about ways that you can have your text be written by hand or in such a way or it's the reflection in the mirror of the store sign or other ways that's not going to count on the 20% text rule. There's other ways to get text in there that won't look like text that the machine is going to read.

And then, of course, you can use the text and put it on the side. There's other ways, because the main thing is they don't want you to create these loud banner ads. The banner ads are what are going to get you in trouble.

If you do create an infographic by the way that is like the seven ways on whatever and it's these meme kinds of things, it's okay to violate the 20% text rule because not everything you have you're going to run ads against. But the ones who do run ads, yes, I would be careful about the 20% text rule. When you shift more to video, it won't be an issue.

Social Media Ads and View Duration

Farzad: Awesome. Thank you. While we're talking about video ads, San Francisco Digital Studios is asking. For a video view, how do you look at the ThruPlays? I actually was wondering about that myself. And what would be the optimal percentage that you're shooting for?

Dennis: Yep. Okay. Question for everyone here. Let me know what do you think the average watch time is on Facebook for video? Because this is going to set your expectations on what's possible. Okay.

The answer is six seconds. Why is that? It's because people, they're scrolling on Facebook. 90% of the traffic is mobile. And the average person scrolling with their fingers just on Facebook, not including Instagram is 100 meters per day. And they're moving … what is it, like four inches per second? Something like that.

They're scrolling 17% faster on mobile than they are on desktop. Given that they're moving so fast, the odds of them stopping to watch your video for three seconds, which is what counts as a view is low.

Well, I'll just tell you. A third of people, when they scroll past will stop for three seconds. And those that do might be old people where they accidentally ... clicked or something like that. Of those that go from a three-second view to a 15-second ThruPlay is also one third. You basically lose 90% of your traffic from those people who are scrolling all the way to someone who's staying for 15 seconds.

If you have 100 people that see your thing as they're scrolling, only 10 will stay for 15 seconds for your video. But if you do it right, and the way we're talking about telling stories, not opening with a bumper. Never open with a bumper with a company name and lower thirds and things like that with the title never. Always open with a hook to get their attention, then you should be able to get half of those people to stop and watch for three seconds.

Then if you have a compelling story, and they listen to the sound, or you can tell the story with the sound off, then half of those people should stay for 15 seconds. If you do it right, of 100 people coming through the newsfeed, 25 should get to 15-second ThruPlay as opposed to only 10%. You should be able to do two and a half times better. We've tested this thousands of times.

Now, imagine what happens if you're getting two and a half times more people than average on Facebook to stay for 15 seconds? Your cost per view goes down. Your remarketing is better. Your conversion rate is better. Your remarketing pools are bigger. Everything is going to be better. 

Boosting Ads to Cold Audiences or Custom Audiences?

Farzad: Got you. Thank you, Dennis. And Jason Hunt is asking, are you typically boosting content towards warm custom audiences or cold? You're reaching out to new groups of people over time you boost those or to people that you have already had interactions with in the past?

Dennis: Remember we talked about why, how and what. At the top of the funnel, you're going to boost against cold audiences. Meaning, if you're nationwide, do like a 1% or 3% lookalike. Or if you are a regional business like you're a dentist or orthodontist, someone who's serving just a particular city, you're probably going to boost the entire city. And that's your cold audience. 

If people, they engage with your post, they watch for 15 seconds, they come to the website, any kind of engagement, you're going to remarket it into the how. The ‘why’ is a story. You can get these stories for two cents, three cents. It's very easy to do, low cost. The higher up in the funnel, the cheaper it is. Facebook just rewards you that way based on objectives. 

If you try to hit a cold audience with a payload that requires a couple minutes of someone's time, you're going to get negative feedback. Facebook is going to penalize you. The cost of your traffic goes up. 

But you've hit him with the warm audience, now your cost of traffic is maybe a half to a third. It's worth it to invest in building that initial warm touch ideally through video, then to the how and then you remarket it from the how to the what. The ‘what’ is where you sell.

The XYZ method is I help X achieve Y through Z. I help small business owners drive leads by doing social media marketing. We help people create beautiful presentations without the headache of having graphics designers. Whatever it is. 

This is the biggest problem in social media marketing...it's using a cold audience...driving a cold audience straight to selling. And I can't tell you how many accounts I've looked at on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, whatever, where they try to drive a cold audience straight to a sale. 

I see people where I've seen their CPMs, their average CPMs up in the %50 to $60 range when they're using cold audiences trying to drive to a sale. And then they say, "Oh, Facebook doesn't work." No, Dude, it's you.

Once we're tapping into a new audience, let's say, if it was someone who's interested in infographics journals, they've never heard of this before. Pitching with a blog post or something. It's something that's not very salesy in a way. Then basically start a retargeting campaign for folks who have come to our website, visit our blog, and then pitch them to, "Hey, go now create an account on Visme. It's free."

Hey, number one most actionable tip for everybody here. Look, any content that's performed well for you on your blog, anything that's helpful, anything where you're not trying to sell but it reveals knowledge, then turn that into an infographic. This is what we call getting more out of your greatest hits. We call that amplification. 

Something that has worked for you, you're going to amplify by creating some sort of visual asset related to it. That's why using Visme in combination with the different social channels and ads is like the perfect storm, the triple play.

Two is: put remarketing on it. If there's a web page, it's working well for you or lead form or some asset that's working well for you, the idea of remarketing is if they're there, then you want to hit them across every single channel, just like the ads that follow you around all over the place. You can do the Twitter and LinkedIn and Google and Facebook remarketing all at once. It's very easy to do. You just need to spend a dollar a day on those ad channels.

Use Google Tag Manager to be able to put all those pixels in one place. It sounds difficult to do, but you could have someone else do it or you can go through our step by step checklist. Learn how to do that, and that's how you're going to get ROI on your content because it's visually appealing. Because social media, you have to capture their attention, goldfish attention span. 

That's how you harvest the leads out of it. That's how you drive sales. That's how you get the initial visibility to then be able to remarket. If you do that, then you're going to say, "This SEMrush, Visme workshop that we have here that was time well spent. Thank goodness, I was cooped up inside and I heard what Farzad and Payman had to say."

I want to see you guys succeed in social not just to go to another webinar. I want you to take direct action. If this is not the most practical thing that you have heard what we're teaching here, I want to know. If anyone didn't get value, I want to know.

Farzad: We've actually hit the one hour mark here. We just have one last question. But one last question that we're going to cover live on the webinar is that actually the San Francisco Digital Studio is asking how to keep track of all these $1 a day assets. How do you keep posting? Are you keep posting them from your mobile or you set up the ads in the ad manager? Do you have a spreadsheet? Do you use a specific tool to keep track?

Dennis: Yeah. Okay. How do you track all this stuff? If you guys want, I'll actually show you the content library where we track it all in a series. We use this fancy technology. It's called Google Sheets. That's where we literally have several thousand assets. Anything that we've ever posted, all the derivative kind of content.

If your marketing team is more than one person, then have one person there be your content curator, community manager, and they're using Visme or whatever their favorite tool is. Or maybe they go to Fiverr and have lots of different pieces created and amplifying. And they do analysis, they run ads against it, then someone else can do the mechanical day to day. The burden is on you to create the content. Make sure the content is created first. Everything will take care of itself.

Farzad: Alrighty. Thank you so much, Dennis. Lots of golden nuggets there.

Payman: Great stuff.

Farzad: Let's say if I have any questions about social media strategy that we didn't get to cover live, Dennis, what would be the channel or email or whatever way that you'd prefer people reach out to you?

Dennis: Yep. Guys, hit me up on LinkedIn, not on Facebook. So, on LinkedIn, you could look for me and you could also email me. Best way to email. I always check all emails and look at all of them. It's operations@blitzmetrics.com. 

Farzad: Awesome. Awesome. Thank you, Dennis.

Payman: You can look me up on LinkedIn. So, yeah, that would be the best way, LinkedIn. Just tag my name, first name, last name. 

Farzad: Well, thank you so much, guys for taking the time. Thank you so much SEMrush for giving us the opportunity to host this webinar today. Lots of information we went through.

Payman: Thank you very much.

Farzad: Bye-bye.

All levels

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