Monday, July 20, 2015

Tips on Social Media Advertising: Mpowerment Project publicity best practices.

by Jonathan Joyner, former Lead Coordinator of the FUSE, Mpowerment Dallas TX.

The FUSE is a Project of Resource Center.

Media buying is simply the process of buying advertising. A smart media buy is one where you truly reach your audience.

Facebook ads are a powerful tool with the potential to inform young men about your Mpowerment Project. When a person sets up a Facebook profile, they are asked to provide a lot of information: name, birthday, gender, relationship status, high school, college and where they work. Users are also encouraged to list items of interest; books, television programs, movies, music, fashion brands, restaurants. Facebook knows way way WAY more about you than Google does and Google, who only knows your location and search history, was already light years ahead of a newspaper, TV, radio ad, or billboard. 

Follow the adventures of FUSE on Facebook| Mpowerment Dallas TX

Why does this matter? As an advertiser (I know that word has a dirty connotation, but think of yourself more as Jon Hamm from Mad Men or Neil Patrick Harris from the Smurfs movie than Don Cheadle from House of Lies)  you can take advantage of all this data. It allows you to directly target  potential participants. Thanks to Facebook Ads, it’s much easier to segment and reach your core audience.

RELATED: 7 easy ways to increase 'likes' on your Mpowerment Project Fan Page
Let's pretend that you're part of a community building and HIV prevention program targeting gay and bi men of color in 'Fabulous City' USAYou can customize your ad so that it only appears to people’s who demographic information says that they identify as male, currently between the ages of 18 to 29, live within your city or within a 20 mile radius, are interested in men, and are Black, Latino, or Asian. Simple, no?

FUSE | Mpowerment Dallas TX

That said, you can do even better. With the exception of your M-group, not every event is intended to be of interest to every participant. You want to run a variety of ads for the same reason your project hosts a variety of events: you want to appeal to different types of guys. Twinks, theater queens, bears, butch, gamers; gay men come in as many flavors as there are fruits in tutti-frutti ice cream. If you have an established group of volunteers, use them to create the look for each ad. Ask individuals their interest and create different ads based on their responses. Going niche is a double edge sword, you can really send out messages that resonate with your target and will elicit a click, but if you go too specific, then you risk going after a very small pool of people.

When creating your ads, the number of your possible audience will be shown . During your campaign, your ad response rate will let you know if you’re hitting your target or if things need to be adjusted. 

Evaluate as you go and don’t be afraid to start over. 

What about men who don’t choose to identify as gay? Can you still reach them? Yup! How you say? Remember when Facebook asked them to list their interests?  You’d be surprised at the number of men who don’t choose to identify as gay, but will like fan pages such as Hornet, Falcon Entertainment (NSFW) Andrew Christian (NSFW), Flesh jack (NSFW) and Brent Everett (NSFW) --just to name a few. 

Target your ads to include friends of current fans. Nothing is a better endorsement for a fan page than seeing your Facebook friends already like it. Just like compounding interest, once you’ve established your base (maybe your first 1,000 fans), Fan page likes begin to snowball. Nobody wants to feel left out. As Fuse’s Facebook numbers show, the bandwagon effect is a powerful thing.

FUSE | Mpowerment Dallas TX
While it can be tempting to just buy Facebook fans rather than put the effort in, don’t. Just don’t.  Why?

1) it’s dishonest and
2) think about it.

You have 100 new “fans," but your posts aren't actually going out to 100 new people. Your message isn’t even falling on deaf ears because the ears never existed to begin with. Everybody wants to be popular, but it’s much more rewarding when you earn those fans. Plus, you won’t be sweating bullets should the social network purge the SPAM accounts and your fan number drastically falls.

FUSE | Mpowerment Dallas TX
Now, here is where we take it to the next level. Customize your media buy to run when you know you’re target market is going to be online. You’ll save money and get a better response rate. Facebook likes it when you just click the default runtime because it’s money in their pocket. But is your demographic really up at 4AM on a Tuesday? If not, then why are you paying to advertise then?

I also recommend periodically taking a pause in your advertising and changing up your ads. After weeks and weeks of seeing the same ad, if your desired audience hasn’t clicked, then they’ve seen it, it didn’t appeal to them, and they’ve built up a resistance and are filtering the ad out like background noise. New imagery and/or wording and/or a break from your ad can be the difference that makes them click.

I’m not calling for the death of print media in favor of purely digital advertising (diversity in a publicity campaign is important). Sometimes a condom packet insert, social-media business card, or  an event invitation  is called for, especially when conducting Venue Based Outreach.

Using Facebook ads can help you improve your project’s visibility to prospective new members… and maybe get your MP some snazzy Mpowerment Awards and bragging rights. Happy media buying.

Follow the adventures of FUSE, Mpowerment Dallas Texas on Facebook and on Twitter

Follow the adventures of these Mpowerment Projects

The Mpowerment Project is a Project of the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) at the University California San Francisco (UCSF). 

We are here for you:  Contact us.

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog...Very useful information is providing by ur blog.Very clear and helpful for beginners.
    mississippi social media experts