Facebook Boosting Posts 101

Boosting to Better Facebook Engagement

Facebook Boost Post Button

If you manage a Facebook page, chances are you have seen the ‘Boost Post’ button. If you have ever used this feature, you have either come to love it or absolutely hate it. I hear both sides: some people talking about the amazing success they have been having boosting posts, while others complain that boosting their post does nothing for the engagement of the post. The truth is content plays a large role in the engagement of your post. Boosting the post only increases the number of people that are going to see it. If the audience is not interested in the message, the engagement may not be the best.

That brings me to one of the most frequent questions I am asked when discussing how to boost a post.

How to Boost a Post on Facebook

When Should I Boost a Post vs. When I Shouldn’t?

This is going to be up to your judgment. If you want more people to see a post, boosting it is a good idea. The content of the post is going to make the difference when it comes to engagement. I have had posts that had a total budget of $300 and were performing much worse than posts that were boosted for $25. In that case the $300 boost was paused and the budget was allocated to a better performing post.

How often should I boost Facebook posts?

This is going to depend on how often you post, whether you have multiple audiences, and again your judgment about your content. If you post once a day you could reasonably boost every single post. If you are posting more than once per day, I would suggest selecting one post that you feel is the most valuable to your audience and boost that one. If you post more than once per day and intend on the posts reaching different audiences, then you may consider boosting more than one post per day since you are not going to be targeting the same people with each ad.

If you notice posts that once got amazing engagement becoming a ghost town, you may be boosting too much. Try dialing it back a little bit and see if that increases the interest again. In my experience people do not mind seeing a boosted post as long as it relates to their interests. When they see too many boosted posts from the same advertiser, some people can get a little annoyed.

How much should I spend when boosting posts on Facebook?

This is 100% up to you. When you consider boosting your posts I suggest setting a monthly budget. On a low end, consider $100 per month, which will give you roughly $25 per week to increase the engagement of your posts. If you are posting five times per week you can allocate $5 per post if you wanted to distribute the budget evenly.

If you are not boosting every post you make, you can use larger amounts per post. As I state in the video, I would suggest starting off small, using $1-$5 boosts to test the waters, and if you like the results then put a larger budget towards the post.

Boosting posts on Facebook can be frustrating if you are not seeing the results you are looking for. If you find yourself not getting the engagement you think you should be, feel free to reach out to me with your questions.

Facebook Ads and Insights – Analyzing Your Ads

Facebook Ads – Analyzing Your Success

Last time we talked about how understanding the different types of Facebook ads could help you choose the right ad option for your goals.

Knowing your goals matters, because if you aren’t spending ad money for a reason, you shouldn’t be spending it at all.

So think about it: are you trying to get more likes, comments and shares on your posts? Are you trying to increase the likes on your page? Are you trying to get people to click a link to your website?

Once you have figured that out and set up the appropriate ad type, it’s time to start watching your analytics reports to make sure you are heading in the right direction for your goal.

Analyzing Your Facebook Ads

Insights are where you find the key to making decisions on web-based campaigns, and will give you the ability to make important assessments about your audience and your content.

While not as extensive as a separate program like Google Analytics, Facebook has some decent analytics that can help you to see how well your ads are performing. You can assess your ad performance from the Facebook Insights found on the page’s admin panel and the more extensive Ad Management page.

Ad Management Page

WATCH THE VIDEO: [How do I get to the Facebook Ad Management page?]

From the Ad Management page, you will be able to see every single ad campaign that you have run on Facebook from your advertising account. This page allows you to see metrics like:

Objective of the Ad: Post Engagement, Likes, Offers, etc.
Reach: A rough estimate of the number of people your ad was shown to.
Result: Shows how many people acted to meet the specific objective of the ad.
Frequency: How often people saw the ad. For example, 1.0 means that each person saw it once. Anything above that means people started to see it more than once. 2.0 means almost everyone listed in the Reach has seen it twice.
Clicks: How many clicks the ad has received
Click-Through Rate: Percent of people that clicked on the ad vs. number of people who saw it.
Cost: Cost per impression (1 impression = 1000 views) or cost per page like
Page Likes: How many page likes each campaign has brought

In addition to all the great analytics that you have access to from the Ad Management panel, you will also be able to edit every ad that has been created for your campaign.

If we had three ad campaigns running, a likes, website visits, and app installs. Each ad campaign could create up to six similar ads with different images. Using the Ad Manager, you can adjust the images for each individual ad.

For example: You make a Page Likes ad campaign, in which up to six ads will be created with different images (if you choose to upload different images) and the same ad copy. If you do not choose to upload six when you start the campaign, you can always go back and edit it to add more variety of images. Through the edit feature, you will be able to change the copy but not the targeting of each ad.

Because the targeting comes from the campaign, it cannot be changed on the individual ad level. To change the targeting, you will have to edit the campaign as a whole from the Ad Manager or create a new campaign.

It is important to note that not all ads will be able to be edited in this manner. If you click the ‘edit’ button and are unable to edit more than the name of the ad, then your ad does not support editing.

After creating your ad, make sure you spend a little time getting familiar with the Ad Manager and what types of information you can monitor and track for your unique campaigns.

Page Insights

Although Facebook’s Page Insights will be able to provide you with a wealth of information, it unfortunately is not able to directly tell you how well any of your ads have performed except ads that have been set up directly from the Facebook fan page, such as Page Likes and Promoted Posts.

Using Facebook insights to run ads

Facebook Insights Show Ad Post Reach

You can find these two ad analytics in the Admin panel of your business page. You can access your page insights by navigating to your Facebook business page, at the top of the page you will see a series of buttons, one of which will be insights. On the page you also get a snippet of metrics for the past seven days on the right hand side of the page.

How to get to Facebook Insights

Even though you will not be able to track most of your ads, there is still plenty of valuable information in Page Insights that will allow you to assess whether or not you are running a successful campaign.

Although your Page Likes campaign may be driving plenty of likes, the Ads Manager will not tell you how many people have unliked your page since you started running the ad. Page Insights will give you this information, so that you can tell if your ads are doing a great job getting people to your Facebook page, but your content is not keeping them there. If this is the case, then there is a problem with short-term messaging versus consistent content that will need to be addressed.

Additionally, if you are gaining a lot of fans but no one is engaging with your non-promoted posts, you may want to look at the Insights to see what times your fans are on Facebook so you can schedule your posts for a more appropriate time, or adjust your regularly occurring content to be more similar to the content that you promote.

What else can Facebook Insights tell me?

Insights give detailed information on metrics such as:

Page Likes – This week vs last week, likes vs unlikes, where your likes are coming from (ads, posts, website etc).
Reach & Engagement – This week vs last week, Total post reach, individual post reach, paid vs organic reach, post likes, post comments, post shares.
Visits – Page and Tab(app) Visits, page mentions, posts from other people to your page, check-ins, external referrals (traffic coming from outside Facebook to your page).
Post Performance – When your fans are online, best performing post types (Video, Link, Status, Photo).
People – Demographic of fans (location, age, sex), Demographic of people reached in the last 28 days, Demographic of people engaged in the last 28 days, and Demographic of checkins in the last 28 days.

Analytics give you insights into your audience.

Business owners like to think that they understand their target demographic. And often, they do.

Here’s the thing, though. Sometimes, when you start to post on social media, a new and unexpected audience—one you don’t know anything about—will start to find you.

You need to understand your page analytics for the purposes of understanding your online audience—which may be quite different than the one to which you try to appeal offline.

You also need to understand your advertising analytics specifically so that you don’t waste money. If you see that the budget for an ad is halfway done, but it hasn’t yielded any of the desired results (or not nearly enough), you should not hesitate to stop running that ad. Save the money and try it on another ad type that might work better.

So much of marketing can feel like a guessing game. Analytics can help to take that mystery and turn it into more of a science. Any knowledge that you gain is knowledge that you can apply to your next online campaign to make it even more successful.

Have you ever taken the time to look at your Facebook analytics? What insights did you gain? What were you confused about? Share with us in the comments!

Successful Facebook Ads: A How-To Guide

When you start trying to market a business through social media, it’s common to feel like the stereotypical middle child—like no one knows you are there, and no one is listening to you.

Many businesses start their social media presence on Facebook, drawn by the promise of a billion-member audience. It doesn’t take long, however, before you realize that this particular promise is empty… because you have to somehow draw a portion of those people to you.

Facebook realized this challenge for business too. They also saw their users’ newsfeeds getting more and more cluttered, and as a result started to tinker with the algorithm that displays the data. As a result, Facebook brand pages began to see their organic (unpaid) reach decrease.

Today, successful Facebook marketing often requires strategic use of paid advertising. As frustrating as it is to have to pay to reach more than 15% of your fans, it is simply a reality of the Facebook system… to the point that if you don’t want to pay to play on Facebook sometimes, it’s worth considering building a presence somewhere else (may we recommend Google Plus?).

However, with the right strategy, many businesses can find greater success by employing a modest Facebook advertising budget. The trick is to make sure you get your money’s worth out of every ad… and that you stop anything that doesn’t work before you spend too much money on it.

Remember—Facebook set up their system to encourage you to spend money on ads. That is in their best interest as a company. That doesn’t mean it will get you the results that are best for you. Take the time to understand the way the Facebook advertising system works before you start, and you will be a lot more likely to get the results you want to see.

Understanding Facebook Ad Types

The first step to understanding Facebook advertising is understanding the different types of ads that you can run. Though many of them seem very similar, each ad type has a different set of benefits and limitations that may affect the flow (and ultimate success) of your campaign. These ad types can be found in the Facebook Ads Manager (video).

Facebook Ad: Post Engagement

The Post Engagement ad type is targeted at the posts on your page. You can select a specific post or you can have the ad display your most recent post. For this type of ad I generally suggest two strategies:

Multi Post

Let’s say a construction company wants to give out 25 tips to get your home ready for the winter. Instead of writing a blog post about it and sharing that on Facebook, they could create a small daily budget of about $10 for Post Engagement ads and post one tip every day. For maximum exposure, make sure to use a different image with each day’s tip and use the posts to encourage likes, comments, and shares for even more visibility.

This strategy works best for a larger budget and longer ad duration, and will ensure that your most recent post is visible amongst your fans. If you make more than three posts in a day, this is not a recommended strategy since the post will have barely started its promotion when the target post is changed. This strategy is best used when your posts tell a story, or are part of a series.

Single Post

The budget for this approach can be lower than the multi post strategy, depending on how long you want to run the ad. I suggest running a short ad, no longer than one week, otherwise you will run the risk of your audience becoming over-exposed to one particular ad.

For example: The same construction company has written a blog post on their website detailing 25 tips to keep your home winter ready. So they would like to run a small one-week ad that will drive traffic from their Facebook page to their website, where they control the user experience and influence the flow of traffic on their web property.

Intended ad traffic from Facebook


This time their ad will run for seven days at $20 a day. Again, engagement drives more visibility of your ad and if the title of the post is intriguing and timely enough to generate a decent enough click though. Now it’s up to your web property to make the conversions, whether it’s picking up the phone, signing up for a newsletter or sharing your post with their friends.

Facebook Ad: Page Likes

This ad type is intended to drive more likes on your Facebook business page. You have the option to use up to six different images for your ad. This will give your audience some variety, and is best used when targeting people who are not already connected to your fan page. I suggest a campaign of at least one month when running the Page Likes ad, and a minimum budget of $5 per day.

Page Like Tips:

  • Even though you can use up to six images, you have to use the same text with each image (unless you set up multiple Page Like ads).
  • Target your audience effectively! Do not fool yourself– not everyone is interested in your product, services, mission, or cause. Make sure that you define an audience that is in your target areas. If you sell winter gear, it would be very unlikely for you to make tons of sales in Orlando, Florida. Make sure you are not wasting your budget by targeting places or people that would not buy your product or invest in your services.

Facebook Ad: Clicks to Website

Just as it sounds, this ad attempts to drive more traffic to your website. You can specify one URL per campaign, and similarly to the Page Likes ad, you will be able to use up to six images for your ad.

The ad that displays in the newsfeed looks a lot like an article that has been shared from the website. They even ask you to select what Facebook page you manage that the account would display from:

Clicks to Website Ad Facebook
As you can see from the image above, it looks as if the ad has been posted by the CT Social Facebook page. Clicking this particular ad would bring you to the CT Social home page, though you could click the logo or the blue CT Social text next to the logo and be taken to the CT Social Facebook Fan page.

Clicks to Website Ad Tips:

Before setting up your ad to drive more traffic to your website, I would suggest setting up a landing page that has all the specific information that will drive your audience to action.

For example: A cleaning company in Denver, Colorado wants to drive more people to their website, and at the same time inform their newfound audience that they are running a special. This company should make a new page on their website that outlines the details of the special along with plenty of visual cues that drive attention to their contact information.

Once this page is set up, they create the Clicks to Website ad, making sure to use copy that reflects the web page the person will be landing on. There is nothing more frustrating than when you click a link expecting to see one thing, but are presented with something completely different. Make sure the people responding to your ad get what they believe they will be seeing.

Facebook Ad: Website Conversions

This ad is very similar to the Clicks to Website ad type. The main difference here is that you can actually specify what actions constitute a conversion. You are given a set type of conversion parameters to choose from, which includes:

  • Checkouts
  • Registrations
  • Leads
  • Key Web Page Visits
  • Adds to Cart
  • Other Web Conversions

For each of these conversion types you will be asked to set up a tracking code and place it on the page that would confirm the conversion.

For example: If you wanted to track leads, you can put the tracking code on a page that is only accessible after filling out a form for more information about the service. This way you know that this particular form submission is from your Facebook ad campaign. All conversion types follow the same method for tracking so this ad type can be used to track almost any action someone could take on your website.

Website Conversions Facebook Ad

Facebook Ad: App Installs

If you are planning to use a custom Facebook app or if you have used a service like OfferPop or GroSocial (affiliate) to create a contest or any other kind of Facebook app, this is the ad type for you! The objective of this ad is to get people to install your app, whether you have a new Facebook game or you want people to join your photo contest or check out some special deals you have.

For example: Let’s say you have a quiz that, when completed, tells the person what Star Trek character they are most like. Using an ad campaign like this one could boost the number of people installing and using your app, giving you a unique way to connect with your audience and brand your company.

Facebook Ad: App Engagement

I have found very little difference between the App Installs ad and the App Engagement ad. Increasing the amount of engagement would likely increase the amount of installs unless you are specifically targeting people that have already installed the app.

Considering that most companies’ objective would be to increase the number of people installing and using the app, either of these two choices seem like they would get the job done.

Facebook Ad: Event Responses

Are you trying to raise awareness about an upcoming event? This ad’s objective is to increase the number of people that see and sign up for your event. Simply choose a Facebook event that you have created or use the URL to an event that you are participating in.

For example: Let’s say you are opening a new art gallery show and you are throwing a party on opening night. Five days out and only 10 people have responded yes to your event? We all know that with numbers like this on Facebook, you will be likely to see an attendance of two. Well, you can create an ad that is specifically targeted to get more people to say yes to your event!

Facebook Ad: Offer Claims

If you haven’t created an offer before, this ad will allow you to create one, then set up the ad for it.

For example: My digital marketing company may charge around $350 – $500 for a comprehensive web assessment. To increase the amount of people requesting web assessments, we have created a Facebook Offer that allows you to take 50% off the price of an assessment.  For a relatively small ad budget, I can promote our deal and potentially drive new business through our web assessments offer.

The Not-So-Secret Sauce – Facebook Ads

Understanding the different types of Facebook ads that are available to you means that you can appropriately match the ad you choose with the goal you have in mind.

For example, if you want to increase your page likes, just boosting your posts alone won’t ensure that more people will like your page. It could help—but there are other ad types that could get you more results for your money.

Next time, we’ll dive a little deeper into the strategy behind targeting Facebook ads—the different options available to help you find an audience that is a good fit for you.

What is your previous experience with Facebook ads? How can you use appropriate Facebook ad types to help support one of your online goals? Share with us in the comments!

The Old Twitter Background 2014 Tutorial & PSD

Now that the new Twitter Background has come out it would seem that the old background is kind of useless since only you, as the account owner, are going to see it. Though if you are like me, and manage several Twitter accounts these backgrounds can prove to be very useful. If you are like me, and manage multiple Twitter accounts, then having a properly branded Twitter account can help you easily identify who you are Tweeting for. I know, I know, this isn’t a problem because you use apps like Buffer, and Hootsuite to schedule your posts. Though when you are on Twitter itself, engaging with people, it could be easy to confuse who you are tweeting as if all the accounts you use are using the same background images.

When I first started making Twitter backgrounds, I could tell there was more to it than just making an 800kb file and throwing it up there. My call to action on the left was cut off by my Twitter feed, and  my call to action on the right was either under the feed or cut off by the right side of the page.

After a little bit of research, I was able to easily create a Twitter background for myself, and then help my clients and friends to create their own. A couple of things have changed since I first started making Twitter backgrounds– for example, the maximum upload size is now 2mb, and it is now much easier to create a high-resolution image for your background– but many of the fundamentals have remained the same.

One key thing to keep in mind when creating your Twitter background: the amount of room you have for your background is dependent on each individual user’s screen resolution. The Twitter feed area is approximately 870px wide. Luckily, the average screen resolution used today is 1366px wide. Because this is the standard laptop resolution and many people still use desktops or dual screen laptops with a larger monitor, I recommend that you use an image size of 1600px wide by 1200px tall. This will allow people with larger screens to view your background without it cutting off too early because the background will not scale.

Twitter Background Size

Even if you are starting with an image size of 1600×1200 pixels, you should still plan your image for the average 1366 x 768 screen. Since the Twitter feed is approximately 870px, you are left with about 496px to split between each side of the Twitter feed.

Another thing to remember when creating your background is margins! You should think about allowing 10px for a margin on each side of the screen, just to be safe. You can still design background for this area, but if you have any calls to action, text, or visually important images, you may want to try to keep them out of this area.

Factoring in margins of 10px, you are now left with about 230px for each side. I recommend placing your primary design on the left hand side, since that is where most people will actually view any call to actions or logos. Assume that you have a space of 230px for the left side, plus the 10 for the margin, shown in red.

Twitter Background Template

One important note– if you take your browser window and scale down the width, you will notice that the Twitter feed does not get any smaller; instead it slides to the left to stay in the center of the screen. I suggest testing your background image in this way after you have uploaded it, to give you an idea of how people with smaller screen resolutions will view your background.

Twitter Background Example

Lastly, if you are using solid colors in your design, change the background color in your Twitter settings to be the same color as the edges of your image. This will make it appear that the background never ends for screens that may be larger than the background you designed.

Twitter Background Upload Settings

Twitter Background Upload Limit: 2MB
Suggested Background Size: 1600×1200
Most Popular Screen Resolution:  1366 x 768

Twitter Template Download 2014


And don’t forget to check out the
YouTube Channel Art Template with PSD
Facebook Timeline Template with PSD
Google Plus Cover Photo Template with PSD

Why Facebook Marketing Is Not Working For Your Business

I just do not understand it, and I’ve yet to have someone rationally explain their need to continue to beat a dead horse. Facebook is the dead horse in this case; as they continue to nerf the organic reach of business pages, they are steadily going to reduce the number of people using the platform for business, ultimately destroying their profit and business model.

Facebook Marketing Dead Horse

With it becoming more and more difficult to reach anyone on Facebook using a business page, I often try to urge business owners that I know in real life to start looking at other marketing platforms. I must admit, my attempts so far have been in vain. I often get a really stupid response, something like “But all my fans are on Facebook” or “But I have no friends on Google Plus.” If this is your reason for not trying out another network, you need to seriously rethink your marketing strategy.

But all my fans are on Facebook

First off, maybe you have cultivated some fans on Facebook, but this is no indication that ALL of your fans are on Facebook. If you are not putting forward a dedicated, strategic effort to grow profiles on other social platforms, then how could you possibly tell that ALL your fans are on Facebook?

But all my friends are on Facebook

This has to be one of the most stupid reasons I have ever heard to market on Facebook. You have friends on Facebook– good for you, so do about 1.1 billion other people that have signed up for the service. Marketing your services on a particular platform just because your friends are on it is like trying to push your products and services on your friends when you go out for drinks with them.

Example: A life insurance agent is out at a bar with some of their closest friends.Let’s drop in on the discussion.

Agent:  “So Paul, have you thought about what might happen to your children if you were to unexpectedly pass away?”

Paul: “I think I’ve had enough to drink, I’m headed home.”

Agent: “Since you have just had a couple of drinks and you are now going to be driving, I think it’s my duty to sign you up for a life insurance policy right now.”

Paul: “We are no longer friends.”

Even though people can theoretically ignore your business-related Facebook posts, this is basically what you are doing on Facebook by marketing to your friends. It impacts your trust factor and can ruin your friendships, leaving you out in the rain all alone.

Selling on Facebook All Alone

Are they really your fans?

I know people think a lot of their fans are listening to them, but that may not always be the case. Even with Facebook nerfing the organic reach of your business pages posts, you should still see some interaction from your fans. If you share a post and it is seen by 25 people, and not one of them likes, comments, or shares it, well, no one else is going to see the post. If this happens to be the consistent result you see for your posts, you have to question whether the people that have liked your page are actually your fans.

Take a closer look at your fans

 Take a Closer look at your Facebook Fans

Many of the business owners that give me these excuses for trying to market their business on Facebook often have a lower count of fans– somewhere in the 100 – 500 range. Respectable numbers, but when you look at who your fans actually are, maybe the picture will become a little more clear. When you scroll through the people that like your page, how many of them are your personal friends on Facebook? I’m willing to bet if you fall within this range that most of your friends have liked your page. Next I would like you to think about all the networking groups you are a part of. How many of your fans come from those groups?

So the question now becomes, do you even have real fans on your business page? If your friends, family and networking connections are your business page fans, then how can you even be sure they really like the content you are putting out? Well, they would engage with it if they liked it, right? Posts that receive very little to no engagement should be a clear indication that your friends are not interested in what you are currently posting, or are not interested in your services in the first place. They may have simply liked your page because you have asked them to, which means they have no real interest in engaging, which makes your marketing efforts so much more difficult.

Of course, one of the first things you should do at this point is take a look at your content and see if you can improve it. However, even if you are creating amazing content, your Facebook audience still may not be interested. So now the question is, if asking your friends and networking connections to like your page isn’t working, how can you grow your Facebook fan base?

Organic Growth

Greg Trujillo SEO Superhero

If you are a brick and mortar business, organic growth of your Facebook page should not be too difficult if you are providing valued products or services. Targeting your actual customers is a fantastic way to make sure you have fans that are truly interested in what you may have to say.

“Well, how do I get my customers to like my business page?” This is actually easier than it sounds. You don’t have to verbally ask every single person that walks into your establishment to like your Facebook page. Instead, create value propositions that allow your customers to choose whether they would like to be a fan of your page or not. You could put a static cling on your building windows or doors that lets people know there is a quid pro quo for Facebook engagement.

EX: Let’s say you own a Massage Therapy business in Orlando, and most of your online business comes from Yelp.com. Put a simple sign on your door that says “Like our page, and check in on Facebook to receive $10 off your visit! Already liked our page? Simply check in every visit for $10 off!” This kind of promotion not only encourages more of your visitors to like your page, it adds a social sharing element to it. When your customer checks in, their friends will be able to see their activity, and since they are getting $10 off they may have also decided to visit more frequently, giving your business more exposure to their Facebook friends.

If you do not have a brick and mortar business, or you seldom see decent amounts of foot traffic, your Facebook advertising strategy may be slightly different…

Enter Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads

Between having the wrong people liking your page, and Facebook reducing yourpotential reach, you are going to have a very difficult time attracting people you are not connected to. This is where Facebook Ads come in. With an ad, you will be able to reach the friends of your fans without your fans having to like your posts, or you can even reach new people using custom targeting!

When using ads to promote your posts, refrain from only using the boost post option on the post itself; make sure you check out Facebook Ads Manager as well. The Ads Manager gives you more options for targeting, so if you are looking for something very particular (like women in Orlando ages 25 – 30 who just got engaged), you would want to create your promoted post using the Ads Manager. Putting some money behind your post is the ultimate test for the content—with the ad being shown to so many people, someone should interact with your post. The more people that do, the higher number of people that will see your post organically, even from paid interactions.

Depending on what you are trying to accomplish with your Facebook page there are different ad types to suit your needs. Want to know more about ads for your Facebook marketing campaign? We have a free downloadable guide on using ads for your Facebook Marketing.

They say there is nothing more valuable than a true fan. I know that your mom and your college friends may be supportive, but they can’t be your only fans if you expect to succeed at Facebook marketing. Don’t get stuck with what you have—if you are struggling with your Facebook marketing, take a look at your ad options or take the leap and go explore another platform.

Does Your Web Marketing Agency Deal Crack?

In the world of digital marketing, client retention seems to be a really big deal, and why wouldn’t it be? When I started this digital marketing agency in Orlando, one of the first things we thought about was how to obtain clients and keep them so we could gain a recurring income.

After thinking about this question for some time, we decided that providing value above and beyond the purchased service would be the way we were going to operate. This has really helped to build a strong client base and wonderful word of mouth referrals from previous clients and their friends as well! It seems people really like to talk about you when you have wowed them.

Unfortunately, not all web marketing agencies operate in this fashion. Some try to make it really difficult to drop their services. They do not want you to be able to implement these strategies yourself or find an agency that fits better with you and your business. Over the years I have seen a few tactics that some of these crack dealing agencies try to pull off in order to keep a higher rate of customer retention.

Does your web marketing agency have you on lock?

Locked out of your website?

For some businesses, this could be a great thing. You don’t have to worry about much, the agency takes care of everything, you send an email and the work gets done to your satisfaction. Great, right?

Is it? Really? Well, what happens when you make your requests and the agency does not make a move, doesn’t even email you to let you know that they have it scheduled in? What happens when this becomes a regular practice?

This is the point when you are generally going to start looking for an agency that will be able to meet your needs, maybe even at a lower price than your previous agency since you are just getting one to maintain the web efforts your current agency has set up.

What if you cannot just drop your agency?

Other than a contract, what is going to keep you bound to their services? You can just take your business wherever you want, right?

Sometimes this is not the case. Sometimes the agency you are working with is looking for ways to make it difficult to just drop their services, just like a crack dealer.

I have seen marketing agencies that have their own Content Management System (CMS) for websites, which they have developed for their clients. I’m all for innovation and making things easier on both the developer and client, but this CMS did not make things easier for anybody. Perhaps it is really easy for the agency to implement, but the admin area is not at all user friendly.

The company that bought the website from this agency is now in a position where they feel that they need the agency to update their website with content the client supplied at maybe $60-$100 dollars an hour, rather than getting a contractor or an intern who could do it.

I have also witnessed a situation where an agency used WordPress for the client website, except there was almost no custom code to the site at all. They built the site using a cheap template and about 28 or 30 plugins. This is bad for so many reasons:

Seeing Green

$ – The code behind the separate plugins may conflict, causing unforeseen problems in the future when the code updates
$ – The website becomes difficult to understand, especially determining what plugin changes what features
$ – The website may become slow to load, requiring unnecessary and possibly redundant optimization.

How to avoid being sold crack by your marketing agency

Before signing any contract or statement of work, you should make sure to ask about project handoff. No matter if you are having a website built, working on content marketing, having site SEO performed, or going through a rebranding, make sure that any “ongoing” work can easily be handed off to your internal staff even if you never intend for that to happen. If the agency seems reluctant to agree to this, I recommend that you look for other options.

For example, if I were running a Facebook ads campaign for your company, and you have really liked the results but wanted to have more control over the ads yourself, I would set up a way to hand off the project without any loss to you. If at all possible, I would have suggested monthly consultation sessions where I would teach you how to properly set up different ad types, how to write your marketing message and what images are going to work best for different kind of ad campaigns. Once you felt comfortable taking over the project, it would be in your full control. I would make sure that you knew we are available for further consultation if you were to need us.

It seems that most agencies view the above situation as the death of a client. I do not happen to share this view. The client, now pleased that they no longer have to pay to get similar results, has told their friends about their Facebook success, and how I taught them how to use ads. Some of their friends could care less, some have time to learn it on their own, and the few that are interested but who will require our services now know we exist.

Not only has this past client become an advocate, but they may require further services in the future. Now because they handled Facebook ads so well their business is booming. They know they should be on Google Plus, but have not found the time to venture onto the platform. And my phone starts ringing right on cue…