Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Ready, set, run: breaking down the structure of Facebook advertising

By: Noelle Cutler, Social Media Specialist, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

What two steps come before you run? Get ready and get set. The same steps need to happen before running a Facebook ad. You have to get ready with a campaign plan and get the ad set up. Then, you can start running the ad!

Facebook advertising might seem simple because you can decide to run an ad on Facebook and actually start running it the very same day. But it really does require more planning than that. You have to make strategic decisions about marketing objectives, targeted audiences, budget and ad design. In Facebook Ad Manager, the ad structure is broken down to help you think strategically about each of those areas, from campaign to ad set to ad. Here’s the breakdown on each one:

  1. Campaign. This is the highest level of your advertising plan. All you have to do at this level is name your campaign and choose your Objective. If you’ve never set up a Facebook ad before, I suggest using the Brand Awareness objective if you’re simply trying to spread your message or brand. If you’re trying to get people to go to your website, use the Traffic objective. There are eight other objectives, but those two are the broadest/easiest to set up.
  2. Ad Set. The next step is to set up your ad set. Here you’ll determine the Audience, Placements and Budget & Schedule of your ads. You can have more than one ad set in a campaign. For example, if your campaign objective is to get people to visit the store page of your website (the Traffic objective), one ad set could target an audience ages 25 to 30 and the budget could be $50. Another ad set could target people who are 18 to 24-years-old and the budget could be $30. Those different ad set details can be programmed any way you want, but the campaign objective is the same: get people to your website.
  3. Ads. Finally, you actually set up your ads. The Format is the first thing you have to decide; more or less the format is just a choice between one image, multiple images or video. The final thing to set up is the Page & Text, which is basically the ad itself; it’s the image and the text of your specific ad. It could also include the URL if your objective is to get people to go to a website. Again, you can have more than one ad in an ad set. Going back to the example of targeting 24 to 30-year-olds, you might want to use different texts and images. Same marketing objective, audience, placements, budget & schedule, but different actual ads.

There’s a lot more detail to each step, but hopefully, this helps explain the way Facebook structures their advertising. These are the things you need to decide before jumping in and running a Facebook ad. So get ready, get set and then run your Facebook ad!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

PR FAQ: Why won’t the media cover my story?

By: Susan Finco, President, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

No matter what industry you’re in, you’re bound to get some frequently asked questions about what you do. In our business, it’s inevitable that someone will ask: Why won’t the news media cover my story? Why? Here my top five answers (which often start out as questions):
  1. Does your pitch or release contain the necessary information, including the obvious who, what, where, when and why? If a reporter wants more information but can’t contact you, they’ll move on to something else. (Hint: If it’s a weekend or evening, include your cell phone number.)
  2. Have you personalized the pitch or release for the type of media or reporter you are contacting? Radio doesn’t care if there are great visuals, but if you’re pitching something to TV, you better have a strong visual component. Don’t pitch a feature story about education to a business reporter. Know who you’re pitching before you contact them. A little research goes a long way.
  3. Is there a reason for them to care? Why will their readers, viewers or listeners care about your story or the expertise you’re offering?  Give them a reason to care and you increase your chances of getting coverage.
  4. It sounds like you’re selling something. Trying to get the news media to cover your story when all you’re doing is trying to sell something (and it’s obvious, believe me) is a sure fire way to have them ignore you. Sell your expertise, not a product or promotion.
  5. What else is going on at that time? There may be a major news story they are following/covering that day or week. Sometimes, even the best stories are passed up because there’s something else going on. It happens.

I’m sure there are other answers to the question “Why won’t the media cover my story,” and I would love to hear your thoughts about it. What has your experience been with pitching the media? If you’re a reporter, what is likely to get tossed without you thinking twice?

Friday, March 3, 2017

Are your videos shining on different social media platforms?

By: Scott Stein, VP of Client Services, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

We all seem to be attracted to shiny things. There have even been studies of why people gravitate toward shiny objects. In today’s social media world, one could argue that those shiny things take the form of photos and videos on the platforms that we follow. Without a visual element, we are much more likely to ignore the post.

As a PR firm, we certainly encourage the use of visuals on social media. But just like text should be posted on social media with a plan and a purpose, so should your visuals. As Alex York pointed out in a recent piece on, it’s important to have the right video for each social media platform.

Planning a video for Facebook? Be sure to include captions. Facebook users most often watch video without sound, particularly if they are out and about in public or even sitting at their work desk. Always be sure the text you use is readable by creating contrast from the background. Light background=dark text and vice versa.

Don’t ignore live video on Facebook. It’s a new, but powerful tool. Consider content, timing and promotion before going live.

Twitter has now jumped into live videos. Since a reported 90 percent of Twitter users view videos on their mobile devices, it’s crucial that any video content (whether live or not) be mobile friendly.

With Instagram, there’s a one minute limit on videos that you post to your feed. With Instagram Stories, you have the option of streaming live video or posting a 10-send clip; both will disappear from your story after 24 hours. Whether you’re posting to your feed or your story, you’ll have to keep your videos short and engaging.

There’s no arguing that visuals make a big difference in whether people will notice and respond to your social media posts. When it comes to video, just be sure your video fits the platform you’re using. 

Do you use video with your social media efforts? Do you tailor your video to the platform that it’s on?