Brian Carter is the Founder of the Brian Carter Group. He joins the show to discuss how Facebook can revolutionize an organization if they use it effectively.
Brian Carter is respected as one of the elite internet marketing experts in the world. His hands-on business experience, cutting edge insights, background in improv and standup comedy culminate in a speaker and trainer who leaves every audience not only entertained, but armed with powerful strategies and tactics.
Brian is co-author of the bestselling book Facebook Marketing, and author of the forthcoming book, The Like Economy. He also has authored an e-book called How To Get More Fans On Facebook.
Brian has 12 years of experience with Google, Twitter and Facebook marketing, both as a consultant and marketing agency director. He has trained and managed Gen X and Gen Y employees, in addition to the more than 5,000 students of his FanReach Facebook marketing online course.
Brian develops strategies and builds search visibility and social marketing fanbases for companies of all sizes, including well known entities such as Universal Studios, The U.S. Army, Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. He is quoted in the book Twitter Marketing For Dummies and has been quoted and profiled by Information Week, U.S. News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur Magazine.
Brian writes for two of the most popular marketing blogs, Search Engine Journal and AllFacebook with a combined readership of over 400,000. He has more than 30,000 Twitter followers and an overall reach of more than 50,000 fans through Facebook, LinkedIn, and his other social marketing channels.
A speaker and trainer for top marketing conferences such as SEOmoz, SMX, Pubcon, The AllFacebook Expo, Socialize, The South Carolina Society of Association Executives and The American Marketing Association to name a few. Brian is a seasoned expert and most entertaining presenter in Internet marketing.
Find out more about Brian Carter at www.briancartergroup.com.
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Start of Interview with Brian Carter
Jason Hartman: It’s my pleasure to welcome Brian Carter to the show. He is the founder of The Brian Carter Group and he is an expert in Facebook marketing. However, we’re gonna drill down and get rather specific on Facebook marketing and really see if we can utilize some of the tremendous consumer intelligence that Facebook gives us and gives us the opportunity to market to people in very narrow bands.
So Brian is coming to us from Charleston, South Carolina. Brian, welcome, how are you today?
Brian Carter: Thanks, Jason. I’m good. How are you?
Jason Hartman: Good. It’s good to have you. And you’ve created some really great content on your website, talking about ways people can adapt their Facebook business pages and really target their customer a lot better than most people. So, tell us a little bit about that.
Brian Carter: So, the article that we were talking about is called Facebookize: 7 Ways REALLY Adapting to Facebook Will Revolutionize Your Organization. So, having done Facebook marketing for about 4 years now, one of the things that’s clear to me having done it, done it successfully, and then looking at customers who struggle with it is that they don’t understand that to do Facebook well you have to know more about your customer than you’ve ever known about your customer.
In the past, you could know demographics, you could know, oh, I think they’re interested in something related to this magazine – maybe I should advertise in this magazine. But now we’re talking about knowing people who like the Speaking of Wealth show, we can know things like, oh, some of them also like Joel Osteen Ministries for example. Not everybody that listens to you likes that, but then you can compare to other audiences. You can go and say I’m gonna look at Speaking of Wealth versus 2 or 3 other competing podcasts and look at how my audience is unique. And once you know that, you can say things that will resonate a lot deeper with people because you’re really talking to your real customer.
There’s a lot that’s said about social media being about relationships and conversations and things like that. Like in the past, all you knew was your customers may be like a 25 to 54 year old female. But imagine trying to talk to your wife if all you knew about her was that she was a 25 year old to 54 year old female. You wouldn’t be able to say very much, right? Because a relationship, as it deepens, you know more about the other person.
Jason Hartman: Sure.
Brian Carter: And that’s what happens on Facebook is you get to find out where they work, what job title do they have, what’s their education level, what interests do they have, what TV shows do they like, what magazines do they like, what movies do they like, and more stuff like things like net worth and income. Quantcast is another source as well. Mostly we’re gonna talk about Facebook today I think. But if you go to Quantcast, you can put some code on your website to find out what other websites your website users like, things like that.
So, it’s all about psychographics. Like, we had demographics which are age and location so we know a little bit about the customer, but psychographics is relatively new. We’ve always had all those little personality tests. We’ve had the Myers-Briggs test and things like that. But we can’t really give the Myers-Briggs test to all our customers, can we? So, the cool thing about Facebook is that you can use some of the tools In the Facebook ad platform as well as Graph Search to find out more about who your fans are and what else they like. That gives you better ideas. And then once you know who your customer is, you know better how to get their attention and what kind of blog posts to create and what kind of videos to create, what kind of examples you might use when you’re talking or speaking because you know more about who you’re talking to.
Jason Hartman: We all know that with Facebook we can get age, gender, location, workplace, job title, education level, languages, interests, which is more than we ever got before with any other platform in terms of those interests, TV shows, movies they like, etcetera. Income and net worth, very valuable, too, that can be appended as well, relationship status and things like that. But how do we do this?
Take us through the mechanics, Brian, if you would. Someone listening has a fan page for their business and they’ve got 4000 fans or followers for example. I think that’s a fairly common thing, a common number. What do they do then? They’ve got these 4000 people, they post stuff, they get some likes, they get some sharers, they get some engagement, and hopefully they get some actual business. What are the mechanics of how we do this? And then I want to drill down and get into you have some great examples of cat people versus dog people and some really good stuff there.
Brian Carter: Yeah, there’s several things. One is the Facebook Ad Platform and in that article. And number 3 is starting to talk about what’s unique about your customers. If you haven’t used the Facebook Ad Platform, this is going to be a little bit weird for you. There’s a learning curve. But you need to get into Facebook ads and start to create an ad. And once you start creating an ad, you get all these options about how to target people. And one of those options is to connect to people who are fans of your page, right? So, if you’re running an ad and you’re an admin of your page, you’re going to be able to select do you want to create this ad just for people on your page, right? And you’re gonna see on the right, oh, your potential reach now is 4000 people, however many fans you have.
Now, what you can do next is you can just put in an interest that you think your fans might have or put in an age range or whatever and then see how that number goes down. So, if it goes down to 2000, you know 50% of your fans have that particular whatever you put in, right? So, you’re kind of reverse engineering the targeting to see what percentage of your fans have various targeting options. Does that make sense?
Jason Hartman: Sure.
Brian Carter: And you can do that with interests, all those things we mentioned, wordplay, job title. You could see how many of your fans are receptionists for example. And it’s going to be different for every business. You have to apply your common sense and what you know about your customer to all of this. But this is a way to sort of quantify the percentage of your fans who are into one thing or another.
Jason Hartman: Most people listening I’m sure have used the platform and it’s really great that you can drill down like that. But what do we do with it? What I’m getting at is that most people don’t have just one type of super narrowly defined avatar, although they may think they do but usually they have a scattering of them. So, how are they going to post and how are they going to “act” if you will on their Facebook page in terms of engaging with people in posting. What do they say? What do they actually do with the data?
Brian Carter: I’ll give you a thumbnail of that. But I think we can talk for an hour about how to come up with great posts and things like that. But the main idea with posting, there are a couple of things you can do that work really well. One is to take a cheerleader approach where you know the interests and the values and the beliefs of your audience and you basically just say “Yay Rob for that thing” and they liked it.
For example, we’ll talk about graph search in a minute, but I mentioned like Joel Osteen as one random thing. We probably won’t use that because it’s religion. But we look at interests liked by people who like Speaking of Wealth. And we’ve got real estate, traveling, business, music, meditation, photography, hiking, bible, cooking, reading, dancing, etcetera. You want to know which one’s unique, right? So, if we compare you to some other shows, we’ll figure out which ones of those are most unique. Maybe it’s traveling. And then you go, okay, so if I think my fans like traveling then I’m gonna try to tie in traveling or cool pictures of other places into what I say on my Facebook page.
Kind of the opportunity and the burden of Facebook marketing is that you have to put up a whole bunch of pictures and content and all that kind of stuff, right? Some people will post on their page once a day. But most posts get most of their engagement within would urge people to fix their tracking if they can’t track it to the sale. Sometimes you can’t do that because you don’t sell online. You’re going to have to figure out what’s your success metric for a post? If it’s not a sale because you can’t track it then, maybe it’s likes, maybe it’s shares, things like that. Once you know how you want to judge success for your posts, then you need to look at all your posts over the last 30 days and see which ones got the best results.
Let’s say you go back 2 months, done a post a day, you’ve got 60 posts, and you’re gonna look at the top 12 and the bottom 12, that way you’ve isolated the top 20% and the bottom 20% in terms of performance. Then you can look at what do my top 20% performing posts have in common? What do my bottom 20% have in common? You’re gonna do this over and over and over. Every 2 months you do this and once you’ve learned, oh, they respond well to this kind of post, they don’t respond well to this kind of post, I’m gonna do more of the ones they like, right? If you keep doing that every couple of months and while you’re doing that you’re experimenting with changing your posts based on what you’ve learned from the Facebook ad platform or from Graph Search, then you’re going to get better and better results. What kind of results is that? What kind of effect does it have? Again, if you can track sales, it should increase your sales. If all you contract is likes and shares, well, shares mean more organic visibility without paying for it.
Jason Hartman: Right.
Brian Carter: Which is good. It also means people only share stuff that they not only like but makes them look good and that they think other people will be interested in. That’s a powerful way to market. The more likes you get on your post, the more of your fans see your posts. Facebook admitted only like 16% of people see your posts generally speaking. That’s why it wants you to buy it, blah-blah-blah. Over time you’ll see what percentage of your fans like your posts should go up. So what I do, this is a little bit involved, but when you go into your Facebook page you can export your insights, you can export all the posts. Export all the posts and see which ones people like, comment, and share on and click on.
So, over time, if you’re gonna use likes, say, for example, as your metric, you would divide likes by impressions. How many people saw your posts? Let’s divide likes by how many impressions there were. You’re gonna get a percentage. And if you’re at 1 or 2 percent, that’s pretty good, but you can go higher. We’ve got clients that we do posting for who are between 7 and 10 percent now. You have to work your way up to that, and the only way to work your way up is to better understand what your customers and fans like and don’t like, what they share and don’t share.
Jason Hartman: So, how do we use some of the information that you wrote about in terms of you give the example of cat lovers being liberal and dog lovers being conservative. And then you went through the 16 Myers-Briggs character and temperament types. And, by the way, I’m an ENTJ just so everybody knows. I can’t believe how accurate that test is – tested a lot of my friends over the years – it’s quite accurate.
So what do we do with that stuff? The top 20 and bottom 20 percent data, very good, what do we do with the rest though?
Brian Carter: I only put Myers-Briggs in there as kind of a, hey, you know about this type of personality. This is similar to what we’re trying to do and we know that companies we use personas like they’ll say “Oh, we have an active explorer who is 18 to 24, male”, blah, blah, blah. They create all these little personas of customers so that when they’re writing to the customer, they can have that person in mind or when they’re thinking, like, what kind of blog posts do we create or what kind of topics should we do for our podcast next? They’re thinking about those personas. They can’t think of 100,000 people, but they can think of like 4 or 5 different types of people.
Jason Hartman: Sure, okay.
Brian Carter: Those are just examples of now we’re going to do it the Facebook way which is we want to look at what other things do they like and what are their job titles, various things, right? Because if somebody’s B2B they’re probably going to target job title. If they’re B2C they’re going to be looking at all these softer weird things like cat lovers like Jerry Garcia is a really random thing, Ozzy Osbourne, Vail, Colorado, they like horses – it’s really weird, right? Dog lovers like Criminal Minds, Duck Dynasty, fishing, Fox News, Funny or Die, NFL, Nickelback, they have no musical taste, Olive Garden, these are weird things that start to give you like a picture of who psychologically your customer is.
If I was in the cat niche and I had cat products, there’s a lot of music in here, I would experiment with the Grateful Dead, just see how it does. It’s a little bit controversial, but one interesting thing you’ll find sometimes when you do your graph search is you’ll find out that a number of your customers like certain ethnic things. You’ll find oh they really like Tyler Perry and Mary Blige and you’re like, okay, wow, I’ve got a bunch of black fans. And then you go, wow, should all of our people in our images be white? That and the religion thing and the liberal versus conservative can be really divisive. So you have to be careful how you use that information, but that’s the kind of thing that I think people are not thinking about very well.
We have a client who responds super well to Maya Angelou because we’ve got quotes, Maya Angelou says amazing things. This is even before she recently died and there was a boost in the activity when she died as well because people want to celebrate her life. Having her or Oprah Winfrey or whoever, these are people that can crossover white to black or black to white, right? And they’re super well-liked. So that’s just one example.
But with cats and dogs, what I discovered was there are people who like cats who have a certain psychographic, people who like dogs who have another psychographic, and then people who like both dogs and cats are different from either of those two other groups. That’s something that I think a company that makes both cat and dog food may not have thought of. They may think, oh, we have the cat people, the dog people.
I don’t know if they’ve thought about the fact that they may have people that like both and that those people are different. Those people like weird things. Like their favorite drink out of all the soda pops is Sunkist which is a weird choice. They like Twix which is one of the weirder candy bars in my opinion. They like Harley-Davidson which screams “I am a unique individual with a lot of money”. So, you start thinking like who are these people based on what they’ve chosen? Dog lovers, I would say very middle America NFL. Cat lovers, a little bit weirder, musical. And dog and cat people really want to prove to everybody that they’re a unique individual.
Jason Hartman: It’s really interesting, I remember studying marketing so many years ago and studying the VALS System, Values and Lifestyles System and they divided it up into only 7 types as I recall. Myers-Briggs does much more. But I’ll tell you, if you’re trying to appeal to say a conservative audience and you’re putting cat pictures, that’s not gonna do as well as dog pictures. It’s very interesting to note that. And people can definitely be segmented by these things. It’s not perfect. It’s an art as well as a science, but there’s a science to it for sure.
Brian Carter: This is all new. Think about it this way. We’ve never had access to this data about our customers ever before. I think some people are not aware of this, other people are trying to figure out how to use it. Another angle to look at this is you can find out how your audience is different from your competitors, but you can also find out the things that everybody likes.
When I looked at Fox News fans versus CNN fans, things we expect from Fox News, fans like Mitt Romney, they like Sarah Palin, blah, blah, blah. They like the bible. CNN fans, they like Bill Gates, the Ellen DeGeneres show, Steve Jobs. Not surprised by these, right? But what do they both like that we could use to appeal to people on both sides of the political spectrum? The New York Times is liked by both, Upworthy is liked by both, George Takei is liked by both which is a little bit weird because George Takei is definitely pretty liberal. NFL is liked by a lot of people in the US. So, if you’re ever going to make a sports analogy, as much as I love basketball more than football, most Americans are going to relate to NFL.
So, this is not just a study of how your customer’s unique, but what also is really broadly relatable. Part of my background is standup comedy. And when you’re writing jokes and you’re gonna face random audiences, you have to think about how can I make this relatable to everybody and what can I talk about that everyone’s gonna laugh about? So, it’s not just like let’s tailor ourselves to our unique customers. Holidays are a great example of this, right? Like Fourth of July, very few people are gonna say “No, I don’t like America”. You can put out that post about either just celebrate America or you can go a little further and be like support the military, whatever – it depends on your audience. It’s also good to know across the board. . .Like if you’re advertising to Americans, what do Americans like? If you’re advertising globally, this is a different thing, too. You’re going to have to look and see if you can find relatable interests across all the different countries.
Jason Hartman: Fascinating stuff. It’s going to be so interesting to see, Brian, how this evolves over the years. And it’s really just Facebook. This is all about Facebook. Now that we really have this data that we’ve just never had before, we all heard about the recent Facebook psychological experiment where they picked what showed up in people’s News Feeds and they’ve taken a lot of heat for that and a lot of criticism.
It’s going to be fascinating as this data really, really gets compiled over the next few years and language algorithms get better and we can really drill down to not only what people click on that they like but also understand what people are saying. The computers can understand what people are saying and what those inferences mean and all the subtleties in language that’s so incredibly complex. It’s going to be a fascinating ride in the marketing world, in the profiling world for the next few years. Don’t you agree?
Brian Carter: I think it goes a little further which is let’s say for example you’re Lady Gaga, you’re incredibly popular online and you use this data, you might actually use this data to think about what your next song would be about. Because this is all about once you know who your customers are. Because this is all about once you know who your customers are, everybody’s facing this big problem now with content marketing where they’re like, oh my gosh, I have to create stuff to compete now as a publisher. I’m not a publisher. What do I create? What do I put in my posts? What do I write a blog post about? What do I put on Facebook? Do I need to make a video? What do I need to make a video about? So it’s very hard, again, to communicate to someone you don’t understand, but once you understand this stuff then you’ll have more ideas for the kind of content you can create that will really resonate with people.
And one other thing I want to say, too, is that I think things change really fast these days. I get questions sometimes like what’s gonna be the next Facebook? When Google was the big thing, it was like what’s gonna be the next Google? And I think some people will think, yeah, I’m just gonna sit on the sidelines and watch this a little bit. You don’t have time to do that. You really need to use this tool while it’s active and a big deal to figure out more about your customers and your business because it may not be Facebook 3 years from now. And if you wait until then, you will miss out on all this stuf you could have learned about your customers in that 3 years. And during that 3 years, your competitors who take advantage of it will leap frog past you. So, I think it’s really important people not get too global, like zoom out too far on this whole thing. I think they really need to dive into it and use the tools to apply it now.
Jason Hartman: Good stuff. Tell us about what your firm does for people. You’re an agency, right?
Brian Carter: We’re a very small [00:19:46] agency. We hope to grow a little bit. We’re actually rebranding. It won’t be the Brian Carter Group for very long. I’ve been in internet marketing for 15 years, so I’ve done everything from SEO to Google ads to Facebook ads to Twitter, LinkedIn, I’ve written books on Facebook and LinkedIn. One of my things is we not only run ads for people. We manage AdWords and Facebook ads for people. We also do SEO audits. We also do coaching. We have a perspective, because we’ve done so many different things, that we can recommend if Facebook ads aren’t the best for you we’re not gonna say you should do them because we run them. We’re going to tell you what you should do that’s best. There’s a whole bunch of digital marketing options now.
So we do that and everything while we’re working with people. We look at things like are they doing a good job at tracking. Is their analytic up to par? And so on because we’re always trying to get results and report results to people and make sure that they’re getting a value from that. We don’t want to be the people who just get you a bunch of Facebook fans or something and then you go, well, what am I gonna do with them? You’re paying us money, you’re gonna get some bottom line value out of this.
Jason Hartman: I think the world is starting to realize that likes are not that important. What’s important is engagement and shares and things like that. So let’s not go overboard on the liking the likes.
Brian Carter: I think that sometimes when you have a really complicated topic people oversimplify it. And they’ll go we need more fans, that should be the next thing, right? Well, I don’t know. Let’s step back and look at the whole strategy. What are you gonna do with those fans once you get them, right? Because, for us, now, some people oversimplified it in their minds and they assume that getting these fans would be valuable and they were wrong. Facebook never promised to everybody that these fans you get you will be able to reach all of them for free forever. They never ever promised that. Facebook is giving us more than they’ve ever promised us. People didn’t think ahead and try to grow their email list as well, put all their eggs in one basket and are in trouble and those people are mad but it’s their own fault.
They either didn’t learn enough about Facebook. . .I mean, the reason we’re on the phone right now is because I’m kind of saying, hey, there’s more to this than you might think. Facebook marketing and Facebook advertising is not easy to do. There’s a learning curve. You should learn to do it the right way. Don’t just dabble with this stuff because it’s way too complicated to do well with. You really have to devote some time to it. If you can afford the higher consultant or somebody on it, that’s gonna pay off way more than you expect. Because when you try to go cheap and you keep it too simple with a really complicated topic like this, you end up with a bunch of fans you can’t do anything with.
Jason Hartman: Good stuff. Well, Brian Carter, give out your website and tell people where they can find you and read some very interesting articles by the way.
Brian Carter: BrianCarterGroup.com. On Twitter I’m @briancarter. It’s the easiest to find, you can Google “Brian Carter”. Obviously, there’s a couple other Brian Carters, one who makes wine and one who is a hippie guitarist, so don’t go with them.
Jason Hartman: Good stuff. Brian Carter, thanks so much for joining us.
Brian Carter: Thanks for having me.
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Transcribed by Ralph
The Speaking of Wealth Team