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For each ad, you can get a detailed breakdown of actions by type, separated into post-impression (24 hours), post-click (24 hours) and post-click (7 days).
To get there, just click on the ad performance within the web-based ad manager, then “see full actions report.”
Some of us are still accidentally basing our Cost Per Fan reporting on the actions count. While actions used to be fans, they now include so many more things, such as the dreaded “other clicks” category. Just be careful that you’re measuring against the right action.
I wish they didn’t hide the impressions and spend figures per ad– but there are only so many columns you can fit, especially if they take conversion tracking to the next level.
Are you excited for when Facebook integrates ad and page analytics?
Look at the top startups– the ones who are actually making money versus the pretenders. What’s the difference between them? You’ll notice that they all work ultra hard, are ultra networked, and are ultra knowledgeable. The catch-22 is that if you’re a one man show, how can you possibly put in enough time to work, meet people, and learn at the same time?
Let’s look at how people fail at this:
- Ultra networkers: You know these folks– they pass out their business card to every thing that has a pulse. Many are but an inch deep, as all they know are people, not topics. They do add value because they can introduce you to folks who do have knowledge– and that can often come off as name dropping. Find them most often in sales. Having great contacts, but not having knowledge is like trying to eat a bowl of cereal with a fork.
- Ultra knowledgeable: Academics. Find them in universities, reading books, writing books and lurking on forums. They are afraid of actually getting started for not knowing enough– afraid to fail, so they don’t try. Zero execution and often no network.
- Ultra hard workers: Often entrepreneurs– fire, ready, aim. The most damaging of these 3 types. They are so ready to move in any direction with no goal– just eager to go, go, go. Lots of open projects– zero of them completed. The aftermath of the eternal fire alarm is a trail of destruction.
Do you recognize yourself in any one of these profiles? How do you avoid the traps these folks fall into?
Focus on learning, networking, and execution in that order.
- If you try to network before learning, then you come off as an idiot– you should be researching the folks you meet beforehand, anyway, out of respect. Plus, you’ll have something interesting to talk about instead of saying “So what do you do, anyway?” or asking them questions they’ve heard a zillion times. If you’re going to a conference, know who you’re meeting before you leave, hit up the speakers before they speak (they’re mobbed afterwards).
- If you decide to execute before networking, you run into brick walls– your yet-to-be-discovered colleagues could have told you if only you had asked. Like Sissyphus, you’re going to rolling that ball up the hill for the rest of eternity– making every mistake in the book.
But that doesn’t mean that you should do only learning in the learning phase. In truth, you should be doing all three, but have a primary focus in each step. The art of learning by doing, which is to have small active projects you’re learning on is not the same as running a large project and promoting it. This process of learning, networking, and executing also doesn’t mean that you’re not working as hard– you can still work 80 hours a week, but spend your time in the right proportion.
Everyone is building stuff these days on the web. Grab some design templates, an open source CMS, and pay some freelancer from a foreign country $500 to bring it together. You seemingly mitigate risk by looking at their feedback ratio, client reference list, or even sample code (if you are technical enough).
But your project fails for some simple reasons:
No daily checkpoints: You might have an 8 week schedule, and let’s just assume your estimates are reasonable for now. The programmer tells you that everything is fine and you’ll have something to see soon. But soon doesn’t seem to happen and now it’s one week before the deadline. You’ve burned most of the clock and can only pray what’s there reflects your requirements.
Solution- daily checkpoints. They must show you progress, not hide beyond the tomorrow that never comes or that they are working on the backend, doing invisible stuff that is necessary, but which you won’t understand. Force daily releases.
Some people adopt agile, or scrum-based methods, which are particular versions of an iterative approach I’m describing here. Key is to review progress regularly versus allowing things to drift way off track. Easily said, but you might be surprised how hard it is to get programmers to commit and show the project. Don’t be fooled by the “almost done” or “I’ll have it tomorrow” ploy.
No prototype: if your requirements are not rock-solid and have no risk of ever changing (only possible in military projects or large construction), you must and will build a prototype. The reason I say will is that whether you call it a prototype or not, you will probably throw away the first version of what you do. So you might as well accept that and be as efficient as possible. Allocate about 20% of your budget for the prototype and perhaps 40% of the time.
Multiple stakeholders: have one project decision maker if you can. Sure, many people can provide input on what to build. But only one person can sign off. It’s hard enough coordinating between different pigs at the trough. If your project serves multiple users or departments, find one person among them who is trusted and is a neutral party. You won’t have time to referee.
Bad budgeting/planning: this is the #1 reason projects don’t meet their deadlines. You simply set too low a budget or not enough time. Likewise, when you hear that someone’s project came in x% under budget or ahead of schedule, overestimation is usually the culprit.
Overestimation is also called sandbagging, to use a derogative term. In a more positive light, you should take your engineer’s estimate and multiply by three. Not 30%, but a factor of three. The best engineers are often the worst at estimating. So don’t mistake a truly incompetent engineer from one who just is terrible at estimating time. Not the same thing as time management, which is another story,
Scope creep: this is probably the #1 project killer. The camel is carrying so many straws that its back is broken. Some project leads “fix” this by rigidly enforcing no changes. But that’s like forcing an airplane to land in dangerous weather, just because the original plan said so. The answer is to allow adjustment, but under the rule that anything added means we have to subtract at least twice as many other things. That’s also called prioritization.
I had a chance to catch up with PJ Glassey– a world class stair climbing athlete (yes, he bounds to the top of tall buildings across the globe) and the owner of X Gym in Seattle. PJ is also the personal trainer of Gillian Muessig, who introduced me to PJ and helped me get my butt kicked many an early morning. So PJ….
DY: I’m an internet geek, like many of the folks here, whether they admit it or not. We spend a lot of time in front of a computer, butts in the seat of a chair in an office or in the sky. What advice do you have for us regarding fitness?
PJ: Exercise is great, and we do have the best exercise methods, but proper nutrition is key to getting lean, staying healthy, and having a clear mind. My book “Cracking Your Calorie Code” spells out what the latest science has to say about that and my DVD “X Gym Workout Protocol #1″ shows the best new concept for exercise. It is truly the first legit fitness revolution since traditional training was invented back in 1891.
// By the way– the picture here is real, not photo shopped. PJ actually looks like this.
Until recently, there was no other place in Boulder for stringing tennis racquets. 22 year old CU grad, Matt Prater, has a love for tennis. He made his high school varsity team as a freshman and hasn’t put his racquet down since. Now, 8 years later, Matt is a professional tennis instructor teaching his students twice a day, seven days a week. On top of that, he strings tennis racquets for his students.
His tennis stringing business naturally evolved. He started by stringing his fellow high school teammates to make a little extra cash. Soon, he bought a stringing machine, purchased various reels of string, and found himself with a business.
Whether his business was buoyed by his love or perhaps the lack of competition from the only other Boulder tennis shop in town, it’s hard to tell what drove his growth. Part of what irked Matt was that the competition took over a week to do a restringing. For kids that have only one racquet and didn’t want to go a week without playing, that was unacceptable.
So he started Next Day Racquets to set a new standard in town. Not only is is service better, but he charges only $20 plus the cost of strings. And as any young entrepreneur, he has put his business on Facebook, to tap into the social crowd.
Have you been a happy customer of Matt or perhaps have some advice to provide him? We look forward to your thoughts!
I was at Reebok headquarters the other day meeting with their social team, when I noticed a shoe drop box. Donate your old shoes in any condition, to help the half a billion kids worldwide that don’t have any shoes. It was from Soles4Souls and one of the many outlets that have helped the organization deliver a whopping 15 million shoes so far. Count a pair as two shoes and you have 30 million!
And it doesn’t cost a lot—just $1 will help get one child a pair of shoes. Even a high school teenager that has pocket change or leftover tips from their restaurant job can make a difference. Before I begin to sound like a TV commercial that pulls your heartstrings via parading pictures of starving children in front of you, let me tell you that I did my research and see this is a solid organization. They now have a 300,000 square foot warehouse, 45 employees, and a $100 million operation.
Wayne Elsey was once a shoe company executive, so he knows the business and has the connections. He’s doing it for the cause, not to make money. What was once a “shoestring” operation has now grown into a global enterprise in Nashville that holds fundraising events all over the country and has the participation of the largest companies. For example, watch the video here. They’ve expanded to donate clothing, as well.
Consider the things we take for granted. I read that the average teenager buys 4 pairs of shoes per year. Before Nike singlehandedly turned shoes from a utility item to a piece of fashion, the average kid bought 2 pairs per year. But when it’s fashion, you buy for what’s cool versus whether you actually need physical replacement. It’s more about obsolescence from style versus from being worn out. When I ran track years ago, I would sometimes go through a pair of shoes in 4 weeks. If you’re running 80 miles a week and you know a pair of shoes loses cushioning at about 300 miles, you can do the math.
But if you’re not a Division I cross country runner—especially if you’re sponsored and not having to pay for shoes (that was great while it lasted)—then that’s a lot of waste.
At our company, we want to make an impact in the world—which is why we work with organizations like Grameen Foundation that seek to eradicate poverty, improve living conditions, and deliver shoes all over the world. Wayne Elsey is a great man and we are pleased to support his organization and the awesome team he has assembled. Check out the Wayne Elsey blog to keep up to date.
If you want to participate in any way—helping spread the word, donating your shoes, holding a shoe drive at your school, or contributing your talents in any way—just let us know and we’d love to talk to you. If you’re underemployed, unemployed, or are perhaps a college student that wants to get experience in Facebook marketing, this could be a great internship opportunity that will give you the skills and real world experience you need to thrive in online marketing.
And as a special pledge, we will donate $1 per pair of shoes donated to our headquarters at 718 SW Alder Street, Suite 200, Portland, OR 97205, up to a limit of 1,000 pairs. You can also follow Soles4Souls on Facebook and Twitter.
Our client ran a Groupon campaign last Friday for his laser hair removal practice and here is what he has to say:
Like most business owners who supply an elective service, we have had to work twice as hard for half the margin over the last several
months. We have been working with Groupon for six months trying to
find the most appropriate offer so we could get into their queue.
After months of revisions and wondering if this was really worth the effort we got our answer. Groupon found the right combination of elements in our offer and decided to run it. The website was hit so hard we had to open 25 new leads in from Apache just to keep the site from crashing. By the end of the weekend we had almost 1000 new
patients and almost a years worth of work for one of our employees.
My only other tip would be to make sure you let your hosting company know before the ad hits.
David Verebelyi, MD
Owner Colorado Center for Photomedicine
Note: BlitzLocal is not paid by Groupon or has any affiliations with the company, so this is not a paid endorsement.
If you haven’t heard of Groupon, LivingSocial, or any of the other social couponing sites, here’s how it works. You give them a special offer– for example, half off a laser hair removal service– normally $300, but on sale for $150. You’re featured in your city, Denver, and drive 1,000 sign-up. Groupon takes half the revenue, so they take $75 and you get $75.
The business takes zero direct risk, paying for nothing up-front. At the same time the cost of the marketing is the discount. In this case, the client potentially gives up $225 of revenue on each sale x 1,000 sales, for almost a quarter million dollars. Further, depending on the type of business that you’re in, if you’re selling $50 gift certificates for $25, what is your true marginal cost, what percentage of folks are coming back at full price, and what percentage redemption rate are you getting on the vouchers.
For a business like a cosmetic surgeon, the economics appear to work, as the bulk of the cost is fixed in paying for the amortizing equipment. Though this was only a few days, we can see that there is a minor residual effect. On the day of being featured on groupon in Denver, we hit over 4,000 unique visitors, which is now down to 400 uniques a day. Our average is 150-170 uniques a day.
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