Social Media or Google? The Importance of Trying Different Mediums

If you’re wondering which ways of marketing work best, and where to spend your hard-earned money, you might find this useful.....

On the first full week of each month we send out reports to our partners, then ask that they tell us exactly how many bookings and how much revenue their campaign is bringing in.

This way we can tell them exactly how much it's costing then to acquire each new booking, their profit/loss etc.

One report in particular grabbed my attention, as it illustrates the importance of trying multiple ways of marketing and accurately tracking the results.

Wisteria Avenue Hair Salon in Abingdon received 34 new clients last month, creating £1,820 in first-time visitor revenue.

Their ad spend was £297, making them 512% return on that spend. Not too bad.

This is a result of tracking and making improvements over the previous 3 months.

A beautiful, quirky new salon; these figures are the result of testing multiple ways of marketing and finding what works best for them.

Let me elaborate....

The first campaign we launched for them was 50% off colour, valid Tues - Fri when booked with a full price Cut or Blow Dry.

That brought in clients...but they wanted more slots filled fast.

So after Month 2 we changed up to the offer, this time giving new clients 50% off Cuts and Colours, valid Tues - Fri.

This small tweak tripled their booking overnight. Big tick. 

But it doesn't stop there.

We've been running Google and Facebook/Instagram ads for these offers, leading to identical landing pages, where prospects order identical eVouchers.

The only difference is when someone comes via a Google ad, the booking code on their eVoucher is GOOGLE50.

When someone comes from a social media ad, the booking code on their eVoucher is FACEBOOK50.

So after 3 months, we analysed booking code numbers. 

You know what we found? 

80% of their new-client bookings were using the GOOGLE50 booking code. 

Just 20% from social media. 

The next step is predictable: we deactivated their social media ads and doubled the budget of their Google ads....

That was done a couple of months ago....which leads us to these figures.

Now let's be clear: I'm not saying Google works and Facebook doesn't. Other salons have found social media performs better.

In fact, if you’ve read my latest free eBook “The 13 Best Money-Making Tools for Salons Post Pandemic”, you’ll know that in the introduction I state that Facebook ads are actually getting a better return than Google for 60% of the salons we work with.

What I also state however, is that in some cases Google is producing significantly more new business for some of our partners.

Since writing that eBook, more and more we are finding that social media advertising is excellent when you are offering something that almost everyone can use.

Cuts and/or colours in hairdressers or a fixed discount on your full treatment range if you’re a beauty salon.

This way you’re appealing to the masses, getting a much greater click-through-rate and a maximum amount of leads for cheap.

But again there are exceptions to this rule. Wisteria is one of those exceptions.

When offering specific treatments or services (laser hair removal, aesthetic treatments, hair extensions etc) Google almost always brings in more clients.

But there are exceptions. Your brand power, the town or city you’re based in, your local competition…. these are all factors that can influence your marketing efforts.

Moral of the story: you’re never going to know for sure until you test these platforms for yourself.

If we only rolled with social media ads for Wisteria when we first started, their results would have been significantly reduced.

Thus importance of testing multiple ways of marketing, and accurately tracking the results.

And once you have your winner and your campaign is profitable, scale away my friend.

Here’s a tip: if Facebook ads is your winner, don’t increase your ad set’s budget. Instead duplicate, keeping the exact same ad, now just showing twice.

Increasing the budget of the same ad set by more than 20% risks throwing out Facebooks learning algorithm and making it start all over again. (That’s a topic for another day).

Here’s another tip: when you duplicate a winning Facebook ad set, don’t change anything in the ad itself! Keep the same image, text, headline… everything.

Playing with the creative will result in you losing all those likes and (hopefully) positive comments, which are invaluable and can strengthen your ads performance massively.  

If your Facebook ad has a bunch of likes and some glowing endorsements in the Comments, that social proof can be the decision-maker for many potential new clients.  

People read this stuff; we all know the importance of social proof nowadays.

This talk of testing and then scaling the winner comes with one important caveat:

If both platforms (or any other advertising mediums) are winning you new clients and are both profitable and therefore worth continuing: consider keeping them both and slowly scaling the best performer, as opposed to deactivating one and doubling/tripling the budget of the other.

The reason for this is, particularly if you are based in a small town or village, these platforms do have their saturation point: there is a finite amount of people seeing your Facebook ads or searching on Google.

And your search radius or targeted area can only span so far before its reaching people just too far away to want to travel to you.

So keep that in mind.

Diversify..... test..... track..... and scale the winner if there is a clear winner. 

That's smart cookie marketing.

…Like moths to a flame…

Scott Dance
August 2021

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