Ryan Carter, President and founder of Parachute Media, was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series. The series, which is hosted by TechnologyAdvice’s Clark Buckner, explores a variety of business and technology landscapes through conversations with industry leaders. Ryan joined Clark to discuss customer engagement, social media, and marketing automation strategies.
Below are a few highlights from our conversation:
TechnologyAdvice: What trends in social media have you witnessed in the past three to six months?
Ryan: Social media is constantly changing, and one of the biggest trends we’ve seen is that Facebook is becoming highly intelligent. It has all the capabilities to be one of the best marketing automation tools, because they allow you to seamlessly bounce back and forth between Custom Audiences on web and email, which drives real conversion and a return on your investment.
Basically, a Facebook Custom Audience is an audience that lives on the web, in email, or app. Here’s an example: If you have an email list of 10,000 people, typically we have a metric between 50 and 80 percent of those email addresses actually being tied back to a real Facebook account.
In Facebook, you can make a Custom Audience out of that email list, so the next time you send out that newsletter, you can send that content targeted to a Custom Audience on Facebook. Now, that audience has the opportunity not only see it via email, but also see it on Facebook and in turn increases engagement.
TechnologyAdvice: It’s interesting to see how Facebook is becoming much more intelligent. If you had to choose between Facebook and some of the other platforms that you can invest money in, what do you choose and why?
Ryan: I’m choosing Facebook almost every single time right now, because financially it’s very cost-effective, especially for smaller-sized brands and agencies. Facebook now, if you set up your ads correctly inside Facebook, you can kind of automate how people will flow through. As people become fans of the brand, then they’re going to start seeing content. We are serving them content based on who they are, what they do, and it’s a running series of customized content. It’s a video, it’s a handful of posts, and maybe a few things about what our brand is actually about. It just gives time to actually educate that fan and then further down the funnel, after they’ve consumed three to six pieces of content, then they’ll be ready to actually see ads that are based on conversion.
All this stuff can really flow through like an automated system where fans engage with the content. The last campaign we did was interesting — for every $17 that we spent, which was actually all that we spent, we had a return on investment of $224. That was because we nurtured people through our funnel across multiple channels. And only at the time when we felt like they were ready to start seeing ads did we actually put them in front of people. You never want to be that kind of brand that’s constantly selling to your audience.
Listen to the entire show above in order to hear our full conversation, or download the show to listen later. You can subscribe to the TA Expert Interview Series via Soundcloud, in order to get alerts about new episodes.