ads – Stay N Alive

The Perfect Use of Custom Audiences Through Facebook Ads

Custom Audiences are a terrific way to build Facebook ads that convert and bring strong traffic back to a site. The way they work is this:

  • You have an email list
  • You import that email list into Facebook’s Power Editor
  • Facebook matches those emails with Facebook users that also use those emails
  • You target ads to that email list or exclude the people in that email list from your targeted ad campaigns
I’ve been encouraging my clients for awhile now to look inside their existing user databases and find ways to segment users to better target ads back towards those existing users to get new sales. One way to do that is to look at users that have not completed a full transaction, and remind them to do so through a simple non-intrusive Facebook ad. The potential for the completed sale goes up significantly when brands do this.
I saw this in action today as I went through the process of adding flower bulbs to my Shopping Cart at, but not completing the purchase. Within minutes, I was seeing ads on Facebook reminding me that I had not completed my purchase, and even offering a further discount to get me back.
Having worked at a few e-commerce companies in the past (my college minor was e-business), I can attest that it’s difficult to get customers all the way through the sales process. Previously there were few ways, without outright spamming them and driving them further away, to get those customers that never completed their purchase.
Now, with custom audiences on Facebook businesses can remind the user very quickly after-the-fact, when they’re still in purchasing mode, further increasing the likelihood of the sale. This, to me, is the perfect use of custom audiences on Facebook. Well done Brecks!
Wanna learn more about Facebook ads? I just finished a course you can take to learn about my own secrets to success with Facebook ads. I promise you’ll learn something new in this course. If not, let me know and I’ll refund your money, 100% – go get the course here!

Is Google Stealing Authors’ Copyright With Buzz?

2 years ago I shared about a blogger and follower/friend of mine, Ali Akbar, who purchased the domain, (he still owns it) in order to create an AppEngine-related blog (since Google apparently forgot to purchase the domain).  Ali received a threatening Cease-and-Desist from Google shortly after asking him to immediately discontinue use of the domain and “Take immediate steps to transfer the Domain Name to Google”.  It would appear that Google needs to take a dose of its own medicine though.  To my surprise, I’ve realized recently that my articles from and other blogs are being shared, in their full text, on Buzz and having my ads stripped from them, without my permission.

For those unaware, there’s a “subscribe” button when you visit this blog that allows anyone to obtain the RSS of this blog and plug it into a Reader.  For those of you reading this in a Reader, thank you, and you’re already aware of this.  One thing I have done with those feeds if you haven’t noticed is at the bottom of each post in the RSS, I’ve added Google Adsense to my feeds so I can at least cover my costs of running this blog and make at least a few cents a day trying to re-coup costs of hosting and time spent writing posts.  If you visit in a browser like Chrome, you can look at the raw feed and see the ads at the bottom of each post.  Or, if you’re reading this post in a traditional feed reader, look down at the bottom of this post and you’ll see the ad.

However, there’s a feature on Buzz that enables anyone reading my shared posts to expand the summarized content and view the entire post, right in Buzz.  For one, I didn’t give Buzz permission to do this on shared posts, and second, Buzz is stripping out my ads, depriving me of that potential revenue rather than either displaying those ads, or redirecting the user back to my site where I can monetize that in some other form.  This is blatant copyright infringement if you ask me!  Now, if you expand my posts, since it’s integrated into Gmail, look over to the right – see those ads?  Yup, I’m not getting a penny of that.

Google is now monetizing my content, and neglecting to ask for my permission in doing so, while removing what I had put in place to monetize my content.  Starting today, I’m removing my blog from my Google Profile, as well as my Google Reader shares so that I don’t help further the copyright infringement on other blogs I share.  The problem that still exists is that anyone who shares my content from Google Reader will also have my content available on Buzz in full format, and my ads stripped.  There’s no way to stop it, and Google is encouraging this wrong practice.

To be clear, I’m fine with them either displaying the ads that I put there (and allowing me to monetize off the other ads that are on the page), or just summarizing the article and encouraging users to click through to my site.  I’m not okay with Google scraping my content, stripping my ads, altering my content, and pushing it out for them to get 100% of the revenues off of something I spent time and money making.

Google, how is this not evil?  Maybe I should use Google’s own Cease and Desist letter to get them to stop this practice.  Or would that itself be copyright infringement?

Image courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment – “The Ant Bully”

UPDATE: The Google Buzz Team did contact me on Buzz (Ironically, considering the content of this post), and they say they’re going to have the ad scraping issue fixed by next week.

Announcing the Twitter Bowl 2009 Results

Twitter Bowl 2009Today Brian Solis announced the results of the promotion my company, SocialToo did with him, Jeremiah Owyang, Louis Gray, Chris Heuer, and Guy Kawasaki. The promotion was to encourage everyone to prepend their Tweets about the Superbowl ads with #superbowlads, and then vote for their favorite ad on a SocialToo SocialSurvey at the end of the Super Bowl. The results were interesting:

  • There were a total of 1,534 Tweets during the Superbowl mentioning #superbowlads
  • 563 people voted on the survey
  • 3,151 visited the survey page (showing SocialToo SocialSurveys don’t just cover Twitter)
  • 111 of those visits came from Facebook, 616 directly from Twitter
  • The top ads were 1. Transformers, 2. Hulu, 3. Career Builder, 4. Pepsi Max, “I’m Good”, 5. Doritos, “Free Doritos”
  • These stats are vastly different from other nation-wide polls, showing that the Social Media audience is its own niche, with different ideas and opinions

In addition, midway through the Superbowl we asked viewers to share their thoughts on the overall ad experience. The results were consistent with other findings, showing that most viewers only viewed the ads as par or less from past SuperBowls.

Thanks to Brian Solis for leading all this and putting it together and Jeremiah Owyang for the idea.  Brian put a lot of work into organizing all this – you can read more of his findings and results, along with a much more in-depth analysis over on his blog.