There are a lot of things changing today with Facebook that will limit your ability to communicate effectively with your voters and constituents.
The Facebook Pixel is a very good – slightly creepy – way to stay in contact with your voters and efficiently use your monetary resources. Listen to learn more from me, Brad Tabke, in this solo show.
The Facebook Pixel -Facebook
Facebook Town Hall -CJP
Brad Tabke: Hello, and welcome to the Community Jobs and Progress Podcast where we help elected officials and candidates better serve their communities. I am your host, Brad Tabke, and it is an honor to have you here with us today, and so today is just a solo show with me, and so it’s going to be a pretty quick one here, but I wanted to help elected officials and candidates talk about something that will really help them in their campaigns, and that is a little piece of code that you can put on your website called a Facebook pixel, and so Facebook doesn’t have the only pixel, and when I’m saying pixel, it’s P-I-X-E-L, and what this is is a little chunk of code that you or whoever runs your website can put on your website.
Brad Tabke: You can do this with Facebook. You can go this with Google. You can do this with Twitter and a whole variety of other things, but Facebook I think has the most powerful ability to use the Facebook pixel, and what it does is it tracks who and how people have gone through your website, and so what you do is you put this little Facebook pixel on your website, and again, it’s just a little chunk of code that you get from Facebook, and you put it onto your website, and then as a person is coming to your website to learn about you or go to your about page or read your position statements on things or check out a post, Facebook tracks who that is. It’s not information that you have access to. You cannot personally access that information yourself, but what you can use is you can tell Facebook what you’d like to have happen with that information, and so with that, you can take and create different audiences for helping to share more pertinent information with people in your community.
Brad Tabke: You can also set up conversions so that you can help people take action within your website, and you can also retarget people who haven’t made it all the way to the end of a sequence as to how you wanted them to do something, and we’ll get into all those items in just a minute here, but I just want to talk about Facebook in general for a second, and a lot lately is happening with Facebook. If you’ve been on any of my trainings or webinars lately, you will very much see that Facebook is changing dramatically, especially as it comes to pages and using Facebook as a politician, and so I will put a bunch of links and information about what’s going on with Facebook in the show notes for this episode at communityjobsandprogress.com/episode36, that’s episode 36.
Brad Tabke: Facebook is changing a lot of things, and a lot of those are responses to what is happening nationally and internationally with election meddling, whether you believe or whatever is going on there, we don’t really know, but we do know that foreign influences used Facebook and Twitter and other social media to influence the outcome of elections, or at least to attempt to influence the outcome of elections, and so Facebook is really taking that to heart, I guess is the best way to say that, whether that’s offensively or defensively. What it is, it doesn’t really matter, but they are changing the Facebook experience that people have, and so what they’re doing is saying that if you are a user of Facebook, the things that you are most interested in and want to see are not going to be things that come from Facebook pages, so businesses, companies, elected officials, politicians, those sorts of things.
Brad Tabke: What they are going to say is that what you would care the most about seeing are things that your friends and family and people you are interacting with on Facebook, things that they are interacting with, so if a politician puts a Facebook post out there about parks and recreation, pretty much no one is going to see that unless they go to your Facebook page and interact with it and check it out, and if people are commenting on it and people are interested in having a discussion about it after they’ve seen it, then Facebook will start showing that to your fans and other people, and so it’s a really different way.
Brad Tabke: Facebook has been mostly just bombarding people with information and they’re really starting to dial that back, and so the way you’ll get your information out to people is by getting smart with the way that you use money in Facebook ads, and so it will still show Facebook ads that will be really out there as advertising, and people will know absolutely that they are advertising, but they need to be engaging ways for people to work with your content that you are putting out there as a candidate or as an elected official.
Brad Tabke: And so with that, what you can do is use this Facebook pixel to better target the people who you really think will like this information, so again, there are three different ways that you can use the Facebook pixel that we’re going to talk about today, and one is creating audiences, one is tracking conversions, and one is retargeting, so the three kind of go together, but we’re just going to talk about how they all three individually work, so you can use the Facebook pixel to create audiences. When you are using Facebook, if you put $5 in advertising, you can have your Facebook post, as a politician, reach, and it all depends on what’s going on in your community, but 500 or 5,000 people or whatever that will get you on Facebook, and so what you can do is create a targeted audience based on people who have come to your website already.
Brad Tabke: If you want to continue to engage with people who have already checked out your website, then you can put a Facebook ad out there for some new information or different things that are going on. If you want to get new people to come to your website, you can create an audience and advertise to the people who have not been to your website yet, that are in your community. You can say, “Hey, you haven’t checked us out yet? Would love to have you stop by and learn about what we are,” and things like that.
Brad Tabke: It’s really a way where you can target specific things, as well as if you have a voter who has looked at your page about an ice rink or something like that in your community, so if you had written something about that, it’s pretty clear that they are interested at least in some fashion as to what you have to say about that sport, so hockey or whatever it is, and so you can take and do an advertisement to those folks about, and just that slice of people who have looked at that one post, you can advertise to them about what your plan is for renovating an ice arena or building a new ice arena or tearing down the ice arena or whatever that may be. You can advertise specifically to those people, so you can create multiple audiences and advertise directly to those folks and use your money in the best, most efficient way possible.
Brad Tabke: That’s one way you can use the Facebook pixel. Another way is to track conversions, and so you can take, and if you have things that you want, actions that you want people to take, if you want them to sign up for door knocking, or if you want them to come to an event, or if you want people to sign up for your email list, you can track conversions, and so you use this Facebook pixel to know that if you were advertising to a specific audience, or just an area or what it is, you can track where you’re being the most successful in using your money for whatever outcome you want, and you can very much feel how this is a commerce and business-focused term and things like that, because this was really built for businesses, and so you can very much feel how that is the way here, but it really works in elections and keeping people engaged within your electorate there.
Brad Tabke: So you can track as to where people come from, and so if you’re finding when you look at the data that you are having a lot of people from one ad that you ran, they are the ones that are converting at the highest rate. You can bump up that ad so that you get a lot more efficient use of your money, or you can change things in your other ads to reflect what was going on in that ad, so it’s a really great way to best use your cash and to best get things out there.
Brad Tabke: The third one that I want to talk about today is retargeting, and you know when you go to Amazon or when you go somewhere and you look at a specific product, and then you start to see that product show up in ads all over the internet when you go to websites and when you go to other places, it is pretty creepy. I mean, it is big brother, and that’s just the way it works, but it is super, super effective, and so that’s why it is used so often, and it gets a lot of sales for people, but in your campaign, what you can use retargeting for is for people who have come to your website, but they didn’t take whatever the action was that you wanted them to take, so they came to your website, and they looked at the sign-up page for your email list, but they didn’t actually subscribe and hit the thank you page for your email list.
Brad Tabke: You can create an ad that advertises to an audience that is people who looked at your email sign-up, but they didn’t do it, and so you can put an ad together that says, “Hey, I really want to stay connected with you. Please join my email list. Blah, blah, blah.” That kind of thing, or other ways are people who donated, who looked at your donate page on your website but didn’t get to the thank you page, on the donation thank you page, which means that they did not end up donating, but they were thinking about it. You can in general say that they were thinking about donating, but maybe they didn’t just finish it up, or else they didn’t have their credit card handy, and you want to make sure to stay in front of them, and so you can use that on your donation page as well. There are so many different ways that you can creatively use the Facebook pixel in order to get things done for your campaign.
Brad Tabke: I’m not going to go through on this podcast as to how to set up the pixel. It’s pretty easy. There are a lot of tutorials, and I’ll put some of those in the show notes at communityjobsandprogress.com/episode36, so I’ll put those over there for you, but you can use this Facebook pixel in a variety of different ways, and so you can create ads, so if you have someone who is checking you out, and they saw a post that you wrote about the downtown area, you can then advertise to them about your economic development plans or things that you want to have done. You can also take and use it to reengage new people, so you can take and say that if someone was on your website between six months and three months ago, but it’s coming up to election day and they haven’t been to your website to check things out, you can run an ad saying, “Hey, I got a lot of new things on here and a lot of positions that I think you would be very, very interested in. Please check out what we think about X,” and things like that.
Brad Tabke: There are just 1,000 different ways that you can use this Facebook pixel, and even if you don’t want to use it for anything right now, it’s a good idea to get this Facebook pixel put on your website so that you can start to track and start to have that backlog of information as to how many people are going to your website and utilizing your website throughout the course of months, so again, it’s a really good thing to use, and like I said before, it has a very much creepy big brother aspect to it, and so what you want to do is all websites should have some sort of terms and conditions that you need to get from a legal person in your area, so you can have a terms and conditions on your website that says, “Hey, we are using this, and this is why, and this is what we’re going to do with it,” and so make sure to outline that you don’t have any access to the individual details, but that you work with it that way.
Brad Tabke: There are some places across the world that are not allowing these types of pixels to be used, and so you need to be aware of that as well in your local area if there are any issues with it. I hope this has been helpful. There’s so many things that can happen by using this Facebook pixel and using the Google pixel as well can also be really helpful for finding new audiences and getting people to your website, so make sure that you have those things enacted on your website, and are using them whether you’re up for election right now or not. It’s really good to have that information and see where people are coming from and how they’re using your website, and how you can better help serve your community, so it’s a lot of good data and a lot of good information that will help you out. Again, go to the show notes, episode 36, communityjobsandprogress.com/episode36. I will see you again in the next episode. Thank you so much and have a wonderful day.