E169: Building Your Facebook Audience with Dave Huss

In this episode, I sat down for lunch with “Paid Traffic Guy” himself – Dave Huss. Dave helps online entrepreneurs bring in new customers by leveraging paid traffic and using retargeting to recover lost sales through Growth Scout. He’s also an ecommerce entrepreneur with brands in the arts and crafts niche that have a massive following on their Facebook business pages.

And this was the focal point of our conversation. Dave gamely shared how he was able to leverage Facebook as a marketing platform for his products. His brands’ business pages have 150,000 and 90,000 fans respectively.

Here are Dave’s best tips for building a following on Facebook and creating consistent engagement with the target audience.

  • Figure out who your actual customers are. Create an avatar that embodies the key characteristics of your target demographic.
  • Identify the “places”(e.g. social media platforms) they’re hanging out in.
  • Find a model for your own social media campaign. Take a look at your competitors, focus on brands that aren’t that well known but have a strong social media following. See which aspects of their strategy can be applied to your own campaign.                                                    
  • Test your products on your best-engaged fans, the people that care about what you’re doing. Aim to reach the same people on multiple channels – social media, email etc.
  • Run like campaigns.
  • Spend time creating and curating engaging content.
  • Build a content library using a scheduling tool like MeetEdgar to ensure that you have posts that are constantly in rotation.
  • Incorporate videos in your social media posts. If you don’t have the capability to create your own videos, look for cool and relevant ones on tools like Buzzsumo.

At the end of the day, Dave reminds us that “…The Facebook page is not really for selling stuff. I really want to put that point across especially for Amazon sellers…The Facebook page is for building trust and engagement with your ideal customer…”

Other Useful Resources:


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If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. Happy selling!

Full Audio Transcript

Mike:  This is Mike and welcome to episode number 169 of the EcomCrew Podcast. You can go to EcomCrew.com/169 to get to the show notes for this episode. Today I have my friend Dave Huss on the show with me. I talk a little bit about Dave in the opening and how we got to know each other. So I won't bore you guys with that. I will just say that he is a really cool dude. We’ve hung out quite a bit over in Asia. And he was just over here hanging out with us in the US which was awesome. We definitely have very similar personalities. He's the kind of guy that will go out of his way to help people.

He knows more people than anyone that I know in e-commerce. It's crazy. I feel like I do a good job networking. But this guy just knows everyone. And we start talking about his business here. We were at a restaurant and I was like, dude, let's get you on the podcast. You got so much interesting stuff. So this was one of these just like impromptu things. You'll hear a little bit of stuff going on in the background, some people walking by, there is like some planes in the air probably at some point, the waiter comes over and refills my ice tea.

It's one of these just raw podcast conversations I think that are really cool. Dave wanted to come back to the studio and record. I'm like, no dude, let's do it right here. I think that these types of things are really cool. We've done other episodes like that in the past. So, without further ado, right after the intro, we're going to be talking to Dave Huss.

Mike: Hey Dave, welcome to the EcomCrew Podcast.

Dave: Thanks Mike for having me.

Mike: Of course man. So let me just tell people where we're at because it's always — it's an audio podcast. I got to set the scene. We're by our office in California, we're at a restaurant called Ventana sitting out on a patio and enjoying the…

Dave: Sunny San Diego.

Mike: Yeah, I don’t know. You get sun where you're at in Vietnam, but there's no humidity here. So you're not sweating. We're outside.

Dave: It's like 100 degrees and actually not that…

Mike: Yeah. But welcome back to the US, you get to come here for like 30 days a year because I think you're trying to do the…

Dave: Foreign governments.

Mike: Right. Yeah. And I've lived that life so I know how that goes. It's everyday you have some pressure. So, I appreciate you spending two of your 30 days here with me this year. But let me tell people like how we met. Last year, I spoke at Ecommerce All Stars which is Ezra Firestone’s event.

Dave: Yeah, in Austin.

Mike: In Austin which was a ton of fun. And I remember first of all, whenever I speak at these events, I get stressed. It's in front of a couple of hundred people and you want to create an impression. So I was stressed from that. And it was the end of the second day, I had already spoken. And I was just a combination of stressed and sick of sitting around. And I went down to the bar to have a drink with someone who also have become a really good friend of mine now, Garry. And when we were there chit chatting, you just happened to be sitting there, and you were just like super helpful and engaging and like we just kind of instantly hit it off. And since then, we've spent time in Asia and…

Dave: I saw you in Hong Kong, Global Sources and we hung out in China, they've mentioned on the previous train podcast. That's cool. Some friends of mine reach out like I heard you on the EcomCrew Podcast. It's like, oh, wow. Awesome.

Mike: It's we've reached the famous part when…

Dave: Yeah, e-commerce famous.

Mike: Yeah e-commerce famous. In our little world we're important. But yeah, I wanted to get you on today just because there's a couple things about you. We have a similar personality, both very willing to share and help. That’s probably why we hit it off, but I think you know more people than anyone else I know. I do a good job networking. But like, every time we talk, you’re like, oh, I got a guy that does that. I got a guy who does this. And so that's always really cool, so you always make introductions. But you have done an amazing job building an audience on Facebook and off of Amazon.

And this is stuff that we've also become kind of known for doing. And I thought it'd be kind of cool to compare notes and talk about how you’ve built an audience because I'm always talking about ColorIt. And so, it gets boring talking about the same people, but I do see some similarities because our audience and your audience if you like, when I overlay them demographic, women, older women, middle America, like a lot of stuff, I mean, I think that is similar because your audience is like sawing.

Dave: Yeah, similar products.

Mike: So, I think that there is some similarities there. And I think that it's important to mention that because one thing that I've noticed, as we've been going through and doing this now for multiple brands is some of the tactics and the gimmicks and the things that we've done for one brand doesn't necessarily work for another brand. And what I've realized is I do think that it's very audience or demographic specific I should say. I think that what I've found is it's not gender related because it works just as equally well for males and females. I do think that it's an age related thing. I do think that older people tend to interact with social media and stuff like that more.

And you'll hear some background noise; we’re up on a patio like I said. So this is live, and there's some background noise. But yeah, I have noticed with like Wild Baby, for instance, I think that if you think about the demographic for that, it's younger women. Obviously they’re more sophisticated because we're selling organic clothing, and the giveaways and the type of — like the free plus shipping offers, and those types of things don't seem to appeal as much to that audience.

But so like if you have an audience that's skewed more towards the older end of the spectrum, I think these things that we're going to be talking about here probably work better than — possibly, we’ll still test it obviously, but because it's working great for Tactical, which is a male audience. So I don't think it's gender specific. But I mean, you have within the last 18 months or two years built a Facebook page with 150,000 fans?

Dave: Yes.

Mike: From zero.

Dave: Yeah, from literally zero.

Mike: Which is awesome. I mean, so you’re doubled what we've done, so like and I’m competitive, so like I'm…

Dave: Even my coloring…

Mike: I don't like that. I got to go see what I can do. But like and I'm sure you get these questions all the time when people see that, but like let's kind of go through the different tactics. I mean like, how many different things, so we're going to break this out into that you've done to acquire those 150,000 fans?

Dave: Right. I think first, maybe we can take a step back and see, we're going to be talking a lot about Facebook specifically. And so you're right, that tends to skew towards certain demographic. So if we were selling products to the Wild Baby audience, which is maybe first time moms, like maybe 30 to 40, Instagram would probably be a good channel for that. And Facebook might not be as prevalent.

Mike: Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. I definitely agree that – because we obviously…

Dave: I think that's like the first decision you have to make is we'll figure it out. And where a lot of Amazon sellers struggle is they don't know who are their actual customers because Amazon keeps all that data. They just say, hey, ship this order, or even they don't – for FBA, they just send it out, right. But that is really, I feel the most important thing is who are the customers that are buying your stuff? And if you don't know, then any marketing that you do is probably going to be way off the mark.

Mike: Yeah. So when you first got started, you were probably in the same book that I was in. I had no idea, I could make an assumption that it was going to be women. I didn't think that it was going to be skewed as old as it was. I actually thought that middle aged or younger women actually would be just as interested in coloring. So how did you first determine who your audience was? You had nothing to sell, you had no page yet, so how did that go?

Dave: So we actually got started with selling t-shirts. So I don't know if you've heard of Teespring before, but I had already had experience doing Facebook ads for clients. And one of my friends said, hey, you should try out this t-shirt thing, and so we were hustling, selling t-shirts to lots of different niches. And like a lot of things in the online space, I knew it was like time limited, because like all these new competitors were coming in. So, I looked at, okay, what niches that we've done t-shirts for can we actually build real businesses around? And so at that point, we had already had a page and maybe 10,000 fans that liked our shirts and liked our whatever.

And so I made the decision, we're going to turn this into a long term business. So I better really understand these customers, who they are, what they want, where they hang out. And like, that's really the most important thing is you got to understand the customer, especially in those niches where you're not a member. Like, I don't do sewing. I'm like, I just turned 30 guy, living in Asia, like I'm the exact opposite of my customers.

And so it's even more important for me to understand those aspects because that informs everything else, how we do the Facebook ads, the products that we find, and the better that you can get that empathy with your customers, the more success you'll have. And you'll be able to run circles around other Amazon sellers who literally have no idea who their customers are. Who do you sell stuff to? People that buy kitchen appliances?

Mike: That’s really tough.

Dave: A little bit narrow, like do they live in certain areas, certain income brackets, like who would be this ideal person? You got to start there.

Mike: So when you were making that determination, maybe you had obviously some data from the shirts you're reselling.

Dave: So Facebook helps a lot with that. When you start running ads, you have to get serious with this targeting or you're just going to burn money really quickly.

Mike: Yeah, we're in that stage with some of the new stuff we're doing because you go through that.

Dave: You don’t know in the beginning, you give it your best shot. But you see what works and you iterate on that and you learn, oh certain states don't perform well, or younger women don't perform well, or things like that.

Mike: So what's your like order of operations as far as like what to target first and what to narrow down?

Dave: So order of operations would be if you're looking between different audiences of people, first of all, what are the places that they're already hanging out? Like, that's the most important. Are they on Facebook? Does this audience prefer Instagram? Maybe they do Google searches. That's the most important because if you start in the wrong place, like if you tried to do ColorIt on a different channel, you might not have the same level of success you've had on Facebook. And it doesn't matter how good you did that channel, you would have been screwed from the beginning.

Mike: Spoiler alert. We've tried the other channels, and they haven't worked as well.

Dave: Exactly yeah. Right because Facebook is very well suited to that product and that demographic, and your skill set. So you kind of have to see how each of those fit together. And a lot of Amazon sellers also sell commodity products. And so it's very difficult to build an engaging Facebook presence around kitchen equipment that people honestly don't care about. I need a knife and it has to cut stuff. You can't build a Facebook page around that. But you could build a Facebook page around, I love high end cuisine, or I love baking, or I love certain type of cooking like, do people actually give a crap about what you're selling? That's the first question.

And okay, if they pass that test, the next thing is, can we find them on Facebook? And how do we narrow down that targeting? And you've talked a lot about that like going after popular brands in the space who are maybe not the most well known, but have like a very good following of rabid fans, I would say, like kind of in the middle. So if you were selling fashion, you don't want to go after these big brands like Macy's or something. Like it's just the targeting…

Mike: Too generic yeah.

Dave: But if you took maybe a step down to a page that had maybe 100,000 to a million fans, but super high engagement, like you want to look at the engagement on these other pages and see, do people actually care about what they're talking about? And do those people buy the same products that I'm going to sell? That's where you want to match it up.

Mike: Got you. So you find some brands are that are kind of in that range and do targeting towards them. Is there any other targeting that you then lay over top of that extra…

Dave: If you have data from maybe exporting Amazon customers, or if you take sales on your own Shopify store doing lookalikes of your buyers, that's obviously a great target audience as well.

Mike: Yeah, and then run that through Facebook Insights and [overlapping 00:13:39].

Dave: Yes and then you can see, oh wow, people in certain income brackets or certain states.

Mike: Yeah, it's actually really intriguing when you pull up Facebook Insights look at…

Dave: Yeah and you will be surprised, you will be.

Mike: So I guess for people who haven't heard of Facebook Insights, literally you can do a Google search, having Facebook Insights, and then come to a page and you can launch Facebook Insights. And then you can either take your page and it'll tell you the demographics of your existing customers. Or you can upload a custom audience, a look alike audience and it'll tell you basically like the demographics of that and it'll basically you'll know that my audience is skewing way towards women and skewing way towards 45 plus year old women at that or it's all men that are 25 to 35, or whatever that is.

Also education levels and income brackets and different states that they live in, and then you can use that as your early targeting as you're starting to build this new spending money and trying to get leads and likes as cheaply as possible and do it as cost effectively as possible. But you can cherry pick off Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee women that are 35 to 45, because like that's going to be like your bread and butter by just loading it up in the physical…

Dave: I like to think of when I do Facebook targeting, it's kind of like a bull's eyes. So if you're aiming for a target, you want in the very beginning to find the most crazy fan who would buy like 10 of your item?

Mike: Yeah.

Dave: So if you're selling coloring books, you want that crazy person that colors all day long. So how do you match that person with what Facebook offers in their different ways of targeting? So how do you narrow down your audience to that bull’s eye, because that's the one that's most likely to be profitable and most likely to make you money. And once you get your toe hold on that audience, then you get a little bit broader. So like, okay, what if you spend it on the other states or maybe a little bit higher age range.

And so, it's kind of like you're climbing this mountain also, so you get a toehold and then you expand your audience a little bit, and then you reach and you try to get more because the more you can broaden the audience slowly, then you can make more income. But the less defined you make the audience, the less profitable it will be. So if you can't make money on that super duper crazy fan, if you're selling CrossFit stuff, and you can't make money on that person who does CrossFit every day for three hours, the rest of it's never going to work. So you could probably stop there, as long as you've given it a good shot, maybe a couple hundred or thousand dollars for the testing. It's only going to get more difficult as you broaden out your targeting from that crazy person.

Mike: Yeah, that makes perfect sense. So let's kind of fast forward a little bit. Let's say you've got that dialed in. Now, you know who your avatar or the person that you're advertising to, and you've got the audience dialed in. How do you then rapidly grow that Facebook page and the audience?

Dave: So those audiences of the most engaged people who care the most about what you're selling are the same ones that you will test your products to, the same ones that you'll do Facebook like campaigns for, that will do your email lead gen. And so it is the most time intensive part of the process. But it's really the magic is finding those audiences because even for us, those audiences that we found two years ago, we still use a lot of them now, it's really that valuable. And so we grew the page really quickly, because I already knew who the best engaged fans were because we tried to sell them t-shirts, and then we sell them other drop ship products.

And so we would do like campaigns for maybe $5, $10 a day and see, okay, can we get Facebook likes for less than 10 cents? And if we can, ideally five cents, but that's pretty hard nowadays, we would just let that run for like two years, and have engaging content on the Facebook page that people care about. And I have a team in the Philippines who handles the content. And so as long as you've proven this niche will buy these products on Facebook, the stuff that we're selling, and we can target them properly, then you go ahead and invest all this time, effort, and money into building out the page, the content.

But a lot of people skip ahead to that and then they're like, why didn't it work? Like, oh, I did all this content and I hired all these people and I did — but you didn't make sure in the first place, that you hit the bull’s eye in the beginning with the right target audience, because if you don't have those most engaged fans, then all the content in the world isn't going to save you.

Mike: Yeah. Now, that makes total sense. So it may it sounds like you create like a three prong approach, like one is running like campaigns, try to get them cheaply. Another was running ads for test products. So let's talk about that. I mean, are these products that you were like, okay, I'm just going to go spend $10,000 on all this stuff in China and like, put my name on it? Or were you finding generic products or drop shipping them, and what was the real method of testing products at that point?

Dave: So for the t-shirts, that was all print on demand, which was nice. So we could iterate and test very quickly. And then we also did some drop shipping from AliExpress, which again, we can test products really quickly, not have to order a bunch of stuff from China. Now, we're starting to go more towards manufacturing products and fulfilling from China. But I think in the early stages, you don't want to throw too much money at it until you know it's worthwhile.

Mike: Yeah, that's always the price of chicken and egg.

Dave: It is a chicken and egg yeah, right. And I've seen it go both ways where people don't invest enough in the testing. They're like, I spent $50, and it didn't work, I give up. Okay. Well, maybe there's other stuff you can test or people would throw five, $10,000 at a page that was doomed from the beginning. And they're like, oh, it didn't work.

Mike: Yeah. Now, that's definitely — I mean, I went through this as well. I think you probably went through the same. When you're first doing it, like you're just kind of going blindly and until you — because it's counterintuitive. You're paying for future.

Dave: Yes, you're playing for data. You are paying to learn who the best audiences are. And you have to get comfortable with that. Some people really don't like doing paid traffic, because they're like, oh, I got to pay for this? Well, because it can make you a lot of money if you do it well, that's why it's worthwhile.

Mike: And I think the problem is compounded because you're paying for data. And if you're new to it, you don't even know how valuable that data is.

Dave: Yeah, you don't know it.

Mike: So you don't know, you don't know what you don't know. And so I mean, I went through the same thing. But now and I talk about this when I go speak at events, we don't wake up anymore looking is our number one objective to get a sale. That is no longer our company's objective. Our company's objective is the trifecta I talk about. So it's to get them on our email list, to pixel them, and to get them on our Facebook Messenger list as well.

And when we have those three things, I know I can communicate with them over a long period of time, with multiple different offers, and different moods, and all these different devices, and all these different circumstances. But I know that they're, as I'm signing them up and getting them on that list, that they're also my core audience. So like they are going to have a propensity to like disproportionally convert better than just a random person for free.

Dave: Because those people care deeply about what you're doing. That's the really key is whatever products that you're selling at e-commerce, do they have a similar theme at least in one brand? And how do you find those people, because, again, it's a lot of work to do this stuff, that's why I really respect what you do, because I know how hard it is to build these audiences of engaged fans and sell products to them. But if you know that it's worthwhile, and you take the time and the effort to do that, your business is much more powerful. Because whatever you decide to do, whether that's selling Amazon, or your own store, or do info products, you have this group of people who you can call on in whatever promotions you're running.

Like if you want to launch a new Amazon product, which we will do soon, you think it would go well if we told 30,000 people in the email list like, hey, go buy this product? Like, of course. It makes the whole thing…

Mike: They already trust you. They know you, they trust you.

Dave: Because you've built up that reputation over time. And that's really hard. It's really, really hard. It takes a team. So you need to find out early in the process, is it worth it for me to invest all this time and effort into doing that? But if it's worth it, I think you should go full steam. Because really, then you're not as dependent on Amazon. Like you have other options to maybe make a membership site? And I think it just opens up a lot more opportunities.

Mike: I agree. So we kind of touched on it at a high level, but how do it's worth it? I mean, like you're getting is — just the fact that you're getting likes under a certain amounts, is it people are converting for the test products, you are selling at a certain conversion rates? I mean, what is it, what metrics are you looking at to be able to determine I'm on the right path here, this is something that I'm going to continue to invest in? Because, again, you are having to take money out of your pocket to build this list hoping in the long run that once you get to a certain point, like you are ultimately comfortable with that. I'm completely bought into this whole thing, because it's…

Dave: Because you know it's worth it. You've seen it play out.

Mike: Exactly. But how — and I'm asking this selfishly, because I still haven't been able to articulate to our audience like how to get over this hump. So I'm hoping that you have some…

Dave: So you want to give them the checklist if you get likes for 10 cents…

Mike:  Yeah, like what is it that — I mean, for us, part of it is getting leads on our email list for under 50 cents.

Dave: Yeah, that's step one.

Mike: We're continuously like for Tactical right now, we're getting 35 cent leads without even trying, like we haven't even really fully optimized yet. We're just in the early process of doing that. And I know from some test things that we did with that list. So what we did is we started doing giveaways, and we got people on our list for 35 cents. We built this five figure list of people, and then we sold them a test product from Alibaba. So, we put together like a Click Funnels page, AliExpress. And it's like, here is this widget, and enough people bought it. They're like, okay, obviously this already…

Dave: So you made some money, is engaged with something going on.

Mike: There was just — I mean we didn't make any money. It was…

Dave: But people bought it.

Mike: But people were buying.

Dave: They paid you money.

Mike: They paid us money yes. So we know that when we launch our own products, a similar product to the one we were doing a giveaway for that we were also selling from AliExpress, clearly those people will buy our own products. And we did — now we're further into that process. We've actually launched the products now. And they're doing pretty well, which is kind of cool. But it was easier the second time around. So for me, the cost per email was one. We've never really run like campaigns. So I'm going to try that based on what you were just talking about. But like at some point, you kind of got over that hump. So I'm just kind of curious like, what helped that trigger for you.

Dave: Yeah, so I think the 50 cents per email is a good benchmark or Messenger if you do Messenger. For likes, they're not as valuable as they used to be, but if I can get them for less than 10 cents, and it's the right audience that I'm targeting, I think they're totally worthwhile. Because having a big Facebook page also it's hard to quantify, but I've seen compared to the newer brands that we've launched recently, the CPMs of our Facebook ads are much, much lower on this more established to Facebook size really engaged Facebook page, like it's a real thing.

Whereas a lot of drop ship competitors, they have these fly by night Facebook pages. And Facebook hates that, they want real engagement, they want things that people care about, because at the end of the day, you're on Facebook's platform. So the more than you can play into their rules, and they want people to stay on Facebook longer. So if you have engaging content in your audience, you get cheaper CPMs. Now, how much cheaper is up for debate, but it's only going to help you later.

Mike: And I think there's definitely some type of cache to that as well. I mean, people that end up on your Facebook page and see the number…

Dave: 150,000 fans, it matters.

Mike: They’re probably more likely to click like themselves.

Dave: Absolutely.

Mike: Because you feel like you want to be a part of a group more than be a lone soldier kind of thing in anything. So, those people will probably gravitate to that.

Dave: We've used that same process now on a second Facebook page that we've gotten to like 90,000 fans on a different audience. And we're doing it again for a third brand. So I know this works. And I've seen it work for other people. Like, it's not just a one day wonder, and it's that that same process. And it would take maybe a year, two years to get that at a slow pace. But the whole time you're testing products, you're hopefully making money or boosting your Amazon sales. And so it's definitely worth it, yeah.

Mike: And what we've also found is when we do launch a product or do something where we have like an income generating event, let's call it that where we're trying to sell something basically.

Dave: Yeah, it's like you're either planting the seeds or you’re harvesting your seeds.

Mike: Like when we're in harvest mode. When we do that, we boost that content to our fans so like the people that are there, and that works so incredibly well. I mean, it's kind of crazy, actually. It's like become like the default SOP within our company when we watch any ad, or do anything like it goes out to our fans first, it generates social proof engagement and sales.

Dave: And then you can take that same Facebook post that all your fans — like 100 fans said, this is awesome. And then you go to these cold audiences, and the ad will perform much better, because, oh well, there's 1,000 likes on this product already. And so you actually perform much better when you do it that way.

Mike: So to me, that's actually where the value like for me is. And I think that what I've been able to determine the best that I can, what's actually happening there, was like that post has some statistics already, so Facebook is using those statistics and their algorithms. So when you're going to a cold audience, they're able to use that other data to help make that cold audience traffic ad more successful. I think that there's definitely some component there besides just people seeing the initial social proof. It seems like there's another level there that we don't quite fully understand, but it doesn't seem to work really well. And those ads yeah, definitely perform better than just launching right to a cold audience, for sure.

Dave: Yeah.

Mike: Okay, so we've talked about a whole bunch of different things here but we didn't quite still nail down like how you got to the hundred 150,000 and 90,000. We talked at a high level like you ran some like campaigns at like five bucks a day, but that's not going to get you to 150,000. So like what other methods did you do besides just running like campaigns that really accelerate people clicking that like button and growing your audience?

Dave: So we've also done a lot of meme content on our pages. So I have a team in the Philippines and they’ll monitor like what our funny quotes and phrases in other niches. So my designer will actually make her own versions, which I think is kind of important, because a lot of people are like, oh, I do a meme, and then it just looks like crap, right? So, if you have your own designer, make your own version, and it's much more likely to get shared. And also, what you can do for the like campaigns is those people that liked your posts is actually a Facebook audience that you can target now, people who engaged with your posts in the past 90 or 180 days.

And so that can actually be one of your target audiences, like, hey, you like this post, like our page, right? And you can get really cheap likes that way, or join the email.

Mike: So you'll make some meme that's like a rainy day is an excuse to cloth or something crazy like that, throw that up on your page and then…

Dave: The important thing, once you've determined the audience is worth your effort, is you need to be putting out content consistently. So we use Meet Edgar, a social media scheduling tool. And that has worked very well for us, because you build this content library, and it gets posted automatically every day, even if somebody is sick, because people on Facebook if you don't send content to them, they'll forget about you.

Mike: Yeah, and it's short lived. I mean, it's less short lived than a tweet, but it's still pretty short lived. So when you're using Meet Edger, how often are you regurgitating the same content?

Dave: So we’ve — actually for that second Facebook page that we grew to 90,000 fans, we only had two months worth of rotating content.

Mike: Interesting.

Dave: So what that means is maybe four or five posts a day.

Mike: Okay. And then after that, like everything…

Dave: Enough for five posts a day for two months.

Mike: So it's like 300 posts basically.

Dave: Yeah. And I was so busy with other things that I was shocked when I went back and looked at that page six months later, like wow, we've 90,000 fans. And wait, no one added any content. Yeah. So I know it works because no one was paying attention to it.

Mike: And that content is made up of memes.

Dave: Yeah, a mixture of memes, interesting articles, because again, when you go after the activity, or what it is, let's say for pets, right? It's not about you're selling a chew toy, it's about they love their dog, right? So if you can focus on, okay, they love their dog, what kind of content do they like, then it becomes a lot easier and more engaging.

Mike: Got you. So one thing we almost never do is we don't sell stuff on our timeline. Like if you look at the Facebook pages of even like bigger brands, the whole thing is like buy my crap, buy my, buy my crap, Facebook hates that, they hate that. So when we do promotions, we almost always do them with dark posts unless it's like a really big promotion, then we might put a few on the timeline. So when someone scrolls through our timeline, all they see is amazing content. And they’re like, oh, they didn't sell anything. That's not true. We sell a lot; you just don't see it in the timeline.

Mike: Yeah, that makes sense. I mean, we follow the same procedure. I mean it's more like 80/20 or 90/10 really, like we sieve posting on the timeline about buy, buy, buy for important product lines.

Dave: Yeah, very big one.

Mike: Yeah, that happens once every couple of months at the most. So I mean, the majority — but we're not posting as frequently as you are. So I mean some takeaways for me to try would be to post on our Facebook timeline five times a day.

Dave: At where you're at with I think 80,000 fans…

Mike: Yeah 80,000.

Dave: You should be doing five posts a day.

Mike: Okay.

Dave: And just again, with Meet Edgar, it's not that hard. You fill up your calendar with the posts and then you forget about it. Like that's it.

Mike: So it's a combination and we've already talked about memes, that you're creating content, which doesn’t have to be your own content. It's going to be other interesting content about quoting from around the web. You can use something like BuzzSumo or something to find that content for you. Is there any other like, third or fourth type of content that does well?

Dave: Videos.

Mike: Yes. So, YouTube videos, or sharing like a YouTube.

Dave: Yes.

Mike: Similar thing you can use BuzzSumo to find that content as well.

Dave: Videos do extremely well for engagement. I wish we had the capability to film more of our own videos. That's something we're looking at.

Mike: We've been doing a little bit ourselves now and I don’t have any luck with that.

Dave: In the beginning you can curate other video. So if you have a cooking page, throw up some recipe videos, they’re popular, there's a reason.

Mike: Okay. So you're throwing this content up on your page and then you have a separate campaign running that's basically a like campaign of people who have visited or viewed your content, consumed your content in some way, and asking them to like it, basically.

Dave: Yes, and also the cold audiences too.

Mike: Okay. So at the same time, you have a like campaign for cold audiences. So you definitely find value in like campaigns is what it basically comes down to.

Dave: We have, but in fairness they aren't as valuable as they used to be three years ago.

Mike: Yeah. Okay, very cool. So, I mean, and obviously, this is working more than once. The second page that you created, that's 90,000, is it in the same niche, or is it totally something different?

Dave: That's for knitting, so it’s very similar yeah.

Mike: Cool. Any other interesting tips or tricks here? I mean, man, it's so awesome what you've been able to build. It's very cool.

Dave: I think the most important thing is the Facebook page. It's not really for selling stuff. I really want to put that point across, especially for Amazon sellers, so like, oh it's like you’re going to promote this thing. And like, no, the Facebook page is for building trust and engagement with your ideal customers. So they — when you want to do a promotion, like we did a very big promotion earlier this month, because we had a bunch of extra inventory left over from the holidays and that stuff needed to go. And so we had this big overstock sale, like, oh we ordered too many products, so that's a good one.

If you do have to do an overstock sale, a subject line that works really well for us is like, oops, we ordered too many x product right, 70% off sale. And that email had like a 30% open rate because our email list is full of people who love selling. We've built a good audience and when we ran this promotion to them, it did extremely well because we built up this reputation over all the content they've seen and then the emails they've seen, they all work together. And so I know we don't really have time to talk about email, but we also do once a week free content to these same customers, the only email list that's important. And then whenever you want to do a promotion, for them it's like no brainer. I love their stuff, already ordered from them three times, like you want to build those raving fans.

Mike: So I mean, I was just looking at the time like how much we – we’re already 30 minutes and we try to keep these at 30 minutes, so one last question because like we didn't cover this. We talked about how to build the Facebook audience. How are you transitioning them from the Facebook audience to getting them on your email list?

Dave: Yes. So it's actually pretty similar to how we will target the like campaigns. I really see them in somewhat interchangeable where you could run a like campaign to the same audience that you run an email region campaign or a Messenger opt in campaign. So those are people who engage with your Facebook content, or who visited your website. If someone visited your store, didn't buy anything, and then sign up for your email list, you should be sending them, hey, like our page, hey, join our email list, hey, join our Facebook Messenger. They should be getting slammed with that, people who are in one channel, but not another channel.

So if someone already liked your page, but they're not on your email list, well, that's a slam dunk. Get them on your email list. Like you said, that trifecta, the more channels that you can reach someone on, whenever you go to do a promotion, they can't ignore you. If you have their Messenger and their email and you retarget them on Facebook, there's a very low chance they're not going to know you're doing a promotion.

Mike: Yeah, but like, I mean, you even talked about this. This is actually the thing that got me set on this, this exact thing you just said. You have these high open rates of 30%, and I did this presentation at Ecommerce Fuel back, I'm like, it was like two or three years ago now. And I was like pounding my chest about these awesome open rates. And the guy comes up to me afterwards like, what about the 70% of people who didn't open your email?

Dave: Exactly, that's the key. And so when you have this trifecta, and I think it works very well together with Klaviyo and ManyChat, and Facebook retargeting. It just gives you so much…

Mike: It's like almost 100% at that point. I mean those three things you got. And yeah, there might be the odd person that sees all three things. That's fine. That's actually even better. Now the chances are that they're only going to see one of those things. And because you're doing all three, now you have a much higher chance of reaching that person.

Dave: You want to be everywhere. You want them to see you everywhere. And then if you're also on Amazon, wow, now you got four. So then you also seem like a much bigger brand than you are. And that's one thing I'm really proud of what we've done is a lot of the brands in our space, well, for one we have more likes than a lot of them which is really funny. They've been doing it for like 20 years or something and well these people came out of nowhere. But even beyond that, customers really think we're a bigger company than we are, it’s kind of funny. It's like, oh 150,000 fans, and our team is only a few people, but that's the value of that.

Mike: No doubt. Well, Dave, man it's been awesome having you on here. Like I said, I could probably have you on here for like three or four hours, and keep on going. So I’d love to do a part two at some point. I had your buddy Mads on a couple days ago on the podcast and same thing, just complete knowledge bombs. So it's been pretty awesome.

And that's a wrap folks, episode number 169 in the books. You can go to EcomCrew.com/169 to get to the show notes for this episode. And just a little heads up. After Dave and I hit the off button, he was like, dude, I was just getting started. And he wanted to do a part two. We try not to do two part or three part series on the podcast any more, we try to keep things together. But we recorded them separately and they were too pretty different topics although we do get into a lot of the same things.

So sometime very soon, we'll be putting out part two as well. I want to thank Dave again for coming on the podcast, thank him for all the knowledge that he's given me. I feel like the feeling is probably mutual. We both do a lot trying to help each other out. But just again, super cool, dude. It's what makes e-commerce so much fun. And I look forward to see him again as soon as possible.

Again, you can go to EcomCrew.com/169 to get to the show notes for this episode. One final plea for a review. If you made it this far and you have a second, take the time to go over to iTunes, and leave a review. We'd really appreciate it. And besides that, everyone, I hope you guys are having a great 2018. We're already way past the halfway point heading rapidly into the holiday season. We were just talking about something here in the office the other day planning out inventory, and Jacqueline was saying 90 days from now and it's the fourth quarter.

And it’s just crazy to even think that because it's hard mentally when it's summertime and still super hot out there, you're thinking about the fourth quarter and holidays already. But just one tidbit, if you haven't started thinking about holiday planning, you're probably already too late. So, stop what you're doing and go plan for the holidays before you get way too far behind. All right guys, until the next episode, happy selling, and we'll talk to you then.

Michael Jackness

Michael started his first business when he was 18 and is a serial entrepreneur. He got his start in the online world way back in 2004 as an affiliate marketer. From there he grew as an SEO expert and has transitioned into ecommerce, running several sites that bring in a total of 7-figures of revenue each year.


  1. Hey Faisal glad you enjoyed this episode.

    When I mentioned “dark posts” that is a nickname for hidden FB posts that are only used as advertisements. There is an option during post creation in FB Power Editor for “use only as an ad”.

    That way your public FB page timeline isn’t covered in tons of ads.

    1. Thanks for replying David! BTW, this podcast series has been one of our most popular ever :)

  2. Love this podcast. I have a question about the promoting products section in the podcast. In minute 31:35, the speaker talks about “dark posts” promotions on Facebook. And then he goes on talking about how people view their FB timeline and they do not see much product promotion posts. What are FB dark posts if I heard that word correctly

    1. Hi Faisal – I think he means posts that aren’t overtly promotional but really are. i.e. a blog post along the lines of ‘5 best garlic presses’ that is a page full of links for your products or affiliate’s.

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