Facebook Ads Not Converting? Remember to check your relevance score

"Seriously, what's wrong with my Facebook ads?"

"Seriously, what's wrong with my Facebook ads?"

facebook ad relevance score

Facebook ads costing too much for the conversions you're getting? Or perhaps they're not reaching people at all. 

There are many, many reasons why this might be occurring, but one very simple starting point to figuring out the issue is the 'relevance score' at the ad level. Not the campaign level. Not the ad set level. The ad level. 

The relevance score is part of the algorithm Facebook uses to assess how relevant (weird, right?) your ad is for the audience you're targeting. 

Say you're trying to sell handbags, but your ad copy is talking about shoes. That's not very relevant, is it? Or maybe the landing page your ad is linking to doesn't actually link to the specific product you're advertising. Again, it's not relevant to the user. It results in bad user experience, negative feedback, and ultimately your ads either cost you far more than they should, or they don't run at all. 

Either way, it's a terrible result. 

Facebook's Relevance Score is a rating between 1-10 and is shown in the Ads Manager (at ad level) after an ad has had 500 impressions. A lower score means your ad has poor relevance, while a higher score means your ad is very relevant. 

The good news is that if your ad has a low score, there's often a very easy fix. If you look at the handbag/shoe example above - it could be as simple as changing the copy to reflect the product correctly. Or, it could be to do with changing the landing page link, changing the image, or the targeting. Put yourself in your target audience's position and imagine seeing this ad. Does it make sense? Is it a good experience? Does it speak to you? 

Fix your relevance score and you could be well on your way to Facebook ads success. 

Relevance score not the problem or just need more help with Facebook ads? Get in touch with me today at erin@erinlyall.com.

'An Expert's Guide To Plugging Your Gigs on Social Media' - an interview I did with Tone Deaf

This post was written by Brandon John in November 2016 and was originally published at tonedeaf.com.au. For the original article, click here.

There have been a lot of forces at work that have shaped the music industry in recent years, but few have been as potent and all-encompassing as the advent of social media.

Permeating every facet of the industry, not to mention our lives, it’s something we all feel pretty familiar with – but at the same time it can be ever-changing, unpredictable and impossible to figure out.

For some insight into how social media has changed the landscape of music promotion, and how best to use it to push your band, music and your gigs, we’ve had a chat with someone who knows as well as anyone what makes social media tick – and how to get the most out of it.

Erin Lyall is an online marketing and social media expert who worked for the iconic Melbourne venue The Corner Hotel for over five years, as well as the Northcote Social Club and Newtown Social Club, before moving to live music and events company The Venue Collective.

Now, with a wealth of experience under her belt, Erin is starting up her own freelance business, taking her live music and social media expertise into a variety of creative projects. If you could use some help with your online presence, get in touch with Erin here.

For more help with promoting your event, Eventbrite have a free guide available online with nine simple steps to mastering social media.

The Big Shift

Having started out in the world of corporate communications before working with names like The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Corner Hotel, Erin has witnessed firsthand the massive shift that’s come about as a result of social media, not to mention just how much social media itself has morphed along the way.

“It’s been huge,” she tells us. “When I first started there weren’t many businesses utilising social media. It was a big unknown. It very quickly became apparent how useful a tool it can be if it’s used properly.

“Social media itself has changed significantly in the last six years, but we initially found that as our following grew, we were able to sell out multiple shows at the one venue because the buzz just continued to build.”

Of course, after an all-too-brief boom period where anything seemed possible, social media boomed in popularity and began to monetise, becoming the competitive marketplace we know today. It’s a constant challenge, but when you’re able to cut through the noise, social media is still one of the single most powerful tools you can have up your sleeve.

“It became more challenging as Facebook in particular started tweaking its algorithm and there was more competition in that space, but at the same time if you can stay ahead of those changes and figure out how to break through the noise, it can still be really useful. When we started to see local bands selling out multiple nights at some of our venues, thanks in part to the buzz generated by our social promo, that was really rewarding.

“It can be harder to sell a lot of tickets fast to one big venue, so these emerging artists were all of a sudden selling thousands of tickets in a matter of days. It was really nice to play a very small part in that success, both for the artists and the venues.

“Building our Facebook following to over 100,000 followers in just a few years, and the email database at a similar rate, was a pretty proud achievement too.”

Know Your Audience

While we all know how to throw up a quick post and snare a like or two, there’s a lot that goes into effectively managing a social media presence, keeping people engaged and hopefully bringing them to your shows. According to Bree, there are several key mistakes that cause potential audiences to tune out.

“I think a lot of people struggle with balancing straight up publicity or advertising and remembering to be authentic and use it as a tool to connect with your fans,” she says. “If it’s used purely as an advertising tool, people tune out.

“The most important thing is for people to understand their fans or audience and have some two way communication with them. Play with it and have fun. People don’t want to be sold to all the time but if they connect with you on a real level then of course they’ll want to go to your shows or buy your merch, because they identify with you.”

Understanding your potential audience beyond just the number of likes and followers you already have is fundamental to converting your social media masses into punters in the front row. It’s important to work every angle you have available, and look into a range of tactics if you’re really hoping to maximise your efforts.

“It all comes down to the audience, and who you want to attend,” Erin believes. “Figuring out who is going to be interested in what you’re putting on is the first step. Then you have to figure out how to reach them, whether it’s through targeted ads, collaborations with key media outlets, record labels, artists, or through your own networks.”

“There are more platforms and they’re changing all the time, so it’s important to know where your audience is and where you should be investing the time. It’s incredibly important to have a strong email database alongside your socials, and to use the two to complement each other.”

Look At Every Option

With plenty of different social media options, it’s all about knowing your fans; who you’re most likely to be reaching through different platforms, and how best to interact with people through each one.

“It keeps coming back to understanding your audience in general,” Erin says, “and understanding each of the platforms’ strengths and weaknesses. Snapchat can be incredible for live events, and now you can pay a relatively small amount to have a geofilter on your location.

“It doesn’t necessarily help sell tickets for the event on the day, but if you’re running a festival or trying to generate buzz around a certain place or event, it can be priceless if people start using it.

“Of course, you need the people at that event to be the type of people who use Snapchat in the first place, which is where it comes back to understanding your audience. Facebook is still massive in the music space too, and Instagram is definitely relevant.

Outside of the more message-based platforms, exposure on streaming platforms, both on your own channel and on tastemaker channels and playlists, is becoming more important than ever – but don’t neglect the OG outlets either.

“Spotify playlists are huge,” Erin tells us. “If you can get a song onto one of the popular go-to playlists, that can generate massive exposure. Same goes for being featured on some of the key blogs (relevant to your audience) or YouTube channels. You can then leverage that exposure in the live touring space.”

“Socials have become a lot more technical too. There’s all sorts of pixel tracking going on in the background of websites, so having that kind of thing set up and ready to go before making an announcement can be really useful.”

Allowing you to keep track of how effective your ads are across a range of platforms, pixel-tracking may sound pretty advanced, but Eventbrite have simplified the process to make it easy for anyone to put it into action.

Enjoy The Challenge

While social media can often seem ridiculously opaque, it’s a beast that can be tamed with a bit of effort. Despite being built on ones and zeroes, Erin insists that there’s plenty of scope for creativity, and even a bit of fun.

“I wouldn’t say they’re impenetrable, but ever-changing, certainly. It used to frustrate me, but then I started treating it like a game. When you figure out how to hack it and get ahead of everyone else just posting whatever and hoping for the best, it can be a bit of a thrill. Then they change it again and you have to change tactic, but I guess that keeps it interesting.

“There needs to be structure and a plan, of course, but social does best when it’s used in the moment, too.”

And the single most important tip to keep in mind for anything you’re doing in the social media space?

“The number one thing is just be real,” Erin believes. “Despite the constant changes in social media best practice, authenticity is consistent.

“Try to avoid selling to your fans too much, and interact with them. Show them some behind-the-scenes stuff and let them in. The rest will follow.”

Speak Easy - getting back into the public speaking game

Speaking at RMIT University's Morning Phase series on social media and online marketing.

Speaking at RMIT University's Morning Phase series on social media and online marketing.

Since it was announced that The Venue Collective is closing its doors, I've had a few speaking opportunities come out of the woodwork. The last time I spoke formally was a year or so ago at Melbourne Polytechnic, so I was a little rusty to say the least. 

Still, I'm not one to say no to a good opportunity and hoped I could impart some useful knowledge, so I jumped at it. 

The first talk was a great way to ease back into speaking - it was a one-on-one Q&A session for RMIT University's 'Morning Phase' talks, which were organised by the music class. 

Taking a question at the Morning Phase Q&A.

Taking a question at the Morning Phase Q&A.

I was invited to discuss social media and online marketing in the music industry, and the talks were open to the public so there were a few musicians and other music types also in the audience. 

My talk was the last of the four week series, with Chloe turner from Listen Records and Music Victoria, musician Simona Castricum, and André Hillas, the founder and director of Paradise Music Festival and manager of Melbourne act, Friendships, all taking part in previous weeks. 

It was nice to be back at RMIT (I graduated with a Bachelor of Communication back in 2008). It was a little nerve wracking but a fun experience, and they gave me a bottle of wine for doing it, which was an exciting bonus! 

The other speaking engagement was last week at the Australian Institute of Music. The class teacher (Ash from Higher Plains) asked me to come in and do a guest lecture for the students as they were looking at social media that week. 

The lecture was a little more daunting than the Q&A format but I shouldn't have worried. The students seemed to appreciate the content and were very attentive. 

Public speaking will probably make me nervous for years to come, but it gets easier each time and the rewards are worth it. 

Here's to the next gig!





How to turn on Instagram's new account switch feature

Yesterday Instagram announced they were finally rolling out their highly anticipated account switching feature, allowing users with multiple accounts to switch between those accounts much more easily. 

You could hear community managers around the world breathe a collective sigh of relief. No more logging out and logging in and logging back out again to change accounts!

I was one of those community managers waiting for the update. I expected I'd have to update the app to get the new feature and was regularly checking the App store for updates. 

Turns out that wasn't the case, however I did manage to turn on the new feature. Here's how I did it: 

  1. Turn phone off and on again (seriously)
  2. Click on account settings in top right-hand corner
  3. Scroll to bottom and click 'Add Account'

It was as easy as that.

After you've added at least one other account to your profile you'll see your account username at the top of the screen with an arrow pointing down next to it. That's where you can now switch and add more accounts. 


Reflections on 2015 - turns out I've been pretty busy!


Happy new year! 

Once again Christmas and the New Year has been a somewhat melancholy and reflective period for me, but I'm excited about what's to come.

At the beginning of last year I knew I wanted to do more and I'm definitely on that path. I achieved far more than I ever hoped I could in this last six months, all while holding down a full time job and dealing with some relatively intense personal stuff.

Here's a brief rundown of a few of the things I've been up to this past six months, professionally speaking: 

  • Provided strategic social media framework and ongoing social media training to a Melbourne photography studio, Daylight Studios.
  • Managed social media publicity and Facebook advertising campaigns for Principal Entertainment's Brian Jonestown Massacre 2016 Australian tour.
  • Managed social media publicity and advertising campaigns (Facebook and Instagram) for Urban Spread who book and promote shows in Melbourne's outer suburbs. Tours included notable Australian musicians and bands such as The Rubens, Saskwatch, Harts, Dead Letter Circus, Seth Sentry, Frenzal Rhomb, and Kim Churchill (with more to come). 
  • Ran a publicity and social media campaign for the Darebin City Council's Creative Spark event series, which included landing a couple of speaker interviews on RRR.
  • Assisted with running a social media workshop with Work The Crowd for artists and creatives in Reservoir.
  • Coordinated a VIP ticket giveaway to help promote the Pokemon Symphonic Evolutions concert in Melbourne for The Music House
  • Continued my full time role managing and implementing all online marketing strategy and social media community management for The Venue Collective

So there you have it. On top of all that I moved house right before Christmas and scraped together any remaining spare time to see my boyfriend, friends and family. Phew!

All in all I'd say I've achieved the goal I set for myself at the beginning of 2015. While the theme of this post is reflective, one of my goals for 2016 is to schedule time to write more (and actually do it). Keep an eye out for that. 

In the mean time, if you feel like chatting or for more regular bite sized updates, follow me on Twitter

This week in social media, tech & the music industry

This week in social media, tech & the music industry

Happy Friday!

Before I get stuck into a weekend of helping my boyfriend move house I thought I'd share just a few of the links I've been reading over the last week. 

Facebook is letting people choose what they'd prefer to see at the top of their news feeds, which is especially significant given the Washington Post is reporting 30% of Americans (and I'm just going to go ahead and assume Australia has a comparative number) get their news first and foremost from Facebook. I haven't seen this feature pop up in Australia yet, but it's only a matter of time. 

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Today in social media, tech & the music industry

Today in social media, tech & the music industry

Will Big Data Rock the Music Industry? - Big data is making its impact in industries across the board and it's only just getting started in the music industry. The people and organisations who uncover the opportunities it affords and swiftly grab them will be the winners. 

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Facebook gives advertisers Relevance Scores

Facebook gives advertisers Relevance Scores

Most of us are Facebook users and some of us are Facebook marketers (or at least trying to be), so many of us, if not all, will have noticed Facebook ads as we peruse the platform. 

Depending on how relevant an ad is to my personal interests (unless I'm paying attention from an "oh I see what they did there, that's an interesting strategy" marketing point of view - this is the reason I have never installed ad-blocker), I might choose to click it or I might pass over it. Then there are the times the same irrelevant ad appears, and reappears, and reappears - you know the ones, they are advertising bikini bodies in two weeks, or something similarly spammy - until I get so sick of seeing it I click the little grey triangle in the top right-hand corner and not only hit hide, but also report the ad to Facebook.

Facebook has gotten better at weeding these kinds of ads out, but now they're throwing would-be advertisers a bone. 

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Why the number of Facebook followers you have means nothing

I completely agree with this Medium piece by Gary Vaynerchuk on how the number of followers a Twitter profile, Facebook page, or any social media network has, means nothing in the broader marketing context.

Gary stresses the importance of engagement over follower counts, which is something I've been saying to anyone who will listen for a couple of years now, particularly since Facebook began reducing pages' reach.

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New Year's Revelations

I generally avoid New Year's resolutions, at least the concrete, set-a-goal-and-absolutely-stick-to-it-no-matter-what kind. I don't think it's as easy as flicking a switch and all of a sudden, becoming a "better person" once the clock ticks past midnight (or maybe a few hours later once the drinks have run out). I don't even think it's a good idea to approach life like that, although as a marketer I can appreciate the efforts of certain industries trying to tap into this renewed optimism each year. 

I tend to have the same rough goals each year that are more about keeping things in check, such as eating well, exercising regularly, managing my money better (I'm still working on that one), and educating myself as much as possible. I'll often pick up a new hobby or set myself a goal three quarters of the way through the year because why wait until the end? 

The time over the most recent Christmas and New Year's period was filled with a lot more reflection and pondering than usual. 

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Tone Deaf published my rant about Tone Deaf

So, a little ironically, yesterday's rant has ended up being republished (after a bit of a rework to make it less angry and more helpful) on the very publication I was angry at, Tone Deaf.

I actually really appreciate that they took the time to read the blog and thought it was worth sharing with their networks, which are undoubtedly bigger than the friends, family, and stray Twitter users who accidentally click on my links. 

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No, Facebook is not making it harder for your page

I had not long finished reading Facebook's official statement on their latest set of changes to the News Feed algorithm before this scaremongering piece on how Facebook is making it harder for indie bands popped up online. 

I too used to complain about Facebook's news feed algorithm changes when they first started messing around with it a couple of years back. I was lucky enough to start working in social media before it was a common job title, so I was used to the pages I managed getting huge reach as there wasn't much competition. If the content was great, we got even more than usual. 

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How to deal with Facebook's latest algorithm changes

Recently Facebook announced they were tweaking their news feed algorithm (again). Two main updates were announced:

  1. Factoring in trending topics - showing more content regarding topics that are trending at the top of peoples' news feeds 
  2. Looking at when people like or comment - posts that continue to get engagement long after the post originally went live will be higher candidates for being "bumped" to the top of the news feed in the days following the original post

Every time Facebook announces changes to their algorithm I try to figure out how I can adapt my page's posts to keep them relevant and ensure they're being seen by as many of our fans as possible. 

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BIGSOUND and other music industry happenings

BIGSOUND and other music industry happenings

Let me start by apologising for my infrequent posting. Life and work have been busier than ever, which isn't a bad thing, but I definitely want to make time to post here more regularly. One thing that's taken some of my focus recently is last week's BIGSOUND conference, which is an annual Australian music industry event. It's always an amazing opportunity to catch up with people I email all year 'round, get an early taste of summer (because Melbourne's summer always arrives much later than Brisbane), and learn from some of the music world's most interesting and experienced people.

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Why Twitter Sells More Albums

I just finished reading Taylor Swift's op ed in the Wall Street Journal, in which Swift wrote about her vision for the future of the music industry. Swift raised some interesting points from a pop star's perspective, but I was particularly interested in the following image at the end of the piece. The diagram makes a comparison between the number of Twitter followers selected popular artists have to the number of albums each artist has sold.

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Social Media "is a fad" and Other Outdated Mistruths

I still distinctly remember the words, "Facebook is a fad," being stated by one of my tutors in my final year of university. We were discussing topics we might cover in our final semester mini-thesis, which is basically a thesis that is a quarter of the regular size. Apparently, providing we selected our topics well, the thesis mini-thesis would help us land high-flying jobs after graduating with our Public Relations degrees in-hand (the mini-thesis presumably in the other hand).

According to my tutor, it would have been foolish to focus on Facebook in our thesis topics because it would soon become irrelevant and dated, thus making its use as a job application tool redundant (never mind whether the process of exploring a medium such as Facebook to this extent might broaden our outlook on the communications industry in general).

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