Social Media and Google Adwords For Tutoring Business Part 4
The heading for this point will be considered controversial by many Facebook experts out there. All you need to do is create a Quora question and ask, "are Facebook ads good for building a tutoring company."
Many so called experts will do their best to convince you of the wonders of Facebook. You will be showered by rags to riches stories of the unparalleled virtues of Facebook, but in the end, they're just stories!
Facebook was built to connect people who share or shared past or similar social circles. And while I know it has since become much more, the overwhelming majority of its users came to Facebook for this purpose.
Consider the following mental image:
You are having coffee with a friend you have not seen in some time. The two if you are sitting around a small table within an enclosed outdoor patio. A pianist is playing in the background. It's a sunny day and the temperature is quite comfortable.
To your left, you notice a taped off section of the patio. The taped section creates a type of corridor and runs the length of the patio. It is large enough to permit a single person across. You think its presence here is quite weird but you brush the thought aside and continue talking to your friend.
Suddenly, a person interrupts your conversation. They want to hand you a brochure for shampoo. Odd. Just yesterday you were doing research for shampoo on your laptop. You brush them away politely by saying, "no thanks," and continue with your conversation.
No sooner did you collect your thoughts and start to speak when someone else jumps in, yep you guessed it, from the taped off section, and they want to tell you about a new self help course their running.
Annoyingly, you declined the offer, but not because the topic wasn't interesting. You were just looking into self help books this morning on your mobile phone.
This time you scan the length of the taped off section and see a steady stream of snake oil salesmen. You realise you aren't going to be left alone to converse with your friend. You both decide to get up and look for a more private place.
This fictitious story is a metaphor for Facebook.
If your ads are targeting users who want to use the platform to stay connected with friends and family, you won't be successful. In fact, you will be throwing your money away. And Facebook makes it really easy to throw money away!
On the other hand, if you manage to entice users to your Facebook page or group because they are interested in the content you offer, then you have a fighting chance to sell to them.
If they like your content, you can ask them to join your newsletter, download free bonus materials, get a discount on a seminar you're running, or up-sell them on a subscription to a service you provide.
This is how many "info-centric" businesses operate.
But is a tutoring company an info-centric business?
Learning about teaching pedagogies isn't exactly mainstream by any stretch of the imagination. In terms of tutoring, your client is more often than not a parent trying to help their struggling child. They aren't joining Facebook groups to gain insights into teaching and learning practices.
They might go to Facebook to ask friends and family if they have any experience with hiring tutors.
So in this case, they turn to Facebook to asking those they know and trust about finding a tutor. If they don't already know and trust your company, an ad is not likely to be effective. The most you could hope for is to drive a little traffic to your site.
Facebook has access to a massive user base! But that user base is there to socialise, not be sold to. With respect to marketing a tutoring company on Facebook, there's a lot of obstacles in your path.
Here's some hard data:
20,103 people reached. 26,278 impression. Total cost $196.24. This represented a 1 week campaign for a tutoring company. The goal was to promote brand awareness and increase traffic to the tutoring website by dangling information rich posts.
What were the results?
58 Facebook page likes. 112 post engagements. Approximately +10 visits to the website. However, the bounce rate for the website during this period went from an average of 45% to 55%. The referral traffic from Facebook had a bounce rate of almost 100%.
All Facebook users who came to the tutoring website stayed for less than 30 seconds and left. Not the kind of results I was hoping for.
After spending $200 I essentially had nothing to show for it. This does not factor in the time it took to write the posts on Facebook, write the articles on the website, and create uniquely engaging images. If my time was worth minimum wage the total expenditure would be close to $300.
I can say with near certainty, this endeavor didn't bring a single client to my tutoring business. I know this to be the case because I asked my clients how they came to hear about me. Not once was the response, "Facebook."
If I had spent more on Facebook, I may have converted a user into a paid client. That certainly could be the case. Unfortunately, the profit margins for my tutoring company did not allow that. You have to factor in the type of tutoring company you have to decide if these numbers are worth.
High value and high cost tutoring companies may want to pursue Facebook ads. If your tutoring business provides a lot of value added and you are able to entice clients to pay $60+ / hour and you can secure multi-hour contracts you could turn a profit with Facebook ads.
On the other hand, if you find competition for clients forcing you to keep your hourly rate down ($30 to $40 / hour), you won't have the profit margins to warrant Facebook ads.
Some businesses do well on Facebook. I acknowledge that. However, it is my experience that tutoring companies have a very hard time converting ad expenditures into revenue and profit.
You can certainly waste your money if you want to, but I'd advise against it.
As we discussed above, social media in general is not a good lead generator for a tutoring business. This is why I must recommend staying away from Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Growing an influential presence on social media isn't going to make your tutoring business successful. It will make you broke.
Social media is an excellent resource for brand recognition and building trust. And you don't have to spend money to do this.
I do recommend having a presence on these platforms, but don't expect them to be revenue generators. If you have your hands full with other aspects of your tutoring company, don't worry too much about them. They are a value added component. A bonus.
Too many business owners spend an inordinate amount of time on social media and neglect other, more important aspects of their business. Don't be that person.
Instead, focus on returning missed calls; to new and existing clients. Spend more time calling your clients and ask them about your service and how it can be better. Ask and get regular feedback. Reach out by e-mail, phone, and in person. Never stop building rapport with your clients. Additionally, keep a close eye on your tutors. Your tutors are an important resource too. In fact, I have already suggested that tutors and clients are "two sides of the same coin." Both entities are absolutely essential to your tutoring company's success.
Google Adwords is very complicated. I will focus on the most important concepts to know in order to be successful with Google Adwords.
Here is a list of important Google Adwords aspects:
- use long-tailed keywords
- limit your exposure to a geographic region
- pay very close attention to negative keywords
Use long-tailed keywords
In addition to the information within the slideshow, you should be aware that there are 3 types of keyword matches. They are:
- broad match
- exact match
- phrase match
Depending on your keywords and business, you might want to use these alternative keyword matches. By default, Google Adwords sets your keywords as "broad match."
There are circumstances where a broad match will generate a lot of impressions and clicks, but will send traffic to your site that drops off or bounces at an alarming rate.
For example, a broad match for the search term of "scheduling software" will produce a lot of clicks, but since a lot of users are looking for something mildly similar to scheduling, your ads will be triggered. In this example, the motivation was to show users looking for software an ad, but analysis of the original keywords showed virtually no desire for software just a loose affiliation with scheduling. It may be better to try an exact match or phrase solution.
If you change the match type, you will need to monitor the results. If the exact match or phrase match does not provide any results, you may want to go back to a broad match, but you will have to change the long-tailed keywords you are using.
Exact match is very limiting because it only looks for keyword phrases that are identical to the exact match. Unless the keyword is well known, you are not likely to get many results over time.
The phrase match is better because it allows for additional words before or after the keyword phrase. Nonetheless, this can also be quite limiting.
I wish there was a solution somewhere between exact match and phrase match, but that does not exist. You need to be very cognitive of the results from Adwords Overview and the results you are getting on the business side.
To change the match type do the following:
- click on "Keywords"
- select the keywords you want to change their match for using the checkbox to the left
- click on "Edit"
- select "Change match types"
- select the current match type
- select the new match type you want
- click on "Apply"
Limiting AdWords Exposure by Region
Using Negative Keywords
If you have follow up questions, ask away. I would be happy to expand upon any of these suggestions.