Being in the Right Place at the Right Time Isn’t Enough
This year, I’m intentionally reading nonfiction books from people with a different worldview than I hold: different life stages, different ethnicities, different belief systems, etc.
Recently, I read Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance, an in-depth look at dating in the age of texting, social media, dating sites, and hookup apps. The current realities struck me as daunting. It made me thankful to already have a committed relationship wrapped up. (The day this post releases is the nineteenth anniversary of the day my wife first told me that she loved me.) So, I’ve been out of the dating game for a long time.
Well, I have; and I haven’t.
You could say I’m a professional matchmaker. Everyday, I help my clients court buyers. We’re trying to find people who want what they’re offering. We’re hoping someone out there finds what they have is attractive.
Just as with today’s dating scene, much of that wooing starts online—through Facebook in particular. It turns out that the realities of successful online dating apply to our commercial courting.
Being on the right platform at the right time doesn’t guarantee a match.
Currently, around forty million Americans use online dating sites, but fewer than 20% of these site users find their true-love needle in those haystacks. The percentage is much lower when the criteria is upgraded to marriages. So, being in the right place at the right time isn’t enough.
Facebook has about 1.5 billion users, but just having your advertising there isn’t a guarantee for success. Facebook rewards ads that get quick and frequent interactions and practically hides the advertising that doesn’t (and makes it more expensive). If you don’t know what you’re doing on Facebook, your haystack can grow that much more intimidating.
Unlike the passive lead-qualification process of dating sites, Facebook matching is more active. With the capabilities of its lookalike audience tool, expanding the perfect selection is not only possible but easy. If you’re boosting posts instead of strategically launching targeted ads or posts to custom audiences, you’re
(1) not benefitting from many of the free, premium tools available,
(2) not taking advantage of advanced targeting options, and
(3) wasting money.
Successful online daters know how to appeal to specific candidates, and they adapt their photos and descriptions to appeal to those potential matches. Apparently, the people who get the most dates and the best matches avoid generalities. They don’t hide realities and eccentricities. They pre-sort out the unqualified candidates by candor and specificity of their content. They take strategic pictures from specific angles. They don’t overshare details but instead create intrigue.
The most successful Facebook campaigns I manage for my clients focus on the recipient’s needs and wants instead of the generic auction construct. Instead of cliches and generalities, we highlight specific aspects or items. We tailor the message and/or photos from one ad to the next—for the same auction—according to who will see it. We use only enough content to get people to take the next step.
I regularly hear from auctioneers who believe they’re giving their sellers the best marketing possible just because they use specific media like Facebook. They assume the ensuing bidders they register and the prices they achieve are the best the market has for their sellers. I’ve also talked to auction marketers who previously thought they were successful—and were by relative standards—but who’ve recently seen their sales numbers jump after they changed their media mixes and their advertising content. (Twice, I’ve received emails that reference “blowing up our website.”) These professionals didn’t change what they sell, just how they sold it.
Like our American culture that has adapted in how to meet potential romantic partners, these progressive auctioneers have evolved according to cultural realities and consumer demands. If you’re trusting that being in the right place at the right time is enough, know that those pragmatic auction marketers are connecting with more and better prospects than you are.
They might even be stealing your dates.
Sources consulted for statistics in this post:
“5 Facts about Online Dating,” by Aaron Smith and Monica Anderson (Pew Research Center), February 29, 2016.
“Online Dating Statistics,” by Statistic Brain, July 1, 2016.
Stock images purchased from iStockPhoto.com