EP17 – How to Leverage Social Media

To watch the video recording of this episode, click here

Let’s dive into social media. From acquiring new customers, to building a following around your product or service, leveraging social media is a cheap, easy way to drive more traffic to your site and ultimately, boost conversions.

In this episode of the Coders’ Startup, Carter and I will talk you through some basic tips and strategies for three major social platforms: Google+, Facebook, and Pinterest. Let’s get started!social media in your business


Google+ is a great tool that’s probably a bit underrated. It’s a platform that everyone can, and should, be using. If for no other reason, simply for its excellent content marketing potential. By posting content on Google+, Google allows your pages to get indexed more quickly, and as a result, show up in search much faster.

Another cool feature of Google+ is their community pages. Based on Carter’s experience, Google+’s community pages get much more activity and traction than Facebook community pages. With Facebook, people tend to overload those walls and newsfeeds with lots of self-promotion and spam. But on Google+, the community pages serve as more of a resource. There’s a lot of great people-to-people interaction, and spam is closely monitored by community moderators.

The key to successful marketing within Google+ is not shameless self-promotion, i.e. posting a bunch of your links and asking people to click on them. Rather, the goal is to drum up a quality discussion around a specific topic.

For example, Carter posted an article last week that was called The Top 10 Tools to Maximize Your Email Marketing Results. On top of simply posting the link, he asked the question: what else could we add to this list? As a result, the article received 48 re-shares in just two days, which then resulted in about 200 unique visitors to Carter’s blog.

So, what’s the key takeaway from marketing with Google+? Make sure you’re bringing value to the discussion, don’t be spammy, and you’ll likely be able to generate a lot of organic traffic and engagement.



To properly understand marketing on Facebook, you must first understand how Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm works. If you’re familiar with the reddit up-voting system, Facebook uses a similar theory behind their newsfeed.

When you post something to Facebook, a very small fraction of your friends and/or followers actually sees the post on their newsfeed. But as people see it, and they engage or interact with it (meaning a like, a comment, or clicking through to the link), Facebook then shows it to more people.

The lifespan of a post on Facebook is about fifteen to twenty minutes. That means, after you post something, it gets “buried” on your newsfeed within minutes and only a small fraction of your friends or followers will actually see the post.

It might seem daunting to get your content seen, or drive traffic through Facebook based on this competitive algorithm, but there are a few things you can do to boost your posts.

Here’s a great example from Carter.

Recently, he posted an article he wrote on lessons learned from Richard Branson’s book to his company’s Facebook page. He created a graphic to go along with the post — a simple text over image — and wrote a creative call-to-action to encourage his followers to click through — “Find out what Richard Branson knows, that you should know, too.” To top off his social strategy for this post, he boosted it with $5, just to get some momentum started.

Ten days later, Carter saw that he had reached a total of 3,908 people, however his company Facebook page only has 1,406 followers. It received 33 likes and 23 shares, just from the post itself. On top of those numbers, there were 95 interactions with the post across all platforms, a lot which had to do with people tagging other Facebook friends in the comments thread of the post. When people are tagging their friends in the article, that’s a great sign that you’re doing something right.

While Carter knows a lot about organic traffic with Facebook, most of my expertise in this platform lies in the realm of paid ads.

It’s really important when diving into Facebook ads that you have a strategy and a plan in place, because it can get really expensive, really quickly. Carter and I agree that you probably shouldn’t spend more than $5 – $10 per day on any campaign, for at least a few weeks. That way, you can learn from your click-through-rates and conversion rates and figure out what’s working and what’s not.

The great thing about Facebook ads is that you can learn a lot about your audience and thus, who you should be targeting with your ads. If you can begin to find the commonalities between your customers and capitalize on that, you’ll get more customers for less money.

Getting really fine-grained in Facebook ads can help you learn important things like the Lifetime Value of your customer, and how much money it takes to actually acquire a customer.

To put things in perspective, here are some numbers to think about from ads I created to get people to sign up for my webinar.

My average cost per lead for this webinar was around $7 – $10, which felt very expensive. You would need to sell a fairly expensive product in order to benefit from converting those customers. However, the email course I market only costs around $2  – $3 per lead, which is a much more reasonable expense when selling a fairly low cost product (i.e. a $147 product). Each lead is worth about $5-$10 to my business… so that means I’ll spend $3 to get $5-$10, that’s a pretty good deal in my books!

Knowing numbers like this, and really breaking down the analytics, will help you budget your paid ad money and narrow in on a profitable, yet reasonable, price for your product.


While time didn’t allow us to dig into Pinterest as much as we would have liked, we did discuss a few key takeaways around using Pinterest as a social platform.

Personally, I have never done any marketing on Pinterest, but I’ve found that half of my social traffic is directed from the site (Social traffic makes up around 10% of my overall traffic). Lately, I’ve been thinking about creating a strategy for Pinterest marketing, and looking a lot at what other coders are doing to promote their information products.

Pinterest is highly visual, so when you’re creating pins and developing a Pinterest marketing strategy, make sure you spend time on creating an engaging graphic. Use a text overlay on an interesting graphic to describe what it is that people will be reading when they click through to your pin.

What’s unique about Pinterest is the exponential return that comes from sharing. On Pinterest, one “re-pin” is equivalent to about eight unique visitors. Those are great numbers, and can save you a lot of time if you focus on pinning quality content as opposed to a large quantity of content.