5 Steps to Help Your Event, Venue or Destination Take Off With Facebook Advertising

If you’ve seen one of our many presentations in 2014, you’ve probably heard us mention the importance of Facebook advertising. In September, Facebook made a change to its algorithm, drastically reducing the reach of business posts. In December, they did it again and now only an estimated 3% of your followers will see your posts if you don’t advertise. With that in mind, we’ve put together our top 5 basic steps to get started with Facebook advertising.

Step 1 – Ads Manager & Power Editor: When you’re first getting started with Facebook advertising it’s sometimes hard to find where to begin. Once you’ve accessed the “Ads Manager” page it will show as a link on your Facebook “Home” page on the left side navigation, but for your first entry point you can start by clicking on this link: https://www.facebook.com/ads/manage/. If you manage several business pages, you’ll want to make sure you have your Account dropdown in the top left corner set to the correct account. The “Ads Manager” is where you’ll set up your billing information, your users who are allowed access to your ads, and where you’ll access your reports. Once you have the billing information set up, you can click on “Power Editor” to actually start building your audiences and campaigns. Each time you go into the Power Editor you will want to click the “Download to Power Editor” button to ensure you’re working with the latest data.

Step 2 – Audience:  Once you’re in the Power Editor, you’ll want to start building some audiences to target your ads to. There are 3 different types of audiences you can create. The first is a Target Group that allows you to select different user demographics that match the demographics of your audience. If you’re a venue or event you may want to set up a target group that lives within a 50 mile radius, and is “interested in” a specific performer coming to your stage, or sponsors supporting your events, or local media outlets. If you’re a destination, you may want to target a different city or state that you know travels to your area frequently, along with a specific age group, or parents of children in a specific age group. You can also create target groups of people who “Like” your page and their friends. There are a ton of options here so we recommend you explore the possibilities. The 2nd type of audience is a Custom Audience. This is a spreadsheet of email addresses that you’ve collected for your newsletter, volunteers, sponsors, board members, etc. that you can upload to Facebook and it will search for Facebook accounts tied to that email list. You can also create a custom audience of people who visit your website. The 3rd audience type is a Lookalike Audience which Facebook creates based off the demographics of your uploaded Custom Audience, and matches those demographics to other Facebook users with similar likes, interests, ages and locations.

Step 3 – Campaigns, Ad Sets & Ads: Now that you have your audiences set up, you can start creating those ads. There are 3 levels of ad creation. The top level is the Campaign. The Campaign is where you set the Objective of a group of ads. The ad objectives range from increasing engagement with your posts (generating more likes, shares and comments on a specific post), to increasing page likes (the number of people who are following your business page), to increasing website conversions (actually getting users to click through to your website and make a purchase). The Ad Set is the middle level of a group of ads and is where you set your budget and the start and end date for the group. Important tip: Please note that Facebook defaults your ad set to run continuously with no end date and with a $10 daily budget. You can edit this amount and add an end date if you would like. We’ve seen success with budgets as low as $3/day. You can have multiple ad sets within a campaign which helps you budget different amounts to different groups of ads. The bottom layer is the Ad itself. You can make an ad out of any of the following: a post that is already live, a post that is scheduled to go live in the future, or an unpublished post that doesn’t actually show on your business page but does show on your audience’s wall. You can have many ads within an ad set, and this allows you to create an ad for each audience using the same content for each or possibly different content depending on your needs. When you create the ad you need to set the name and select the post on the first tab, set the audience on the second tab and set the “Optimization & Pricing” on the third tab. I typically use the Optimized CPM option to allow Facebook to determine the best mix of how to spend my set budget between my ads within an ad set.

Facebook Ads

Step 4: Create an editorial calendar and budget for your Facebook advertising that will help you determine how much you will be spending throughout the year. Consider ramping up your budget in the weeks leading up to tickets going on sale and while tickets are on sale, and then lowering it during your off-season. Your editorial calendar should reflect milestone dates for your venue, event or destination as well as for your surrounding community and national holidays and events so your posts can be relevant to what your fans are already paying attention to. Consider scheduling contests and promotions to garner excitement and use that as an opportunity to spend additional advertising budget on posts that your audience will be most excited about. Whether you’re spending a dollar a day or $50 a day, you’ll be guaranteeing that more people will see your posts than if you do not advertise at all.

Step 5: Practice makes perfect and this is a format that will likely take a bit of trial and error. If you’re looking at the reporting during a campaign and realizing that a target audience isn’t responding, think about what needs to change for that audience to work better. Adjust your settings and keep moving forward. If you notice that posts with images or promotions get better traction than posts without those things, then do more of what’s working and less of what isn’t.

With over 1 billion monthly active users, Facebook is space that cannot be ignored, but you simply won’t be seen without spending some advertising dollars there!

2014 NALS&RMA Convention

Cassie and Kendra attended the entirety of the NALS&RMA Convention in Waco last week, and the rest of the Austin crew got to join in on the fun Wednesday in order to throw an awesome suite party! The group got to go on quite a few awesome tours, including the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, Texas Rangers Museum, Texas A&M Large Animal Clinic and Diagnostic Center, Texas A&M Equestrian Facility, George Bush Presidential Library, and Time Manufacturing Company.

If you know us at all, you know we had some goofy games planned for the bus ride on the way to the tours!

One of the most hilarious events of the convention was the 2014 NALS&RMA Rodeo Finals. The event consisted of things like  team goat-roping, goat-tying, golf cart racing, stick-bronc riding, and you guessed it–mechanical bull riding. Everyone got really into it (with a little help from beer and margaritas) and made it one of the goofiest, most fun group events. It was Rachel, our new Marketing Manager’s first convention in the industry. Naturally we had to break her in by throwing her on the mechanical bull!

Once everything was said and done, Cassie’s team ended up taking first place while Jessie’s team got “DAL.”

One of the greatest parts of the whole convention was being able to entertain everyone at the suite party! We made our classic Saffire Queso as well as rosemary pecans, sopapilla cheesecake, a chocolate pudding dessert, and a new drink that we named Let’Er Buck Punch. We also had a fun walk-around game planned which required people to wear the name of a famous person on their back. Other people would try and get you to guess the name on your back, and if they were successful, they got to keep that name. The person with the most names at the end of the game won, and people actually got really into it!

You might also notice the Saffire boot mugs in that picture. They were a gift that we gave to everyone who came to the party, of course we had to give people something to hold their Let’Er Buck Punch in! Whether we were there for the whole week or just for Wednesday, the 2014 NALS&RMA Convention was a blast! It’s such a great group of people who are so dedicated to their organizations, it just reminded us why we love this industry so much!

2014 FFF Convention

This 2014 FFF Convention recap is coming to you from Jessie Rump, Account Manager for Saffire! Cassie and I attended the FFF Convention in Naples, Florida and what a week it was! We checked into our room at the gorgeous Waldorf Astoria and were greeted by an equally gorgeous view:

We started the convention off right with a perfect spot on the trade show floor right by the entrance, and it was awesome to see everybody as soon as they came in! Of course we like being easy to spot, but it’s kind of hard to miss us when we’re calling out things like “come spin the Wheel O’ Crap!” For those of you who were disappointed that we took off the “hug” and “high five” as prizes, at least we replaced it with the AWESOME Saffire Swag that Brandi ordered (hello, gigantic highlighters!).

Just in case you were wondering, the Saffire Tattoo Frenzy continued in Florida! Within twenty minutes of the trade show being opened on the first day, we had two people get a Saffire tattoo on the back of their heads. If that’s not commitment, I don’t know what is!

Of course we had fun chatting with everyone who came to our booth, but Cassie and I also had multiple presentations to give during the breakout sessions. We don’t just throw killer parties–we also love to educate! I have to say that one of the coolest parts of the convention was being able to go to dinner, hangout at the pool and beach, and just enjoy everything the Waldorf Astoria has to offer with all of the FFF people. It’s a little too easy to have an awesome time with conditions like that!

We are so thankful to be given the opportunity to entertain, educate, and learn at the FFF Convention and already can’t wait for next year! This was my very first time going, so I want to give a huge shoutout to all of the Saffire Friends and Family that made my first FFF such an awesome experience! We couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work with!

 

Sopapilla Cheesecake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp Mexican vanilla extract
  • 2 (8 oz.) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup honey

Instructions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Beat the cream cheese with 1 cup of sugar and the vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth.
  3. Unroll the cans of crescent roll dough, and use a rolling pin to shape each piece into 9×13 inch rectangles. Press one piece into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture into the baking dish, then cover with the remaining piece of crescent dough. Stir together 3/4 cup of sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Dot the mixture over the top of the cheesecake.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the crescent dough has puffed and turned golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle with honey. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into 12 squares.

 

 

Let’er Buck Punch Recipe (Bourbon Slush Punch)

This recipe can be altered to include more or less bourbon depending on your preference!

  • 3 fifths bourbon
  • 2 (12-ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate (1.5 cups)
  • 2 (12-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate (1.5 cups)
  • 4 lemons, squeezed (could do more)
  • 2 bottles Fresca (could do a little less)
  • 60 oz. club soda
  • 64 oz. water

 

Chocolate Pudding Dessert Recipe

This is a recipe courtesy of Jessica’s Great Aunt Mary Jane Wilson!

Crust:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 stick margarine (melted)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

-Mix all ingredients directly in a 13×9 dish. Spread mixture on bottom and press into a crust that covers the whole bottom.
-Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees
-Let crust cool for 30 minutes.

Mix:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 8oz. package cream cheese
  • ½ of a large carton of Cool Whip (not the littlest but also not the HUGE tub)

-Spread this mixture on the cooled crust.

Whip until thick:

  • 1 small package INSTANT chocolate pudding*
  • 1 small package INSTANT vanilla pudding*
  • 3 cups milk (or a little more if too thick)

-Spread over cream cheese mixture.
-Top with the rest of the Cool Whip.
-Grate a Hershey bar over the top.
-Chill overnight (can be frozen).

* You can use any flavors of pudding, including 2 chocolate, butterscotch, lemon or pistachio.

Roasted Rosemary Pecan Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 T. unsalted butter
  • 2 T. (packed) finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 t. Kosher salt (or 1/2 t. regular)
  • 1/4 t. (scant) cayenne pepper
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 2 cups pecan halves

Instructions:
-Add butter to rimmed cookie sheet or baking dish, and place in oven until melted.
-Remove and add rosemary, salt,  and cayenne, mixing well to combine.
-Toss mixture with pecans until well coated, then spread out and bake for 10 minutes.
-Serve warm or at room temperature.

Remove Internet Explorer- Your Mom Would Do It!

IE-Garbage

At least—I think your mom would remove Explorer if you asked her nicely! My mom did. Why you ask? Frankly, there are lots of reasons. Some of them are a tad bit geeky (NERD ALERT!) but I promise your life will be better without it!

  1. You may have heard about the Internet Explorer bug, where your browser lets a hacker control your computer. If you’re using Explorer and you click on the wrong link, your computer could be taken over! Yikes! How do you avoid this? Just don’t use Internet Explorer. Microsoft claims they’ve fixed this problem, but others say they’re still having issues. Why take that chance? (My mom gets viruses on her computer like it’s her hobby. We vaccinated by removing Explorer.) Why do hackers target Explorer? For better or worse, it remains one of the most popular tools to surf the web and has been for a long time. Hackers see it as the most valuable use of their time to target IE.
  2. IE version 11 now has something called “Enterprise Mode”, where the browser can automatically switch back to version 8 so that websites not built to handle later versions won’t break. (To me, Enterprise Mode reminds me of Star Trek. “Beam me up Scotty!”) In any case, a convincing thought for many is that their browser shouldn’t need something that reverts them to an older version in the first place. I think most of us don’t take the time to open up another browser to check to see if that’s the problem when a website doesn’t load. We may as well start where we have the best chance of seeing a website as it’s intended, which is in a completely different browser.
  3. My mom revels in the day she got her iPhone. She’s still learning to use it, but she told me the other day that when she went to a website in Google Chrome on her phone, and then went to the same page in Chrome from her iPad, the web address auto-filled before she could even finish typing in the address. Cool right, Mom? It’s because you’re using a great internet browser! Internet Explorer doesn’t have these same multi-device syncing capabilities. By using Explorer, you can severely limit yourself on several options like this without even realizing what you’re missing.

The moral of the story is that the best use of Internet Explorer is to download a new internet browser. If you are ready to download a new browser now, we recommend Google Chrome or Firefox. Both are free and can have you browsing better in minutes!

Festival Fashion Essentials

FestivalFashion

With the immense popularity of major music festivals such as Coachella, ACL, and Bonnaroo, festival fashion has now become a major player in today’s culture. It’s supposed to be quirky and playful to match the festival personality, but we can probably all agree that there are some trends that leave us scratching our heads (cue neon catsuits).  We’ve taken a look at all the trends and picked out our favorite fashion festival essentials to keep you cool, comfortable, and stylish during festival season.

  • Staying cool is extremely important because most events are located outside, which means you’re going to have the sun beaming down on you for the majority of the day. This is why festival fashions tend to be flowier and looser, because wearing things that are skin tight have a tendency to trap heat and be uncomfortable. While we’re on the subject of sun, remember to wear sunblock–nothing ruins a good time or a good outfit like a painful sunburn!
  • Headgear has officially made its comeback!  Wearing a cute hat is an excuse to keep the sun out of your face while looking chic and stylish. Headbands of all shapes and sizes are also hugely popular at festivals. You know what they say, “the bigger the hair the closer to God,” but at the end of the day we all know we just want our hair out of our face and out of our way. This trend is a great way to keep your mane under control.
  • Prints are a festival fashion staple. From floral to aztec, don’t be afraid to let prints make an appearance in your outfit. Whether it’s in your top, shorts, or a flowy dress, feel free to go bold!
  • Footwear choice matters because you have to pick something that you’ll have no problem wearing all day long–the last thing you need is for your good time to be ruined by uncomfortable shoes. So this is probably not the time to break in those brand new wedges or flats, this is the time to pick comfy sandals or boots that allow you to stand, run, walk, and play the entire festival. Our personal favorites: strappy sandals and Converse sneakers.
  • Flowy dresses and skirts are another personal favorite of ours because they make it extremely easy to stay cool. Whether you choose a solid or a print, these are easy to pair with other festival fashion trends like hats or headbands for an effortlessly stylish look.
  • Shorts may seem like an obvious choice, but festivals are the perfect place to bust out those old cutoff Levi’s. Many of us southern girls will look for any excuse to sport our denim shorts, but patterns and crochet are also hugely popular at festivals. However, remember that there is such a thing as “too short.”
  • Think bohemian meets rocker chic when it comes to choosing your outfit–which is really just a fancy way of saying “anything goes.” The end goal is to look relaxed, so basically the only rule is to avoid any clothing that is binding. This could mean that your perfect festival fashion outfit is as simple as wearing your favorite denim shorts with a floral top. If you’re comfortable, chances are that you’re doing it right!


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The key to mastering festival fashion is to remember to make it your own. Whether you have been looking for an excuse to unleash your inner hippie or you just want to throw on some sandals and a T-shirt, the whole point of this trend is to feel cool and comfortable, so have fun with it!