Will Scott will be speaking about “Social Analytics” at SearchFest 2011, which will take place on February 23rd at the Governor Hotel in Portland, Oregon. Tickets are available now. To purchase, please click the following link.

1) Please give us your background and tell us what you do for a living (w/ links).

I’m actually a relative old-timer online. I put my first web site online – for pay – in 1995. 

Since then I’ve worked in web development, online yellow pages, search engine marketing, white label SEO, and most recently, social media marketing.

From 2000 – 2006 I was part of YPsolutions (originally eWebBoss, ultimately sold to Local Matters). YPsolutions morphed over time from a small business web site development company into a software company serving the Yellow Pages.

And for the last 5 years I’ve been working on and in Search Influence. We’ve got a great team of smart people and work with over 1,000 clients nationwide both directly and as a white label outsourcing provider.

For our internal clients we provide traditional search engine optimization, paid search marketing, email marketing and social media advertising and optimization.

For the last 18 months or so we’ve been pretty obsessed with Facebook Advertising. While the prices have been steadily creeping upward, we’re still seeing a ridiculously great ROI from Facebook Advertising and I’m quite an evangelist.

We are very data driven so the ROI is everything.

2) When a small business tells you that they “need” a Facebook presence, how do you respond to them?

I agree with them…

… Usually.

I think it’s a bit of a stretch to think of Facebook for purely Business to Business marketing, but for any company that faces consumers it’s got to be part of the program.

The data are incredibly compelling. Facebook has more than 600,000,000 users worldwide, 150,000,000 of whom are in the U.S.

That’s 1/2 the population of the US. And when you consider that they have to be over 13 and connected to the internet, that’s pretty much everybody you, as a marketer, want to talk to.


Plus, the data around user perceptions are very interesting. From a report presented last year at SMX East in New York by comScore and 15 miles: 69% of respondents said they were more likely to use  a company if they were Findable on Social Networking sites.

The top thing looked for was "Response to posts". In other words, "HEY Merchant, are you listening to me"?

3) What advice would you give an a new advertiser trying out Facebook ads for the first time?

Seriously, hire a pro. Much like AdWords, it’s really easy to jump in and craft an ad, put in a budget and go.

But, much like AdWords it’s also really easy to blow through your budget with no results if you don’t know what you’re doing.

With that out of the way:

  • Budget – start with a lower bid than you think is appropriate. You’d be surprised how far a few bucks will go for a local business on Facebook.
  • Targeting – think about whom you really want to talk to. It’s probably not "everybody within 50 miles". Maybe it’s moms or people who like the American Bar Association.
  • Landing Pages – a tricky topic for the novice. Hint: It’s not your home page! Seriously though, think about what you want them to do. If it’s call you on the phone or fill out a form, consider a Facebook tab instead of taking them to your web site. It’s way less expensive.

One thought on “SearchFest 2011 Mini-Interview: Will Scott

  1. Hey Todd,

    Thanks for having me at the conference again – I really enjoyed my last visit to Portland for SEMpdx.

    I’m excited to show some of the potential for tracking Facebook actions full lifecycle to leads and sales!


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