The Sound of Social Media Silence

It’s one of the unfortunate commercial realities of today’s social media environment: it doesn’t matter how many followers you have, if you don’t pay to advertise to those followers, more than 95% of them will only hear silence from your social media activities.

You may hear lots of worthy-sounding reasons for that situation, but at heart it’s simple: Facebook, like all commercial entities, is in the business of making money.

In the early days, when they were building their business, they were quite happy to show your posts to most of your followers without you paying for the privilege. That changed when Facebook became a public company, expected to show quarterly earnings increases.

That’s why you’ll see results like these, for unpaid posts:

Despite 28,922 followers, this post could only manage 5 reactions. That’s .017% engagement.

Sony NZ is paying to advertise, but not this particular post, so it’s effectively invisible.

(BTW, we’re using Sony as an example because it’s one of our favourite brands, not because the company is doing anything wrong. We could have used any company as an example).

By way of comparison, here’s a post by another of our favourite brands, Whittakers:

Even though it was posted just two hours ago (as we write this), the post has already attracted 28 reactions, 12 comments and 3 shares.

Sure, the post images are totally yummy, but that’s not the point: this is a post that Whittakers are paying to promote, so its intended audience actually gets to see the post.

If you’ve been wondering why you’re not getting much traction in social media, here’s the bad news: according to our New Zealand database of more than 23,000 Facebook pages:

  • 80% of NZ Facebook pages are now achieving less than 2% engagement 
  • Just 3% (750) of the NZ Facebook pages we measured achieved more than 10% engagement (people liking, sharing or commenting on their posts) in the previous week

It’s time to stop denying and start paying.

We should warn you, though: advertising on Facebook or Instagram isn’t as easy as you might think.

In fact, it’s really easy to waste most of your money if you don’t have a proper understanding of what you’re doing.

So what can you do to improve your Facebook & Instagram Advertising activities and minimise your mistakes?

Learn what works, and what doesn’t, through our online training course:

Introducing our online training course, “Mastering Advertising on Facebook & Instagram”.

In this ten-part online training course, we will take you step-by-step through what you need to know to understand and master advertising on Facebook & Instagram.

Lesson One: Getting Started

In this lesson we introduce you to the principles and practices of Facebook & Instagram Advertising, and take you on a tour through Facebook Ads Manager (which is the tool that some six million advertisers use to advertise on both Facebook and Instagram). We also discuss:

  • why you shouldn’t just boost your posts and expect to get effective results
  • the key differences between Google Ads and Facebook/Instagram Ads and why they matter to you
  • the limitations faced by New Zealand advertisers compared with our foreign counterparts
  • how (if you’re not careful) you can end up competing with yourself and drive up your social advertising costs
  • an analysis of the New Zealand Facebook & Instagram marketplaces
  • why mobile is so important (and why that matters to you)

Lesson Two: Setting Campaign Objectives

When you first start an advertising campaign on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll be offered a range of possible objectives for your advertising. In this lesson, we deconstruct each of the offers on tap, consider how they might help or hinder your campaign and review:

  • the surprising importance of Awareness campaigns for your future success
  • why you shouldn’t just go straight after Conversion and Sales objectives
  • when, where and how you should trust Facebook & Instagram to meet your objectives (and when you shouldn’t)

Lesson Three: Targeting

Facebook & Instagram have such rich data about its users that you can use to laser-focus your advertising on the people that you most want to target. It’s both an asset and a liability, because if your targeting is based on assumptions, you might be advertising to exactly the wrong people. In this lesson, we explore:

  • the comprehensive sets of filters available to you to segment your audience
  • the enhanced capabilities that are NOT available to NZ businesses (and how you can compensate instead)
  • how you can reach out to your own customers and prospects through Custom Audiences
  • the surprising implications of Europe’s new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation, introduced in May 2018) for New Zealand targeting on Facebook and Instagram

Lesson Four: The Offer

All offers are not alike. To understand what works on NZ’s most popular social networks, we need to review some of the key elements of social shopping.  In this lesson, we review:

  • The 10 most important factors that consumers look for when deciding whether or not to buy from you (and how you can improve each aspect)
  • The five most attractive offers that you can make, to close a sale
  • The six factors that consumers are most likely to consider when comparison shopping
  • The most popular items that Kiwis are buying online these days
  • The four most-important offerings you can provide that will have consumers recommending you to their friends
  • The five most likely reasons why consumers abandon their shopping cart in the middle of a purchase

Lesson Five: Advertising Creative

By now, you’ll be unsurprised to learn that all advertising is not alike in social media. In Lesson Five, we review the ads that work (and those that don’t) on Facebook and Instagram. Included in this lesson:

  • identifying the most effective types of visual elements for your Ads
  • when and how you should use video in your Ads
  • determining the copy elements that will work best to meet your objectives
  • establishing an effective Call to Action
  • considering the most important components of the Landing Pages (where you send people after they click on your ads)

Lesson Six: Remarketing and the Facebook Pixel

Remarketing — adding a pixel to a website, so that Facebook can track the journeys of those who click on your ads — is the key to truly understanding and segmenting your prospects. In this lesson, we give you a solid understanding of the benefits of remarketing and share how you can:

  • use remarketing to truly customise your Ads for your visitors
  • reach out again to prospects who visited your website but didn’t buy
  • follow up with prospects who made an enquiry or downloaded an ebook but have yet to buy
  • avoid wasting money, by not advertising again to those who did buy
  • remarket to visitors who have already liked your Facebook page or Instagram account

Lesson Seven: Measuring the Performance

Social Media Advertising creates a LOT of data, and the sheer scale of the information can be overwhelming. In Lesson Seven, we show you how to focus in on the key metrics that matter, and how to interpret that information to guide your future activities. In particular, we recommend that you track:

  • who saw your Ads
  • who clicked on those ads
  • the percentage who then took the desired action
  • the comparative Costs Per Click and Costs Per Conversion (and how to evaluate the effectiveness of your ads as a result)
  • the Lifetime Value of your social-media-generated customers

Lesson Eight: Testing

Testing should be an essential part of any Facebook or Instagram Advertising campaign. In this lesson we explain how to set up robust testing procedures for your campaigns and what represents appropriate sample sizes for each test. We also discuss:

  • which elements you might test (and why)
  • how and why you should only test a single element at any time
  • how to determine which variant is working and which is not (hint: it can be more complex than you think)
  • how much data you need to determine the outcome of a test

Lesson Nine: Showcasing Effective Facebook & Instagram Ads

What really works on Facebook and Instagram? In this lesson, we dissect many examples of effective social media advertising on both Facebook & Instagram.

We explore the many different advertising types used on both Facebook and Instagram and share examples and results.

Lesson Ten: Creating Effective Facebook & Instagram Posts

Finally, we review the types of posts that you should consider promoting with your Ads, accompanied by a wide range of examples, including:

  • Plenty of stories from local and international businesses who are using Facebook & Instagram effectively
  • The hotel chain that has twice as many people talking about it as the chain has followers
  • The radio station that has truly mastered the art of social media
  • Examples of posts that really tug at the heartstrings
  • The Facebook page that had 247,756 Facebook likes but managed to get 775,600 people talking and 160,000 people sharing
  • Practical posts that get people sharing

This course has been created and is tutored by Michael Carney, longtime marketer and author of six books (including the top-selling book “Trade Me Success Secrets”, now in its Second Edition). Michael is also the creator of a number of other online courses and consults on many digital business initiatives.

This is an online course, conducted on a web-based e-learning software platform, enabling course participants to proceed at their own pace, accessing materials online. This particular eCourse provides content in a variety of multimedia forms, including videos, slideshows, flash-based presentations and PDF files. No special software is required to participate.

Course lessons will be provided in ten parts, for participants to access in accordance with their own timetables.


Feedback from previous Social Media Marketing online training course participants:

  • “this was the best professional development course I have done in many years” – Mark R, senior Agency Exec responsible for social media
  • “thought the information within was outstanding” – Ed P, General Manager
  • “What I loved was that I started with a fairly rudimentary understanding of social media but have learned a lot – including where to find more information as I need it.” – Fiona W, Marketing Manager
  • “I found it relevant, informative, topical, insightful and a bloody good read. It’s never evangelical, too techy, patronising, assumes that you know too much or too little about digital and has a warm sense of humour in the communication throughout which helped faciliate the learning process for me.” — Adrienne B, new media senior executive
  • “Thanks for pointing me in the direction of this course! It’s been extremely enlightening” — Shayne P, design agency director
  • “Rapt with what I have seen of the course” — Julia R, fashion editor
  • “I’m really enjoying the course – learning a lot – and I know the two friends I persuaded to join us are also loving it.” — Lavinia C, designer
  • “Am thoroughly enjoying the content!” – Kara B, magazine co-ordinator
  • “I completed the first lesson today and found it really interesting and love the interaction already! I am so looking forward to the second lesson already …” — Annette B, public relations director
  • “I was already engaging with social media and have been doing so for about 6 years or so. But, did I know how to use social media in a marketing and business sense? No, I simply did not. This course was a great way to show me how to do that.” — Sheryl K, online marketer

Any Business Owner or Manager, Marketing, Advertising, PR or Communications professional who, while they may have a fair knowledge of Facebook and/or Instagram, realise that they need to know more about Advertising on Facebook & Instagram.


This course begins on Thursday 08 August, 2024.


This ten-part eCourse is available for $797+GST. However we offer a $100 Early Bird Discount for bookings received and payment made by midnight on Thursday 01 August, 2024. Pay only $697+GST for this course!

Bookings are confirmed on receipt of payment, which can be by bank deposit or credit card. We can raise an invoice in advance if you need it.

To reserve your place in this course, please pay by credit card through PayPal by clicking here:

If you would prefer to pay by bank deposit, or require an invoice before making payment, please send an email to with details of your request.

(The service provider will be shown as Netmarketing Courses in your transaction and on your credit card statement).


Your booking will be confirmed by email (if you have not received a confirmation within 24 hours, feel free to email

On the first day of the course you will be supplied by email with login details and Course Notes for Lesson One.

Michael Carney Written by: