10 Questions with Facebook Partner Manager, Ramiro Sarabia

TwoSix Digital regularly works directly with Facebook to help improve and stay up-to-date on all of the things that we do for our clients on the platform. We asked our representative and Partner Manager at Facebook, Ramiro Sarabia, to answer a few questions for us. Here’s what he had to say:

TwoSix: Before we get started, tell us about yourself, your role at Facebook, and what you love most about Facebook.

Hi readers! I’m a Partner Manager at Facebook in our Global Marketing Solutions department, based in Austin, Texas. I specifically manage our partnerships with a handful of advertising agencies (such as TwoSix Digital!) and help continually enhance their competitive advantage through strategy consultation & education regarding the Facebook family of apps & services.

What I love most about Facebook? Our mission, giving people the power to build community & bring the world closer together. It motivates me to focus on the bigger picture. In my particular role, that means helping small and medium businesses ensure that every dollar they spend on Facebook helps them meet their business goals, which stimulates our economies. The best moments in my job are when I hear I’ve helped one of my clients fill a job opening, or helped sell out an event for a local business.

TwoSix: What makes FB such a great channel for travel brands?

There are honestly so many benefits & advantages to the Facebook family of apps & services for travel & tourism promotion that it’s hard to know where to start. But, at a high level, Facebook and Instagram are where people go to get inspired, to research their potential destinations, and ultimately where they end up deciding to take that next trip. Our latest research shows that travelers spent 5X more time on Facebook than on travel-related apps, sites, and searches*. On Instagram in particular, the travel Instagrammer is an active, passionate community: of the top ten accounts that they follow, six are travel brands.

*Source: Facebook IQ

TwoSix: What sets Facebook Advertising apart from the other social networks specifically for travel brands?

A couple of things separate Facebook from the rest here:

  1. Scale: we have over 2B users on our platform monthly, which helps you reach far more people than most of our competitors
  2. Targeting: the ability to target people by geo-location, past engagement and website interest helps DMOs find the most relevant audience for their advertising. We also recently introduced trip consideration features to reach people in your audience who are already in the market to find a new travel destination.
  3. Community: as mentioned above, people come to Facebook & Instagram to get inspired and find new destinations (for example, 96% of travel respondents say they turn to Instagram because it encourages them to fantasize about visiting exciting places*). There’s also the opportunity to engage your audience in a variety of formats, from feed posts to stories.

*Source: Facebook IQ

TwoSix: What do you think is the most common missed opportunity in Facebook advertising related to the travel industry?

There are a few things that come to mind on this subject. One is opening up the top of the funnel by investing in solutions outside of those that drive website traffic. For example, building brand awareness, as well as video views to prospect amongst new audiences. These solutions are key to exposing your destination to people who may not have demonstrated as much intent as your ‘warmer’ audiences.

Another missed opportunity is measurement: because of the nature of DMOs, measuring the full journey from first exposure to the destination all the way to their visit is very difficult. Because of this, DMOs mostly focus on driving high-

intent website traffic to their sites as the next best alternative. On the Facebook end, we’re investing in solutions to better understand the full path-to-purchase and where Facebook fits in terms of attribution.

TwoSix: What are the most important elements that make up a successful Facebook ad campaign?

A successful Facebook ads campaign is made up of a few things.

First, making sure you are leveraging the right objective or optimization based on your KPIs. Do you want to reach the most amount of people in your target audience? Do you want the most amount of clicks on your ad CTA? Or, do you want the most conversions at the cheapest rate? All of these can be achieved but require utilizing a different objective and ad set optimization, so understand your ultimate business objective first and then map back to that when you’re setting up your ads.

Second, targeting the right audience depending on your business objective. Ask yourself if this is the right audience for the type of action you’re trying to achieve. If your goal is branding, broader audiences should work, but most direct response ads require your audience having some intent. Experiment with different audiences, too, such as custom audiences & lookalikes.

Finally, having strong creative & visuals is key to capturing attention in the mobile age. Check out our recently published Creative Best Practices post to learn how to make sure your creative assets are set up for success on Facebook & Instagram.

TwoSix:  Can you tell more about the power of machine learning and how it impacts the advertising and promotional on the Facebook network?

At a high level, the Facebook ads system is designed to get advertisers the cheapest cost per result, with the result being the optimization you’ve chosen for your ad set. So, for example, when you set up an ad set, and you’re optimizing for link clicks, the algorithm uses machine learning to try and find the cheapest cost per link click amongst your target audience based on an individual’s past engagement with similar types of ads. This is awesome if link clicks is your ultimate goal, but most advertisers want more than a link click; they actually want a landing page view, a lead submission, or a booking. The algorithm can get you those and reach the audience most likely to take the action, but you have to optimize for your ultimate business objective. Other ways to leverage machine learning is to use multiple placements in an ad set because our delivery system will find your target audience at the cheapest rate across our family of apps.

TwoSix: Tell us more about the power of Instagram and how visuals are playing a part in the travel planning process.

Great creative is a prerequisite to a successful Instagram ad. Specifically for the travel industry, DMOs have to make sure their creative is designed to inspire viewers to take the next step in their travel journey. For people new to the destination, that means inspiring them to learn more and catching their attention. with stunning visuals. For a post that aims to drive a direct response (a lead submission, a hotel booking, for example), make sure your copy is aligned with what you’re hoping to achieve.

I also highly encourage travel advertisers to experiment with our various ad formats, including Carousel, Instant Experiences, and the Collections Format, as these all offer a different way to tell your destination’s story.

TwoSix: Could you shed some light on how Instagram Stories and IGTV are affecting Facebook advertising?

Stories is increasingly becoming the place that people post multiple pieces of content throughout the day. Stories should be a part of every advertiser’s strategy on Facebook, including opting into Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories.

The common thing between Instagram Stories & IGTV is the importance of vertical creative on both. Vertical video is a fun, full-screen experience and presents many opportunities for DMOs to highlight their destinations. Here are some

examples on our Facebook for Business site.

TwoSix: What are 3 tips that you would give travel brands to help improve what they are doing right now?

#1. Experiment: adopt a test-and-learn approach to Facebook advertising. Let the data from previous performance inform your future investments on the platform. For example, test out a few audiences (interest based vs. lookalikes vs. past website visitors, for example) for your next big campaign and analyze which audience drove the best cost per result based on your KPIs.

#2. Leverage our machine learning: the ads algorithm is designed to get you the cheapest cost per result. This is especially true when you remove certain barriers that hinder it from fully scaling. Notably, enabling multiple placements, leverage campaign budgets, and using our dynamic ads tools will help the algorithm do the heavy lifting for you.

#3. Widen up the funnel: make sure that you’re investing in solutions across each stage of the marketing funnel, not just direct response solutions.

We are so lucky to work with Ramiro and his team at Facebook. To stay up to date on all the information he shares with us, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.