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Meta Ad Library 24/08/2020

How to Spy on your competitors using Facebook Ads Library

The idea of spying on your competitors may seem devious at first but it isn't. Facebook actually encourages it as part of its transparency initiative in the wake of the 2016 US presidential elections.

This was what led to the establishment of the Facebook Ads Library which allows you to access information about

1) pages
2) The age of the pages
3) Their Ads on the pages and
4) Their performance

This information can be used to breathe new life and creativity into your advertising efforts. You get to see what your competitors or role models are doing on Facebook/Instagram, which will help you improve on your own performance.

So to get started, just go to the Facebook Ads Library and type in the name of your top 5 competitors.

Filter by impressions to see their most effective Ads, Evaluate their media types and Examine their messaging.

Follow this link to practice all this on the Facebook Ads Library

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Meta Ad Library A comprehensive, searchable collection of all ads currently running across Meta Products.


Ads you shouldn't run on Facebook II

This is a continuation of my previous post where I listed some prohibited content that Facebook will not accept. Here are other aspects of the Ad policy guidelines that you should be aware of.

7) Brand Usage in Ads: Facebook does not like to see terms like "Facebook" or "Instagram" in your advert creative. When such phrases are detected, it can lead to a decline in your advert distribution.

Ads are not to reference these brand terms in a way that makes them the distinctive feature of the Ad, or imply the endorsement of the company in any way. Doing this can lead to serious performance problems when you run ads.

8) To***co or related content: Smoking, vapping or any other sort of content associated with to***co or smoking is also a violation of the advert policy.

9) Non functional landing pages: These include landing pages that are PDF or Jpeg files, directing people to closed/secret Facebook groups, directing people to error pages or pages under construction, landing pages that automatically download files to a person's computer, pages with content that differs significantly from the information on your ads, and so on

10) Non-existent functionality: Like buttons, checkboxes, notifications that appear in images without being clickable. The presence of such elements in your advert creative can significantly affect performance.

11) Grammar and Profanity: Like excessive capitalization in your advert copy, use of profanities, bad punctuation etc.

12) Weapons, ammunition, explosives and all related entities are also prohibited.

All these things can lead to reduced advert performance, blocking of your ads or the banning of your ad account. So take note.

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Prohibited content to avoid when running Ads I

Facebook has a list of advert content that it can detect. If detected, it would block your ad and may even ban your account.

To avoid this, it is important to know some of the prohibited material that you cannot run an ad on. These include;

1) Adult content: s*xually suggestive content or s*x toys. All of these could get your ad blocked and your account banned.

2) Unsafe supplements: Facebook has sole discretion in determining if supplements are unsafe. This means that they can block any drug related ad for whatever reason.

3) Personal health: Ads must not contain "before and after" images. They must also not generate negative self perception in order to sell weight loss or other health related products.

4) Multilevel marketing: Any business ad must fully describe the business model, but quick rich schemes involving little investment are banned.

5) Cheating or deceitful practices:
Ads must not promote products like spycams, phone trackers, fake docs or currencies, hacking software etc. All these are classed under this prohibited category.

6) Third party infingement: including copyrights, trademark, or other proprietary rights. This means that your ad images and videos shouldn't be copyright property of someone else.

These are some of the few prohibited categories. We will discuss others in subsequent posts.

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Secret tip to Audience targeting II

In the previous post, we spoke about how your selected ad audience is made up of only 3 kinds of people. These people are the Engagers, clickers and converters.

The questions posed in the last post were

How do I target more converters?

We also spoke about how your audience targeting should reflect your advert objectives. The objectives of a comedian means that he must have more Engagers in the audience for his ads, while a shop owner should have more converters.

To use this information to target more converters, you need to be mindful of the bidding strategy and optimization event you are using.

A lowest cost bid strategy tells Facebook to show your ads to the cheapest people it can find at any given time. Since converters are the most expensive audience, a store owner may lose out if he is using this bid strategy.

A target cost strategy tells Facebook to "only show these ads when it costs this much" (you specify how much).

In this case, Facebook will show yours ads when the cost is 10% above or below your target cost but it will ensure that your overall cost per acquisition is equal to the target cost.

Hence if you are a store owner and need converters, target cost is a better bidding strategy especially when your profits from each product is fixed. If the profit margins differ so each product, then Highest value or Return on Ad spend may be your best bidding strategy.

Note: for this to work, you must also select the optimization events that best correlate with a purchase. A video view and a link click do not correlate with a purchase in the same way. Since a link click weighs more, if you use it, then the algorithm will be learning as it runs the ad so that it shows the ad to people who are more likely to click.

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The secret tip to Audience targeting

Facebook creates a profile of everyone on the platform based on their past behavior. These profiles (or audience clusters) are divided into three main categories.

1) Engagers: Are people who are likely to engage with a post by commenting, sharing and liking

2) Clickers: Are people who are likely to click an ad to a website or App at the lowest cost

3) converters: Are people who purchase or signup to valuable stuff

Whenever you are running a Facebook ad, there are countless targeting options available, but all in all, these three are the only groups that your targeting will tilt to.

Of all three, the most important to a comedian or entetainer would be the Engagers. But for a business owner, you will need the converters, the most expensive audience grouping.

So whenever you are choosing audiences for your ad, your performance in terms of cost per acquisition is determined by the number of converters as a share of your overall audience.

When converters are the largest share, your cost per conversion will be low and vice versa.

But how do you target converters?

The key is in your bidding strategy. Watch out for my next post to learn more about this.

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Facebook Ad Formats - Factors to consider

There are about 6 major Facebook Ad formats and it is important to know them. This is because they can impact the success of your advert campaigns.

For some advertisers, their main drawback is their use of the wrong Ad format.

What makes an Ad format wrong or right will depend on about 4 main factors which I will highlight shortly. For now, let us dive into the six main Ad formats which are;

1. Video ads

Goals: Use when you want to show off your product, service or brand. or when you want to capture attention quickly.

2. Image ads

Goals: Use when you want to raise awareness of products.
or when you need to create an ad in minutes.

3. Carousel Ads.

Goals: Use when you want to highlight the features of a single product. You can use each carousel card to show different product angles or details to better inform customers.

4. Collection Ads. These include:

• Instant Storefront: Use when you have one main video or image to highlight, followed by related products.

• Instant look book: Use when you want people to see your products in action.

• Instant customer acquisition: Use when you have high-quality images or videos that show off your offerings

• Instant Storytelling: Use when you have interesting images or videos that tell a story about your brand

5. Instant Experience Ads: This is a full-screen experience that opens after someone clicks your ad on a mobile device

Goals: Use when you want to grab attention quickly, tell the story of a brand or embed pixels

6. Lead Generation Ads

Goals: Use when you want to collect data from your customers so as to conduct follow ups. Or use when you have a CRM you want to integrate with your campaigns.

How to choose the right Ad format

Above are the main Ad formats. The next question is about the factors that should influence your choice of Ad formats. In my experience, there are about 4 main factors. These are:

a) Characteristics of your target audience (based on what you can infer from demographics and online behavior.

For example, younger demographics have shorter attention spans and need lots of entertainment. For this type of audience, instant experience and video Ads are great.

b) The nature of your product or service

For example, jewelry, shoes or gadgets need to appear in very good condition and from different angles. Hence video Ads are not going to be as effective as Carousel Ads.

c) The placement location you have

Meta Bid Strategy Guide 14/08/2020

Facebook Bidding strategies - Your key to optimal Ad Performance (part II)

In the first post, we stopped at discussing what triggers the bids - audience overlap.

At this point, Facebook will automatically spend more of your money to show your ads. If your initial budget was higher, your ad may win the auction and get shown. But due to the competition, the cost for showing the ad will be high.

What a bidding strategy does is to set conditions for Facebook to meet before spending more of your money to win the ad contests.

This starts by first choosing your ad optimization event. Your ad optimization event tells Facebook to raise your bids only when it is likely that the person viewing your ad will take certain actions.

These optimization events could be clicks, comments, messages etc. So in that case, Facebook will likely spend more of your money only when showing your ad to people who it has predicted to be more likely to do what you want.

To take it a step further, you can then specify;

the bid amounts that Facebook should focus on,

the return on advert spend that it should optimize for,

The maximum cost you can afford for each ad being shown etc.

All these are what your bidding strategies allow you to control.

I will be going deeper into each bidding strategy in subsequent posts. But for now, let me leave you with a link to get you started.

Meta Bid Strategy Guide Learn how bid strategies impact your campaign costs and bottom line. After reading this guide, you'll know how to use bidding strategies to get the most from Meta Ads.


Bidding Strategies - Your key to optimal Ad Performance (part I)

Have you been afraid of running Facebook ads because you don't want to lose money?

Have you run ads that were too expensive because the cost per conversion was just too high?

The likely solution to these challenges above is to understand Facebook bidding strategies. This would help you set optimal ads that conserve your budget, while giving you good returns. But first, let's find out what a Facebook bidding strategy actually is.

What is a Facebook Bidding Strategy:

The bidding strategy is an instruction that tells Facebook how to compete on your behalf. It tells Facebook how to spend your budget and what to consider before spending your budget when showing your ad to different people

Facebook has some bidding strategies like

I) Lowest cost
II) Target cost
III) Cost cap
III) Bid cap
IV) Highest value
V) Minimum ROAS.

What do these terms mean?

When should you use them?

How do these bidding strategies affect your ad performance?

To answer these questions, let's first start with a brief overview of what bids are.

Just like we've discussed in earlier posts, Facebook ads are run in an auction process.

The items being auctioned are:

1) The audience you've targeted

2) the placement location (in-stream video, newsfeed, article etc.) for your ad whenever an audience member is available to see your ad.

So when thousands of advertisers are targeting people in a particular country, there will be some overlap between the audiences that each advertiser is targeting.

If you are targeting "all women", and someone else is targeting "women from 22-50", there will be an overlap between your audiences

So this audience overlap is what triggers Facebook's advert auction process. This happens in order to decide on whose ad will be seen by the audiences both advertisers have in common. It is at this point that bidding happens.

More to come...

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Secret Audiences - Your key to running cheap Ads

Do you know that there are hidden audiences on Facebook? Do you know that there are audiences you can never find if you are using audience insights or the Facebook ads manager?

I too didn't know this when I first began which caused me to pay heavy costs for my ads.

If you use the simple audience lists or keyword selections in the ads manager, then you will be paying too much because those same audiences are readily available to everyone on Facebook.

If two advertisers, teddy and Thomas bid for "men in Lagos", the cost for their ads will not be as high compared to when 1000 other advertisers are targeting those same audiences.

So when you are targeting the same audiences available to every other advertiser, the result is that you enter into very competitive advert auctions.

Depending on your biding strategy (lowest cost, cost cap, bid cap, highest return on ad spend etc), Facebook will have to automatically raise your biding price to increase the chances for your advert to be shown whenever your target audience members come online. This leads to a rapid waste of your budget.

So to beat this process, you have to be able to go deeper than the surface targeting options available on the Facebook platform.

To achieve this, you need a hidden audience identifier which will allow you to spool out keywords and audience list which Facebook will never show you.

These tools are known as interest explorers. So while Facebook makes only 25 interests available per keyword, there are 7 million other advertisers who are targeting those 25 interests. This artificially inflates the demand for audience lists in relation to supply which in turn benefits Facebook because everyone starts paying inflated advert fees.

So to access the interest explorer, you would need to use apps like

2) interest
3) etc

Now you know. Good luck.

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How to maximize your Ads reach without having to raise your budget

If you've ever run a Facebook ad, you would usually see an audience meter that will tell you a range of people who are likely to see your ad daily. If you raise or reduce your budget, the range will be changed accordingly.

If the range is 500 - 1.6K people daily then you can maximize your reach by;

1) raising your budget (which we don't like) or

2) by organically optimizing your Ad creative

To achieve Ad optimization, you must understand how the Facebook algorithm works.

The Facebook Algorithm:

Facebook's goal is to keep as many people online for as long as they possibly can. So the algorithm prefers content that people have already engaged with.

The engagement responses from people are organic ranking signals that help improve advert distribution.

Hence, they favour content that has accumulated positive ranking signals like comments, likes and shares.

So if you have an Ad, first post it as a picture or video and let it gather likes, comments and shares before you convert it into an Ad creative.

If you don't do this, the algorithms will not push your ads towards the maximum reach because your content hasn't demonstrated the ability to engage people on the platform.

So that's how to maximize your reach. More to come...

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Facebook Ad Distribution Metrics - Estimated Action Rate:

The estimated action rate is a statistical prediction that Facebook uses to determine who is more likely to respond positively to your ads.

Example: there are two people in your targeted audience called Elizabeth and Cynthia. Cynthia is on Facebook but has not come online in 4 months. Elizabeth is also on Facebook but is always online, always commenting, always liking posts etc.

If your ads are served to both ladies, with which lady will the estimated action rate be higher? Can you guess?

The answer is Elizabeth because she is very active on Facebook. This means that you must know how to target audiences that will give you a high estimated action rate. If your EAR is high, with all things being equal, your ads will perform very well even if the budget is low.

Facebook can calculate the EAR of every person in your audience based on their past behavior on the site.

So this means that you must be able to target audiences that will likely take action. Remember, the advert distribution formula is:

(Bidding price * Estimated action rate of your targeted audience) + advert quality score.

Note: the specific action that determines your EAR is the one you set. You can choose clicks, messages, thru play for video ads etc.

It is the likelihood of your audience to take the specific action you choose that will determine your EAR score.

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Facebook Ads are run using a closed auction process. In Facebook's auction, the bid is your budget, and the "item" you are bidding for is the audience and placement location for your ads.

But unlike in a normal auction where the winner is chosen based on their bidding price, Facebook's auction doesn't determine the winning ads based on their bidding price or budget alone.

It also determines the winning ad (for the audience you are competing with other advertisers for) based on;

1) The advert quality

2) Estimated action rate

Your advert quality is determined by the compliance of your photos, videos etc with Facebook's quality guidelines.

For example, Facebook doesn't like to show images when the text occupies more than 20% of the image.

Facebook also doesn't like to show ads if many who are seeing the ad are hiding it from their timeline or reporting it.

It also doesn't like to show ads if the format of the image or video doesn't fit with the screen sizes or the specs of placement locations you have chosen.

So if your advert quality is low, you will end up having to pay so much to get a decent result, because the advert distribution formula is

(Bidding Price * Estimated action rate) + Advert quality.

To run successful ads with a low budget, your estimated action rates and advert quality score must be very high.

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Social media has democratized the media space, making it easy for any business or individual to take control of their market or audience.

Due to this, we now have individuals who operate successful businesses from the comfort of their homes. They sell shoes, bags, electronics etc without having to rent costly shops. They also don't need to sit in a shop all day waiting for customers. Their customers are on the Facebook and WhatsApp so they just connect to them directly using their phones..

Social media is the best place to launch an ad. This is because of the sheer number of people who use these platforms. The sheer size of social media users gives you reach, and their growing addiction means that they spend more scrolling through the apps. Spending more time means that they are growing more likely to see your ads even if your budget does not change.

Social media is also wonderful because the platforms are different in terms of the mindsets that they foster. When you are on LinkedIn, your mindset isn't the same as when you are on Facebook. When you are on quora, your mindset becomes quite different compared to when you are on WhatsApp. This engineering of mental states allows you to maximize the returns on your ad spend by focusing on the platforms that best mirror the characteristics of your ideal buyer.
Social media platforms also aggregate lots of data about users. They also have very flexible ad payment plans. This makes it easy for you to target your customers with pinpoint accuracy, while conserving your funds. For this tutorials we would be restricting ourselves to


Stay tuned

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The best game for refining your strategic insight is the game of chess.

Whether as an advert psychologist, analyst, programmer or another line of work you may be pursuing. The game of chess is the best at developing the entire breadth of your cognitive processes.

It teaches patience, foresight, focus and emotional discipline.

When it comes to growing the synaptic threads necessary for a life of continuous learning, I believe that the depth of the chess game will set you on that path.


There are several social media platforms but... which one is best for your business

Is it YouTube

It is important that we know the answer to this question in order to achieve our business goals more quickly.

The key to the answer lies in your customer avatar or buyer's persona.

The buyer's persona is a specific individual that bests describes who your ideal customer is.

For a diaper business, the ideal customer is a mother.

For a gym equipment seller, the ideal customer is a sport enthusiast ( is most likely male)

For a stylish but clothing, your ideal customer should be an extrovert with a wide circle of friends. Gaining this customer once is the same as gaining his or her circle.

So you see how important a buyer's persona can be for your business strategy?

With a buyer's persona, you will be able to define your customers based on their interests, behaviours, pain points, demographics and a host of other traits.

Once this is done, finding them becomes a lot easier as the persona will answer the other questions for you.

We have developed a buyer's persona template.

Send synapticon a message and we'll send it you you.


Have you ever wondered how LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram is able to recommend certain people or pages to you?

With the thousands of posts on these platforms, with the millions of photos on Pinterest, how are they able to recommend certain posts to you and not others?

The answer lies in social media algorithms. They have built recommendation engines that analyze your data.

They analyze every post you like, every picture you share, the people you want to be friends with, the pages you follow.

They collate all of this data in order to create a social profile for you. It is this profile that they now use to decide what to show or hide from you.

With a thorough understanding of their algorithms, you would be able to expand your organic visibility, grow your followers and get more customers.

We have a series of ebooks on the different social media algorithms. Send me a message to get your copy


What is the best time to post on Facebook?

What do you think?


Global eCommerce sales amounted to more than $3.5 trillion dollars in 2019. By 2023, this market is projected to reach a $6.5 trillion valuation. No wonder Jeff Bezos, the biggest online retailer is the world's richest man.

To tap into your share of this pie, you must acquire an understanding of how search engine optimization works. You will need this skill set in order be visible to the people looking for your product, service or brand.

Whether as a job seeker, entrepreneur, politician, model or religious leader, you need to be visible to the people that matter to your goals and aspirations.

The difference in business is visibility to customers and an easing up of the customer acquisition route .

A growing share of your potential customers are spending more of their time looking at profiles, videos, posts e.t.c, all served by search and recommendation engines.

Since your customers are all online with you, with new knowledge, you will soon see a speedy acceleration towards your business goals

With SEO, you would not need to go after customers or the audience you seek, rather, you will use their online behavior to get them to run into you.

If you seek to know how to stand out through the clutter and noise on the internet, then join us at synapticon

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A two year research conducted by Mckinsey showed that, depending upon various adoption scenarios, automation will displace between 400 and 800 million jobs by 2030!

As many as 375 million people will be forced to switch job categories entirely.

The year 2030 is less than 10 years away.

How old will you be by then?

What skills are you developing that will be of value by then?

At synapticon we can help you craft a learning plan and offer a guiding hand in skill acquisition.

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