Using Social Media & Paid Social Advertising
In this lesson, you’re expected to:
– learn more about social media marketing and its relevance in today’s world
– understand how to leverage social media to help your business grow
– discover the best practices of each platform for paid advertising
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites.
Social media itself is a comprehensive term for sites that may provide radically different social actions.
For instance, Twitter is a social site designed to let people share short messages or “updates” with others. Facebook, in contrast is a full-blown social networking site that allows for sharing updates, photos, joining events and a variety of other activities.
Importance of Social
Social media provides a platform for direct communication between your customers, prospects, and employees. What’s more, it is a key driver of content distribution and brand visibility online.
While there are a wide variety of social networks that you can use to your advantage, let’s focus on the “big three”:
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
We’ll then briefly look at some other social media like YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and Google+.
Social media tools encourage users to:
• share opinions
• participate in discussions
• engage with others in real time
As such, social media marketing can be the best way to market your brand or company, and connect with your customers.
In order to grow your Facebook fanbase, you need to make your company page on Facebook as discoverable as possible.
1) Fill out your company information completely.
Be sure to include an overview of what your business offers as well as a link to your website.
2) Invite existing contacts to like your page.
Reach out to your friends, family, and existing customers and ask them to “like” your page on Facebook.
3) Integrate Facebook into your other online channels.
Use Facebook’s social plugins (including the Like Box and Like Button) to get people to engage with your Facebook page without having to go to Facebook.com.
If you’re in tune with your buyer personas (representations of your ideal customers), you’ll have a good idea of what’s going to resonate with your audience.
5) Pay for engagement using Facebook advertising such as boosted posts.
Due to Facebook’s algorithm, you may find that just posting updates on your company page doesn’t get you much engagement. Consider boosting these posts to get in front of more people.
• Create a targeted audience for every ad placement. You might reach fewer people, but targeting by demographics, interests and location can help you increase engagement as your content will be more relevant to a larger portion of your audience.
• Take advantage of all components of your ad creative, such as the call-to-action button and news feed link description.
• Choose what medium your ad is displayed on. If conversions is your goal, consider limiting ads to just the newsfeed. If you have a longer form on your landing page, you may want to limit it to desktop-only.
However, unless you’re a celebrity or your brand is already a household name, amassing a huge following on Twitter isn’t exactly easy.
1) Create and optimize your Twitter profile.
Let potential followers know who you are, and provide a reason why you’re worth a follow.
2) Tweet 24/7.
Your greatest tactic for growing your followers is to tweet around the clock. Tweet content you create, content created by others, and tweet that content more than once! You can use scheduling tools such as Hootsuite to manage your posting frequency.
Use Feedly, Goodreads, Alltop, Twitter (lists), StumbleUpon, LinkedIn Pulse, and what’s hot on Pinterest and Google+ to discover great, relevant content to tweet.
4) Make tweets visual.
Take the time to create great visuals and add them to your tweets. It pays off in engagement, conversion, and click-through rates. You don’t have to be a designer to create beautiful images!
• Use the right type of ad for your goal. You can use ads that are geared towards improving engagement such as retweets and favorites, website clicks or conversions, followers, or even leads. If you want to generate leads, use the website clicks ad. If you want to get blog subscribers, consider using Twitter lead generation ads.
• Always use images. Ads that use images perform 3 times better than text-based ones.
• Don’t use hashtags in paid tweets. Each link you add reduces the click-through rate on the website URL you’re actually trying to drive users towards.
Just like with Facebook and Twitter, the first step when starting out with LinkedIn is to make your business easy to find. Your ultimate goal is to build an engaged audience and to position your business as a thought leader in your industry.
1) Optimize your company description.
Make it easy for the right people to find your company page on LinkedIn by adding keywords in the description and ‘specialties’ sections.
2) Be visual.
Keep your company page fresh with rich cover images that reflect your company’s accomplishments, events, and offerings.
3) Share company updates regularly.
Every like, comment, and share increases your reach. Prompt your followers to take action on your updates by asking thoughtful questions.
4) Publish long-form content.
LinkedIn is a great platform for sharing content aimed at your industry. Have your executives and other leaders at your company regularly publish longer pieces to build your brand’s thought-leadership.
• Sponsored updates with video or images tend to perform better than those without. When choosing what content to promote, consider trying these formats out.
• Use 60 characters or less for the description of your ad so that the text doesn’t get cut off the page.
• Target your ads to the right audience – with LinkedIn, you can get the most granular with your targeting out of all the social media platforms available, so make sure you find the right audience. You can even target employees at specific companies, so if you have a targeted campaign aimed at a few enterprises in a certain industry this might be a great way to drive the right traffic back to your website.
While Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are great for sharing and promoting content, Instagram is a way to humanize your brand.
However, it’s important to set up your Instagram account in the right way. Initial steps like writing your bio, experimenting with the best times to post, and which hashtags to use are all important. You’ll also need to consider what the goal of your business’s Instagram account is.
Unlike any other social network however, nearly 85% of adults consider themselves a “regular” YouTube user. In addition, it is extremely easy to use, since a Gmail account is all someone needs to create their own playlists, vote on videos, comment, or become a subscriber.
The ease of use makes YouTube an important part of any social network marketing strategy. These users are going to see your new videos, they are going to pay attention to the message in the videos, and they can even help attract new subscribers.
While it’s certainly not the cornerstone of every marketing strategy just yet, the channel has earned a reputation for fast growth and innovation.
Snapchat is now known as a platform for individuals and brands – one that allows users to create quick, lighthearted, and even educational video content without using valuable production resources. For brands, this means a new opportunity to show off their culture, share knowledge, and connect with their audience in a new and exciting way.
Once you enter the Google+ world, you’ll encounter a great deal of resources in one single place: Hangouts, Communities, YouTube, Google Search, Gmail, Google Maps and many others.
It’s the social network endorsed by the leading search engine, and one that is only growing in popularity. With over 300 million active users, it’s time to start using Google+ for your business if you aren’t already.
Below are some tools you can use to monitor your business and industry mentions in social media:
• Google Alerts – Set up multiple Google Alerts for your company, brand, products, industry terms etc. The alerts will get delivered directly to your email at the frequency you indicate (e.g. daily or as they happen) and they are a great way to track mentions of your brand and relevant keywords on the web.
• Social media management tools – These tools allow you to save keyword searches as a live stream so you won’t miss out on what’s being said about your brand, your industry, and your products.