Congratulations you have just found The No BS Guide To Social Media Advertising On Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn!
Imagine the following scenarios in which you come across this article. 1. A close friend of you who shares a lot of similar opinions has read this article and he liked it. He suggested that you should give it a read too. 2. You walk through the aisle of a magazine store and the headline of this article screams for attention from amongst dozens of similar articles on the news stand. 3. One fine day you wanted to know about social media advertising and you choose to look it up online. This article pops up at the top of search results with a label saying ‘Sponsored’.
Now close your eyes for a moment and reflect on the three scenarios. In which case are you most likely to read the article fully to its completion? Hands down, several people will favour the first scenario when asked this question. In a nutshell, these three scenarios are depictions of social advertising, display advertising and paid searches respectively.
Just as this article has enough value in it for you and still yearns to get your attention, hundreds and thousands of businesses are cracking their heads with thoughts on the ideal marketing budgets for various advertising routes to take their valuable product to their audience. If you have not yet taken social media advertising seriously into account, it is high time now that you read this article and optimize your advertising budget with enough meat given to social media advertising. Why?
- The world of marketing is going in this direction and you don’t want to feel left behind. The total amount spent on social media advertising in 2015 was $23 bn. This number is predicted to go up to $35 bn by 2017. The rising numbers spent on social media advertising year-on-year tells a clear tale about the next big thing in advertising.
- It fits every pocket and makes sound economic sense. Social media ads are remarkable in their flexibility, thereby making them suitable for both Coca-cola type brands and the home-made chocolate store down your street. It offers a wide range of options to set up an ad and hence he who uses it wisely will extract the most out of it. The returns on investment are amazing and as a marketer, this surely will be your wet dream.
- It is real and personal. Remember the three scenarios mentioned above? It is designed to be a very real and personal referral experience and hence the credibility shoots way up above other channels of advertising. 70% of social media advertisers are so happy with the results that they are inclined to increase their social media spending.
- While all this is good to know, I can sense the mischievous smile on your face where you are thinking that you will ride this wave of social media success with a good strategy through organic growth. If you are wondering what is organic growth, ‘organic reach’ in social media terms is the reach to your content achieves naturally without any advertising push. ‘Inorganic’ is the boosted reach for your content. Hold on for a moment. Social media channels are also replying to your mischievous smile with their own version of it as you are reading this. They had lured you into social media till now by giving good buck for your content with organic reach and now they are tweaking their algorithms so that the inorganic route is simply inevitable.
In short, if you are bedazzled by the stats or blown over by the benefits or coerced into submission, you must advertise on social media one way or the other. So do it wisely! It can be the best thing that ever happened to your business in recent times.
Choosing the right social media channel
Although there are several social media channels, let us confine ourselves to the top three that give you the maximum returns for your advertising- Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. Let us take a moment to understand the difference and similarities among these three.
Twitter is a brilliant broadcasting medium where you can create a persona for your brand and post engaging and crisp tweets to your followers. It boasts of 316m monthly active users and about 500m tweets are floated every day. The best thing about it is that 80% of twitter users are active users on mobile. Anything of interest happening on the planet gets discussed on Twitter and successful brands piggyback on the events that are relevant to them and participate in the discussions with their own take. It is primarily a brand maintenance medium ideal to create a personality for your brand.
Facebook is the big daddy of social networks with its unbeatable user base. As of 2015, facebook had 1.44 billion monthly active users with around 20,000 people active on the platform every second. Facebook allows businesses to set up a page and even run business through the page. Posts from businesses are also shown along with posts from friends on the newsfeed of people thereby having a higher chance of visibility. However recent policies of facebook are focussed on limiting organic content from businesses lesser and lesser. For the user, it promises more and more content from friends who matter and for businesses, it means that the free lunch is over. For brands with a good budget and a strategy, facebook can drive sales and goodwill like no other medium can.
Linkedin is essentially a B2B platform suited for the white-collared types. More than 3 million businesses have a Linkedin page and 1 out of 3 professionals in the planet are active on linkedin. That is how this platform has penetrated the corporate world. The size of the audience in Linkedin is smaller than the other two platforms but the quality is greater as people in this platform are already open for communications from brands and businesses on matters of sales, recruitment and other opportunities. There is no need to be subtle in Linkedin by packaging your sales content to go with the friendly banter of your friends and this is the biggest advantage that Linkedin offers to a marketer.
Just as we see that each of these platforms has carved a niche for themselves, they do have a lot in common too.
All these channels thrive on networking. People connect with other people and connecting with one means tapping into one’s network. This gives unprecedented reach for brands to new targets.
People visit these platforms daily and constantly engage in creating and sharing content. There is something new every minute and so you are constantly engaging with your audience. Consumers can directly connect with the brands without any hassles.
Word spreads fast, both good and bad. These platforms are great channels to make your good name spread virally. All that goodwill will convert to sales too at the same pace.
Based on the nature of your business and your target audience, you must choose the platforms that suit you and create an engaging presence there. Successful brands are active on more than one platforms.
Now let us see what each channel has to offer exclusively in terms of advertising.
Twitter – Create a personality for your brand
Twitter gives you a wide range of options in advertising based on your specific campaign objectives. Here is the summary of all options available.
In simple terms, these are promoted tweets that are shown to a wider audience even outside the base of your followers. These are ideal if you are having a good presence already and are promoting a specific tweet in which you are talking about a new product launch, an offer or an event. Here is how companies are using promoted tweets to maximise interactions on these tweets.
That is how your tweet appears in a user’s timeline. It gets into the timeline amidst the stream of tweets he has subscribed to. It is imperative to make a tweet awesome before spending money on it to reach people. What can you do about it?
Look at this tweet from Pepsi.
The ICC World T20 is a global sporting event very popularly followed in India and Pepsi is riding on the event to engage its followers. It is running a unique campaign #PepsiMojiT20 for this event and is promoting the link to participate in it via this tweet. The incentive to participate is clearly indicated with the grand prize i.e. the tickets to the finals of the World T20. There is a specific call for action and a clear incentive to participate. The language is also informal and short to the point. Besides, Pepsi has also used a picture featuring an Indian celebrity endorsing the brand. Pictures are always great in a newsfeed filled with words to garner attention. That is the route to go to make your tweet awesome before promoting it.
Website cards are the new cool additions to Twitter ads where you convert a picture in your tweet into a card that takes a user directly to a target website. These cards are ideal if you want to convert clicks into leads. You can set your company’s website or the brand’s website or even the link to a specific campaign page or a product page as target and lure your audience into clicking the post. This brings them from Twitter into your website where you want the action to happen.
The best thing is that Twitter also allows you to track clicks and conversions on these cards through their analytics. You get to know exactly how much of your web traffic is influenced by Twitter and if you see promising results in it, you can up the ante.
Twitter is ideal to drive app installs since a majority of Twitter users are active through mobile devices. A whopping 80% is the number that Twitter boasts of for its mobile user pie. Intuitively, you get maximum installs of apps to a user’s mobile if you get your ad right.
The ad features a link to install the app within the tweet and allows you to generate a buzz around it by posting a crisp tweet along with it.
They say that a thousand words cannot match the impact of a picture. Twitter is even more stringent and you can only fit as many as a few dozens of words within their 144 character limit. But a picture or a video can add more to your post and drive its reach to a wider audience.
This is similar to a promoted tweet but instead it gives you the added advantage of streaming a video right in the newsfeed. Twitter has worked smartly to build its native video player and this feature is now in the Beta stage. Instead of sharing the link for a YouTube video and driving a user outside Twitter for a brief while when he is interested to watch that video, now you can get all the action right there.
This is the most basic of all objectives to advertise in Twitter. You can be awesome but you need to have a following to drive engagement and sales. That is why you advertise to let the world know about your presence and give them suggestions to follow you.
That is how your ad appears in a user’s timeline. This ad is effective when you are new to Twitter and are looking to build a base first before working on other objectives in marketing. When you are just launching a new account dedicated to a product, a brand or an event, advertising the account will give you a big following initially. It also adds to the credibility of your account when you see a big number of users following you. By the way, Katy Perry’s account as you see there is the most popular twitter account in the US. She follows a mere 159 people but a staggering 85.4M people follow her.
As a marketer, you are always eager to know more details about the people whom you touch with your marketing efforts. In this marketing funnel, twitter is gaining a significant place by allowing you to capture valuable information about a prospective customer and identifying people who are ready to convert. You can run lead generation campaigns and simply download the leads as a document for follow-up action.
Thus Twitter advertising helps you with a varied range of options – from shouting at the top of your voice to seeking attention to closing the deal with that one final push towards the ‘Install’ button.
Twitter has really worked hard on its analytics and critics are impressed with its ability to give meaningful information to marketers. The new Tweet activity dashboard packs enough information to let you know when your tweets went crazy, which of your tweets gave the maximum desired impact and when you should step up the gas on the pedal. This is the progress report on your organic performance and this gives you the best idea to pick which tweets to promote and steer inorganic success with it.
For the ads, Twitter gives you dashboards for each of your ads with rich data about the impressions, followers, engagement and follow rates, demographic details of audience and also a clean A/B testing interface. You can tweak your ads till you make them perfectly optimized for maximum impact.
Twitter, though small in numbers compared to Facebook on the number of active users, punches above its weight according to this report by Wordstream, which compares the performance of Twitter and Facebook in ads.
Look at two key numbers on this comparison. Twitter has promoted a 300% growth on revenue per user year-on-year as against 39% by facebook. And the click through rate is 1-3% in Twitter as against a mere 0.119% in Facebook. Clearly, Twitter gives you a smaller but more profitable audience than Facebook. This helps in greater conversion rates and that comes at a cost, which is why you see the cost for Twitter ads slightly higher than those of Facebook.
To be successful in Twitter, here is what you have to know.
- Create a strong persona: Twitter is driven by personalities. Pick a persona for your brand and build it day by day with organic tweet activity.
- Identify marketing objectives: There are a lot of options to advertise. Know why you want to advertise on Twitter. This also helps you in determining the right metrics to measure your success.
- Correct target audience: Pinpointing the right target audience will help you to achieve the perfect audience-content fit.
- Monitor progress continuously: Do not just sit back once you set an ad in motion. Monitor its progress continuously and tweak it till you attain maximization.
Want the other sections on Facebook and LinkedIn, then download the full guide for free here
Choosing the right social media channel 4
Twitter – Create a personality for your brand 6
Tweet engagements 6
Website clicks 8
App installs 8
Video views 9
Lead generation 10
Best practices 11
Facebook – Everyone is here. Where are you? 12
Setting up facebook ads 14
Boosted posts 15
Promoting a page 15
Best practices to follow on Facebook pages 16
Do not sell but engage 16
Respond promptly 16
Pictures and videos 17
Create clear call to action 17
Linkedin – The white collar marketer’s abode 17
Display ads 19
Sponsored updates 20
Sponsored InMail 20
PPC ads 21
Best practices 22
Target effectively 22
Create resonating content 22
Specific call to action 23
Rounding it all up 23
Be human 23
Talk informally 23
Pictures talk 24
Talk less. Talk often 25
Tell them what to do 26
Target wisely 26