In this day and age, you’d think that most marketers would be social media aficionados. Unfortunately, some of the simplest and most effective practices for paid social media management tend to be easily overlooked. With all of our new technology, it’s a growing problem for brands to think a little bit too hard about getting their messages across to audiences and forget the basics….
10. Tell them what you want – what you really, really want
Do you want consumers to call you? Do you want them to click on your sitelink? Do you want them to buy that pair of custom leather clown shoes? Most of us know that calls to action are essential – but some of us are still doing it wrong. Say someone searches to “buy a jelly donut filler” and the advertisement for your donut filler-selling site comes up in the #1 spot! But wait – your ad copy says nothing about purchasing. They may think you’re just offering a history on jelly donut fillers. Confusion sets in, and they’ve already moved on. Make sure you are clear on what you’re offering and what consumers should do about it. And hey, if you can make that call to action a little more unique or interesting than the competitor’s – “Buy Our Clown Shoe-Shaped Jelly Donut Filler”? So much the better.
9. Give them what they want, not what you want them to want
When we market for a specific brand or company, we tend to have a one-track mind: This brand is interesting, I’m interested in it, I want others to be interested in it, and they will be! Here’s the problem – your audiences don’t work for this brand, and they may not necessarily even care about the brand – more often than not, they don’t. It’s your job to figure out what they are interested in, and bridge the gap between their interests and your brand. People don’t necessarily want to “like” your business, or retweet the promotion for your new weird-scented soap. Erica Domesek of PSIMadeThis.com says: “It’s a balance. Focus on emotional analytics as well as numerical ones. Pushing content that is strong, conversational, and that especially evokes an emotional response will build stronger engagement and audience growth… You’re marketing to humans, not robots.” Have you tried promoting a video of a bunch of kittens playing in the mud to help you sell that soap? It doesn’t matter if it sounds silly – it works.
8. Test AND TEST AGAIN
You created some new campaigns, you raked in thousands, and you grew your market share to a record high… but how? Was it the yellow clown shoe Facebook campaign, or the clown shoe polish Twitter campaign? Which one did consumers like better, and was it even reaching the people you thought it would? Great results don’t matter if you can’t figure out how you got them. All you need to do is run a few easy A/B tests to be able to track where your results came from and how. Make sure you’re testing your social media campaigns so that you can prove the worth of your results, and duplicate them in the future.
7. Advertise on the go
Consumers have us advertisers in the palms of their hands – literally. They’re carrying us around with them wherever they go. So don’t just treat them like they’re seeing all of your ads from behind a computer screen. If consumers are seeing your brand’s mobile side, it probably means they’re going somewhere. This means you have the unique opportunity to persuade them to go to your business while they’re already on the move. If your target audiences tend towards smartphone use, double check that you’re optimized for mobile in every way possible. So, you decided to be fancy and use a responsive website for all of your platforms? Make sure it isn’t loaded down with so much content that a mobile user will get overwhelmed and give up. Speaking of mobile…
6. Keep it local
Even though e-commerce is the way of the future, many consumers still prefer to price and compare online, and then come in to a physical store to make their final purchase. Be it that they’re too impatient to wait for their purchases by mail, that they don’t want to pay shipping costs, that they wish to evaluate the products in person, or that they don’t have any friends and just want to be your buddy, it’s still important that businesses with nearby storefronts supply consumers with that physical information. Marketing research from Adobe reveals that: 84% of store visitors use their mobile devices before or during a shopping trip, and 75% said product information found on social channels influenced their shopping behavior and enhanced loyalty. So, utilize your social media tools to get information out to consumers and bridge that gap between digital and brick-and-mortar. If they’re seeing a special offer you’ve advertised on Twitter, why make them hunt down your store address on another website? Provide everything they need to make that final purchase with as little effort as possible.
5. Get back on schedule
Sure, it’s easy to create a campaign and just set it to run as much as possible, around the clock, hoping you’ll maximize your impressions that way – but why waste money advertising when your target audiences aren’t even seeing any of it? You may have set your campaign to run towards the end of the month, because you feel this is the most profitable time, but what times of the day are your audiences even looking at your ads? Make sure you’re scheduling your campaigns to be displayed at the optimum times of the day and week. Get your budget focused into that sweet spot and you’ll really maximize profits.
4. Track those links
It’s great to network, interact and build your brand on social media, but nowadays, it doesn’t mean much unless you can measure its impact. Make sure that any link to content on your website that you’re sharing is trackable – Google’s URL builder is a good tool for that. You want to make sure web analytics can identify and track your inbound sources of traffic, enabling you to monitor different outreach campaigns – in this scenario, social. Make sure you keep your tags separated by channel as well, or they’ll be useless to you. And don’t wait – once this data is gone, it’s gone. So get tracking!
3. Impress on mobile, convert on desktop
Generally, more impressions will be gained on mobile, whereas more conversions happen by desktop. They’re often connected, and the technology is there to prove it. Bryan Schroeder, director of product marketing at Facebook, shared that “over 65% of desktop conversions on Facebook could be attributed back to mobile impressions.” Today, it’s possible for us to track some consumers across devices – and not just with account login information, but also with things such as data collection sources that track digital fingerprints and connect devices by linking cookies to UUID’s… It’s all very complicated and exciting, so I urge you to go research it yourself and save me from having to try to explain it any further. Take advantage of the times and figure out how to optimize your separate mobile and desktop ads so that they are relevant and complementary to each other.
2. Members only
Truth is – we never really leave that high school syndrome behind. We all want to be the cool kids with the coolest stuff – and nowadays, we want to be able to show it off online as well – which is good news for us marketers. Personal anecdote: I followed a certain coffee chain on Twitter because I was told by one of their ads that I would receive “insider information” on their products. Lo and behold, one day I got a personal message in my Twitter inbox saying that, because I was an “exclusive member,” I was able to try their newest flavor of drinks A WHOLE WEEK before any of those other mediocre suckers. All I had to do was go into the store and show them my super-secret message. I walked into the coffee shop like a boss, got my special drink, shared it all over my social media accounts, and convinced a bunch of other people to be cool and join the club too. Those smarties got me to follow them, give them my personal information, patronize their brick-and-mortar shop, buy their products, and score them a bunch of other customers with word-of-mouth. They nailed it – and they didn’t even have to give me any freebies or discounts, I paid them. The exclusivity factor is a big motivator, my friend. Don’t you want to be a part of the top secret super successful marketers club too? All of the cool brands are doing it.
1. GIVE A LITTLE BIT
As human beings, it’s natural to want a little something for your effort. That’s why this bit is, in my opinion, the most important thing to remember. Not only that, but it’s also something brands can very easily screw up. What are you going to give me for spending my precious time, consideration, and finger-moving calories to click on your ad? Because I am a valuable consumer – which you’ve proven by trying to advertise to me – and I have money to spend, this had better be good. You’ve made consumers aware of how much they’re worth to you – they’re not stupid – so they want to know that you’re giving it your all to get them on your side. Just as Steven Levitt says in his book Freakonomics, “…economics is, at root, the study of incentives: how people get what they want or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing.” It sounds self explanatory, but it’s overlooked more often than you’d think. Incentives are the foundation of marketing – heck, humanity – and the number one thing to keep in mind when building paid social campaigns. After all, you read this blog post because you wanted ten tricks to successful paid social, didn’t you?