If you’re reading this, chances are you maintain at least one personal social media profile, though it is more likely you regularly update a handful of them. Some of you even manage the social media profile pages associated with your organizations. If you’re like me, you aren’t new to social media, and you’ve probably noticed the ever-increasing amount of advertising that has wiggled its way into our social lives. Like it or not, social media advertising is here to stay. And it’s not just the traditional banner and display ads. Now it’s getting into our feeds, the place we go to get the updates we actually want. Let’s take a look at what it means to be a successful advertiser on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
With more than one billion users, Facebook has more active users than any other social network (not to mention three Oscars, thanks to the movie The Social Network). By definition, Facebook’s sponsored stories are updates paid for by a particular organization that highlight friends engaging with that organization’s page, app or event. You’ve probably seen sponsored stories in your news feed after your friends have checked in at or liked various restaurants and retailers. As an advertiser, you can target specific Facebook users with each sponsored story based on geographic location (country, state or city), “likes” and even connections. This targeting capability increases your chance of getting your ad in front of your target demographic. With Facebook’s analytics, you will be able to track performance to determine the number of impressions and the click-through rate for each ad. On its second quarter earnings call, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said, “[a]s measured by click-through rates, sponsored stories in [the] news feed perform multiple times better on both desktop and mobile than ads in the right-hand column.” Keep that in mind when you develop your company’s ad strategy for Facebook.
As of late September, LinkedIn had more than 187 million members in more than 200 countries and territories, making it the largest professional network in the world. The LinkedIn Ads program allows you to target members based on job title and function, industry, company name and size, geographic location, gender, age, etc., providing you the opportunity to strategically reach your targets based on your budget. Ads can appear on any of the following pages: profile page, home page, inbox, search results page and group pages. To get started, create a few different ads and see how they perform. It is to your advantage to tweak low performing ads as high performing ads are shown more often. On another note, LinkedIn revamped their company pages a few months back, so make sure you’ve built out the products/services tab so the professional online community can see what you have to offer.
According to research completed last September, there are more than 500 million active registered Twitter users in the world averaging a combined total of 55 million tweets per day. That’s a whole lot of 140-character chatter, and hopefully your business is in on the conversation. Twitter currently offers a variety of ad opportunities for marketers and small businesses, including Promoted Accounts, Promoted Tweets and Promoted Trends. All offer the ability to increase engagement and brand awareness through strategic placement and better exposure in search results. “With Promoted Tweets, we've seen engagement rates from 1% to 3%, on average. On mobile, the engagement rates are even higher,” said a Twitter spokesperson earlier this year. Of course, you can still advertise via Twitter the good ol’ fashioned way (and at no cost to you) via word of mouth by your followers. Remember to keep up with the latest updates and best practices to ensure you’re getting all the advertising benefits available via Twitter.
Just as you maintain multiple social networking profiles, diversify your advertising efforts and use both print and digital media. Download our most popular eBook ‘The CMO's Guide to Integrating Print and Digital Media’ to learn how you can take advantage of the benefits of multi-channel advertising.
Hannah Hill is a marketing specialist at Mediaspace Solutions. Her marketing experience includes writing, social media and event management. You can connect with Hannah on LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+.