Today there is no separation between paid and unpaid content in social media. With the changes to platform algorithms and the overall decrease of organic reach, companies need to spend dollars to increase engagements, clicks to the website and brand awareness on social media. Here are the four major platforms and what your company should know about advertising on each of them.
Facebook and Instagram deliver the largest audience.
Facebook boasts an astounding 2 billion monthly active users. Instagram, a subsidiary of Facebook, trails behind with 700 million monthly active users. The immensity of the audience means companies of all sizes and types have people within their target audience here. Content can vary substantially and still yield results, with giveaways, embedded links, one-time offers, product videos and user-generated content all performing well.
The benefit of the advertising dashboard provided by Facebook is largely the advanced customization and targeting options. You can pick a lifetime or daily budget; a start and end date; and specific times of day to show your ads.
From a targeting perspective, you can create audiences from people who have engaged with your page in the past, people who have visited your website, customers on your email list, etc. Once you’ve created those “custom audiences,” you can then expand your reach with lookalike audiences. These audiences allow Facebook and Instagram to serve ads to people like the customers who visited your website, engaged with your page, etc.
Custom audiences and lookalike audiences can seem complicated at first, but they yield consistent results. They also allow you to narrow the audience to reach the people most likely to wait for your website to load, engage with your page and remember your company when they’re considering purchasing your type of product or service.
Pinterest delivers the longest-running advertising results.
Pinterest thrives on visual ideas like products, DIY tips, and other inspirational content. Nearly 81 percent of the 175 million active monthly users are female, and every day 2 million of those users save shopping pins.
A niche audience like this will not work for all businesses. However, companies that have visual how-to ideas, and inspirational and shoppable content can thrive here. Especially because no matter how small your campaign budget, it will continue to yield results after your campaign ends.
This happens because customers save, or “pin,” your promoted content to their boards for future reference. Followers of this customer see this promoted pin after the initial campaign has concluded. They then engage with the ad, and it continues to garner clicks, impressions and saves, expanding the reach farther.
We’ve seen clicks to the website from ad campaigns that stopped running months ago. In the last six months alone, past campaigns we’ve run have generated 50,000 additional earned, non-paid impressions–all because people continued to engage with the pins.
Another benefit of Pinterest is the opportunity to target customers searching for certain keywords. Simply type in a keyword related to the content you plan to promote, and you’ll see how many people are searching for that keyword. You can pick the highest-search keywords and also keep track of which ones lead to the most clicks, saves, etc.
Twitter delivers brand awareness and clicks to the website.
With 328 million monthly active users, Twitter can quickly increase brand awareness and promote specific products or services. This platform operates in fast-paced real-time, so the launching of a brand-new product, a one-week-only-offer, a seasonal DIY project, or content around a trending topic would all fit well here.
One of Twitter’s best advertising benefits is the option to create rich website cards with a link to your website. These cards include a beautiful image with a customizable headline that a customer can click on anywhere to get to the website. With strategic tweet text and a website card, your company could drive 43% more engagement than if you just tweeted out a link!
Twitter’s targeting is not as advanced as Facebook, but it does allow you to set up tailored audiences to reach people who’ve visited your website, mobile app users or even a customer list. You can then expand that audience by targeting users similar to the tailored audience. Other interesting options include the opportunity to target followers of your competitors, people who are searching for a certain keyword or hashtag, and basic behavioral and interest targeting.
Organic reach on social media has been declining for years. However, success on social media is still within reach for companies willing to place dollars behind images, posts, tweets and pins. Have questions about which platform your business should be using to reach its customers? Contact us here.