Social Media Marketing Custom Audience Targeting: Be Where They're At
Social media is the human side of the web…people seem to like it. 😉
Whether you’re selling blenders, hairdos or Ferrari fenders, social media is where your customers live, breathe and interact with others during their day.
But my customers are too: Old Young Sophisticated Smart .................... to be on social media.
There are 2 basic flavors of social media:
Organic social media is “free”.
It’s what you’re doing when you share or create a post on either your personal profile or business page and it’s the bulk of what you see out there on Facebook and Instagram. It’s grandma looking at pics of the kids, that fancy dinner you made last night, the rainbow this morning…
…and, of course, lots of cats.
Posting content (and the subsequent engagement with customers) offers you a rich opportunity for company-customer interaction. Surprisingly, many companies leave this critical work in the hands of inexperienced staff who approach social media from a purely personal perspective. This results in fragmented posts with mixed messaging that are misaligned with the brand. This can hurt the business and turn away potential customers.
Facebook is (still() king of social media-land so we almost always recommend starting there but there are other platforms you might consider as well, including Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and many more. Each additional platform you employ to promote your business is an additional thing that you need to manage. Best practice is to post original content (not just share other’s posts) about 4 times a week. This can quickly get to be a confusing, frustrating and time consuming task for a business owner or manager… which means it ain’t free!
We offer strategic planning, creative design and content creation for all major platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. These processes include developing calendar schedules, scheduling posts and responding appropriately to customer feedback. We also track key metrics and provide analysis of the effectiveness of the strategy. Check out The Cookie Corner for a real-world example of what we can do for your organic social media.
Paid social media is a form of digital advertising.
You might be thinking “why pay when I can do this organically for free”?
The answer, at least in the case of Facebook/Instagram, is that algorithm changes over the past few years have reduced the organic reach of business pages. That means that they’ve reduced the number of people who ever get to see your posts. Why? Because it increases their advertising revenue. They are a business, after all.
The reality of organic reach, or the lack thereof, has made paid advertising more of a necessity for a business to achieve success on social media. Facebook/Instagram provides comparatively cost-effective digital advertising to a highly segmentable/targetable audience and an opportunity to significantly expand the audience beyond organic reach. Alternatively, social media can be used to great effect through remarketing (serving ads to people who have visited your website or page without making a purchase, filling out a form or whatever it is you want them to do).
Like Google, managing a Facebook Business Page and Ad Manager account requires knowledge of the platform which (again, like Google) is always changing and needs regular monitoring and adjustment. Initial account setup can be confusing. If you’re having trouble with your business page and ad account, here’s some guidance that should help you out. Or, just give us a call and we’ll get you squared away. Once you’re set up, here are a few helpful hints for when you’re creating ads.
For most businesses, a strong social media presence is no longer an option. A lacking in this area can be a huge turnoff for some customers so companies accept the necessity for social media, even if they don’t like it.
We provide strategic planning, creative design, content creation and implementation of integrated social media campaigns for all major platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Digital Integration, Tracking & Analytics
Integration is the process of connecting your social account to your website, landing pages, forms, Google Analytics, email marketing platform, online listings and other 3rd party applications. This requires knowledge of and experience with the ad platform and often requires some coding capability as well to get things to work properly. This can be frustrating in the extreme for owners and managers who have a business to run and don’t have the time to learn a completely new set of skills.
Then, once everything is hooked up, tracking and analytics is the engine that will keep your ads performing.
In traditional advertising, an agency would do some research, propose a strategy to the client, negotiate with publishers (newspapers, magazines, radio, television, signs, etc.) to purchase ad space, then publish the ads and wait to see how the ads performed. Other than pulling sales reports, that was pretty much it until the next campaign.
Social media advertising is much different. It’s not a “once and done” proposition!
An effective social ad campaign, as mentioned, requires familiarity with the platform (which is constantly changing) as well as continuous management. We’re constantly reviewing analytics, meeting with Facebook account reps and adjusting our client’s ad campaigns to improve ROI. This entails adjusting ad copy, budgets, audiences, placements, geotargeting and other settings to improve performance on a (minimum) weekly basis. This ability to measure and adjust is the great benefit of digital over traditional advertising.
Of course, this level of proficiency necessitates a lot more training and effort than most business leaders can reasonably devote to marketing. To make things easier (and to bring in more ad revenue) Facebook offers the option to “boost” organic posts. This option allows you to simply drop some cash down to deliver your organic post out to a wider audience. However, a boosted post has nowhere near the level of control of an ad developed in Facebook Ads Manager.
Boosted posts are ads!
A few local business owners have told us that they don’t want to run ads because they’re too “in your face” and that they prefer to boost posts instead. On the platform, this looks exactly the same as an ad because boosted posts are ads. They’re just extremely limited.
Bottom line: you’re likely to spend less overall and get better results by ensuring that your account is properly set up and managed.
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