When you’re using social media, algorithms (formulas that help networks decide what posts show up in your feeds and in what order) can be very helpful. Instead of having to slog through hundreds of posts, looking for what interests you among all of the noise, algorithms show you things you’re more likely to be interested in, what’s trending, and more.
When you’re marketing on social media, though, algorithms can be your biggest enemy. Users may have subscribed to updates from your page or profile, but they may not see every post. Playing nice with algorithms is a big part of the social media marketing game, especially if you want users to eventually click back to your website and generate leads on your contact forms.
The good news: all the main social media networks — Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter — offer paid placements that give you a higher likelihood of getting your posts in front of your target audience.
Better yet: if you do your research on your target audience and what they want, you can easily boost your lead generation with social advertising.
Ready to get started? Follow these three tips to get the best ROI on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter ads.
Tip #1: Know what you want to accomplish.
Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter offer different types of ads, and it pays to know your desired result before you start paying. No matter which option you choose, the social network will show your content to users most likely to take the desired action, so you’re guaranteed to have more impressions than you would if you didn’t pay. We’re all about that ROI, so let’s talk options!
If your main goal is to increase brand awareness, you’ll probably want to choose ads that boost your follower count. We recommend this as a starting point for companies just starting out on social media — it’s an instant credibility boost.
Similarly, ads that boost engagement also boost credibility and influence. Consider boosting engagement for important announcements, such as a new service release or company changes. When other users see likes, comments, and shares on a post, they’re more likely to take notice.
While you can get click-throughs to your website with the above options, if you really want to drive traffic you should select ads that are optimized for website clicks. You won’t get the boost to credibility and perception, since the number of clicks is invisible to users who view your content, but each web visitor is another opportunity to convert.
Of course, if lead generation is your biggest priority, you should consider ads that are specifically optimized for that purpose. These ads are a little different, since you’ll need to install some tracking code on a ‘thank you’ page so the network knows when a conversion has resulted from your ad.
Twitter and LinkedIn are also experimenting with ads that allow the user to fill out a lead generation form without having to leave the network. This makes the process simpler for the user, but you don’t have as much opportunity to convince them to convert due to space and lack of branded design.
Whichever way you go, keep in mind that lead generation social ads tend to be more expensive than the other options. But who doesn’t want more leads and more business?
Tip #2: Know your target audience.
Social ads let you sidestep the pitfalls of organic algorithms, but you’re still somewhat dependent on their formulas. Don’t worry, though: as long as you clearly define your target audience, you’ll be able to get your social ads in front of the people who need to see them the most.
Once you’ve chosen your objective, start thinking about who you want to reach. When you begin to build your campaign, you can segment your audience by:
- Keywords & hashtags
- …and more, depending on the network!
Tinker with the above settings to get your ads in front of people who may not already know about your company or what you can offer.
If you want to advertise to people who are already familiar with your work, it may be better to get even more specific. Try uploading a custom list of email addresses to a platform and run ads specifically to that audience, or create a lookalike audience consisting of profiles similar to your list. You can even put a network-specific pixel on your website and advertise to people who’ve visited your site before.
Of course, you can run different types of campaigns to different audiences. For example, you could:
- Promote a press release about a new hire to thought leaders in the cloud, IT, and telecom industries for a short amount of time, optimizing for post engagement.
- Maintain an ongoing set of website conversion ads that target end users who are interested in Desktop as a Service.
The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. (Okay, and your budget.)
Tip #3: Know what your target audience wants to see — & test repeatedly!
Once you have your objective and your audience, it’s time to actually build your ad.
If you’re boosting content that’s posted to your account, make sure that when you’re writing the post, you choose relevant imagery and copy that will grab your audience’s attention and make them want to take your desired action. This is a great way to boost perception of your brand, since anyone who goes to your profile will be able to see the post and its engagement. However, this same strength also makes it more difficult to test different images and copy; users may question your credibility if they see variations of the same post on your account.
If you know you’ll be doing a lot of testing, it may be better to use ad-specific content that is kept separate from your public profile. You’ll be better able to vary imagery, headlines, copy, and more — and vary your audience, too.
Keep an eye on what works and what doesn’t, and don’t be afraid to pause or prematurely end an ad or entire campaign if you’re not seeing results. Move the money to a different test, and keep spending on what’s working.
Ready to get started?
Social advertising is built into our Web Triangle monthly programs which bundle content, SEO, and social all into one delicious burrito. Contact us today to learn how you can use social advertising to boost your company’s credibility, generate new leads, and build your following!