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The 4 basics of effective social media advertising

September 6, 2013 | By | No Comments

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the most active social networks globally and your target consumer is most likely active on at least one of the networks. Here’s a quick guide to help you understand the basics of effective social media advertising.

1. Native Advertising

Social media advertising allow you to gain attention by placing your ads within the native experience of facebook, twitter and LinkedIn stream. What does that mean? Your ads are in the same stream as updates as from your consumer’s friends, family and interests. We, as consumers have developed a “banner blindness”, we tend to ignore ads in side-bars. The concept provides advertisers with greater attention and context than ads in the sidebar.

The best social ads promote your content, through promoted “posts” or “tweets”, you can engage new prospects. Here is an example Facebook ad promoting a page that a friend “likes”. Twitter and LinkedIn ads can can provide similar options to promote your company page and content.


2. Lookalike Audience Targeting

Never before have consumers been so public with their personal interests, professions, marital status and geographic locations. This is to the social advertiser’s advantage. Social advertising allows you to group “audiences” of consumers into “lookalike” databases to target with your ads.

You know your customer and most likely have an idea of the publications they read or where they live. Through social media data you can target not only the consumers who know about your company but also their friends or consumers who “lookalike” or share similar attributes online.

3. Optimization

With the exception of social retargeting, social advertising is available to be purchased on a cost per click basis. You will only pay for the ad if a potential customer clicks or engages with your ad. The impressions you will gain are complimentary but you should plan to test and optimize your ad creative.

Since you can set per campaign budgets, you should create several different posts or tweets to promote and test their effectiveness for a certain number impressions to see which is generating the most consumer engagement. For instance, pictures of women tend to get more likes, men get more shares. Other elements to consider during optimization include day, time and segmented audience.

4. Conversion Measurement

Social advertising can work at any stage of the buying process and can be measured through to online purchase or lead generation. Depending on the goals of your campaign you should set a metric to develop return on investment. Social advertising does not have to exclusively result in more likes or followers. Depending on your measurement capabilities and model, social advertising can result in first, last and multi-touch revenue attribution.

If you are buying ads directly, facebook, twitter and LinkedIn all have excellent social advertising tools.

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