We all head to Facebook or Twitter when we need a bit of downtime and businesses are no different, spending large amounts of time and money on social media every year. As such, this sector is forever changing, matching the needs of both users and businesses with their sophisticated social media marketing.
Not only are social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat evolving with technology – such as new capabilities for live or recorded video – but behind the scenes, social media channels are adapting APIs to create new methods for businesses to best reach their target audiences.
What makes an effective social media strategy?
A social media strategy isn’t just creating quality, engaging content anymore. Instead it also focuses on creating shareable content and using intelligent targeting to get your posts in front of the right people.
Promoted posts are available on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and now Instagram. Each platform has a variety of ways you can push your content further to the people who may engage and convert, targeting your posts to your audience’s age group, their location and their interests. Simply create and audience persona, which can involve a variety of interests, habits and hobbies, and promote your content using the relevant targeting options.
There’s plenty of opportunity to widen your audience base and grow your business through Facebook custom audience marketing. The options for targeting your content and ads on Facebook have grown significantly as Facebook has become one of the top platforms for marketing, particularly within the B2C market.
You can create custom lists using email addresses from your own database, or track those who have visited your website and deliver your ads directly to these people. There’s also the option to create a lookalike audience, in which Facebook will take the interests and other attributes from profiles of your custom audience list and match these personal qualities to other Facebook profiles within a percentage of the country.
Remember, it’s always worth testing ads to audience groups and working out the success based on audience engagement metrics.
What are the similarities between search and social marketing?
It’s important to consider search marketing when working on your social media campaigns, as there are some strong similarities between the two.
Paid advertising on social media can complement your Google AdWords campaigns and vice versa. If you start with a PPC campaign on Google – testing which audiences work and which do not – this data can be reflected through similar targeting on social media. Paid advertising also means you have control over how your adverts and your brand looks, instead of the appearance of organic search results that are defined by Google.
If you’re only relying on strong organic results, social media is the best place to put your products in front of the right people, instead of waiting for them to search for, and find your business. If your business suffers from seasonal peaks and troughs in organic search throughout the year, you can rely on social media marketing to drive traffic to your website all year round.
What are the best platforms to use?
The best platforms to use will depend on the nature of your business. If you’re a B2B business, then LinkedIn has a vast audience for B2B marketing, giving you the option of targeting specific companies, job titles and employment skills. However, it is worth trialling ads on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to discover relevant audiences away from a work environment.
For B2C companies, Facebook’s advanced marketing platform is a good place to start. Even a small amount of marketing budget can increase the reach of your posts, boost engagement and drive relevant traffic to your website.
Facebook and Twitter are continually advancing their advertising platforms, with the capability to create custom audiences and retarget ads to website visitors. Facebook’s recent purchase of Instagram means you can also create ads, or replicate your Facebook ads on Instagram, using Facebook’s advance database and clever targeting options on this channel too.
Jenny is the social media lead at Bozboz, a digital marketing and web design agency based in Brighton. She manages social media for a variety of clients across a range of platforms. Her specialism lies in paid social media marketing for both B2B and B2C clients.