Social Media advertising is at this point a well-recognised platform for business to engage in both for lead generation and branding purposes, but sometimes recognition that it’s something that needs to be done is where it ends, with the how being a large and complicated question mark hanging over many a campaign. You can rest assured that over time we’ll be covering off strategy in multiple blogs, but today we’re going to look at one of the most common questions we get as Brisbane based social media marketing people, which is how to know when to utilise each or both of the two main aspects of these platforms. This again is a question with many answers that we will inevitably get to as we continue to grow our advice and blog, but for the purposes of this blog let’s focus on a few of the most obvious, least obvious and downright unexpected reasons you’d choose one of these three paths.
Promotions and sales. Rewarding loyalty and promoting products are something that’s very easy to do via a social media page. Whether a competition, promoting your latest sales or just testing the waters with a new product, a boosted Facebook or Instagram post in particular is usually the best way to do this with both an existing audience and those outside of your regular sphere of influence.
The not so obvious:
Customer service branding. If this does seem obvious to you then you’re doing social media right! But it isn’t to many businesses. You have an opportunity to interact with your customers in real time via social media, but also to have all of your best customer service work happen in full public view for all to see, inspiring trust and helping your reputation. So why not boost a post every now and then showcasing some of the great experiences your customers have with you? We’ve even utilised conflict resolution in this matter on occasion to great success as showing that you are listening to and resolving a customer’s potential problem is worth its weight in gold!
The unexpected: SEO (Search Engine Optimisation):
Did you know that your social media accounts can contribute to your website’s search engine rankings? Most would know that links pointing to your website help with its reputation and links from social media are definitely not worthless, however, they are given much less weight than other forms of link. The real way in which social media marketing can contribute is the level of activity it can send to your blog! A good healthy site with a regular audience invested in its blog can do wonders for your rankings.
PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising
Straight lead generation, remarketing. Aside from the ridiculously great levels of tracking you can attach to this advertising platform, it’s basically like any other in that you decide on your text/video and attach the desired creative. Perfect for advertising your business and products/services to a new and very targeted audience and adjusting in real time based on results. Remarketing also benefits hugely from the agility of social media advertising as opposed to print, television or radio as you can follow up site visitors with highly customised messaging in the blink of an eye.
The not so obvious:
Branding. Many see PPC advertising as a pure sales based affair and are reluctant to spend money on it for anything they can’t see an immediate return on. But as any marketing expert worth their salt will tell you, branding should never be underestimated. Sure you can run a likes campaign, but that’s not always enough to convert a potential customer into a follower. The best way to do this? Be consistent in tone, refresh your content and tell a story that will pull in those who might need a little more convincing. Once you’ve got them as a follower the chances of converting them into a customer go up many times over!
Attribution. Honestly, we agonised over putting this into the “unexpected” section, but as much as we personally see it as an absolutely essential part of any marketing strategy, more clients than not do require an education with regards to how all the pieces of that strategy contribute to the success of each other. This isn’t due to any oversight on their part, it just hasn’t been enough a part of the conversation around marketing for a long time. We do have a previous blog that explains how this works in a bit more detail, but long story short, your Facebook ad might be the first time a potential customer has heard of your business. They might then go to your website but not convert into a sale on the first visit, however, having visited your website they can then be remarketed to across multiple channels such as Google Ads and convert then after a bit more convincing. More on how to track such things is to come below.
When to use both
The obvious: Lead generation. Whether you need to advertise the same product differently to both an existing or new target audience or highlight particular products over time as part of an ongoing promotion, the two work in obvious union here.
The not so obvious:
Remarketing. As we mentioned above, not every potential customer converts on the first go. But data shows that those remarketed to on the same platform they were originally marketed to are highly likely to remember/recognise what it is that they’re seeing rather than having that advertising just seem familiar but with them unsure as they’re seeing it somewhere strange, which increases conversion rates. So why not advertise to them with a boosted post but have a remarketing campaign ready to hit them up again via PPC ads if the post doesn’t quite get them across the line?
Customer satisfaction surveys and market research. While posting polls on your page to obtain opinions from an existing audience is definitely a great exercise, they are your existing audience and likely don’t represent the will of the average consumer. Sadly you can’t boost polls on something like your Facebook page and there is no poll option within its PPC (which is also how you create Instagram ads, but they don’t have polls either). The best way to get around this and reach fresh eyes for some unfiltered and unbiased information is to create a poll externally (such as on Surveymonkey) and create an advertisement around it. This would also work with a boosted post if all you’re looking to do is reach Facebook or Instagram users, but given the Facebook affiliate network (websites who have opted in to allow Facebook ads to appear on their domain), the reach is much better with PPC.
How best to track results
Leads and sales. For any businesses in Brisbane doing social media marketing, Facebook will tell you within its advertising platform either how many leads you received if you created a form ad (something which does the form within Facebook so the customer never even goes to an external site) or how many clicks through to the website you’ve had. Unless this is a landing page then we wouldn’t recommend counting this as a lead however and would instead suggest you make sure you have the Facebook tracking pixel installed on your website so that you can set up custom conversion parameters and track the number of actual forms submitted or click to call buttons pressed. If you’re an e-commerce site then you can even track all the way through to sale via this method. However if you’re not:
The not so obvious:
Offline sales. If the advertising you’re engaged in provides lead but the sales happen later offline via a salesperson or a physical visit then you need to get into the habit of having your staff make note of where each sale come from. There are ways via Google Tag Manager (in the next point) that you can help make this easier, but it would be folly to think that advertising on Facebook only ever results in trackable online sales so it would be folly to track only those kinds of sales if you want a realistic picture of how it’s contributing to your business. Whether it’s a simple spreadsheet, a Google Tag or software and internal processes, make sure you’re accounting for all of it so that you don’t think the advertising is underperforming and then wonder why sales in other areas died off once you turned the advertising off or changed tactics.
Google Tag Manager. This is another one that we didn’t quite feel should be in “unexpected” but it’s again something we often have to educate clients on as the conversation around it does not happen loudly enough in the industry. Last week we did a whole blog around this tracking platform so we won’t repeat ourselves except to say that both of the previous points can be incorporated into a well set up GTM account as it can obtain data and offer customisation that isn’t available anywhere else. From call tracking to events (clicks etc), to all kinds of things that only you might need to know it is THE resource for those looking to track all of their online marketing efforts in a single place in a way that makes sense to them so we strongly recommend you look into it.
So that’s it!
We hope we’ve given you a few ideas to explore and experiment with. As always if you’d like to know more or explore your own options, we’re a Brisbane based social media marketing company driven by your success, which means our success, so feel free to get in touch!