It seems, at times, that everyone is on social media every free moment they have. While that may be a bit of an exaggeration, it’s not far off. Nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults now use at least one social media site, according to the Pew Internet 2016 Media Fact Sheet. Plus, 76 percent of Facebook users, 51 percent of Instagram users and 42 percent of Twitter users visit their respective platforms daily. Snapchat wasn’t included in the Pew study, but they reported 161 million daily users in the fourth quarter of 2016.
As a business manager or a marketer, are you taking advantage of this vast audience?
If you are, great! If not, we have a few tips to get you started and make sure you’re investing your time and money in the right places.
No. 1: Selecting a platform
To select a social media site or sites, you’ll need to look at who your target audience is, and what you want from them.
A bit of research can tell you which platforms your primary audience uses most and when they’re likely to be online. Facebook has high user numbers in all age ranges. LinkedIn skews a bit older, with some of the highest usage rates from those aged 50 to 60 years outside of Facebook. (Hint: Facebook dominates pretty much all numbers outside of brand engagement. The social network has the largest number of users of any social media platform with more than 200 million in the U.S. alone, according to Pew.)
Beyond looking at flat user numbers, you need to decide if you’re looking for people to learn more about your company or if your primary goal is to generate leads.
- Instagram has the greatest level of engagement between users and companies, according to Track Maven. So, Instagram might be your platform if you’re looking to build brand recognition.
- LinkedIn is listed as the primary platform for those looking for employment according to the same study, so it’s your place to be for recruitment campaigns.
- Snapchat is doing great things with sponsored filters and story formats. You’ll want to consider this if you’re putting on a large event or plan to attend an event put on by someone else.
No. 2: Determine your target audience
Once you’ve got a platform selected, you’ll need to identify your target audience(s). Social media platforms are able to collect vast amounts of information on users, which makes it relatively simple to target by gender, income, location or interest. Remember to target those who already follow you and retarget those who have been to your site but haven’t converted yet. These are two audience groups that have already shown interest and are more likely to convert.
No. 3: Set a line in the sand
Based on past campaigns and industry averages, create some KPIs so you can decide if your campaign is going well and providing the outcomes you need. Your goals need to be realistic, but if you don’t have any set you won’t know if your returns are stellar or stagnant.
Some things you’ll want to consider when setting your KPIs:
- Market size
- Geographical location
- Historical sales
- Sites used
- Competitors in the same market
- Additional local marketing efforts
No. 4: Test your choices
Once you’ve decided on a platform and identified your target audience, it’s time to create your ads, filters or stories. Each of those can then be implemented and tested. Social media is fast-paced, but that means you have a greater ability to test your placements.
Action items to keep in mind when testing:
- Use multiple images in your ads. Run more than one at a time to see which one garners the most clicks or conversions.
- Write a variety of ad copy options to see which ones deliver the best returns.
- Change up the time of day you post your ads to test what works best for your vertical and audience. People probably aren’t going to search for a plumber at the same time of day they search for a restaurant for lunch.
- If you’re running thought leadership or brand building campaigns, try different calls-to-action to see what verbiage delivers the highest engagement levels.
Just remember that you should only test one variable at a time to ensure you know what the deciding factor was for your potential consumers.
Once you’ve researched, targeted, implemented and tested, keep repeating the process. It will help you refine your campaigns while staying on top of the ever-changing medium that is social media.
Related content: [Webinar Recording] How Social Ads Can Transform Your Brand.