Social Media Advertising: The Basics

So, you want to advertise on social media? Smart choice. Not only is advertising on social media more accessible for small businesses, it’s also more effective.

 

According to the Global Web Index, “the average internet user now spends about 15 minutes longer each day on social platforms than they do watching TV.” With 50 percent of people using Facebook daily, and more than 2.2 billion monthly active users on the platform, this platform is a great place to start.

 

Facebook, and by extension Instagram, is the most popular platform for social media advertising. But depending on the type of ad you’re running or the audience you’re hoping to reach, advertising on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or even YouTube may be a better option.

 

USING VARIOUS PLATFORMS TO PROMOTE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CONTENT

At Dittoe PR, we have clients advertising across the top four social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

 

With each of these platforms, there are obvious differences to the types of content being shared on each channel. For example, using LinkedIn for business-focused content and using Instagram for photo and video sharing. There are also nuanced differences to the types of advertisements you can create, the copy and creative used for each and the demographics available for targeting. Let me break it down for you!

 

Types of ads.

Knowing the difference between when to boost an existing post versus create an advertisement is important. First, look at the copy and creative you plan to use. Many platforms such as Facebook, limit the content for ad copy to less than 100 characters. If you’re looking to share more information, a boosted post may be your best bet. This allows the information to live on your page after the ad has run its course.

 

If you’re promoting an upcoming event, like a flash sale, a grand opening or a hiring announcement, and you’re okay just sharing the essential information – OR – if you want the content to be removed from your page after the ad ends, consider creating an advertisement instead.

 

Demographic targeting.
Each platform offers various demographics to target by, including location, age, gender, income, interests, job title/function, employer and more.

 

Knowing the audience you’re trying to reach with an advertisement is likely the most important step in creating a social media ad. If you end up targeting the wrong group of users, the advertisement will not be successful. A common practice we use at Dittoe PR is reviewing third-party or channel-specific reports for each individual channel, or the channel you plan to promote, and taking a closer look at the age, gender and location of your followers.

 

If you’re trying to target people that don’t currently follow you, reach out to the users with demographics that fall outside of your top followers. But, if you’re trying to promote a new service or newsworthy coverage to your followers, or users like them, targeting your top follower demographics is a great idea!

 

For example, one of our client’s goals this quarter is to reach a larger audience of fitness enthusiasts. To align with this goal, we promoted copy and creative that discussed the recovery benefits to massage therapy to coincide with the fact that most people make New Year’s resolutions to “get fit” or “stay healthy.” We also partnered with local fitness influencers to help spread the message, then we shared and boosted their content to the client’s Facebook pages to further promote this message.

 

HOW TO SELECT CONTENT TO PROMOTE

Sometimes, selecting content to promote can be overwhelming, especially with a client who has a lot going on or provides a wide range of offerings. By focusing on what is truly important on a case-by-case basis, PR pros can break down what types of information are going to be most relevant to the users your clients are trying to reach.

 

Partnership goals.

When promoting content, think back to the primary goals of the PR partnership. Does your client want to gain more followers? Do they want to open a dialogue with their customers? Are they trying to increase foot traffic at a certain location? All of these goals will play into the types of content you’re promoting and the way you’re promoting them.

 

Facebook allows businesses to promote based on a number of potential results, including: getting more leads, promoting your page, getting website visits, promoting your business locally, getting more website purchases, and receiving more messages.

 

Organic performance.

One of the easiest ways to select content to promote is by reviewing your recent top performing content. If a post is performing well organically on your page, throwing some ad dollars behind it and boosting it to a targeted audience is a great idea. It’s pretty common for people to pay more attention to posts that already have garnered engagement, rather than clicking on or reading a post that has no likes or comments.

 

Timely content.

Another great way to select promoted content is by sharing information that would be relevant to your followers.

 

For example, February is American Heart Month and Valentine’s Day takes place on Feb. 14. For our client Massage Heights, we homed in on the heart health benefits stemming from regular massage therapy and including last-minute gift ideas available for purchase.

 

Adversely, for our client Merchants Capital, we regularly promote recent loan closings for affordable housing developments to promote the work of the team and encourage borrowers to contact them for assistance on their next project. These types of posts not only position you as an expert in your field, but they promote your brand in an efficient and relatable way.

 

Want your business to reach new audiences through social media advertising? Learn more about Dittoe PR’s social media services and connect with Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com to set up a consultation!

Three Social Media Tips for a Productive New Year

Each new calendar year brings PR professionals the opportunity to set new goals and get organized. While the majority of pros are researching new media angles, publications and writers, drafting refreshed blog and website content and aligning with their clients’ marketing goals for a successful 2019, social media managers are planning influencer takeovers and social media ad campaigns, while drafting engaging content for various social channels to help support those same marketing and sales goals.

 

You’ve probably already realized social media management is rarely a 9 to 5 job – in fact, it’s nearly the opposite. Depending on your audience and the day of the week, peak times for each social media channel differ. This creates the need for social media managers to need to stay organized and efficient, especially when working on the go.

 

Check out the tips below to help you better manage your time and your social media channels in 2019:

 

Create a Content Calendar

If you’re not already planning ahead for content on social media, you’ve probably found yourself scrambling at the last minute to create sharable content that actually generates engagement with your audience. Instead of reacting in the new year, start by planning the types of content you want to feature on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.

 

Not only will creating this calendar allow you to plan ahead and schedule content in advance, but it will allow you to better plan for new campaigns and company announcements via social, brainstorm and budget effectively, source credible third-party content and more.

 

Also, consider looking into national days that align with your brand, like Treat Yourself Day for Massage Heights Indy or National Hat Day for LIDS, for additional content ideas (just don’t be one of those managers that jumps on every bandwagon for the heck of it, even if it doesn’t align with your brand).

 

Set Reminders for Recurring Tasks

The same way your alarm clock wakes you up in the morning or a calendar event alerts you of an upcoming meeting, using reminders for recurring tasks can be very useful, especially when managing multiple accounts for multiple clients.

 

Not only should you be logging onto your business’ social media accounts on a daily basis to check for notifications, but you should also be creating a daily or weekly list of tasks to execute on behalf of your business on social media. Various tasks include reading and responding to messages and reviews, taking the time to participate in two-way engagement with your followers, and deploying various acquisition tactics to gain new followers.

 

If your business is running paid social ads, you should also be logging on to your ad platform to monitor their performance, adjust budgets, respond to engagements and more.

 

Get Automated Wherever Possible

The use of automation in social media allows social media managers to increase efficiency and encourage growth in the new year. This is by no means an opportunity for social media managers to move into a hands-off role, but rather offers the ability to save time and effort while maximizing results.

 

Social media management platforms like Sprout Social or Hootsuite allow managers to handle multiple accounts in one platform, assign tasks for team members, schedule content, track engagement and other metrics, and provide insight for future strategic planning efforts.

 

IFTTT, or “If This Then That,” is also another great automation tool that allows social media managers to link tasks together based on a trigger. For example, when you publish your next blog post, the IFTTT would then automate and create a Facebook post on your behalf.

 

Think your company could benefit from social media management? Contact Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com to set up a consultation today!

 

 

Using Instagram Stories to Show Off Your Brand Behind the Scenes

RIP, Snapchat.

 

Okay, so Snapchat isn’t officially dead, but in June 2018, Instagram reported having up to 400 million daily active users – more than twice that of Snapchat. While Snapchat is still appealing to teens, we’ve been steadily phasing it out of our clients’ strategic social media plans. Why post to Snapchat when you already have a great platform built up on Instagram?

 

If static Instagram posts are the sandcastles, Instagram Stories are the sandbox. You don’t have to worry as much about the content quality because that’s not what your audience is looking for. They want to see what you’re doing, right then in the moment. That awesome product shot you got of hats perfectly balanced on a railing that did so well on your page? Show what it took to get that shot – including the 49 outtakes where hats kept falling over or hands were still caught in the frame.

 

Here are four other ideas to show off your brand with behind the scenes (BTS) Instagram Stories.

 

Event Planning.
Those of us in PR know how much work goes into planning an event, whether it’s a press conference or an exclusive blogger sneak-peek. Those rows of chairs don’t set themselves up on their own – take a boomerang of setting the chairs up, tag your employees doing the heavy lifting, and take a moment to recognize all the work that’s going into the event before the official photo-ops.

 

Interviews.
One of my favorite things to do at Dittoe PR is to set up on-air interviews for my clients. Like event planning, there’s a lot of coordination that goes into these interviews – and some very early morning trips to the news station! Most people only see the final interview when it airs on TV, so take a moment to get a BTS shot of the studio (don’t forget to tag the station and reporters!).

 

Photo Shoots.
Professional photo and video shoots will bring your brand the best visual materials you can ask for. Behind those lenses are a lot of people, tools and coordination that your fans may not be aware of. The top-down shot of a desk with your products scattered on it? There’s a photographer standing on a chair, holding her camera out at a precarious angle, and snapping by feel rather than what’s in the viewfinder. And there may be one person talking in the video, but there’s usually three or four people holding cameras, microphones and interview questions who are outside of the frame helping to make sure it all goes smoothly. Sharing this effort may make your followers appreciate that perfect shot even more.

 

Company Culture.
Unless your company is run by robots (which would be kind of cool), you work with people who have different interests and hobbies, as well as different roles within your organization. Introduce them to the world – with their permission, of course! You may know that your engineer has a thriving succulent collection on their desk, or your receptionist is notorious for their food-themed earrings. Your fans want to know the people behind their favorite brands.

 

And this doesn’t have to be on an individual level, either. If your company caters in lunch, regularly participates in #WineWednesday, or has a team building event off-site, these are great opportunities to show off your company culture and the leaders behind your success.

 

There are countless ways to use Instagram Stories to show off your company. If you’re not sure what might work, just take some boomerangs and see what happens!

 

Want some more help planning an in-depth social media strategy to show off your brand? Contact Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com.