Three Ingredients for Social Media Advertising Success | Part Two: Do What You’re Doing

Cappy Pratt Social Media Leave a Comment

In part one of the series, we leveled some of your expectations (or more importantly, how to level your boss’s expectations) for your social media campaign. The nickel summary: social advertising is a powerful medium, if you are looking for what it can deliver–reach, engagement, and dynamic conversations with your consumers.

Now, in this post, we will try to keep you on track so you can execute an effective social advertising campaign.

Part Two: Do what you’re doing

Distraction is the primary enemy for a social advertising campaign. Wikipedia lists 210 (seriously, 210) social media networking sites, of which 15 have virtual communities greater than 100 million users. Even if you take those numbers with a big grain of salt, it is still a massive, and fractured market.

The solution is to focus on your ideal market and your desired objectives. Carefully select the networks in which you should invest, based on audience alignment with your business, monitor your KPIs, and stay on message.

Beware dilution

Wouldn’t it be awesome if cross-posted content worked well on all networks? It would, and they don’t. Hashtags, action requests (“Like”, “+1”, “Pin”), not to mention character counts, media requirements, and so on, are not consistent across networks. A message written for one network may or may not work in another. And consumers perceive this.

A great deal has already been written on the subject of which social network to use for what business objective (e.g. Retail = Pinterest, B2B = LinkedIn). Establishing a presence on each platform is seductive, and you need to avoid it.

Content performs best when created for a specific platform. Acting beyond your established focus would either increase the investment required, or diminish the quality of the content and optimization.

Align your KPIs to your business

If your business objective is to sell consumer products, then fixating on the number of retweets a post receives doesn’t make much sense, does it?
If your business objective is to sell consumer products, then fixating on the number of retweets a post receives doesn’t make much sense, does it? Sure, it may be a contributing factor in some way, but of those there are many.

It is an easy trap for marketers to fall into an outside-in paradigm when it comes to advertising KPIs. Instead, be careful to focus on the closest possible metric to your business objective. This could be page conversions, website visitors, coupon downloads, etc. All major social media networks are equipped with tracking infrastructures–use them.

Take a moment to refer back to the first article in this series and think for a minute about the warning not to buy Likes. Buying a Like delivers business value only insofar as the Like converts to a more valuable metric at a meaningful rate.

Stay on target

You may harbor a keen desire to share any post containing cat memes (understandable). Does this witty, high quality, cuteness overload cat meme contribute to your business objectives? Probably not. Don’t post it. Content should accrue to your business objectives.

While that example is obvious, the same applies to more subtle topics–politics, cross-promotions, and so on. Unless it contributes to your primary objective, leave it off. Preserving a cohesive marketing voice geared towards your business objective increases the impact of the entire social channel.

It does NOT mean your business should be boring and one-dimensional. Remember your business’s social presence online is a persona, and that persona should reflect your customers’ interests. If your best customers have a high affinity with cat memes, therein lies your argument to include that content in your stream.

Next: You get what you pay for…

The bewildering array of opportunities in social advertising often deters companies from launching a social ad campaign (we can help with that). Those companies that enter the social advertising space often end up adrift in a vast sea of content, networks, conversations, without effectively executing their strategy.

Impressive strategy without impressive execution is worthless (attributed to Anne C. Graham). Assert your corporate self-discipline. Engage those networks that are valuable to your customers, measure your progress, and keep on task.

In the last post in the series, we’ll look at how you can invest intelligently, while keeping a handle on resource costs for your organization.