For eSellers, social media advertising should be an essential part of your marketing strategy. Online stores with a social media presence have, on average, 32% higher sales than those without, making paid social advertising one of the best ways to reach new customers and expand your business. But it’s not enough to throw out the occasional tweet or an Instagram story. You need an ad plan focusing on a specific target audience, as well as a way to track your progress.
Here, we’ll outline the steps that you can take to maximize your social media advertising strategy and improve your return on investment (ROI) in 2019.
Have an Execution Strategy and Objectives
Before launching any social media campaigns, it’s important to first establish your goals. Going blindly into paid social is a surefire way to spend your time and money without getting much in return. For eSellers, the most common goals are to increase traffic, visibility, engagement, lead generation, and sales. Prioritize your goals and choose the best one to attack first.
Look at how often your competitors are posting, conduct industry research to see the ideal amount of content to publish per day on each channel, and then clearly outline your own strategy in an easy-to-read editorial calendar — Google Docs or Excel will work fine.
Set up a weekly, shareable publishing calendar, and then separate by social channel, and provide columns for your goals and publishing dates. Social media management platforms like Hootsuite, Buffer, and TweetDeck can help schedule posts, monitor and manage social feeds, and access performance analytics.
Carefully Select Your Social Media Platforms
When choosing networks for your advertisements, focus on your own reasons to promote on certain platforms. Try choosing one or two networks that best align with your goals and objectives, the most popular being Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Snapchat. Some things to consider include:
- Does this channel’s demographics match my brand?
- Do our competitors target users on this network?
- Does my target audience consistently engage here?
- Does my ad format fit the platform?
Once you have your core channels to focus on, it’s time to move on to content.
Make Sure You’re Reaching Your Target Audience
Low engagement with social media posts is a constant issue for eSellers. If you’re not getting the social engagement you want, one of the reasons might be that your content isn’t reaching your target audience. Effectively engaging with your target audience means understanding who they are and the types of content they engage with the most. Things to watch out for include:
- What are they posting about?
- Which of your competitor’s posts get the most reactions from their followers?
- Who are they engaging with?
Analyzing this data can provide you with insights into the type of content that would work well for you.
Treat Each Social Channel Individually
Social media platforms have their own individual strengths and weaknesses, meaning that a one-size-fits-all strategy won’t work. While some content can be spread across all channels — like a new product launch — you should adjust your strategy based on a platform’s specific audience. For example, Instagram users are most likely interested in engaging visual content, while LinkedIn is more business-focused, with users looking for educational content.
By tailoring your efforts to the strengths of each channel, you’ll have a better chance of connecting with your target audience.
Post Frequently Enough to Connect with Your Audience
When looking to follow people on Twitter or Instagram, you probably wouldn’t pay attention to accounts that post once or twice a month. To build a social media following as an eSeller, and to learn which tactics are effective, you must post frequently.
While posting daily across your core channels is optimal, overall frequency will vary from eSeller to eSeller. What remains the same, however, is that if you aren’t posting enough, your target audience simply won’t see your content.
For example, the average e-commerce site publishes 4.55 posts a week on their Facebook page. Getting noticed on Twitter is harder, given how fast the cycle moves, making it is essential to post regularly to snatch what attention you can. According to one study, tweeting one to five times a day is the sweet spot for optimizing your engagement per tweet.
With Instagram, brands are seeing a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21% — 58 times higher than on Facebook and 120 times higher than on Twitter. Posting three times a day is recommended, but if you have shareable brand-related images, the sky is the limit.
Just remember that along with posting across multiple channels, you also want to make sure that you are posting different types of content. For example, post a tweet with an associated image or gif or video.
Continually Test and Track Your Efforts
A big reason why ROI for social advertising is so low is that brands aren’t measuring their social media performance. You must continuously refresh, alter and test your content to maximize its effectiveness.
Set aside time every month to review metrics that are important to your business, such as number of posts, follower growth, clicks to your site/products, page views, post likes or shares, impressions, etc. Look at each channel separately and compare your efforts to your competitors to see how you rank.
Test different kinds of ads to see what is working and what to move on from. Ways to keep your ads fresh include:
- Checking the ad copy to ensure the language you’re using contains a strong call to action. Emails with a single call-to-action increased clicks by 371% and sales by 1617%.
- Posts that include images produce 650% higher engagement than text-only posts, so test photos and illustrations to see which gets the best response from your audience.
- Update your landing page and make sure it contains all the necessary information that your target audience needs to convert. Also consider long form landing pages, as they can generate up to 220% more leads.
Through constant testing, you’ll learn your own best practices and what works best for your business. While everyone’s advertising strategy is different, the practices outlined here will help your business establish an effective social media presence.
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