The Art of Social Media Marketing | Part 1
Social media marketing is transforming the way brands, large and small, communicate with their customer base both current and future. In our two-part series, we will take a look at the most popular social media outlets – Facebook, YouTube and Instagram – and how you can leverage the power of each to reach your customers and grow your business.
To start, let’s take a look at what social media is and how Facebook plays a huge part in advertising your brand. According to Wikipedia, “social media marketing is the use of social media platforms and websites to promote a product or service. Most social media platforms have built-in data analytic tools, which enable companies to track the progress, success, and engagement of ad campaigns. Companies address a range of stakeholders through social media marketing, including current and potential customers, current and potential employees, journalists, bloggers, and the general public. On a strategic level, social media marketing includes the management of a marketing campaign, governance, setting the scope (e.g. more active or passive use) and the establishment of a firm's desired social media ‘culture’ and ‘tone.’ When using social media marketing, firms can allow customers and Internet users to post user-generated content (e.g., online comments, product reviews, etc.), also known as ‘earned media,’ rather than use marketer-prepared advertising copy.”
Post User? Earned media? Marketer-prepared? Passive approach versus active approach? So much to learn when you are venturing into harnessing the power of social media. Let’s walk through all of this. But first…
Did You Know?
Social media is the fastest growing trend in the history of the world? Actually, this sector has grown faster than the Internet itself! According to the Global Digital Report 2018 compiled by the web influencer group We Are Social, the number of internet users worldwide in 2018 was 4.021 billion, up an average of 7 percent from the previous year. The number of social media users worldwide in 2018 was 3.196 billion, averaging a 13 percent growth from the previous year. The number of mobile phone users in 2018 was 5.135 billion up 4 percent from the previous year.
In the United States, the majority of Americans use Facebook and YouTube on a daily basis with Instagram following close behind. So how do these social users interact with brands like yours on social media? And how do you leverage your social media posts and branding to get the most engagement from your followers?
Social media is increasingly being used as a customer service platform where potential customers want answers quickly and in real-time. Only 27 percent of social media user respondents will be prompted to purchase products after seeing behind-the-scenes content shared on brand social pages. What does happen is relationship building and that is very beneficial to your bottom line.
Advertising on Facebook
Years ago, you could hop on Facebook, post an update about your shop or a cute photo of your favorite pet and you would get lots of engagement and high reach numbers. That type of organic reach is down across all platforms. Today, you need to target your specific demographic, build the customer’s journey and get people to want to make a purchase. That is where paid social media strategies can help.
Making an impact with your advertising is knowing first, who you are targeting, and second, creating the perfect ad content based on the platform of your choice. When it comes to social advertising, Facebook is king. But to succeed, you need to understand the advertising costs, how to build your audience, target specific users, and measure success. The first consideration is cost, which can range widely depending on your industry, location and objectives. More businesses are harnessing the power of Facebook advertising and Facebook is beginning to limit the number of ads they show so content and proper targeting are paramount.
What You Post Matters
What your brand posts on social media plays a large part in building relationships and ultimately the purchase of products. The Global Digital Report found that:
- 48% of social users are more engaged to brands that are responsive
- 46% to those that offer promotions
- 42% to those that provide educational content
- 38% to those who shared interesting visuals
- 36% to funny posts
- 35% to exclusive content
- 27% to those brands that post behind-the-scenes content
- And only 10% to those brands that speak poorly of competing brands
According to the report, 51 percent of social media users said they would unfollow brands that posted irritating posts on social media. That is why posting engaging, relevant and interesting content will resonate with your audience and will help with your reach and engagement numbers when advertising.
Your Social Media Demographics
One of the most common mistake brands make with their Facebook ads is mistargeting their audience. Before diving into the costs and the metrics of these ads, make sure you know who your target audience is. Facebook has a powerful tool for you called Insights. To see demographic data about the people who like your page:
- Click Insights at the top of your page.
- Click People on the left. Click the Your Fans section to see the percentage of people who like your page by age, gender, country, city, and language.
See when the people who like your page are on Facebook:
- Click Insights at the top of your page.
- Click Posts on the left.
- In the When Your Fans Are Online section, you can see data from a recent one-week period about the days of the week and times when the people who like your page are on Facebook.
Determining Your Ad Cost
Facebook ads are based on bidding and similar to that of an auction. That’s the first thing you need to understand to master bidding management of Facebook Ads. When you’re creating a new campaign, you’re joining a huge, worldwide auction.
According to Hootsuite, “You’ll be competing with hundreds of thousands of advertisers to buy what Facebook is selling: Real estate on the News Feed, Messenger, Audience Network, and mobile apps to display your ads to the users. While Facebook will try to satisfy every advertiser, the space for advertisement is limited even with 1.79 billion monthly users. Sometimes, Facebook won’t be able to fulfill all the requests. When this happens, the highest bidders will get the most placements.”
There are several factors that contribute to your ad delivery: your bid, relevance score, and ‘estimated action rates.’ The highest bid doesn’t always win, but it is a contributing factor.
The amount you bid for a click –1,000 impressions or a conversion — is not what you’re actually going to pay. It’s just the maximum amount you’re willing to pay to win the bid. Facebook will always make you pay only the lowest amount possible to win the bid and have your ad displayed. That means if your competition bids $.45 and you bid $.50, you’ll only have to pay $.46 because it’s a penny higher than your competition.
It’s a complicated and confusing algorithm to say the least. But keep in mind; If you try to bid too low, your campaign may not get the exposure it deserves, and you won’t reach your goals. Remember, you always get what you pay for. Don’t worry about bidding a high amount, you’ll still end up paying the lowest amount possible in the auction to get your ads delivered.
One of the best things about Facebook ads is the ability to change your ad during its run. Before creating your ad, you should become familiar with their ad terminology.
- Click Through Rate (CTR): Means the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions. This metric helps you gauge whether or not the ads you are putting out are compelling enough to drive your audiences to click to your site.
- Cost Per Mille (CPM): The amount you’re bidding is the maximum you want to pay to deliver 1,000 ad impressions to the members of your target audience.
- Cost Per Click (CPC): If your campaign is set to charge for clicks (users must click on an ad), then the CPC will be your metric. The average is $1.72 CPC.
- Cost Per Like (CPL): Used in Like campaigns, the CPL is used when a user clicks Like when presented with an ad.
- Cost Per Action (CPA): For campaigns with specific actions in place, like an App Install, CPA is measured per action. The user will need to click the button for you to be charged.
- Relevance Score: Applicable only to ads, this estimated metric is on a scale of to 10. It’s only shown after your ad has received more than 500 impressions and is based on how your audience is responding to the ad.
- Frequency: An estimation of how often a user sees your ad. This number is calculated by the total impressions divided by reach (total unique users). High numbers may indicate a fatigue.
Keep in Mind
According to Hootsuite; “CPM is the most unpredictable bidding method, and you may want to stay away from it as you might spend lots of money without any results. If you’re not really looking for specific results, but just want to create brand awareness by displaying your brand to a wide audience on Facebook, CPM could be a good fit.
One of the most used Facebook bidding strategies, CPC (Cost Per Click) allows you to bid for clicks. This means that you’re going to pay only when a user clicks on your ads. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Your banner could be displayed 1 billion times without you paying a cent if it doesn’t receive clicks. But yes, there is a catch… when bidding on CPC, keep this in mind: Facebook, of course, wants to maximize profits. If your ad has a low relevance score and nobody’s clicking on it, Facebook will soon stop delivering it. After all, it’s more profitable for them to have a $.01 ad that gets clicked 1,000 times rather than a $5 ad that gets clicked only five times.”
The key to effective CPC bidding is this: The higher your CTR, the lower your CPC. In the end, a higher click-through rate will grant Facebook the highest revenues.
There are a few additional factors that affect the cost of your ad. The industry that you are in is a major factor, craft and apparel industries find lower cost per click while finance and insurance industries have a higher CPC. The time of the year can raise costs – 4th quarter and holiday shopping season are huge factors. Objective is another cost affecting factor.
Facebook objectives are broken down into three types:
- Awareness: Including Brand Awareness and Reach, this objective is meant to generate interest in your product. You will pay in CPM. Copy and creative for this is usually written for new customers.
- Consideration: This spans several types. It includes Traffic, Engagement, App Installs, Video Views, Lead Generation and Messages. You’ll pay in CPA. This type of objective is geared for customers who are already somewhat familiar with your product and would like to know more. You can also set it up for new customers, but keep in mind that you’re asking them to take some sort of action on the ad.
- Conversion: This objective comprises of Conversions, Catalog Sales and Store Visits. You’ll pay for this in cost per conversion or CPM.
Know your goals before setting your advertising budget. Do you want to increase website visits or increase your fan count? For your first few ads, set a low budget cap so you can see how the ad performs with your target audience and your content. Remember, all ads on Facebook can be adjusted while the ad is running.
It’s a complicated world when building ads in Facebook. To dive deeper check out Facebook Business Marketing at https://www.facebook.com/business. In part two of our series, The Art of Social Media Advertising we will dive into YouTube, Instagram and analyzing your return on investment.