Social media marketing brings in more traffic to your website and promote your products or services through social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn®,1 and Twitter.
Each social media platform is different and has a different impact. Social media marketing is a process of creating content in different formats and then distributing the content on various social media platforms to drive engagement and conversion.
Some social media platforms are good for sharing blogs, while some other social networks are suitable for sharing videos; some are good for sharing infographics. For each social media platform that you choose, you to have to create the content in the format that suits the social network.
If search engines were all about getting more traffic to your website, social media platforms are all about starting a conversation to build engagement with a maximum number of users.
The engagements you create through your social media channels should be authentic. Resorting to shady ways such as purchasing followers and likes, in the long run, lead to a negative image on social networks.
Influencer marketing on social media platforms has increased over the years. Now the users who have a large number of followers on social media platforms are getting paid for promoting a cause or a business.
The new-age influencers are not necessarily celebrities, but even if they have 30,000 to 40,000 followers, they can create a positive impact on social media for a brand.
Influencer marketing is dependent on the nature of your business and your target audience. For an FMCG brand, a large number of followers may be good, but for brands operating in the B2B domain, only a few right connections on business networking platforms can be
useful. A business can approach these “micro-influencers” to promote their brand on social media platforms to get higher brand visibility and engagement.
Let’s take an example. You have a restaurant and you want to promote it through social media. You ask a very famous food blogger in your city to visit your restaurant and tweet a picture of their favorite dish from your restaurant. Let’s say that the blogger has 40,000 followers on Twitter, and most of them live in your city. The blogger’s tweet about their favorite food from your restaurant will reach a large number of followers. You can expect some food enthusiasts to visit your restaurant.
You can find these micro-influencers on social media for your business by searching for your industry-related topics. You can easily find some good micro-influencers who can be helpful in promoting your business on social media platforms.
Social media also plays a vital role in the buyer journey of a customer. Social networks help your brand to create a story that resonates with your target audience. The sales pitch has now been replaced by your brand story on social media platforms.
For example, Apple, rather than showcasing its product images on its Instagram page, posts the pictures clicked on iPhone by the users with a hashtag #ShotoniPhone. This is an excellent way for a brand to connect with its users on a personal level by letting them share what they are experiencing through pictures and videos.
The social media platforms also provide messaging platforms that give opportunities for people to reach out to a brand directly.
Apart from organic marketing, social media platforms allow you to run paid advertisements. You can very precisely target users on social media platforms based on their preferences and interests. Through your advertisements, you can reach the exact target audience on social media platforms.
Creating Your Social Media Strategy
You need to create a strategy for your social media marketing. Here are the steps to create your social media strategy.
- 1. Setting goals
The first step is to set some measurable goals you want to achieve through your social media platforms. Some examples of social media marketing goal:
- • You want to gain 50,000 followers on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn®.
- • You want to increase your sales by 10 percent through social media platforms.
- • You want to get a 15 percent higher social share of your blogs on social media platforms.
Keeping realistic and measurable goals will help you identify the performance of your social media platforms.
- 2. Research your audience
The next step would be to find out who you would want to target through your social media platforms. If you have a brand that sells sportswear, then you would want to target users who are actively engaged in sports.
You also need to evaluate the social media platform best suited for your business. For example, a consumer product brand will find Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram more suitable to target their audience. A technology company offering Software as a Service (SaaS) platform will find LinkedIn® more suitable to target their audience.
The best approach for the evaluation would be to do research on your competitors and the industry leaders. You need to know which social media platform your competitors are using, how many followers they have, what kind of content they are posting, and how often.
- 3. Identify the metrics you want to track
As a social media platform is for engagement, you need to track the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track these engagements. Some of the metrics to follow are the following:
Reach: This metrics gives you insight into the number of unique visitors that your post reached. This will help you to know how many people are viewing your post. Let’s say you have posted a blog on your website and shared it on Facebook. You would like to track how many people on Facebook saw your blog post.
Clicks: The number of people who clicked on your social media posts gives you an insight on how compelling your posts are in driving action. The main goal of sharing your website blogs or pages on social media is to motivate people to click and land on your site.
Engagement: This metrics gives you insight into the total number of social interactions divided by the number of impressions. This is one of the most critical metrics you want to track as it tells how many people saw your post and out of it how many interacted with your post through like, comment, shares, or clicks. Higher engagement is necessary for higher brand recall.
Organic and Paid: You should track the performance of your paid ads on social media platforms along with organic (nonpaid) content performance. You can use organic social media marketing for different goals and paid ads for different purposes.
- 4. Create content calendar
Now, as you are aware of what goals you want to achieve, who are your target audience, who are your competitors, and how will you measure the performance of your social media platforms? The next step would be to create a content calendar with different types of content that you will create for different social media channels.
For example, you can outline the details, such as if you publish blogs on your website twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays. Then you will be sharing these blogs on your social media channels on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You will share the blogs in relevant social groups on Fridays. You will create an infographic every Wednesday and will share it on Twitter. You will publish a blog on LinkedIn® biweekly every Monday. So this kind of content calendar will help you stick to your social media goals. You need to create a content calendar as per your social media goals.
- 5. Power of user-generated content-driven
The user-generated content is compelling for a brand in terms of engagement. Let’s take an example that you are a toothpaste manufacturer. To gain traction for your brand on social media platforms, you decided to start a campaign where you ask your target audience to click photos of people and share them on Twitter with a hashtag #sharingsmiles. People take notice of your campaign and start tweeting pictures of their friends and family smiling. This is an example of user-generated content that can boost your brand awareness and increase the number of followers on social media.
- 6. Start tracking performance
Every social media platform gives you insight into the different metrics. You need to track the performance of what you are posting on social media. Without monitoring the performance, you won’t be able to know what changes you will have to make in your
You can personalize your message and can be informal in approaching your target audience through social platforms. You can be playful, humorous, sarcastic, and caring, or you can demonstrate any other personality trait of your brand on social networks.
There are numerous social media platforms on the Internet. Every social media channel has its purpose and a different kind of user base. Here we discuss the most powerful social media platforms that you can use for your business.
Investing in Facebook Ads can be one of the best decisions for your brand. You can create immense opportunities for your business through Facebook Ads. The reason Facebook Ads is so much useful is that it gives you a high level of customization, greater control, and precise targeting of the audience.
Facebook also allows you to run your ads on Instagram, as well. You can run an integrated campaign for both Facebook and Instagram through the Facebook Ads interface. The icing on the cake is that Facebook Ads are rather inexpensive than any other paid ads you run online.
Facebook Ads Manager
The Facebook Ads Manager is a very powerful tool. To start using Facebook Ads, you need to start with the following things.
Purpose of Your Facebook Ads
The first step would be to outline the purpose you want to run Facebook Ads. You have to list down the following:
- • The product or services you wish to promote through your Facebook ads
- • The ideal audience of your ads
- • The target audience of your Facebook ads is at which stage in your inbound marketing funnel
- • The pain points you will address in your ads
- • The benefits of your product or service
- • The goal you want to achieve through your Facebook ads
- • The purpose of your Facebook ad, getting traffic on-site, brand awareness
Choosing the Objective
You can easily navigate to the Ads manager interface on Facebook by clicking on the blue drop-down button at the top right-hand side of the blue navigation pane on Facebook. Click on Manage Ads to open your Ad Accounts. As you click on your account name, it will take you to the page where you will find the Create button, which will allow you to create an Ad.
Facebook continuously changes its user interface to improve your user experience. There might be some changes to navigate to the ads interface page; you can easily find this information on the Facebook Help Center (Figure 5.1).
Figure 5.1 Choosing the objective
Facebook lets you choose the objective of your ad campaign. The objective is a vital part of Facebook as the ad optimization and placement are directly related to your objective.
There are the following three broad objectives in Facebook Ads:
- • Awareness
- º Brand Awareness
- º Reach
- • Consideration
- º Traffic
- º Engagement
- º App Installs
- º Video Views
- º Lead Generation
- º Messages
- • Conversion
- º Conversions
- º Catalogue Sales
- º Store Traffic
This objective helps to increase the brand awareness of your business. It is further divided into the following.
Brand awareness: This is to increase the awareness of your business, brand, or service.
Reach: This objective is to reach the maximum number of people you want to target.
This objective encourages people to get interested in your business and seek more information. It is further divided into the following items:
Traffic: It is chosen when you want to drive traffic on a specific landing page or URL of your website.
Engagement: This objective is used when your main goal is to get more people to like, comment and share, or claim any offer.
App installs: This objective is chosen when you want people to download and install your app from the app store. You will include your app’s exact download page on the App store.
Video views: The objective of video ads is to get as many people as possible to watch your brand’s video.
Lead generation: This is the objective you choose when you want to generate leads for your business. The lead can be as simple as getting the business e-mail ids of people.
Messages: This is the objective you choose when you want to connect with your existing customers.
This objective helps to get the people to buy your products or sign-up for trial of your service, and so on.
Conversions: This is the objective you choose when you want your website visitor to take a specific action. For example, the action could be to make a purchase, add items to the shopping cart.
Catalog sales: This objective is very useful for showcasing your e-commerce site’s catalog to get more sales.
Store traffic: This objective can be chosen to get people to visit your physical store.
Choosing the right objective will help you achieve your goal. You can even do a split A/B testing of your Facebook ads by choosing different objectives.
Audience targeting: As you choose the objective of your ad, the next step would be to target the right audiences. You need to Create a New Audience or select the existing audience through Use Saved Audience in the next step. Alternatively, you can create audiences by clicking on Audiences in the shortcut (Figure 5.2).
Figure 5.2 Audience targeting
There are three types of audience on Facebook:
- • Custom Audience
- • Lookalike Audience
- • Saved Audience
You can create a Saved Audience with an Audience Name to reuse it for your Facebook ads. The Saved Audiences are those in which you can target the audience based on their location, age, gender, used devices, income level, and so on.
The location-based targeting can be done on the following basis:
- • Country
- • State/Region
- • Countries
- • Designated Market Area (DMA)
- • City
- • Postal Code
- • Specific Address Radius
There is another level of segmentation:
- • Everyone in the location (Default): as per the user’s last updated location
- • People who live in this location: as per the user’s Facebook profile information and confirmed based on their IP address
- • People currently in this location: based on users’ mobile device usage in a specific location
- • People traveling to this location: users whose current location is this area and it must be at 100 miles away from their home location.
You can set the users’ Age, Gender, and Languages. You can set a specified age range. You can set the Gender of the target audience as well. The Language setting is used when you are creating an ad in a particular language, and you want to target only the people who know the language. It is better not to set the language.
Interests based (Figure 5.3)
Figure 5.3 Interests based
This is the most interesting ad targeting feature you will get in Facebook ads. You can target people based on their interests. You can even target audiences who are interested in your competitors.
The interests are based on the Facebook pages the users have liked, the apps they use. You can target at a very detailed level using this feature.
Behaviors include your target audiences’ purchase history, the events they like, their special occasions, and so on. Facebook collects this data through data analytics.
Now, let’s take an example of how to create a Saved Audience. For example, let’s say Rajesh owns a handicraft store in Connaught Place, New Delhi. It is a central market in New Delhi with high-street brands. He has a Facebook Page for his handicraft store. He wants to run a
Facebook Ad to target Facebook users in a bid to get more store visits over the weekend.
He names this audience as Weekend Store Visitors. Now, as he wants to target people who are in his vicinity, he chooses the location as Connaught place and selects the option People recently in this location. He knows that usually, people in the age bracket of 35–70 years are more interested in his exquisite handicrafts items. He selects the Age range as 35–65+. He selects the Gender setting as all.
In the Detailed Targeting section, he selects the interest as
“handicrafts,” handmade accessories, Memento-Personalized Gifts.
Now he can use this Saved Audience every weekend to target people who are interested in handicraft items and are shopping in Connaught Place, New Delhi. You will see when you set all the filters, the number of target audiences decreases as the targeting gets more precise.
The Facebook custom audience is used for re-marketing activities. You can target your past website visitors or people who have any way engaged with your content.
There are different types of Custom Audience. Here I have discussed the Custom Audience that you can use for your business.
Customer List: You can add a list of e-mail ids, phone numbers, or even Facebook User ids to create a Customer List. For uploading a Customer List, you need to have a Business Account.
Engagement Custom Audience from Facebook sources: You can also create audiences of those who engage with your posts, videos, events, and forms on Facebook and Instagram. The engagements are tracked for the past 365 days.
Customer List Upload: You can export the list of e-mail contacts you want to target from your CRM tool and then upload a CSV file.
You can add multiple identifiers such as e-mail address, first name, country, year of birth, and so on. The more identifiers you add, it would be easier to target the Facebook users.
Website traffic (Figure 5.4): To target your website visitors on Facebook, you need to add a tracking code named as Facebook Pixel on your website. Click on Ads Manager on the top left-hand side, from the first column, that is, Manage Business, click on Events Manager. You will find a green button to Set up a Pixel code. Select the option manually add Pixel code to your website. You will find the pixel code. You can copy the pixel code and paste it to the header.php of your WordPress site.
Figure 5.4 Website traffic
Here are the steps to do it (Figure 5.5).
Figure 5.5 Adding pixel code to a WordPress site
- 1. Login into the Wp-admin account (for example, www.coffeebreak.com/wp-admin to login into admin account).
- 2. On the dashboard, you will find the Appearance tab on the left menu bar.
- 3. As you click on Appearance, you will find the Editor option. Click on Editor.
- 4. You will be navigated to the Edit themes page. Search for header.php using CTRL+F.
- 5. As you find header.php, click on it, and you will be allowed to edit it.
- 6. Look for the html tag</head> or use CTRL+F to find it.
- 7. As you find the tag </head>, click in front of it to paste the tracking code provided by Facebook.
- 8. Ensure your tracking code is in between <head> and </head> tags. Click on the Update File button.
- 9. Now you can wait for some time for the data to be available in your Facebook Ads account.
You can take the help of your website developer if you are using a website with some different CMS. You can also find some plugins to install Facebook Pixel on your website.
Now, as your pixel code is installed, you can navigate back to Ads Manager→Audiences→Create Audience→Custom Audience→Website Traffic.
You will find your pixel code appearing in Create a Website Traffic Custom Audience window. You can select the website visitors you want to target. You can target the visitors who have visited certain pages on your website. You can also select the basis of the time spent by visitors on your website.
You can target the most recent visitors to your website in the past 30 days. You can even choose to exclude a certain audience. You can name the audience and add a description of the audience.
Facebook Lookalike Audiences
The Facebook Lookalike audiences let you target audiences that are similar to your custom audiences who have a higher probability of converting. You can select the location of the audience as well as Select the Audience Size based on the percentage of the population.
Now you can start with creating advertisements through Ads Manager, Create Ad Campaigns. You can then choose where you want to display ads. You can choose the ads to appear on desktop only, mobile-only, or both mobile and desktop.
You can keep the placements as Automatic Placements, or you can Edit Placements to specify where you want your ads to appear.
Set a Budget
The next step would be to set the daily budget you want to spend on your Facebook Ads. You can set a lifetime budget or a daily budget for your ads based on whether you want to run your ads indefinitely or for a certain duration.
Select Your Ad Format
You can create ads for different formats on Facebook. You can select from
- • Single image ads
- • Video ads
- • Carousel ads with several images or videos
- • Canvas ads
- • Collections
Choose the ad format that you think will get your highest engagement and more clicks. You should also provide the URL of your website where you want the ad viewers to land. Fill in all the details. A CTA button is important for a higher conversion rate.
The ad interface is very intuitive and gives you a lot of options to customize your ad. You can also preview how your ad will look to your target audience.
As you start running your ads, the next step will be to monitor the results. You will learn about the effectiveness of your ads. You need to watch out the cost per click (CPC). The relevancy score lets you know how much your ad is relevant to your landing page.
LinkedIn® is a very powerful business-networking platform. It allows you to connect with your potential customers and the decision makers directly. LinkedIn® is more suited for business-to-business domains, whether you are a SaaS provider or you provide office furniture.
LinkedIn® gives you direct access to professionals around the globe. It provides a more formal business communication channel over Facebook or Twitter, which is more preferred for personal communication.
Creating LinkedIn® Ads
The first thing you need to run LinkedIn® ads is an active Company page. It’s better you first start with creating engagements organically by actively posting on LinkedIn® to get a good number of followers.
You can use your company page as a medium to highlight the benefits of your offerings. You can regularly post your blog updates, company information, or any such thing that is more relevant to your business. LinkedIn® is considered a trustworthy source. Therefore, the promotional material is taken more seriously than any other place.
There are certain guidelines you need to follow before making your LinkedIn® pages. You will find all the requirements as you create your company page.
You can create Showcase pages as well, which you can use to showcase specific products. Such as Adobe uses its Showcase pages to highlight its products such as Adobe Create Cloud, and Adobe Document Cloud. Only use Showcase pages when you have a product or service that needs its page.
LinkedIn® Pay Per Click Advertising (Figure 5.6)
Figure 5.6 LinkedIn® pay per click advertising
Display and Text Ads
LinkedIn® provides users with PPC Ads display and text ads. The display and text ads give you an option to write a 25-character headline, 75-character description along with an image of 50 by 50 pixels. These ads are short ads that you can use along with your company logo to give an insight into what you offer. It is a short and crisp ad that you will find at different places on LinkedIn®.
The sponsored content gets highlighted in the prime places on LinkedIn®. This content appears in the news feed of your target audience. The sponsored posts get you more eyeballs and higher clicks, which leads to greater engagement. This content is great for lead generation.
Premium Display Advertising Types
The premium display ads on LinkedIn® differ in terms of size and placements of the ads. The four different formats of ads are as follows:
Medium Rectangle (300 × 250 pixels)
These display ads appear on the right-hand side of the pages. These ads appear on specific pages such as home, company, profile, and group pages.
Wide Skyscraper (160 × 600 pixels)
These are the tall ads that appear on the user’s inbox and message pages.
These ads appear on the top of a page in text format with no image, and they appear on home, profile, company, group, and message pages.
Leaderboard (728 × 90)
These ads appear at the bottom of certain feeds as a landscape style image. These ads try to capture users’ attention before the users leave LinkedIn®.
This is one of the most powerful marketing tools to reach directly to the LinkedIn® inbox of your target audience. You can select a highly targeted group and send an e-mail message to them on LinkedIn®.
An e-mail has a higher conversion rate and remains one of the most effective ways to deliver your message.
Follow Company Ads
You can run ads to increase the number of followers of your LinkedIn® company page. You can target your followers without spending any money. As you start with your company page, your first conversion goal should be to increase the number of your followers.
Twitter is the best platform for creating brand awareness and getting people engaged with your brand. If you are active on Twitter, you might have come across promoted tweets. These promoted tweets appear in your news feeds. Twitter also provides you option to create Twitter Ad campaigns. Let’s take a closer look at Twitter advertising:
Twitter provides you with different objectives to choose from for your ad campaign (Figure 5.7).
Figure 5.7 Twitter Ads
This objective is well suited when you want to engage a maximum
number of people with your tweets and start conversations related to
Promoted Video Views
You want more people to see your brand videos or gifs.
This objective is great if you want your tweets to be viewed by as many people as possible.
Website Clicks or Conversion
You might want people to visit your website and make a purchase or start a free trial of your web application. This objective helps you get more people to visit and convert through your website.
In-Stream Video Views (pre-roll)
This objective will allow you to run your video ads before videos created by any popular publisher or video creators.
To increase the number of followers on your Twitter handle, you can choose this objective.
You can choose this objective if you want people to download your app.
As you choose your campaign objective, you have to give a name to your campaign now, set a total budget, and schedule when you want to run the campaign.
Creating an Ad Group
The ad groups help you to segregate your campaigns, whether you want to do split testing or segregate the total campaign budget into different ad groups. You should choose the Bid Type as Automatic bid as it will enable Twitter to optimize your bid to get good results at a lower price.
For targeting the right audience, you will have to select the right location, language, and device that you want to target. You can choose your target audiences from your followers based on some keyword, interest, behavior, or tailored audiences targeting. This is something similar to what you can do with Facebook Ads.
Now the most important thing is your ad creative, which will help you to create engagement. You can choose an existing tweet to promote, or you can create a new tweet for your ad.
You now have to “Launch” your campaign.
Points to Remember
- 1. Social media marketing is a process of creating content that suits each social media platform to derive engagement.
- 2. The best part about social media platforms is that you can do a very precise targeting on social media platforms based on the preferences and interests of the users.
- 3. Creating your social media strategy
- • Goals setting
- • Research your audience
- • Identify the metrics you want to track
- • Start tracking performance
- 4. Facebook Ads give you a high level of customization, greater control, and highly accurate targeting of the audience.
- 5. There are following objectives of Facebook Ads
- • Brand Awareness
- • Reach
- • Traffic
- • Engagement
- • App Installs
- • Video Views
- • Lead Generation
- • Messages
- • Conversion
- • Catalog Sales
- 6. Audience targeting
There are three types of Audience on Facebook
- • Saved Audience
- • Custom Audience
- • Lookalike Audience
- 7. LinkedIn® Ads
LinkedIn® is more suited for business-to-business domains, whether you are a SaaS provider or you provide office furniture.
- 8. LinkedIn® Pay Per Click Advertising
- • Display and Text Ads
- º Premium Display Advertising Types
- º Medium Rectangle (300 × 250 pixels)
- º Wide Skyscraper (160 × 600 pixels)
- º Text link
- º Leaderboard (728 × 90)
- 9. LinkedIn® Sponsored Content
- • Sponsored InMail
- • Follow Company Ads
- 10. Twitter Ads
Twitter provides you with different objectives to choose from for your ad campaign.
- • Tweet engagements
- • Promoted video views
- • Awareness
- • Website clicks or conversion
- • In-stream video views (pre-roll)
- • Followers
- • App installs
- 1. Select a social media platform most suitable for your business from Facebook, LinkedIn®, or Twitter.
- 2. Choose an objective for running your social media ad.
- 3. Create an ad campaign and run it for a week on business days.
- 4. Track the performance of your campaign.
- 5. Analyze the performance of your campaign in terms of your chosen objective.
- 6. List down three things you learned from running your ad campaigns.
1 LinkedIn® professional networking services