15 Dec Confessions of A Social Media Agency Advertiser: Cutting Costs and Grabbing Leads
It’s the great conundrum of doing business: how much money do you have to spend in order to maximize the amount of money your business can earn? Somewhere, balanced in the middle, there’s a magic number of the advertising amount that’s “just right.”
Well, Goldilocks had it easy when she found her “just right” combination—she only had three choices for a business owner faced with the overwhelming arena of social media marketing choices.
“Free” Social Media Advertising
Twenty years ago, the only way to advertise a business was to pay for advertising space. Whether that meant a listing in a phone book (remember phone books? Your kids won’t!) or a spread in the local newspaper, TV spots or billboards, advertising had to be bought.
These days you can leverage a myriad of methods to draw attention—and better, buyers!—to your business. Now with social media advertising, the challenge is to choose where to invest your advertising resources.
In venues like Twitter and Instagram, you can create brand awareness without paying anything for the use of the publicity platform. The “hidden cost” is the time (& talent) that goes into creating content and disseminating it through those outlets. Depending on the scale of your business, you might be doing this yourself, or you might be budgeting for a social media advertising agency to create interest-catching and informative content.
While using Twitter Instagram, or similar social media sites, there are a few key points to keep in mind. Perhaps the most important feature for your initial focus is the creation of an eye catching profile that includes a link to your business website.
Use graphics and jazzy descriptors—and above all, don’t forget that link! (It won’t do you any good to attract an audience interest if they can’t follow up by clicking to your website.) Setting up profiles will be a one-shot investment of your time, but maintaining a stream of quality content is an ongoing effort.
First: Tricks To An Effective Social Media Post
Following some basic rules of thumb for using free social media sites will keep customers coming your way!
- Use photos, memes, graphics, and other “eye-candy.”If no one glances at your post, it’s not doing you any good.
- Although we just used the word “candy,” your content needs some “nutritional value” as well. Include informative and interesting tidbits that will draw in your target audience.
- Post items that relate to your business, but are not about your business. Some experts suggest that no more than 10% of your social media should directly reference the business itself. Get people to come to you as a source of entertainment and information in your industry.
- Post frequently! People’s media-feeds are constantly being inundated, and your latest post will move down the list and out of view in no time at all. It is not overkill to post five or ten times a day!
- Tag your posts with trending topics, or hashtags relevant to the content and your business. You’re essentially providing a handle that will make your post pop for anyone searching your topics. If they’re searching your topic, they may well be the audience you want to reach!
- Share your location. It’s a subtle way of letting consumers know you’re there, without actually bombarding them with overt “come-see-our-store” Tweets.
- Engage your audience. You can host a contest, re-post content created by your followers, share tidbits from behind the scenes, take a twist on current events, share video or audio clips, offer items your audience can use… Be creative! The algorithms of social media dictate that the more engaged your followers are, the more of your content they will continue to see!
- Never waste your money buying followers! “Bought” followers are unlikely to actually be reading your posts, which means they’re unlikely to convert into customers. High quality content will grow your following organically, with the demographic of consumers you actually want to reach.
Second: Social Media Advertising
Other Social Media Advertising sites, like Facebook, can be used in multiple ways. You can use it in the same ways outlined above, but you can also pay for integrated ads within the Facebook platform. These days, though, even paid advertising takes on some of the characteristics of social media, like displaying relevant content to the most receptive consumers.
With Facebook ads, you stay very much in control of how (and when) your advertising dollars-and-cents get spent. You can select a specific demographic, such as users who are geographically located near you, or people within a target age range, rather than having your ads appear to people who will never visit your business.
You can select how much you want to be spending at any given time, and you can track the statistics of your advertisements’ performance. For example, you can compare how many times your ad has appeared to consumers, and how many of those consumers actually clicked to see more. If you’re not getting the conversion rate you want, you can fine-tune the ad itself at any time to garner more interest.
Third: Optimizing Your Website for Mobile Browsing
A final note for any business looking to leverage the advertising power of social media marketing… It is absolutely critical to optimize your business website for use by mobile browsers. The vast majority of social media users (your target audience) are accessing those media platforms using their smart phones.
They are also technologically savvy and expect ease-of-use when they look at a business site. Make sure that when your advertising draws them in, they find your website inviting and user-friendly. A great website, bolstered by a smart social media advertising agency, is your best bet to converting consumers into customers!