Did anyone know that social media can be used for more than just sharing viral videos and rage-flipping through your ex’s photos? For me, it was more than a little surprising when I learned just how useful the sites I visit everyday can really be. With features like performance analytics and step-by-step ad creation, it’s no wonder social media has been changing industry standards so much over the past decade or so.
These days, there a few brand names that stand out as the leaders in social media. Together, those names make up what I like to call “The Big Three” — but you probably know them as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Below are just a few of many handy but “hidden” reasons to use these three popular social media sites for professional purposes.
Before you can begin creating ads on social media, there are a few things you need to know…
First and foremost, you need to ask yourself: what is my business’s main goal? Once you can answer that question, you can determine a realistic goal for the ad campaign you’re about to create.
Next, you’ll need to determine your target audience. Basically, that means you need to select a group of people (based on demographics, psychographics, and geographics) that you want to reach with your ad. The most important thing to remember here is that your audience MUST be realistic. Otherwise, your ad won’t meet it’s goals and a lot of time and resources will have been wasted.
Your third step is to budget for the ad campaign. Like with your audience, it’s also extremely important to form a realistic budget. Remember that advertising is an investment. So don’t be afraid to spend a little money, but still adhere to your financial limit.
The last step in preparing for a new campaign is to find or create the ad’s visual elements. If creating your own pictures or videos is too time-consuming or expensive for you, search for what you need on one of the web’s many stock photo sites. Pixabay and Flickr are good places to look first as they’re both easy to navigate and have thousands of free images. For more information concerning visual elements, check out BoydTech’s post on Finding Free Images.
So how do you go about creating a social media ad campaign? Easy.
Let’s use Facebook as the example here. When you go to the site on your desktop or laptop, you’ll see a downward arrow at the top right corner of the screen, next to a small question mark icon. Click the arrow and select “create ads.” This will direct you to a page called “Ads Manager.” This page is the heart of your new campaign.
From here, you’ll need to name the campaign and select an objective. You will choose an objective from a list of predetermined options (so simple, right?). Once you’ve selected an objective, click the “create ad account” button on the bottom of the screen.
Fill out all campaign information in the “ad account” and “ad set” sections. Then, choose the format for your ad before entering text and visual elements.
The last step is to preview your campaign and — assuming everything’s in order — click “place order.” Voilà, you’ve just created your very own social media ad campaign.
Another major advantage of social media is the ability to track your business’s performance and campaign results. Much like Google Analytics, each social media site has a page dedicated to understand these results.
LinkedIn analytic tools, for example, can be found on its Marketing Solutions page under the “product” drop-down list. Clicking on “conversion tracking” on the list will bring you to the main analytics page, where you’ll find a brief video overview, step-by-step tutorials, and success stories.
This critical feature allows users to determine which campaigns are performing well by tracking audience interactions and managing costs.
To begin measuring conversions on LinkedIn, scroll to the bottom of the Marketing Solutions page and click on “sign in to campaign manager.” In Campaign Manager, click “conversion tracking” in the top right corner.
From there, fill out the Campaign Manager as you would in Facebook’s Ad Manager. Once all necessary information is in, it’s time to officially create your campaign. Later, you’ll be able to come back to the campaign to track its continuing progress and end results using metrics available on the site. With LinkedIn’s help, your business will never miss a beat.
In order to grow a successful business, you need to be able to generate high volumes of traffic to your site, social media accounts, and ads. Without a fair amount of traffic, your business can’t obtain the impressions needed to meet awareness or sales goals (or any other goals for that matter).
Social media is a great resource for generating traffic to your site. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at one of Twitter’s business features for this example.
To get to Twitter’s business page, click here. Once there, scroll down until you see the three green icons shown in the picture above and click on “get website traffic.” This will take you to the first of two pages on generating traffic.
This first page is all about website cards. Never heard of such a thing? Well, if you’re active on social media I guarantee you’ve seen one. A website card is Twitter’s name for an ad format that gives people a preview of the content they’re about to click on. Here’s an example of one that I pulled off of my personal Facebook feed:
Creating a website card with Twitter is quick and easy. Simply click “start bringing customers to your website” and sign into your account (or create one for free if you’re new to Twitter). From there, the site will provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to create a website card and advertise it in a new campaign.
The second Twitter page to visit for generating traffic can be accessed by scrolling to the bottom of the website cards page and clicking on “website traffic campaign guide” under the related section.
On this page, Twitter provides two step-by-step guides on building and optimizing a new campaign. Use these guides to learn how to maximize your business’s marketing potential and watch as your website’s traffic increases before your eyes.
The list of things you can accomplish using social media is endless, but these three features are sure to help put your business on the path to success.
Head over to your favorite site today and scope out the business pages for yourself. And while you’re at it, make sure to follow along with BoydTech Design because more tips and tricks are headed your way soon!
As always, thanks for reading and happy marketing!
—Amanda Myers, Copywriter at BoydTech Design, Inc.