You know you need to be marketing. Perhaps you’ve even considered social media marketing. But maybe it seems silly, or you don’t want to post cute cat pictures.
We’ve heard business owner after business owner say, “Social media takes too much time,” or “We’ve tried it and didn’t see any return on our investment.”
You might have started backwards.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media are platforms that serve as base or frame where users can insert their own content.
Social media marketing, also called SMM, is a type of internet marketing that involves creating, sharing and boosting content on social media platforms to achieve your marketing and branding goals. Each of these platforms typically has a way for businesses to get their voice heard through a pay-to-play strategy where businesses can buy ads that look a great deal like the posts their friends share in their social media feeds.
The major social media platforms include
With up and comers like:
Each of these platforms has a volume of users and preferred-user demographic. This is considered in your social media approach.
Our Contrarian Social Media Strategy
We start with a very different position than do most social media agencies. Many agencies will report back to your increases in likes on your Facebook page, comments, and shares. Those metrics are secondary.
Our end goal for all social media is sales.
This end goal means we start in a different place than many social media marketing agencies.
Why? You can have a million share, likes, and comments on your page but it may never increase revenues. While we love brand awareness and it is important, you can go into the poor house if it doesn’t correspond to revenue at some point.
Remember the Blackberry Phone? Lots of brand awareness, failing sales.
We start with paid ads that drive traffic straight to your webpage. A paid ad looks like a Facebook post or Instagram pic or Tweet, but the click link goes straight to your site…
…or maybe even a customized landing page on your site that matches the topic, service or product, your ad was about.
Only after we dial in your direct-to-site ad campaigns would we even suggest simply doing organic social media posts. Sometimes we have clients do little to no organic, unboosted posts.
Why This Contrarian Strategy for Social Media
Research shows people simply don’t want to interact with brands much on social media. In fact, over 90% don’t. Unless you are a passion brand, something that ties in with a life hobby like a running training page, offers support for cancer patients, someone’s church, or some other passion people have, don’t wait for much interaction with your social media page.
Facebook and other platforms know this. Facebook only shows less than 10% of your followers your page content. That’s your actual page followers. That’s not even potential customers, clients or patients.
Worse, is Facebook, which has 1+ billion potential customers waiting for you, just announced they were going to show these people even less page content starting January 2018.
What does that mean for you? You come up with a great organic post, and guess who sees it? Next to no one.
We want to help you skip the mess that is organic, unboosted posting. By creating compelling ads we drive Facebook, Instagram and Twitter traffic straight to YOUR site, where you have control of what people see.
Here is the simple truth. The social media platforms must monetize to survive. The only way they can do this is through charging a subscription fee to the users or sell ads. Surveys have shown that the user numbers would plummet if a subscription were introduced. So ads it is.
The necessity of having ads on each platform means there is a space for your business in social media. Putting great paid ads and paid posts in front of people that take them to your website.
We don’t really like directing people to your Facebook page. We don’t primarily count likes and social media followers as a viable measurement. We count leads, sales and conversions.
We can measure a direct return on investment with this strategy showing you how much you spent, how much traffic you received, and how much each lead cost you. You can’t do that well with raw posts on your social media platform.
Targeting Your Ads
Every social media platform knows a great deal about each user. Why? Because each user is constantly dumping in their content, this tells the platform a great deal of information about him or her. It’s a database dream of relevant information for marketers.
The information gathered by each platform allows us to create your ads and show it to a demographic, psychographic, economic, life status, or interested-based group.
Here is an example. Let’s say you sold fancy wooden spoons.
We might select groups like women, 20 to 70-year-old women, interest in “cooking” and “Rachel Ray” with an income of $80K.
What if you sold wooden spoons with a kid's face hand etched into the spoon?
We could add in “parents” to the mix. We could even test "drives a mini-van."
Constant Testing & Ongoing Optimization of Your Ads
This ability to target is powerful and allows for constant testing.
We constantly A/B test two things:
1. The ad content.
We create at least two variants of the ad content. Maybe it’s different ad copy or a different picture. Then we launch both ads and watch the results. The results provide us the winner, and we discard the loser. Then we create another variant of the ad and test it against the winner. This process continues as long as you are running ads.
2. The people targeted
Another test we run is to create multiple segments of people likely to click through to your site and send your ads to each segment.
One segment might be women 20-35, another 36-50. One segment might include a certain like such as “yoga” or employment status like “works in real estate.”
We note which ads perform well with each sector. We can then adjust your ad spend and target the most responsive sectors.
Both these types of optimization save you money and make your campaign a success.
Your SMM Results: What We Watch
How do we know the winning ads? We give each add a Performance Score based upon the ads click through rate (how many people clicked it), the cost per click, the reach (number of people who saw it) and cost per lead. Secondarily, we look at ad likes and shares.
How We Track Your Leads
There is a great program a friend of ours created that we install in the header of your site that tells us where anyone who fills out an interest form on your site came from immediately before they were on your site.
It can also tell us the same thing about someone who purchases a product on your page if you do e-commerce.
This software lets us assign a lead to a social media platform. It makes measuring your social media marketing online return on investment a breeze.
If you want to get fancy, we can create code that changes the phone number in the header of your website depending on the pre-arrival page the user was immediately before your site. In effect, all the Instagram users would see a different phone number that we can track but that still rings straight into your business.
Measuring Social Media Success
At the end of the day, there is one desire every business owner or corporation has for their marketing.
"For every dollar I spend on social media marketing, I want the largest possible return in revenue."
If you are a non-profit, of course, you will switch this to donations, but you might also add committed human capital (aka volunteers) that resulted from the campaign.