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Evaluating NUVI Real-Time Social Intelligence

Earlier this year, GO2 Advertising received a live demo of NUVI, a real-time social intelligence monitoring tool. NUVI offers insight into social listening, monitoring, posting and scheduling, and it includes support for Twitter, blogs, news, RSS, YouTube, Google+, Instagram, Reddit, Tumblr, Automattic and Disqus. For the more social media-driven businesses out there, NUVI is the perfect choice when looking to improve social metrics across the board.

During our NUVI demo we assessed and evaluated the pros and cons of the tool – read on to determine if this platform might be a good fit for your social media efforts.

Pros:
Great Visuals

NUVI’s central dashboard is sleek, modern and most importantly, easy to follow. Not only is the dashboard a great tool for capturing data for clients, but the entire page is interactive. One of the most helpful features is the ability to select any data point on the mentions timeline and learn how and why a spike in activity happened.

dashboard
Keyword Tracking

NUVI’s keyword tracking options allow you to enter any hashtag, Twitter handle or keywords you want to track. This feature can be extremely useful during new product launches or Twitter campaigns that use a unique hashtag.

Trending Keywords

NUVI has a dashboard specifically set up to track and monitor what your audience is talking about. If your brand is considering expanding its market, trending keywords are great places to start. Additionally, you don’t need to leave the NUVI dashboard to begin engaging with fans. Simply click on a keyword and you can see who is tweeting about that topic and reply, retweet and favorite from within NUVI.

Cons:
It’s Expensive

The NUVI pricing options range from $500-$4,000 a month and depending on the add-ons you choose, things can get even pricier. One benefit to their pricing model is that mentions do roll over. For example, if your brand only used 35,000 mentions instead of the full 50,000, then you would have 15,000 mentions for the following month.

pricing-options

Additional add-ons to the pricing model above include NUVI’s “Audiences,” which allows additional dashboards depending on the size of your business and is more Facebook focused than the standard package. Prices range from $400-$4,000 for this package. NUVI also offers “Twitter Historical,” which is $300 per month plus mentions and is a more in-depth Twitter analytics tool.

Overall, the GO2 team feels that NUVI is a very useful social media tool that has the potential to be a game changer for larger, more publicly endorsed brands such as PUMA or Pepsi. The price points are the biggest deterrent from the platform, but brands strictly based in social media may be the perfect market for NUVI.

Is your brand considering a new social intelligence tool? Will you consider NUVI? Let us know in the comments!

Social Media Metrics – Aligning Goals & Measurements

Most social networks now offer detailed, and sometimes overly complex, analytics. This can lead to some confusion when considering social media metrics, and how they relate to your brand’s goals. There are certain metrics that should always be tracked, regardless of your current goals such as; likes, followers, reach, engagement – any metrics that determine how successful your social media efforts are. But there may be other analytics you should be taking into account and using to support and measure your progress toward specific goals.

While we could delve into the specifics of each individual metric and how it relates to various business goals, listing examples of aligning goals with social media and measurements is much more effective and valuable. Below are several examples where social media goals were created with metrics and strategy in mind.

Example 1
facebookstats

Goal:

Improve overall page rating.

Strategy:

Offer incentives such as freebies or discounts to encourage more page reviews on Facebook.

Tracking benefit:

A testament to customer satisfaction and overall enjoyment of the Facebook page.

Related metrics:

Click-through rate (if using a tracked URL for the promotion), page visits, product sales

Example 2

Goal:

Improved response time.

Strategy:

Plan for more frequent social media check-ins to stay on top of new messages, replies and comments. Adopt a real-time response strategy.

Tracking benefit:

Determine an average response time and rate customer satisfaction with faster response times.

Related metrics:

Engagement, page reviews, reach

Example 3

Goal: Improve tweet impressions.

facebookstats

Strategy:

Tweet more frequently during peak times to get content in front of more audiences.

Tracking benefit:

Through Twitter analytics, you can determine what types of content, at which times are most effective for improving impressions.

Related metrics:

Top tweets, replies, favorites, retweets


The examples above are just a few ways your brand can create strategy driven goals that tie in various social media metrics. Even if your goal only directly relates to one social media metric, there are almost always more related metrics you can take into account. The more metrics you can tie in, the more evidence you will have to support how you did or did not reach your goal.

What kind of goals do you plan to set for your brand? Do you have a similar template in place to unite metrics and goals? Let us know in the comments!

Best Practices for a Social Media Response Strategy

Social media has quickly turned into a “first response” type of media where most customers expect a reply within minutes. There are times when your social followers just want to share with your business, whether with images or comments. But often, your followers will be seeking out your social media accounts because they have an issue, and they hope that you can resolve it. Social monitoring and listening are an excellent place to start, but in cases where action needs to be taken — this is where a strong social media response strategy is key.

Develop Guidelines

Before jumping in and replying to every comment that appears on your page, take some time to develop some guidelines. Will you have different individuals representing your page and acting as customer service representatives? Or will you be devoting one account and one profile to all responses? Either approach is a sound one, it comes down to what will work best for the size of your team, business, social following and the type of comments your business receives regularly.

Craft Sample Responses

talkingbacktalkingsmackOff the top of your head, you should be able to list and identify commonly asked questions — similar to an FAQ section that you might include on your website. These types of questions are a good place to start, because they’re likely to be asked over and over again. Start putting some sample responses in place so that you and your team have an easy reply ready to go when someone asks the same question you have seen 5 times before. One thing we recommend when replying is to include the customer’s name in the response to make it more personable and begin a conversation.

Prepare for Negativity

Unfortunately, negative comments and messages do happen from time to time. Depending on the degree of negativity, it may be best to try to move the conversation offline to either a customer support phone number or a customer support email address. Something that can help your business filter out negative comments is to establish page guidelines or house rules. If someone violates these rules, then you are in the clear to hide, remove or block them if necessary. Even simple requests can turn negative if the user finds your responses unhelpful. In this case, it is important to show the user that you are escalating their case so that they are heard by the appropriate department of your business.

Consider Your Response Time

cheddarflyingaroundResponse time is a crucial metric to take into account when developing a social media response strategy. Most research on social media response time recommends a response in less than 24 hours, but each platform comes with its own set of expectations. For instance, 72% of Twitter users who complain to a company expect a response within 1 hour of tweeting. Facebook now offers a response time badge that can be shared on your page once you meet their criteria — 90% response rate in an average of 15 minutes or less. With criteria like that, many pages will struggle to achieve the response time badge, but quick responses aren’t always the best approach. Don’t be afraid to sit down with your social media team and brainstorm possible responses and outcomes. The more thorough the response, the more likely you have gone above and beyond to help a customer.

Get Creative

Example responses are a great time saver, but it can sometimes be even better to craft your own response depending on the situation. Your social media team will be trained to know the answers to specific questions, but there should be another layer of trust that consists of allowing team members to respond based on the guidelines outlined in your strategy. Customers, particularly social media customers, will see through a cut-and-paste reply quickly and appreciate a more “human” response, as opposed to an “automated” one.

 

Creating a social media response strategy is essential for any business using any social media platform. Anything can happen on social media, and there are sure to be a few surprises along the way, no matter how prepared and thorough your response strategy is. Thinking ahead, solving problems and anticipating customer needs are just a few things to keep in mind when creating a strategy. Be sure to track all customer comments and responses in a spreadsheet or word document so that you have references when these questions are inevitably asked again. The more time you spend creating the best responses possible, the more time you will save in the future, and the happier your audience will be.

Social Media Buzzwords

Social media is a full-fledged, living and breathing industry. As such, there are commonly used buzzwords that can cause some confusion for the less-than-savvy social media users out there. In this blog we will be highlighting some commonly used terms that should help clear up the confusion in your next encounter with your social media team.

Reach: How many social media users are seeing your posts.

Engagement: How many social media users are interacting with your posts. Clicks, likes, shares and comments all count towards engagement. In most cases, the higher your engagement is, the better your overall reach.

calltoactionCall to Action (CTA): A way to encourage social media users to take some action such as registering for a service, clicking a link, following your profile, purchasing your product, etc.

SEO: An acronym for Search Engine Optimization. Incorporating keywords, hashtags, links, etc., increases SEO for any given post. The easier you make something to find online, the better the SEO.

RSS: An acronym for Really Simple Syndication. It’s an XML-based format that has become the preferred option for syndication content online, particularly for blogs.

Organic vs. Paid: There is a BIG difference between organic and paid posts. Simply put, organic is non-paid content and paid is a post with some type of boost or ad tied to it.

Vanity URL: A URL with a unique address that is branded for marketing purposes. Vanity URLs are important for 2 reasons – they’re shorter in character length, and they look much nicer than a long link of various numbers and letters.

influencerInfluencers: These are people like celebrities, endorsers, bloggers and sharers who engage and promote your content. These types of users are invaluable to a brand and can directly impact all other aspects of social media.

Content Marketing: This type of content is generally lifestyle driven and typically highlights product uses/applications. The immediate goal of this type of marketing is not necessarily a sale, but a way to spread the word about a product or service.

Boost: This term is Facebook only and refers to Boosting a post to increase reach. A Boost on Facebook is slightly different than a traditional ad, as it has more limited targeting, but is a fast way to capitalize on a successful post.

Promoted: Most often seen on Twitter, a Promoted tweet is an ad that aims to increase reach and engagement.

The deeper you dive into the social sphere, the more industry-specific terms you will encounter. The buzzwords provided above are a strong foundation and should keep you better informed when dealing with your social media team. Even if you’re not directly involved in social media work, these terms are helpful to know and may prove useful in your personal or professional social media life. Whether your brand is just beginning to establish a social presence, or you’re in need of a stronger strategy, GO2 can help you reach your goals on any social network.

Social Listening 101

Social media is a 24/7 industry, and even though you can’t be online monitoring at all times, you can be listening at all times. Social listening is a way to gain customer insight and learn more about the interests of your audience. There are countless free and paid tools available for social listening, some of which can significantly impact your efforts and help you formulate a strategy that better fits your customers. In this blog we will share some of the most effective social listening tools and strategies.

Social Listening Tools

The tools listed below are used by GO2 regularly, helping us stay on top of social listening for our clients’ brands, as well as our own.


googlealertsGoogle Alerts

Google Alerts is one of our favorite free tools. It’s extremely easy to use and will update you about important alerts via email. You can set up alerts for different clients or campaigns using whatever keywords you want to track. Whenever a website makes a post using your selected keywords, you will be notified and sent a link to the website featuring the relevant content.


hootsuiteHootsuite

Hootsuite is an excellent social media consolidation tool. You can manage multiple accounts and networks from one place and find out what audiences are saying about your brand. Hootsuite is able to access real-time data from over 100 million sources in 50+ languages across 25+ social networks and other platforms – in other words, if someone is talking about your brand, Hootsuite will track it. Hootsuite also offers social media analytics and can be used as a collaboration tool for social media teams.


tweetdeckTweetDeck

As the title suggests, TweetDeck is a free Twitter tool that offers several valuable features. TweetDeck is capable of scanning Twitter in real time for searches predetermined by your social media team. It’s a great way to keep track of tweets that don’t include your hashtag or a mention. TweetDeck also offers post scheduling, collaboration and multiple account management. It’s an excellent all-in-one Twitter dashboard.


Social Listening Strategy

With the tools listed above to help you get started, it’s time to talk strategy. Social listening is all about knowing what to track and where to track it. Formulating a strategy can be a challenge at first, but once it is in place you can easily modify it to fit your needs for years to come. The most important step in creating your listening strategy is determining your target audience. Which social networks are they most active on? What location is the majority of your audience based in? What type of demographics are you looking for? A great way to start looking for these answers is to put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Hop online and start searching for your brand via search engines and social media. Figure out where conversations about your brand are taking place and track them using the tools we’ve recommended.

You’ll also want to identify influencers to your brand. Quality is more important than quantity on social media. A few fans who actively engage with your brand are more valuable than 50 followers who never like or retweet any of your posts. On average, 1% of a site’s audience generates 20% of all traffic through sharing with others. Find your 1% and incorporate them into your social listening strategy. Include any blogs or community forums the 1% contribute to in your strategy and follow along with their updates to better understand your target audience.

Know your industry keywords and track them. Google Alerts is perfect for this and will keep you updated on any post relating to your search specifications. For example, a company in the telecommunications industry may track keywords like 4G, mobile, smartphone, data usage, texting, SMS, etc. Establish your keywords to keep informed about any new website content that may make mention of your brand.

Listening is only the first step. You will also need to measure your findings to improve your social media strategy.

Listening is only the first step. You will also need to measure your findings to improve your social media strategy. Keeping an eye on conversation volume, where and when messages gain traction, and which sources were most important in making something go viral will help you decide where to focus your social media efforts. Keep an eye out for spikes in activity through social listening and capitalize on those spikes with your own social media posts.

Social listening allows a business to monitor digital media channels and create a strategy that will better influence customers. If your brand is just getting started with social listening, or social media in general, GO2 is here to help. We work with our clients to formulate the best and most effective strategy in all aspects of social media. Keeping up to date and informed about what is being said about your brand day in and day out will influence and improve your social media strategy overall. Give your fans what they want by learning what they want through social listening.

Sources:

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/4-steps-to-create-a-social-listening-strategy/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/simon-young/5-social-media-listening-_b_5317531.html
http://searchcrm.techtarget.com/definition/Social-media-monitoring

To Blog or Not to Blog

Blogging has been under debate for some time. Most people say it is a must-have for any business, but many businesses fail to see the value of a quality blog. This could be because of the extensive time commitment, or because some brands simply do not think blogging suits them. The value of a blog may not be immediately apparent, but the benefits add up quickly. If your business is hoping to create a new marketing channel that drives website traffic, converts traffic to leads, establishes your business as a thought leader in its field, and creates long-term SEO results, then blogging is the perfect solution.


sharingWebsite traffic is the most common reason brands begin blogging – and for good reason. A typical business website does not include a lot of different pages, and is not generally updated as frequently as search engines prefer. Blogging can solve both of these problems. It generates new search results for your website for as long as blogging continues. Every new blog post becomes another indexed page on your company’s website, which can result in more search engine results and, by extension, more traffic.

websitetrafficAdditionally, most blogs include social badges to allow for sharing on social media. By including these badges, every blog post has the opportunity to be shared on networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Social sharing can expose businesses to new audiences that they may not have reached otherwise and can be crucial in converting new leads.

calltoactionA strong call to action that generates leads can be a great way to expand emailing lists and reach new clients. For example, a brand may offer a free discount or coupon code to blog readers who subscribe to its email list. B2B brands can even convert leads by offering valuable free content. For example, a company can offer readers a free download of a popular Excel template. The more value offered, the more likely your website traffic will be converted to leads.

expertMost importantly, blogs are an excellent way to show the world that your business is an expert in its field. If someone is searching common questions relevant to your industry, it is likely your blog will appear in the search results. If your brand’s blog can answer common questions and help others in your field, then your blog is a success.

trafficThough it was mentioned above, it cannot be overstated – blogs drive website traffic. This website traffic leads to long-term results and keeps visitors coming to your website for as long as you continue to blog. Blogs have surprising longevity in search engine rankings. Do you have a blog posted from eight months ago? Google is still displaying it in search results every day. Even when your business is closed and no one is blogging, search engines are still driving traffic to your website. Blogging, even once a month, can drive traffic for years to come.

Maintaining a regular blogging schedule with knowledgeable content takes time and dedication. However, the results are extremely worthwhile, and will make brands appear more well-rounded overall. Taking that first step is key for increasing website traffic, converting traffic leads, thought leadership within your industry and creating long-term SEO results. GO2 Advertising specializes in developing brand voices and blogs to achieve these results. For a consultation please contact: info@go2advertising.com

Getting Started on Pinterest: A Guide for Businesses

There are many compelling reasons for a business to set up a Pinterest account. The platform offers longer post life, users spend more time on average here than on other social media networks, it’s a network that is still growing and reaching new audiences daily, etc. No matter the reason, Pinterest has become an attractive platform to many businesses worldwide. If you’re interested in building a Pinterest presence for your brand, read on for some helpful tips from our GO2 social media team.

Pinterest wants your business to succeed because it increases the value of both your brand and the network itself. When setting up a Pinterest business account for the first time, you will be presented with various links and tools to bring you up to speed on how the platform works and how you can use it most effectively.

Confirming your website

This should be one of your first priorities when setting up a Pinterest business account. Once a website is confirmed, you will be able to see your logo or profile picture on Pins that people save from your site. This is a great way to get your brand name on content that users are pinning organically. Verification is simple, and anyone with access to your website’s index.html file will be able to set up this feature.

Confirm Website 1

Confirm Website 2

The Pin It button

This browser extension allows you to pin content from all over the Internet straight to your Pinterest boards. It sounds simple, but it makes a world of difference when you don’t have to switch between tabs to add content to your boards. Better yet – Pinterest has now made the Pin It button available to website and app designers, and it is astoundingly simple to set up. Choose what type of button you want to implement, use a preset image or upload your own, pick a URL, add a language and description and then copy and paste the HTML code to your app or website. To view the widget builder, visit: developers.pinterest.com/tools/widget-builder/

Pin It Button

Setting up boards

Boards are an essential part of Pinterest’s ecosystem. Creating and organizing boards should be an early priority for your business upon account creation. Be sure to follow these best practices for your Pinterest boards:

  • Name your boards clearly and concisely. Short and simple names are best, because having more than 20 characters in a board name will result in part of your name being cut off.
  • Add a detailed description to all of your boards. This will let people know if your board is one they should be following and will help you appear in searches.
  • Carefully select cover Pins. This image should sum up the type of content that can be expected. If you’re unsure what to pick, a pin with the most repins usually works well.
  • Utilize secret boards. Secret boards are an underutilized tool that should be taken advantage of more often, especially for brands that are just starting out on Pinterest. Secret boards remain hidden until you decide to make them public. Fill your secret boards with content, and once they’re ready and full of great Pins, launch them to the public.
  • Put your most important boards front and center. Your most popular and most active boards should appear at the top of your profile. These are the boards followers new and old will see first when visiting your page.
  • Use pins to tell a story. Pin several pins at once to give your followers more background information on a product, service or event.

GO2 Top Boards

You want followers to engage with your content and look to your brand as an idea leader.

All social media networks require great content, and Pinterest is no different. On Pinterest you want followers to engage with your content and look to your brand as an idea leader. To achieve this, use compelling images, add text overlays when an image isn’t 100% clear, and provide detailed descriptions to support your images. Something else to keep in mind is Pinterest’s vertical format. Pins can quickly take up a lot of space, especially when using photo sets. Keep in mind that images that look great on Facebook may not appear the same way on Pinterest. Utilize the vertical space Pinterest offers and share inspiring content often and your brand will see results quickly.

Pinterest is one of the most business-friendly social networks to date. With free tools and resources available to everyone, there is no reason not to get started on the right foot. By following the tips above and reading through Pinterest’s various guides, your business will be using Pinterest like a pro in no time.

What is Strategy and Why Do We Need It?

Strategy relates to business in the same way plays relate to football. You can’t win the game without well-thought-out plays that capitalize on the strengths of your team. At GO2, we treat strategy the same way, because we want your business to succeed.

By definition, strategy is a high-level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty. At GO2, a strategic mindset is embedded in our philosophy. Everything we work on for clients has some form of strategy behind it; proofing to make sure copy is in line with a brand voice, designing new logos and images that follow and achieve the goals of the client, Account Service checking in on the status of a project to ensure it’s completed on time. It all adds up, and without the strategy to back it all up, things can become overwhelming fast.

Our commitment to strategy has allowed GO2 to deliver and achieve the best results possible.

Strategy has kept GO2 on a path of constant improvement. It has allowed us to analyze and develop a clearer understanding of our capabilities and what it takes for a strategy to succeed. It has helped GO2 better understand core capabilities, identify and address shortcomings or problems before they arise and minimize risks. In short, our commitment to strategy has allowed GO2 to deliver and achieve the best results possible.

Something that shines through in every piece of work that comes through GO2 is the e4 Method. The e4 Method is our plan for getting to know your brand and making sure the work we do for it is impactful and effective. It’s 100% strategy, and a great way to get to know clients on a strategic level.

The e4 Method

e4_layerslider_icon-1Engage
During this initial step, we get to know your brand, so we can grow your brand. We achieve this by sharing our agency expertise, understanding your challenges, defining key roles and fortifying goals and expectations.

 

e4_layerslider_icon-1Evaluate
We work with you to develop our creative roadmap, before cultivating creative executions. This is achieved by assessing the market, investigating competitors, identifying key target audiences and forming a strategy.

 

e4_layerslider_icon-1Execute
Where we put ideas in action – working with you to get every creative element just right. We meet internally and with clients to brainstorm, craft messaging, develop creative and execute tactics.

 

e4_layerslider_icon-1Elevate
At the end of the day our goal is to create meaningful results for your business. To make sure we consistently reach this goal, we review campaign outcomes, determine the level of success achieved and make future recommendations for your business.

 

“Strategy Empowering Creative” defines the culture of our agency, and it shows in our client work. Strategy is something that varies dramatically from client to client, but one thing that stays the same is our focus on your success. Something to take away from this blog, and to keep in mind when working on any project, is that strategy defines action. If success is your goal, then following through and acting on your plans is essential. Need help working on a strategy for your business? Let GO2 walk you through the e4 Method and help you come up with a strategy that is the perfect fit for your goals.

Best Practices for Customer Service on Social Media

From a business perspective, social media has quickly evolved into easily accessible extensions of brands. With more social media activity come more opportunities for excellent customer service. Of course, this can be both good and bad, depending on your online presence. That’s why it is important to follow the best customer service etiquette possible when dealing with online questions, comments and complaints.

Facebook

Facebook has already begun to integrate social media and customer service. You’ll notice most business pages now have a badge in the left hand column of their Facebook profile that tells you their response rate percentage, and how long it takes them to answer on average.

facebookexampleOnly the most effective and efficient Facebook pages will be able to turn on this badge, as the requirements you need to meet are a 90% response rate in 15 minutes or less. Hitting the 15-minute response time mark can be tricky, especially if you receive comments or questions late at night or on weekends, but with a dedicated social media team, it is possible. Even if you don’t hit the 15-minute, 90% response rate requirements, you can still have excellent customer service on Facebook. Here at GO2 Advertising, we keep a document that tracks questions and customer feedback on social media and corresponding responses. This can help you answer future questions quickly (since many of the same questions are asked regularly), and without the need of client approval or team review.

Twitter

Twitter uses different tactics than Facebook when it comes to customer service. On Twitter, you should definitely be responding quickly and accurately. In fact, many companies choose to implement accounts dedicated to customer service that are separate from the main brand account. In these cases, the Twitter handle is usually something along the lines of @InsertBrandNameHere_Help. This gives Twitter users a place to ask questions, and allows the main brand page to function normally, and simply refer users asking questions to the @Help handle.

Also on Twitter, there can be instances where users may not mention you properly, and you miss their notification. In times like this, social media monitoring is your best friend. Keep an eye on your company name, company nicknames, product names and any hashtags your brand uses. Simply searching these terms on Twitter should give you the results you’re looking for. Plus, you can further your customer service opportunities by engaging with users who may have otherwise been ignored or lost in the vast sea of missed connection tweets.

General Tips

A big pitfall that can be easy to fall into is automated responses. Sometimes the influx of questions, messages and replies can be overwhelming, and brands feel pressured to answer everyone quickly. Don’t succumb to the pressure. Automated responses typically do more harm than good, and any decent social media customer service representative will tell you the same thing. Stick to humans, not robots, and your brand’s reputation won’t be tarnished by an unnatural automated response.

Training is something else that brands tend to overlook. You don’t want just anyone replying to fans on social media. You’ll want to find someone who is professional, and can convey professionalism through social media. You will also want to train these customer service reps carefully, and be sure to clearly outline the brand voice you want them to portray. Having a team of social media customer service reps can be a great asset, just make sure they are cohesive when they are answering questions and replying to social media users.

Customer service on social media sounds easy enough, but without a strategy to back up your team, things can get tricky fast. Sit down with your social media team and develop a question and response document, implement brand voice training, and most importantly, have fun. Social media is supposed to be fun, and brands with a little extra personality go a long way in terms of customer satisfaction. If you’re already on social media, or you’re not sure where to start, GO2 Advertising offers social media services with a strong strategy to back them up. We can help you turn social media customer service into sales and conversions.

Social Selling Across Platforms

With so many social media channels and advertising options available to brands, it can be hard to determine where you should be spending your money. In this GO2 Advertising blog, I’ll be highlighting the different formats, strategies and tools you can use on each platform to better help you optimize content.

Facebook

fbFacebook has several different types of advertising formats. There are Marketplace Ads, Sponsored Stories, and Page Post Ads. Here are the key differences, to help you spend your marketing budget in the right place:

Marketplace Ads

There are four kinds of Marketplace Ads on Facebook:

  • Standard Ad (drive traffic to your site)
  • Like Ad (drive to your Facebook page)
  • App Ad (drive to an app)
  • Event Ad (promote an event)

Page Post Ads

The Page Post Ad offers the ability to display the same content in an Ad unit as on your page. If users aren’t already connected to your brand through a friend, they will see an ad and have the ability to Like your page. Existing fans and friends of fans will see a Sponsored Story showing their friends who are connected to your brand for more social context.

Page Post Ad options:

  • Text (you make a text-only post on your page)
  • Photo (you post a photo to your page)
  • Video (you post a video to your page)
  • Link (you share a link on your page, which can be leveraged to drive traffic away from Facebook and to your website)
  • Question (you ask a question/poll)
  • Event (you create an event)

Sponsored Stories

Facebook also offers Sponsored Stories, which are Facebook’s attempt at social ads. These stories are shown to friends of fans (users whose friends are fans of your page and interact with your brand). These types of stories always show the friend’s profile photo and name, something not featured with the previously mentioned Marketplace Ads. Sponsored Stories can be generated from the following actions:

  • Page Like (user Likes your page and their friends will see it)
  • Page Post Like (user Likes a post on your page)
  • Page Post Comment (user comments on a post)
  • App Used or App Shared (user interacts with your app)
  • Check In (user checks into your location)
  • Question Answered (user answers a question you posted on your page)
  • Event RSVP (user indicates they are attending your event)

Instagram

instInstagram Ads are newer than Facebook Ads, but have been built into Facebook’s Power Editor, making something new feel very familiar to those comfortable with Facebook advertising. Here’s the basics for setting up an Instagram campaign:

  1. Link Instagram account to Facebook. Full guide from Facebook’s help section.
  2. Go to Facebook Ad Manager -> Power Editor
  3. Set up the campaign
  4. Choose Instagram as your placement. This is the most important step, because failure to do this will result in a normal Facebook Ad. Other parts of this step include setting budget, schedule, audience, optimization and pricing, and advanced delivery settings.

    Here’s what the dialogue box will look like when selecting Instagram for Placement:
    Instagram-Ads-Dialogue-Box

  5. Create your Instagram Ad

You will now be able to select the destination of the ad, in this case, “Use the Instagram account connected to the selected Facebook page.” You can also include a website URL, Ad copy and image/video and your call to action.

Twitter

twitterTwitter advertising is my favorite social media advertising option. They really do want you to succeed when you set up ads, they’ll even set you up with your own tech support representative to help answer your questions and optimize your content. With arguably more targeting options than other platforms, and the ability to set up campaigns with multiple paid tweets, Twitter Ads can be an extremely effective way to spend your money and time. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Target specific keywords. A good example is for a topic such as marketing, these keywords are extremely effective: “b2b marketing,” “startup marketing,” “social media marketing,” “content marketing,” “inbound marketing,” and “lead generation.”
  • Don’t set up the campaign and walk away. On Twitter, things happen quickly. Stick around and monitor your progress throughout a campaign. You should be paying close attention to the cost-per-lead metric; the lower it is, the better value you’re getting.
  • The best-performing content on Twitter are usually free eBooks, templates, downloads, white papers and other freebies your audience may need. Contests and giveaways tend to do well too, just make sure you’re following Twitter’s Guidelines for Promotions.
  • Hashtags. Seriously, use them. This will give your followers a way to reach you that can be tracked and allow your hashtag to be searched by anyone. If you’re doing a big campaign with multiple tweets, decide on 1-2 strong hashtags to receive an effective boost from Twitter Ads.

Pinterest

pinYes, Pinterest has ads, unfortunately they are not yet available to everyone, and you will need to join a waitlist before being accepted into the program. If you’re one of the lucky ones able to advertise on Pinterest right now, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Know your audience interests. There are 32 specific interests and 6 broad categories.
  • Don’t forget that you can DM on Pinterest. Don’t be afraid to make connections with current followers by sending them a message or asking them to a be a contributor to one of your boards.
  • Be sure that you are using Rich Pins. These pins include more information that follows the Pin for its lifetime. Pinterest has also added more information fields to Pins that are about products, recipes, and movies.
  • Unlike Facebook, Pinterest tries to match you up with your interests, not people you know. With that in mind, make sure you are putting resources into the right boards. If you have a successful board, try making a new one on a similar topic, or invest more time into what’s working to see results.
  • Some Pinterest tools let you know when your fans are most active and can help you schedule posts. One app I like is viraltag.com, which allows you to connect any social media account from any platform to schedule posts. The only downside is that it costs $29 a month once the 14-day trial is over.
  • Think of Pinterest as a search engine when creating Ads or selling products. Going in with an SEO mindset will be tremendously helpful in the long run.
  • Make sure your Pins are responsive on mobile. Test your images on desktop, smartphones and tablets to make sure they work everywhere.
  • Use a secret board for pin scheduling. See a pin you like and want to save for later? Save it to a secret board. No one in your audience will see it, and it will be there whenever you come back.

Pinterest-Ad-example

 

You now have the tools and the know-how to start selling on social media. Pick your platform, define your audience and follow these tips for success. Are there any platforms we didn’t mention that you’re using for advertising? Have any tips or tricks you use for social media advertising? We want to hear your thoughts in the comments!