The Art of Social Media Marketing Pt 2 | Featured Article | Retailing Insight

Social media marketing is transforming the way brands, large and small, communicate with their customer base both current and future. This two-part series explores the new frontier of social media advertising. In part one we explored the most popular social media outlets – Facebook, YouTube and Instagram – and took a deeper look into how Facebook plays a huge part in advertising your brand. We reviewed finding your demographic, determining your budget and most importantly, what content you should be posting. In part two of our series, The Art of Social Media, we will dive into YouTube, Instagram and analyzing your return on investment. But first, a brief recap of the powerful growth and success of social media.

Massive Growth

Social media is the fastest growing trend in the history of the world? Actually, this sector has grown faster than the internet itself! According to the Global Digital Report 2018 compiled by the web influencer group We Are Social, the number of internet users worldwide in 2018 was 4.021 billion, up an average of 7 percent per year. The number of social media users worldwide in 2018 was 3.196 averaging 13 percent growth per year. The number of mobile phone users in 2018 was 5.135 billion up 4 percent per year.

In the United States, the majority of Americans use Facebook and YouTube on a daily basis with Instagram following close behind. So how do these social users interact with brands like yours on social media? And how do you leverage your social media posts and branding to get the most engagement from your followers?

Social media is increasingly being used as a customer service platform where potential customers want answers quickly and in real-time. Only 27 percent of social media user respondents will be prompted to purchase products after seeing behind-the-scenes content shared on brand social pages. However, what does happen is relationship building and that is very beneficial to your bottom line.

Analyzing Your Efforts

In part one we reviewed “how to play the Facebook ads game” and how the main three objectives – awareness, consideration and conversion – played a role in your advertising. Now, let’s review the return on investment.

According to Hootsuite, “Understanding your Facebook page’s metrics gives you the information you need to make sure you’re putting the right content in front of the right audience. It helps you work with Facebook’s algorithm instead of just sending content into the void and hoping someone will see it.” To begin, navigate to your business Facebook page and click insights. Here you will see your dashboard.

By using Facebook Insights you’ll be able to determine the best time of day to post, the best day of the week to post and what type of content is most popular. It is important to note that the Facebook Insights tool is constantly updated to reflect your page’s developments and any patterns that may form. Be sure to login and review this data on a weekly basis or daily while running any Facebook promotions.

The overview provides a page summary which has a quick look into the past seven days (or more depending on date range selected). Here, you can see at a glance how many page views, page likes, post reach and engagements your page has had. Selecting the column title (Actions on Page, Page Views, Page Likes, etc.) provides you with more advanced data.

To review insights into a recently-run paid promotion on Facebook, click on “Promotions” in the left-hand column. Here, you will see all promotions you have run and you can create a new promotion. The overview shows the number of people reached, post engagement or link clicks and dollars spent on the promotion. To gain more insight, select the “view results” button. The overview tab displays more detailed information including total amount spent, audience details, placements and locations. Facebook provides a ton of metrics to help you analyze your promotions and it can be overwhelming. To dive even deeper into your ads, select the down arrow in the top navigation bar in Facebook and click on “Manage Ads.” Here, you will see all your ads and multiple columns of data which you can filter down even deeper. Let’s go back a moment and review why you ran that ad. What was your main goal? Did the ad reach that goal? Regardless of the main goal, there are some metrics you should always take into consideration when measuring the campaign success:

The Rise of Instagram

Instagram has been around for a few years now, but recently it has picked up a lot of traction. This social networking app was made for sharing photos and videos from a smartphone. This simplified version of Facebook has an emphasis on mobile use and visual sharing. Just like other social networks, you can interact with other users on Instagram by following them, being followed by them, commenting, liking, tagging and private messaging. You can even save the photos you see on Instagram.

According to Statista, Instagram has over 800 million monthly active users, less competition and a more engaged audience than other social media giants like Facebook. This presents businesses with an opportunity to market their products to a more targeted and interested audience without spending an enormous amount of money on paid advertising. So, how do you  set yourself up for Instagram success? Follow these tips:

Branded and Complete Instagram Profile

Your feed is the first opportunity you have to make a great impression and entice people to hit the “follow” button. How do they make that decision? By quickly scrolling through your feed, reading your bio, or clicking on your stories highlights.

Get More Instagram Followers by Using Hashtags and Location Tags in Your Instagram Stories

Use hashtags to expand your reach. These can be campaign specific or general – main goal is they are relevant. Make sure to also set up your main company hashtag (#yourbrandname) and use it sparingly across Instagram. This makes it easier for people to find content related to you as well as your main account.

Collaborate and @mention Others

Instagram is one of the strongest social media channels for highlighting collaborators and sharing customer success stories. Even if you don’t officially partner with a non-profit organization, you can give to charity or do a fundraiser a couple of times a year. It’s all good as long as the cause aligns with your brand values and mission.

Show What You Do in a Creative Way

Focus on the solution(s) you provide to your customer, not the products you sell. On Instagram, it’s essential to add value to your customers all while looking great. Never underestimate the fact that your most important asset (and downfall) on this social media network is visual content.

Try Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories allow Instagram users to share photos and videos to their “Story” – which is visible to followers of the user’s Instagram account – and to specific users the Story’s sender follows. Like in Snapchat, Instagram Stories are ephemeral, meaning they disappear after 24 hours.

Take Them Behind-the-Scenes

Customers have a natural curiosity about where their products come from, and you can use Instagram to show them their whole lifecycle. This is especially relevant for companies that sell art from local artists, go green products and even Fair Trade products. Source images from these companies to demonstrate how products are made – from the base material, production and distribution and tell the story behind the product.

Post Those Selfies!

There’s no denying that Instagram is a very visual and social place. And people want to follow accounts that they can relate to, regardless of whether that’s a brand, influencers, or someone they met on vacation. So, it’s important to make your Instagram account as personable and relatable as possible, and really show off what your business and brand is all about if you want to get more Instagram followers. Today, people want to know the people behind the brand, just as much as the business and products. Get your staff to help by posting pics of them in your store, working with customers, sharing upcoming product launches or special campaigns.

Advertising on Instagram

Instagram advertising is a method of paying to post sponsored content on the Instagram platform to reach a larger and more targeted audience. While there are many reasons a business or individual may decide to advertise, Instagram advertising is often utilized to grow brand exposure, website traffic, generate new leads, and move current leads down the funnel (and hopefully towards converting views into sales). Since Instagram is such a visual platform, text ads are not a thing here.

According to Facebook, parent company of Instagram, your Instagram ad will appear in people’s Instagram feeds and stories along with images and videos shared by their friends, family and other Instagram accounts they follow. All Instagram ads will have a Sponsored icon on the top right and may contain a call-to-action button below the image. Your ad’s caption will also appear below the image. There are four formats you can use with your Instagram Ads:

To create ads on Instagram, you first need to connect your account to a Facebook Business Page, which allows you to use Facebook Ad Manager. Ad Manager lets you create ads that run on both Facebook and Instagram. There are two main ways to create Instagram ads in Facebook Ads Manager: Guided Creation and Quick Creation. Guided Creation walks you through each step of creating an ad, with step-by-step instructions.

Step 1 – Choose Your Objective

Step 2 – Identify Your Audience

Step 3 – Select Your Ad Placements

Step 4 – Choose Your Budget and Schedule

Step 5 – Create Your Ads

How to Advertise on Instagram Within the App

You can also create simple promotions within the Instagram app. If you have a post that’s performing well and getting lots of engagement, promoting it within the app is a quick, easy method to reach even more users. However, you won’t have as many customization options as you do on Facebook Ads Manager.

Know You’re Audience

Instagram ads are very similar to advertising on Facebook. So, don’t forget who you’re trying to reach when setting your audience filters. Your customers are more than a set of demographics and interests. You’ve learned how to reach the right people, so once you have their attention, don’t miss the opportunity to make the most of it.

Measure Performance and Optimize

Like Facebook ads, you can view the performance of your Instagram ads within the Facebook Ads Manager. Set realistic goals and objectives for each campaign and monitor how the ad is doing. Ad not doing so well? Change hashtags, copy or even the image. Remember, each element of your ad should always represent who you are as a company.

YouTube for Business Growth

YouTube is an effective platform for businesses, and just like Facebook and Instagram, you want to be found by new people and stay in the minds of your current audience. While creating a video is much harder than uploading a picture or posting a store special, using YouTube is definitely worth it. After all, it is the second most popular website in the world, only behind     Google (parent company) itself.

According to The Balance, since its introduction in 2005, this video sharing/social media site has become an indispensable advertising and marketing tool for businesses in every industry, of every size, to promote their products to prospects and customers and its reach is vast and global.

Did You Know?

3 billion people use YouTube

Just about every type of business can benefit from this channel, including online business, small offline businesses, even freelancers and consultants who offer their services.

Creating Your Videos

Don’t be afraid to start! Grab your smartphone and begin. Follow some basic guidelines to ensure your video’s get found, watched and create a call to action.


Advertising on YouTube

There are three video ad categories on YouTube:

Although your ad will appear on YouTube, you’ll manage your campaign using Google Ads, an advertising platform used by businesses running ads on Google and its advertising network – which includes YouTube. If you have not already linked your YouTube account with Google please follow these steps:

Once the owner of the Google Ads account approves your request, your YouTube channel will be linked to that Google Ads account. Let’s take a deeper look into the video ad categories offered on YouTube. TrueView ads are the skippable ads that appear at the beginning of YouTube videos. They’re a great place to get started advertising on YouTube because they are versatile and allow you to advertise your products and services with how-to videos, demos, video testimonials and more. These ads are also low risk because you only pay when the ad has played for 30 seconds or longer or has ended – or – the ad prompted an action from your viewer, like a click. Because these ads can be skipped after five seconds, you will rarely waste ad dollars on completely uninterested audiences.

Non-skippable YouTube ads can be annoying, but they can also be effective. There are two types of non-skippable YouTube ads, pre-roll ads which appear before a video plays and mid-roll ads which appear at the midpoint of 10 minute-or-longer videos. Pro tip – if you’re looking to tell a deeper, more nuanced story that requires a little build-up, you may want to set up some non-skippable YouTube ads. Make sure your video is hyper-focused and clearly showcases your product’s value to your target audience.

Bumper ads are the more tolerable version of non-skippable ads, lasting six seconds at most. They appear at the end of YouTube videos, and are paid for on a CPM basis. Because they’re short, bumper ads are ideal for targeting mobile users. They’re also a great way to recycle longer content.

To set up your YouTube video ad click Campaigns on the main toolbar>+Campaign>New Campaign>Select Video and follow the prompts to choose your audience, budget and locations.

Keep these best practices in mind when using YouTube to advertise:

Using Social Media for Marketing is Powerful

As we have learned, great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your business, creating devoted brand advocates and even driving leads and sales. Beginning with a focused social media marketing plan and doing your research on keywords and your competition can set you up for success. Stay focused on building your brand and your message, keep an eye on your analytics and be flexible, willing to change out what does not work and try something new.

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