Social media marketing is part of every successful marketing portfolio, and with good reason. Last year there were over 2 billion active social media users worldwide. That’s almost one in three people across the planet, and a million more join in every day. The social media market is there and they’re ready to buy. Inc.com summarized recent research from eMarketer that found “between 20 and 25% of people who see a social media ad on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, will then respond by visiting the store or website on the ad.”
With an ever-changing list of apps to choose from the question of where to spend your social media marketing dollars is not as simple as it used to be. The good news is that even as technology changes, the basic rules of marketing still apply: know your audience, create great content and make it easy for customers to take action.
Make the most of your social media marketing budget by including the following:
1. Content that’s “in the moment”. Social media has always been an immediate medium, but in it’s shifting into a higher gear with the rise of live streaming. Customers are looking for authenticity and the unfiltered, unedited nature of live streaming creates an environment that builds those relationships. If you doubt the reach of live streaming, consider this: Periscope users watch 40 years worth of live video daily. That’s in addition to the 300 hours of video that are added to YouTube every minute!
2. Buy Buttons. Marketers are always looking for ways to shorten the gap between an ad and a purchase. With the launch of buy buttons, that gap completely disappears. These buttons let users make a purchase from the ad itself without ever leaving the app. They’re already live on Facebook and are being rolled out on Pinterest. Later in 2016 we’ll see these buttons on Instagram and other platforms.
3. Influencer Marketing. Recommendations have always played a big role in purchasing decisions. In 2016 and moving into 2017, users trust a recommendation from an a relative, friend or social media influencer more than any other type of ad. Businesses who use influencer marketing saw “saw as much as a 6-to-1 return in their marketing investment.” More and more social media users are looking for an authentic experience. Social media influencers–especially those who use video–can bring that authenticity to your audience.
Here’s where to spend your money on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram in 2016 and 2017
If you haven’t started targeting your ads to Facebook’s Life Events, 2016 is the year to start. This type of targeting goes beyond demographics to let you show your ads to people who have experienced a specific event. It lets you target new parents, engaged couples, people who just got a pet, new students, people who just moved to the area and more. You can find the full range of Facebook marketing options on our services page.
Twitter has made some big changes this year (what is included in the 140 characters, how timelines are displayed) and it’s likely that they will continue to adjust the platform. As Twitter continues to evolve it’s important to remember that many people use Twitter as a direct way to contact a brand. Take the time to train your team so that every response on Twitter shows your best side. A study from Search Engine Watch found that 70% of Twitter users expect a response when they contact a brand and this is great news. Having a customer or future customer reach out to you is a marketer’s dream so make sure you’re ready to make the most of it.
Create content that uses visual search. Something as simple as a great photograph with a quote from your article can be very effective. Pinterest may not be as big as Facebook or Twitter, but according to Global Web Index it is the fastest growing social network and with over 100 million active monthly users, it’s too big to ignore. Pinterest is launching a visual search tool that will let users find out information about an item by clicking within the image. This has the potential to be a huge marketing opportunity especially for household items, art, furniture and clothing sales.
Last year Instagram restructured the pricing models for its ads, opening the doors to a much wider range of businesses. You no longer need $200K to run an ad there, but you do need great imagery (and you’ll still need a Facebook page). Take the time to invest in excellent photography, and consider adding a moving image to your ad to really stand out. Apps like Boomerang by Instagram and Apple Live Photos are a great place to start.
If your social media marketing is stuck in last year’s strategy, we can help. Take the first step and determine whether your business needs help with social media marketing planning, implementation, management, or engagement.
Not sure where to start? Get a free estimate or consultation with a social media expert at Stir today