Social Media Advertising Tips and Strategies for SMBs - Page 2

By James A. Martin | Posted December 02, 2014

Twitter and Other Social Media Advertising: Pros, Cons, Tips

1. Netrepid Sees Minimal Results on Twitter

The co-location, infrastructure and application hosting services tried two Twitter advertising campaigns: one using Twitter Cards, the other using promoted tweets. The company saw "an increase in website traffic during the months we ran promoted tweets, relative to what we normally experience from Twitter," notes Jonathan Bentz, marketing manager.

"For example, our promoted tweets were published around 25,000 times with 1 percent engagement, but a smaller percentage of that resulted in traffic to our site. Nothing legitimate occurred in terms of leads, trial offers, or other 'conversion' metrics," says Bentz.

Twitter Advertising Tip: Social media promotions work best when you "have something to give away that provides your target customer with instant gratification: a download, a coupon, credits— something you can provide automatically. Then, once they opt-in to engage with your brand, ask them to join a mailing list to become a part of your pipeline."

2. Lake Erie Logistics Gains Greater Awareness on Facebook and Twitter

The trucking and logistics company has paid to boost Facebook posts and used Twitter's "Promoted Accounts" service. Facebook content promotions caused a 32x increase in traffic to the company's site from Facebook, which resulted in an overall 6x increase in revenues per month, says Carrie Aulenbacher, social media coordinator.

The company's Twitter promotions have increased the company’s profile in the city of Erie more than its efforts on Facebook," says Aulenbacher. "We believe the limited size of the tweet is more appealing to our page fans." However, the company can't measure a specific percentage increase in sales specifically due to its Twitter presence.

"We don't ask customers who call in to dispatch if they discovered us on Twitter, and they don’t volunteer that information. This was a challenge that hindered things." Aulenbacher added that the company "didn't see increases in sales, which was very disappointing."

3. KioWare Grows Its LinkedIn Followers

The kiosk software maker has seen a 300 percent increase in LinkedIn followers in the past nine months, broadening awareness of the company's business and product. "While many of those followers were driven directly through advertising, the increased awareness also meant more organic followers," notes Laura Miller, director of marketing. Twitter followers grew 6 percent during a month of targeted advertising, she adds.

However, the company's B2B target market "has a lengthy lead funnel, so we aren't able to track direct conversions. That makes it difficult to track a direct ROI, but we believe it's having a positive impact. The difficulty in measuring ROI is the biggest drawback" to social media advertising, Miller adds.

LinkedIn Advertising Tip: "Find the niche communities where conversations relevant to your product or brand take place," says Miller. "Become a part of the conversation if you're allowed to be a vendor voice. Advertise there if it's an option. Where it's relevant, get in front of people and offer helpful information. That's the most important aspect of social media advertising.

Even More Social Media Advertising Tips

  • Advertise posts that offer value
    "Make a natural post that's about a new offering, like we did, or an event or contest," recommends Tim Lynch, CEO, gaming computer maker Psychsoftpc.

    "Don't make it sound like an ad. Segment the market. This is where Twitter and Facebook shine over Google AdWords. Google is like a shotgun, it targets everybody. Facebook and Twitter allow you to zero in on the target markets by age, interests, geographic regions, and other ways. You don't have to spend much to get a decent result. And don't expect sales from this. You're trying to get name recognition."

    "Shareable content with money behind it really flies," adds Robert Kissell, an Internet marketing specialist at Southern Shores Realty. On the reverse side, "dull advertising copy still dies even with cash thrown on it."
  • Experiment
    "Don't be afraid to try things," says Chris Kraus, a digital marketing specialist for motorcycle gear and accessories retailer RevZilla.com. "Social [media] changes quickly, and if you don't adapt, you'll be left behind. Also, lead with value. Don't try to use these channels for sales. Our audience has clearly shown they want to engage with high-quality content."
  • Bigger isn't necessarily better
    "Especially when it comes to finding your ideal target market," notes Jacob Park, social media and PR director at Hush, a tech startup making 'smart' earplugs. "We stand by the notion that it's better to have a desirable click-through rate than to have an enormous following or impression rate."
  • A/B testing is important
    Do A/B testing to experiment with your messaging, consumer targeting, and ad type, advises Kathryn Bisson, marketing specialist, Zco Corporation, an app development company. "Evaluate their successes and failures to improve your future ads."

James A. Martin is a content marketing and social media consultant based in San Francisco. Follow him on Twitter, @james_a_martin.

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