auto-racing-558089What’s the point in an advertising campaign if it doesn’t boost your return on investment (ROI)?

Just like the audiences you’re hoping to target on Facebook and Twitter, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to social media marketing. The strategies and techniques at your disposal are almost as varied and diverse as the types of people to whom you can market your goods and services, and while getting started with social media marketing is relatively straightforward, knowing how to launch, run, and optimize your campaigns from the outset is critical.

Whether you’re launching a brand-new social media marketing campaign this year or optimizing an ongoing initiative, we’re here to help.

In this post, we’ll be revisiting our best social media marketing tips, including Facebook marketing ideas, Twitter engagement tips, tips for increasing the ROI of social advertising and more, from the past several years. From identifying and targeting the right audiences to expanding your reach across several different social media sites, there’s something for everyone.


 Tip #1: Start Remarketing on Social

Regular readers probably saw this one coming, but our top social media marketing tip is to use remarketing in your paid social campaigns.

Think of the last time you were browsing your News Feed on Facebook. You saw an ad, clicked through immediately, and bought or signed up for whatever the site was offering. Remember? No, neither do I, because unlike the perfect world in which marketers wished we live, people very rarely behave this way online. By failing to remarket to potential customers on social media, you’re literally putting all your time, money, and effort into a single opportunity to convert your prospects, which is every bit as crazy as it sounds when you put it like that.

Remarketing is one of the most powerfully effective techniques at your disposal – and it becomes even more so on Facebook. By remarketing to prospective customers on social, you’re vastly increasing the chances that a customer will go the distance and convert. Even if they don’t, the additional brand exposure is still worth the investment alone, so it’s crucial that you start remarketing on Facebook.


 Tip #2: Use In-Market Segments to Leverage Strong Commercial Intent

PPC marketers will be familiar with the concept of high-commercial intent keywords, but some advertisers mistakenly assume that this concept does not translate to paid-social. Fortunately for you, it most definitely does, and you can take advantage of it through the use of in-market segments.

  This is data gathered by third-parties known as data brokers, such as Datalogix and Epsilon, that records information about what consumers purchase. These in-market segments can contain a wealth of data that’s invaluable to advertisers, such as what things someone bought, where they bought them, and other juicy information. Facebook partners with several data brokers to provide advertisers access to this (anonymized) data, allowing advertisers to target users exhibiting high commercial intent.

We used in-market segments in a campaign advertising WordStream Advisor. In the screenshot above, you can see that he targeted Facebook users who had expressed an interest in, or outright bought, relevant products – in this case, “items related to business marketing.” Even without combining this data with any demographic information, this represents a potential audience of more than 6 million people!


Tip #3: Monitor Ad Performance Closely to Keep Campaigns Fresh

  Things move fast in the world of social media – really fast. We’ve always said that a “set-it-and-forget-it” approach is a bad move in paid search, and the same principle most definitely applies to paid social – especially on Twitter.

  The older a Promoted Tweet becomes, the less effective it will be. This means that the longer you wait between refreshing ad creative or another element, the lower your overall ROI will be.


Tip #4: Don’t Be TOO Rough with Social Audiences

Both Facebook and Twitter’s targeting options are incredibly granular. However, the specificity with which you can target prospective customers on social is a double-edged sword. Target audiences too broadly and you risk reducing engagement rates and paying more for poorer-performing ads. However, targeting too specifically can also have a detrimental impact on your campaign performance.

For advertisers new to paid social or those coming from a PPC background, the targeting options offered by paid social can be literally unbelievable. This often results in advertisers being too enthusiastic with their targeting parameters. As their targeting becomes more specific, their audience reach shrinks – sometimes, to the point of only displaying ads to a tiny handful of individuals. We recommend using audience targeting on social strategically (as in the example above), but exercise a little restraint when it comes to your targeting – it’s all about balance.

For an example of how granular you can target with your Facebook campaigns – and the potential damage this can do to the reach of your campaigns if you’re not careful.

Tip #5: Layer Your Targeting Options

In the past, advertisers had to content themselves with incredibly broad targeting options with their advertising. Today, however, the possibilities for advertising targeting are virtually limitless – to the point that it’s actually a little creepy. However, for advertisers, this granularity is amazingly powerful, and even more so if you layer your targeting options.

  This technique can be extraordinarily effective is used strategically. Most companies are sufficiently impressed by the ability to target prospective customers of a certain age range, household income, and level of educational attainment. However, by layering these already-powerful targeting options with additional data – say, by incorporating purchasing behavior on top of demographic data – you can leverage these combinations to create timely, relevant campaigns.

  For example, you could not only target new parents between the ages of 28 and 32 with Bachelor’s degrees and a household income of more than $65,000 per year, but also those whose child is sickly or has a specific condition, such as colic. This targeting data is collected from purchasing behavior of these individuals (say, if they bought baby medication), allowing you to create incredibly targeted ads for increasingly narrow – and relevant – audiences. This secondary purchasing data is accessed through what are known as in-market segments.

However, the secondary layer of targeting data isn’t limited to just purchasing behavior (though it’s certainly among the most useful, as we’ll see in tip #2). It could also include Life Events, places visited, hobbies and interests, or virtually any other targeting demographic. Think of this technique as mix-and-match – you can combine various data sets and targeting options to create highly customized, laser-focused custom audiences.


11 Organic Social Media Marketing Tactics to Increase Your Reach Online — @Shopify

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