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How to Advertise on Social Media—A Marketer’s Quick-Start GuideSocial Media MarketingShareShareS

In the not-too-distant past, businesses relied heavily on network television and terrestrial radio to connect with buyers and tout their products.

But with more people fleeing traditional TV and radio for ad-free streaming services like Netflix and Spotify Premium, advertising on those once-powerful mediums has lost much of its luster.

Today, there’s another place your company can go to reach the masses. A place where buyers congregate daily—sometimes for hours on end. A place where you can target the right prospects and deliver custom-tailored messages that speak to their individual needs.

Where? Social media.

Organic vs. paid social: Which reigns supreme?

Of course, not all social media promotion is created equal. Organic reach has dramatically declined in recent years. In 2016, SocialFlow observed a 42% drop in organic Facebook posts over a three-month period.

That’s why more businesses are turning to paid social. In fact, 68% of marketers intend to increase their spending on social advertising in 2019, according to recent SocialMediaToday research.

But how exactly should you invest your money so your company can truly make an impact on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn? Here are a few ideas.

Your brand’s got a friend in Facebook

Historically the realm of B2C marketers, Facebook also provides plenty of opportunities for B2B marketers. And with more than 2.3 billion active users per month, the platform offers a lot of bang for your buck—especially considering its unique targeting capabilities.

There are two primary ways your brand can engage users on Facebook:

Promoted posts: These can include any posts you publish in your newsfeed, from a simple status update to a discount offer. Analyzing which organic posts have performed well in the past is a good method for choosing which posts to promote. If you find a specific post resonating with your audience, imagine what kind of impact that message will have when you put some money behind it.

Ads: Appearing on the right-hand side of the screen as users scroll through their newsfeeds, ads provide a great opportunity to drive asset downloads or increase event registrations. And by using a marketing automation platform, you can personalize your digital ads and make sure they reach your targeted audience.

It’s hard to beat a tweet

For a channel that places a priority on keeping messages short, Twitter gives you a long list of options for communicating with prospective buyers:

  • Promoted tweets: These look just like standard tweets but push your content to the top of a user’s newsfeed. They’re great for limited-time offers and contests with deadlines.

  • Twitter cards: With Twitter cards, you can stand out from text-only tweets in your followers’ feeds by using compelling graphics. Clicking the image will take people to a specified landing page.

  • Lead gen cards: Like Twitter cards, these let you cut through the clutter with visuals. But rather than whisking people away to another site to download an ebook or sign up for a free trial, they can complete those actions right on Twitter. This push to keep users on the platform is quickly becoming the new norm, so start rethinking your traditional approach of driving prospects to landing pages to capture conversions.

  • Promoted accounts or trends: Promoting your account will place your company in a list of “Who to follow” next to users’ newsfeeds. Promoting a trend will put your business’s name among hot topics people are talking about on Twitter.

The go-to network for business professionals

LinkedIn is where the pros go, so it’s long been the gold standard for B2B marketers. If your company wants to appeal to users with a business mindset, this channel is the ideal spot. And here are a few ways you can do it:

  • Sponsored updates: By posting a sponsored update, you can share your message with both your followers and targeted users outside your network. And while you can make them more prominent with an attractive image and captivating CTA, sponsored updates appear seamlessly integrated in users’ newsfeeds.

  • Ads: You can venture outside users’ newsfeeds with ads. Strategically positioned at the top, bottom, or sides of the LinkedIn page, you can customize your ads to feature graphics, videos, or merely text.

  • Sponsored InMail: Looking for a way inside users’ inboxes? That’s what Sponsored InMail is for. Create a short, sweet note with a subject line that captures your reader's attention and it’ll land right in the Messaging section of their account. Plus, users will receive an actual email notification, alerting them that they’ve got a new communication waiting for them to read. So, it’ll be pretty difficult for your message to go unnoticed.

  • LinkedIn Lead Accelerator/LinkedIn Network Display: LinkedIn Lead Accelerator and LinkedIn Network Display may be the most sophisticated of the bunch. The former allows you to attract and nurture the right people with the right content at the right time. The latter helps you target audiences both on and off LinkedIn. By integrating these tools with an automated marketing platform, you can run sequenced ads that align with your digital nurturing strategy, A/B test ads so you can optimize performance, and measure campaign impact with access to built-in reporting.

Numbers tell the tale of your success

How you decide to engage users through social media, evaluating your ROI is crucial. You must be able to track how much revenue you’ve generated with your paid ads against how much it costs to run your campaign.

With an innovative marketing automation system connected to your digital advertising campaign, you can monitor the metrics that matter most—from engagement rates to conversions.

Combine this with the added ability to nurture and qualify leads, seize new opportunities, and trace customer acquisition, and your business will have everything it needs to make your social advertising efforts a success.

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