What’s the point in an advertising campaign if it doesn’t boost your return on investment (ROI)? After all, you put in $1,000 towards a marketing campaign, but in the end you only get an extra $500 in revenue and no guarantees of return or loyal customers. That’s basically $500 wasted (and much more if you account for time and labor). Social media can be a great platform for advertising, but only if you can optimize your ROI.
First, keep in mind that “advertising” can take on many different meanings. Sometimes the more organic routes are much more effective than traditional approaches. Here are seven ways to use social media advertising and maximizing the odds of a high ROI.
1. Twitter TWITTER + Images = Gold
People like images, even when there’s such a short character count that reading is a breeze. However, many companies have reported that using images on Twitter leads to a 150 percent increase in retweets. It’s easier to retweet and share images without having the leave Twitter, which basically cuts the middle man out of Twitter advertising.
2. Use Google GOOGLE Authorship
Google Authorship is there—use it. If you have a writer and advertiser who’s built a following, make sure any advertising campaigns are linked to their Google+ profile. While there’s little evidence that Authorship “works,” it’s certainly worth a shot and requires minimal extra efforts.
3. Don’t offer what you can’t afford
“Advertising” on social media can sometimes take the form of extreme discounts and giveaways. In certain instances this can work, such as requiring consumers to buy a cheap product for the chance to win a bigger one. Do your homework, though, and make sure even the worst case scenario will be in your favor financially.
4. Meet “in person”
With Tweetup or another social media-induced video tool, take the time to go a little deeper with your strongest markets or partners. That face to face connection can work wonders, and you’ll stand out among the crowd. However, don’t get sucked into wasting your time. Reserve video sessions for the big dogs like investors or potentially huge clients.
5. Combine your efforts
If you have five business social media pages, first make sure they’re all relevant to you and then make sure they play nicely together. This means no duplicate content, linking to one another and building your own empire that’s interwoven, not mixed and matched together.
6. Consider Outsourcing to the experts
Sometimes it makes sense to outsource to the experts. If you are don’t have the resources, or are having difficult getting ROI find a strategic partner makes sense. Whether it is using Hootsuite to schedule Tweets, Radion6 for listening or AdParlor for campaign optimization, finding the right partner can be helpful.
7. Be careful when going native
Native advertising is when an advertising campaign is camouflaged to look like organic content. For example, an article on Buzzfeed might be “sponsored” by an insurance company. Consumers don’t want to feel tricked, but they also want to be entertained and have their advertising mesh with the site they’re on. With social media, you’re in charge of being equal parts entertainer, informer and just a dash advertiser. That can be a tough fence to sit upon.
8. Just ask
Advertising is no longer a platform on which to lecture, but a means of engaging your audience. Ask open ended questions as part of your campaign, truly welcome feedback, and never drop the ball.