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The best social media campaigns for your business

How to stand out on the most popular platforms

Social media is the most relevant advertising channel for 50% of Gen Z and 42% of millennials (Adobe) Here’s how you can create a social media campaign to get their attention.

Companies of all kinds are using social media campaigns to achieve their business goals. From lead generation and customer service, to employee recruiting and brand awareness, you can improve your business by taking advantage of everything social media platforms have to offer.

In this article, we’ll break down the pros and cons of top social media platforms as well as an overview of the types of ads you can use on each one.


What a social media campaign is (and what it is not)

  • A social media campaign is a pre-planned set of coordinated activities, limited to a single network or across multiple social media platforms (hootsuite).

  • A social media campaign is not posting whatever you want, to whichever platform you want, whenever you want to.

  • A social media campaign is a methodical, measurable way to reach a goal. It requires pre-campaign planning, during-campaign monitoring, and post-campaign analyzing.

  • A social media campaign is not throwing digital spaghetti at the wall and hoping something sticks.

Why you should consider a social media campaign

Even if you post everyday on the most popular platforms, use trending hashtags, and engage regularly with your followers — it’s still very hard to see growth on social media unless you start off with a large audience. As social media has grown in popularity, with more businesses vying for attention – organic reach has become a challenge in many industries. However, a paid social media campaign can position you an industry leader, generate website or foot traffic, and help you reach your marketing goals without spending a ton of money or time.

For a B2C business or retailer:

Social networks are the biggest source of inspiration for consumer purchases. If you’re not showing up online, you’re missing out.

For a business service provider or B2B business:

Don’t rule out social media just because “I’m selling to businesses, not individuals”. Businesses are comprised of individuals, and most of them are on social media. There are all kinds of social media campaigns that can help you boost your business.


Set social media goals

What is your goal for your social media campaign goal? This goal should connect to your larger business objective, but might focus on a specific promotion. What is the end business result you are trying to achieve?

Examples of social media campaign goals include:
  • Add new customers to your email marketing list

  • Generate awareness for a special initiative

  • Grow following by X% in X number of months

  • Generate X number of leads by X date

  • Increase engagement by X% in X number of months

  • Drive foot traffic by X% in X number of months

  • Increase product sales by X% in X number of months


Identify your target audience

One of the most powerful aspects of social media marketing is the ability to carefully target people by a wide variety of factors. From who they are to what they “like” or follow. Who is your target audience? Segment your target audience by determining who you want to talk to, and how much you want to spend to talk to them. Once you determine your target audience, choose a platform that will reach them.


Choose your campaign platform and the types of campaigns you want to use

The best social media channel for your business is the one where your audience shows up regularly. If you already see success engaging with people on a certain channel, keep your attention there and consider putting some money behind your posts. If you have no idea where to start, keep reading for an overview of the most popular types of social media campaigns to determine which one is a good starting point for your business.

Facebook:

Good for B2B or B2C, Best for Gen X target audiences

Facebook represents 80.4% of social referral share to ecommerce sites and is the best platform for targeting your audience. You have the option to target core audiences (your target audience based on location, demographics, interests, and behavior); custom audiences (people who have engaged with your business); and lookalike audiences (people who look like your best customers).

Younger audiences are using platforms like Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat, and Tik Tok more frequently than Facebook. If you are targeting Gen Z, you might want to focus your advertising efforts on another platform.

Before you set up your campaign, make sure you have a Facebook Business Page, not a personal page.

Types of ads:

Tell your company story, create a product explainer videos, or answer FAQ’s about your business. Photo and video ads show up on a user’s newsfeed. These advertisements are a great way to introduce your brand and get people excited about doing business with you.  

Create a combination of photo and short form video content to share with your target audience. This will appear in the “Stories” section of their newsfeeds.

Capture lead info without taking people out of the Facebook platform. Ask people to sign up for something (a discount, a quote for your services, a newsletter, or resource) and you will get a new lead when someone fills out the form.

Encourage people to get in contact with your business. This is a great option if you want prospects to talk to a member of your sales team.

Send sponsored, direct messages to people who have already interacted with your business.


Instagram: 

Best for B2C business

Instagram is owned by Facebook, which makes it easy to manage your ads for both platforms in one place. This is a great way to test out two platforms with some distinct differences in user base, without much work.

Not a great social media channel to use if you don’t have the means to create consistent, visual content.

If you’re using both Facebook and Instagram for your social media strategy, you’ll want to create an ad that’s unique for Instagram by using imagery and ad copy that will resonate with your target audience on this platform.

Types of ads:

Instagram photo ads look like the photos you would normally post on your account, but will show up as advertisements on users’ feeds even if they don’t follow you. Photos can be in square or landscape format and allow you to tell your story through a beautiful graphic or image.

Videos are a great engagement tool to share a quick snippet of information. They show up as an in-feed advertisement similar to photo ads and allow you to share up to 120 seconds in landscape or square format.

Story ads compliment your feed content and show up on the Instagram Stories section.

Add multiple photos to a single ad that people can swipe through to view. Carousel ads offer a layer of depth to your visual campaign and have been used in creative ways by a variety of businesses to demonstrate product usage or tell a story.

People use the explore tab to expand their interests and find new brands to follow. Placing an ad here will help them discover you, too!


LinkedIn:

Best for B2B Advertising

In addition to being the most popular platform for business networking, LinkedIn’s access to targeting criteria is what makes this platform unique. You can target your ads to reach people with a specific job title or function within a specific industry.

LinkedIn can be a bit of a “set it and forget it” platform. Some users will create a LinkedIn profile to be professional, but won’t keep it updated or sign in regularly. Also, the more people use sponsored messages to reach out to prospects, the more spammy the platform becomes. Many key decision makers get inundated with pitches and stop checking messages altogether.

Types of ads:

Choose from single image, carousel and video ads that run in the news feed.

Message ads show up in LinkedIn messaging. These typically drive stronger engagement/response than email but you want to make sure you don’t send too many in order to stay authentic.

Text ads show up on the right rail and top banner of LinkedIn and can drive traffic to your landing page. You pay when people click on the advertisement (PPC).

Dynamic ads are helpful for increasing brand awareness and engaging prospects with ads automatically personalized to them. Many companies use these to encourage prospects to apply to open positions.


So you think a social media campaign won’t work for your industry? Think again (It’s all about your goal)

If you’re a B2B business owner or manufacturer, social media probably won’t help you get leads for your business like it does for your friends in the retail space. But, that doesn’t mean you should write off the idea of using it entirely. Social media marketing might not help you reach every goal, but it does offer something for every business- and with a low barrier to entry, it offers a great ROI. Increasing sales is just one example of a social media goal. With over 40% of people using social media worldwide (statista), you can reach future employees, business partners, or future clients. If your Facebook posts aren’t working for sales, what about recruiting? Businesses rarely successfully operate in a silo. Consider the ways in which social connection can help you reach your goals.


Track what’s working, what’s not, and adjust

As with any type of campaign or new business venture, metrics matter. By tracking your progress towards a measurable goal, you’ll be able to objectively see what’s working and what’s not. One of the best things about social media campaigns is that you don’t need to start out with a huge ad budget to see what’s working. Start small and don’t be afraid to make tweaks along the way or try something new.


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