What should be the objective for your next social media campaign?
When you’re setting up a campaign on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other social network’s advertising platform, you’re given a variety of main objectives to choose from: Engagement, followers or page likes, link clicks, and more. While all of these seem like reasonably good options, you’ll want to specifically tailor your campaign’s objective to meet whatever goals you have for the post(s) you’re about to broadcast to a wider audience beyond your current group of followers.
Of the many essential elements of social media strategies, choosing the appropriate objective is arguably one of the most important. Here are some things to consider for each type of objective you might consider:
Engagement. Engagement on social media posts relates to audiences liking, commenting and/or sharing or re-tweeting a post that you sponsor or boost. This objective has the advantage of putting your best content in the spotlight or promoting a specific item or event to raise awareness prior to a product launch or event day. However, the downside to engagement as a primary campaign objective is that some of your engagement figures might derive from social media spam bots. This means that your engagement figures might look amazing and your cost-per-engagement is lower than you expected but these figures are at least partially inflated by bots instead of real people.
Engagement is more of a short-term strategy to raise awareness about a specific thing (company announcement, new product or service, upcoming event, etc.), rather than gaining new followers for your social media page who would engage with you on future posts or even visit your brand’s website.
Page Likes/Followers. As a long-term strategy for building your brand, you may wish to emphasize page likes (Facebook) or followers (Twitter and LinkedIn) as your primary campaign objectives. Through these types of campaigns, you have the option to employ A/B testing in your social media strategy to see what ad copy and images rack up the greatest number of page likes/followers for your brand and continuously fine-tune your strategy to bring in more followers each time you run a campaign.
While building a large social media following is important for any brand, the downside to this campaign objective is that many followers may never like, comment on, or share your posts. This means that, over time, the only significant metric you might see is post views from a large group of unengaged social media followers. To avoid this, it’s important to create solid content on a consistent basis, engage your followers (ask them questions, run contests and/or giveaways, etc.), and provide real opportunities for them to get involved with your brand beyond liking your page.
Link Clicks. Link click campaigns are one of the most useful social media strategies for product/service based businesses with something valuable to offer audiences. While not every click will convert to a sale, driving audiences to your website using well-researched demographic targeting is an excellent way to increase the likelihood of accumulating more sales and long-term customers compared with other social media objectives.
While engagement and page likes or followers are helpful objectives for brands that want to build their social media presence for long-term benefits, the link click objective could lead to results much more quickly by largely skipping the necessity of liking or commenting on a social media page or post and driving customers directly to your website.
Ephemeral content 101: What it is and how to leverage it in your marketing strategy
Ephemeral content is exploding in popularity right now, but too few brands are taking advantage of this unique, short-term opportunity to get in front of consumers’ eyes. If you’re wondering what in the world ephemeral content is, it’s the short-term content posted on Snapchat and other platforms that typically expires 24 hours after you post it. While this may seem like too much effort for such a limited timeframe, the benefits of creating ephemeral content might surprise you:
Fresh content every day. Snapchat was the original ephemeral content platform, but Facebook and Instagram have also embraced this approach for both their regular users and business advertisers alike. While marketers previously thought short-term content would fade from audience’s memory (and thus, wasn’t worth investing in), the success of ephemeral stories on these social platforms demonstrates that audiences are hungry for fresh content every day. From a marketer’s perspective, this means you should be actively posting new photos and videos on your stories, whether you’re simply saying hello to your followers (even this small gesture could increase engagement with your brand) or showing folks exclusive behind-the-scenes sneak peeks into your brand’s products, services, and daily operations, ephemeral content is useful for keeping your brand at the forefront of your audiences’ minds, even if they don’t see your regular posts in their social feeds all the time.
Reach wider audiences. Millions of people view stories on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook every day. In fact, 250 million Instagram users view stories on the platform each day (outpacing Snapchat’s figures, by some measures), which means you should be actively posting regular content and adding short-term content to your story. Ephemeral content is massively popular with younger audiences in the Millennial and Generation Z demographics, which suggests this is not just some social media trend that will fizzle out in a few months or years. To reach a wider audience and engage your current followers more frequently, try to post at least once or twice per day on your social stories.
Urgency and Exclusivity. One of the biggest benefits of ephemeral content is that you can create a real sense of urgency with your social media followers because they are aware your story posts won’t last longer than 24 hours. In the past, consumers have been wary of “Buy now before it’s too late!” messaging because it never felt truly urgent, but ephemeral content allows marketers to finally jump onboard the urgency train by crafting campaigns that promote deals expiring in 24 hours or less. This also adds an air of exclusivity to your campaigns because only the followers who acted before the story disappeared will get access to the amazing deal you promoted. To do this, simply create promo codes or unique calls-to-action that are only available through your Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook stories and follow through with your deadlines by only accepting those promo codes within the 24 hour window (warning: if you continue accepting promo codes even after the story expired, then you might lose credibility with your audience).
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