Not long ago, about the only way to get people to like your financial institution’s Facebook page or follow you on Twitter was to offer a monetary incentive, usually in the form of a giveaway or contest. But you don’t need to give away tablets, TVs and cash to get people to connect with you on social media. Here are six tips to help grow your social media community and increase the effectiveness of your campaigns in social channels.
1. Create personas
Start by building the top four personas that represent the kind of people you want to attract. Use these personas as the basis for four different social media campaigns, with each campaign having a different audience and budget. Developing the personas and the structure of the ad campaigns before determining copy and images will allow you to determine the type of ad that will resonate with each persona. And, you’ll be able to optimize the budgets for each campaign once you determine which campaign is the most effective. After all, your financial institution has more than one product, multiple demographics and even multiple touch points that would resonate with different audiences. Shouldn’t your social media messaging be customized to your audience as well?
2. Build ads with the right call-to-action
Both Facebook and Twitter give you the opportunity to create ads based on your desired calls-to-action. This is especially helpful when you’re trying to grow your social media audiences because the unique call-to-action (e.g., a “like” or “follow” button) will be automatically included in the ad.
Facebook and Twitter also take things another step further. Both ad engines utilize historical data within users’ accounts to determine the users that are most likely to take actions based on the type of ad they see. For example, Twitter users that follow many other Twitter users are more likely to be displayed an ad asking them to follow your account rather than an ad that suggests the user installs an app. These objective-based campaigns give you the opportunity to market your products and services to the people who are most likely convert, which lowers your overall cost-per-conversion.
3. Forgo behavior targeting on Facebook
The ability to target by specific “behaviors” through Facebook’s advertising platform may seem to be a fantastic idea when trying to hone in on the exact type of potential customer or member you’re looking to attract. However, targeting by behaviors can really drive up the cost-per-click for your campaigns. If you find that you’re paying a premium price for clicks, conversions or likes, consider removing your behavior-based targets. Instead, focus on targeting by age, location and interests to help lower your overall campaign costs. Similarly, novice Facebook ad users should allow Facebook to optimize their ad spend in the beginning or until a stronger understanding of the platform is achieved.
4. Consider Twitter ads without images
When advertising on Twitter, always ask yourself this question: Does including a photo (or photo link) in my tweet help improve the effectiveness of my ad, or does it detract from my ad’s objective? This simple question will help you determine if using an image in your tweet will support the ad’s objective or if the image is simply superfluous. Twitter actually recommends that you don’t include an image in some of their specific objective-based ads, such as an ad to get more followers, due to their distracting nature. If you’re unsure, try posting multiple tweets to the same campaign over a standard period of time, then compare the results of each tweet against your campaign’s goal to determine each one’s effectiveness.
5. Optimize for the devices that get you more clicks
When measuring conversions through Facebook and Twitter, it’s important to understand where your clicks are coming from. Oftentimes, social media ads have much better click through rates when displayed on mobile devices, but in some cases, this can backfire on the conversion numbers. You may be attracting a lot of clicks to your company profiles or landing pages, yet see that many of these people do not convert. This could happen because of a poor mobile experience after the click, or the conversion requires more of a commitment (such as the intent to open a checking account online).
On the flip side, ads that are designed to acquire more Facebook likes or Twitter followers may actually benefit more from being shown to people on a mobile device simply because the conversion point is much simpler. Always monitor the performance of different devices across your campaigns to ensure that you’re acquiring the most amount of clicks at the lowest cost-per-conversion.
6. Nix underperforming ads
Not all ads are created equal. Facebook and Twitter know this, and have built in optimization tools that allow multiple ads to run within the same ad set or campaign. In fact, both Facebook and Twitter recommend experimenting with anywhere from four and six different ads for each campaign. This method helps determine the combination of copy and imagery that will resonate with your target market. Sometimes the winning ad is perfectly clear, and at other times, multiple ads could compete for the top spot. You might be reluctant to pause your favorite ad, but if it’s not of interest to your social media communities, it can definitely have a long-term effect on your budget.