How to Advertise with Google: The Definitive Guide

Google launched Google Adwords in October 2000 but renamed it Google Ads in 2018. In keeping with its approach to organic search results, Google considers who links to a given web page and when to show an ad based on how relevant it is to the user’s query.

The world’s favorite search engine sets the ads apart from the actual search results and places them either on the top or bottom of its result pages.

This article breaks down how to advertise on Google so you understand how Google Ads work and the different types of ad campaigns you can leverage to advertise with Google.

Plus, you’ll learn the steps to create Google Ads, best practices and bidding strategies to help you get the most out of your advertising budget.

But before that …

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Terms to understand how Google Ads work

Before running an ad campaign, make sure you understand the following common Google Ads and PPC terms. These will help you correctly set up, manage and optimize your ads and get the best results from your paid marketing efforts:

1. PPC

Pay-per-click (PPC) is an advertising method where you pay each time a user clicks on your online ads. It’s the most common type of paid campaign and is not specific to Google Ads. You must know the pros and cons of PPC before advertising with Google.

2. Bidding

Google Ads works on a bidding system where businesses enter the arena as advertisers. You select the highest bid amount you are willing to pay for a click on your ad and Google measures that against other bids to allot ad placement on its pages or the Google Display Network.

The three options available for bidding are:

  • CPC (cost-per-click): It’s what you pay for each click on your ad
  • CPM (cost per thousand): It’s the amount when your ad shows to a thousand people
  • CPE (cost per engagement): It’s the dollars you pay when users take a predetermined action on your ad

Let’s take an example to understand this better. If your maximum bid is $5 and Google sets the CPC to $3, then you get the ad placement. But if Google determines the CPC is more than $5, you lose the ad placement to another bidder.

3. AdRank

AdRank determines the ad placement. If it has a higher value, your ad will rank better and generate more clicks from users. Google calculates AdRank by multiplying your maximum bid by your Quality Score (QS).

4. Quality Score (QS)

QS judges the quality of your ad by CTR, the relevance of keywords, the user experience offered by the landing page, and its performance on the search result page (SERP). According to Google, “higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.”

Measured on a scale of 1-10, a QS of 10 denotes the best score and means a lower ad spend.

5. Click-Through Rate (CTR)

CTR denotes the number of clicks your ad gets out of the total views. A higher CTR means your ad targets the relevant keyword(s) and meets the search intent.

6. Conversion Rate (CVR)

CVR refers to the number of form submissions in proportion to the total visits to a landing page. When you have a high CVR, it means that your landing page offers a superb user experience in line with your ad’s promise.

7. Google Display Network (GDN)

It is a network of websites that let out spaces on their web pages for Google Ads in exchange for a “commission.” These can be text-based or image ads and show up alongside relevant content to your target keywords.

Google Shopping and app campaigns are the two go-to Display Ad options.

8. Extensions

Ad extensions let you furnish your ad with additional details at no extra charge. The five categories under which ad extensions lie are Sitelink, Call, Location, Offer and App.

How is Google Ads different from AdSense

Google Ads is an online advertising platform that allows businesses to bid for ad placements and drive traffic to their websites. The ad placements can either be on the search engine result pages or on any sites and apps that make the Google Display Network and show the display ads.

Let us take two examples to understand this better.

The image below shows the topmost section of the search result page for the term “project management tools.” Here, the ads from Monday and Jira come up for this query because they are targeting it as their keyword in the paid advertisement.

The ads on search essentially follow the same rules as organic results. You target a keyword and use it in your campaign to capture the best position in the SERP.

Image Source: Google

But it’s a little different with Google Display Network ads (also simply known as display or banner ads). Unlike text results marked as “Ad” on search, display ads appear on the articles, videos or websites that your target audience browses.

You rent space on another web page and use stand out graphics to drive clicks to your site.

Take this banner ad by Adobe on Collins Dictionary’s site, for example.

It illustrates how Google Display Network ads work. A great blend of copy and design, the Adobe ad shows on the Collins site because the latter is a part of the Display Network.

The ad pushes the site visitors on Collins to check out the introductory offer on Adobe’s Creative Cloud.

Image Source: Collins

After paid search and banner ads, let’s now talk about Google AdSense.

Google AdSense came three years after Google Ads. It lets publishers carry advertisements on their websites and other digital platforms in return for a commission.

These publishers make the Google Display Network and help advertisers get their campaigns in front of a large audience. In the above example, Collins is a publisher and leverages Google Adsense to earn a commission by carrying Adobe’s ad.

To sum up the deal about Google Ads and Adsense:

They have different uses and serve different audiences. The Google Ads program attracts advertisers to run campaigns and drive traffic to their websites.

Meanwhile, Google Adsense attracts publishers to “rent out” space on their virtual real estate and monetize existing traffic.

Types of Google Ads

Google Ads begins with a goal and campaign. With five campaign types to choose from, you must select one that aligns with your brand strategy, marketing goals and budget.

To understand the right campaign type for your advertising needs, consider the above factors alongside the following features and uses of each:

1. Search campaigns: text ads on search results

These are ads on search result pages reaching customers when they hunt for your product or service on Google. Since these text ads reach people actively looking for your product or services, they are great for driving traffic and leads to your website.

Other benefits of search campaigns include:

  • Easy to set up, especially with smart campaigns
  • Boosts online sales and signups
  • Offers highly specific targeting

The following image shows the search ad by Google for the phrase “advertise with Google.”

Image Source: Google

2. Display campaigns: image ads on websites

Through visually appealing graphics, display ads let you reach your target audience beyond Google search and on millions of apps, websites and Google-owned properties.

It helps increase your reach and stay top of mind with the option to create a Display campaign that uses data segments to show ads to people who have visited your website or engaged with your app.

Other benefits of display campaigns are:

  • Drive signups and leads
  • Boost brand awareness and product/service consideration
  • Follow up with people who’ve already viewed your ads or site

3. Video campaigns: video ads on YouTube

Video campaigns show video ads on YouTube and other websites. While some campaigns help increase general brand awareness, others drive conversions or customers to shop on your website.

Google offers three different video ad formats for YouTube. But within those options, you can also pick an overlay image or text ad to appear on the lower 20% of a video.

Image Source: YouTube

4. Shopping campaigns: product listings on Google

Shopping campaigns are helpful for retailers looking to sell their product inventory. These ads appear on the Google shopping tab and search results pages.

Image Source: Google

Through shopping campaigns, Google also lets store owners use local inventory ads for advertising products available at their brick-and-mortar locations.

You can use shopping campaigns to:

  • Turbocharge your retail marketing efforts through captivating product listings
  • Drive sales and leads
  • Boost a nearby storefront

5. App campaigns: promote apps on many channels

App campaign uses information from your app to automatically optimize your ads across YouTube, Discover, Play, Search and over 3 million apps and sites. It helps you find new app users and increase sales within your app.

You should use app campaigns to:

  • Drive installs, engagements and signups for your app on mobile devices
  • Engage in multichannel marketing
  • Automate targeting, ad creation and bidding for best performance

Image Source: Google

How to create Google Ads

There are a couple of easy ways you can start with Google Ads. You can visit the Google account associated with your brand and follow these steps to start running paid campaigns on Google:

1. Define a goal

Go to the Google Ads homepage and click on the “Get started” button on the top right hand corner or in the lower left of the page. If directed to your dashboard, select + New Campaign.

Next, choose a goal for Google to understand your target audience and how they will get the bid money.

Image Source: Google

2. Select business name

After goals, Google will ask for your business name. Fill in the field and add the website URL where you want the users to reach after clicking your Google Ads.

If you have Google Analytics set up on your website, connect it with your ad campaign to track its performance or skip this step for later.

3. Create an ad

This section allows you to craft a compelling headline and description for your ad. To get your creative juices flowing, Google also offers helpful tips and sample ad descriptions.

The secret to writing a high-performing ad is knowing the target audience and its pain points. Dig into your customer persona research to find that info while crafting the ad copy.

4. Choose keywords and location

On the next page, choose the keyword themes that match your ad to searches and select the location where you want to run your ad. This location can be a specific region where a physical storefront delivers its services or a broader geographical category like a city or country.

Image Source: Google

5. Add billing details

The last step in the process is to set the budget. Google lets you pick from pre-made plans or create a custom budget. Once done, review your campaign and enter the payment information.

Verify the details and click on “Submit” to create your first Google Ad.

Image Source: Google

Like all Google products, Google Ads is easy to set up and does not take much time. But if you don’t follow Google Ads best practices, there’s a high chance that your ad campaigns will underperform and not turn in ideal results.

1. Use a PPC planning template

A planner helps to organize your PPC campaigns. With Google’s PPC planning template, you can see how your ads will look online, the character counts, and manage your ad campaigns from one place.

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2. Don’t target broad keywords

If your keywords are a long shot, Google will place your ad in front of the wrong audience. That’s why testing keywords should be a key component of your strategy.

To avoid fewer clicks and a higher ad spend, review keywords generating clicks and use them to match your ads with the right audience.

3. Stay away from irrelevant ads

Your ads must match the searcher’s intent to generate enough clicks. Otherwise, you may end up squandering away your PPC budget.

Ensure your headline and ad copy match the keywords you are bidding on and the target audience can see the value of your product or service for their pain point.

4. Improve QS

Google uses QS to determine the rank of your ad. The higher it ranks, the better its placements. If your QS is low, the ad will get less traction and convert fewer visitors. Review the QS components and work on the CTR to improve your QS. Another way is to optimize the landing page.

5. Optimize the ad landing page

An excellent ad is only one aspect of online advertising. The real challenge is to keep the visitors on your site after they click through the link.

If the ad landing page experience on your website is “Below average” or “Average,” try these methods:

  • Offer people what they want. If someone clicked on your ad for “running shoes,” the landing page they visit should have a shoe inventory.
  • Maintain consistent messaging from ad to landing page. Ensure the page follows through on the ad’s call to action or offer. If that’s not possible, find the most relevant and useful page from the existing ones.
  • Ensure your website is mobile-friendly. Check for ease of navigation and use the Mobile-Friendly Test to see how your landing page performs on mobile devices.
  • Try conversion rate to judge the quality of your landing page. It does not impact its status but can be a helpful way to measure and optimize the user experience. Here’s a tip from Google on what a great user experience can look like.

Image Source: Google

  • Work on loading speed. The time a landing page takes to load can determine if someone bounces or buys from you.

It is crucial to understand the three-layer design of Google Ads and how Google structures your account before you create multiple ads. It will enable you to organize your ads, keywords and ad groups into powerful campaigns that reach the right target audience and meet business goals.

The three layers of Google Ads are:

  • Account: Your account is linked to a unique email address, password and billing information
  • Campaigns: Your campaigns have their own settings and budget that determine where your ads appear
  • Ad groups: Your ad groups contain a similar set of keywords and ads

Image Source: Google

As the above image shows, “account” sits at the topmost level of the Google Ads hierarchy. Within each account are campaigns that contain their ad groups.

In turn, each ad group has its unique ads and keywords. While each campaign takes a theme like the Memorial Day sale, you can structure ad groups by your products or services.

The structure of your Google Ads account may not reflect the above hierarchy but ordering the account will have a significant impact on PPC metrics like QS.

Bidding strategies for Google Ads

Bidding comes after you set up your ad campaign and tracking. Since the ability to rank in Google Ads depends on how well you bid, it’s crucial to be aware of the best practices for Google Ads bidding strategies.

While your budget and goals determine the bid amount, a few pointers to keep in mind as you get ready to launch your ad campaign are:

1. Automated vs. manual bidding

Automated and manual are two options for bidding on your keywords. In automated bidding, Google adjusts your bid based on the competition. You can set a maximum budget and Google gives you the best shot at winning the bid within a specific range.

On the other hand, manual bidding lets you set the bid amounts for ad groups and keywords, putting you in control of your budget and limiting ad spend on ineffective campaigns.

2. Cost per acquisition

Like manual bidding, cost per acquisition puts you in charge of your ad spend. At first, it may seem counterintuitive because of its high price.

But if you don’t want to spend huge money on converting prospects into leads, then cost per acquisition is an excellent option since you pay dollars only after acquiring a customer.

3. Bidding on branded search terms

Branded search terms include your company or unique product name, like “Flowz virtual assistant.” The argument in favor of bidding on branded search terms is that it lets you claim real estate that may otherwise go to competitors.

However, the critics consider it a waste of money since bidding on branded search terms will likely turn up organic search results.

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How to use Google Analytics to track Google Ads

Whether social or search, big brands have a ton of customer research and money to invest in paid marketing and win handsome returns. But small businesses need to be extra careful with their advertising efforts to ensure they are not wasting their resources and targeting the right audience and keywords.

That’s where Google Analytics comes in.

Google Analytics lets you track and analyze your Google Ad campaign. It offers insights into what’s working and not to help you make necessary adjustments to your future campaign to make sure they have a better chance at pulling in the desired numbers.

After setting up Google Analytics, follow these steps to link it with Google Ads:

  1. Visit your Google Ads account and click the “Tools” menu.
  2. Under Setup, click “Linked accounts” and select “Details” under Google Analytics.
  3. The above step will take you to the list of Google Analytics websites you can access. From the available options, choose “Set up link” on the website you want to connect with Google Ads.
  4. You will now be able to link the Google Analytics view of your website.
  5. Finish the process by clicking “Save.”

The next section looks at how you can use Google My Business to advertise on Google for free.

How to advertise with Google for free

Image Source: Google

According to Google’s Economic Report, more than 17 million American businesses received calls, requests for directions, bookings, reviews and other direct connections to their customers from Google in 2020.

To take a state-wise share, Google helped generate $93.24 billion of economic activity in California and nearly 2.09 million California businesses benefited from Google advertising products.

Google Ads is a quick way to get the word out about your product or service. But you can achieve the same goal through Google My Business without spending a ton of money.

Unlike Google Ads, Google My Business allows local businesses to advertise their business on Google for free and acquire new customers.

Follow these steps to start with your Google Business Profile:

Image Source: Google

  1. Visit Google Business Profile Manager and enter your business name and category.
  2. Add your location if you run a brick-and-mortar and want customers to visit on-site. This puts you on Google Maps and helps users find you easily.

    Not adding this detail will still show service-area businesses for relevant searches. Select the relevant service areas pertaining to your businesses when setting up your profile.

  3. Input the contact details for your business, including the phone number and the website URL
  4. Last, finish the process by clicking ‘Next’ to verify your Google My Business profile.

Remember that the steps outlined above help you begin with advertising on Google for free. To see results and drive revenue, you must follow Google My Business best practices and optimize your Business Page + website.

Let’s take two FAQs.

Frequently asked questions

1. How much does it cost to advertise with Google?

It depends on the advertising channel. With search, you pay money every time a user clicks on your ad in the results pages. This CPC varies depending on the bidding amount, the AdRank and the QS. But with banner ads on Display, you can go for CPC, CPM or cost-per-action (CPA).

While CPC works to generate traffic, CPM and CPA help increase awareness and conversions. Assess your current business goals and choose a suitable advertising option when running banner ads on Google Display Network.

You do not pay a fee for participating in Google AdSense but the revenue you earn through this channel depends on your audience, the ad quality and the ad placement.

The higher the clicks and impressions the ads elicit from your site visitors, the better the commission from AdSense.

2. Are Facebook Ads better for businesses than Google Ads?

Both advertising platforms are for different stages in the buyer’s journey. Google Ads is better for reaching people with high purchase intent, whereas Facebook Ads help run paid social campaigns and reach customers near the top of the funnel.

Depending on your paid marketing strategy, you can focus on either channel or use them together to hit business goals.

Wrapping up

Google Ads has amazing benefits for business goals like driving brand awareness and website traffic but with so many tasks on their plates, most entrepreneurs find themselves unable to take on one more project.

An easy solution is to hire a marketing remote assistant. Contact us today to pair you with a top-notch expert to help you get started with Google Ads right away!

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The Definitive Guide to Crack Paid Social Ads in 2022

We saw the benefits of paid social media in the last article on paid vs. organic social. It helps businesses with quick visibility and leads during time-sensitive campaigns. It also enables them to start those campaigns at a boosted speed not possible with organic social.

Overall, the article highlighted the pros of paid social media for targeting audiences and driving sales, with its value for measurable KPIs.

Paid social media is a failsafe way for businesses to build brand awareness. With the increasing monetization of top platforms like Meta (earlier Facebook) and Instagram, B2C brands are setting up social commerce stores for direct selling and plan to spend big on ad campaigning to reach targeted demographics.

In 2022, ad spending on social will cross the $173 million mark, and the share of video ad spending will increase by a whopping 20.1%.

Image Source: eMarketer

Which means …

Unless you make paid social ads a core part of your strategy, it will fail to drive sales.

Read this article to learn the basics of paid social media and how to run successful ad campaigns. By the end, you will understand the differences between paid social and search and what factors you need to consider when estimating the cost of a social media campaign.

But before that, here are the key takeaways:

  • Any content under the “promoted” or “sponsored” tag is paid ads on social networking platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  • Brands can choose different ad formats as per budget and business goals. Most social channels offer image ads, carousel ads, product ads, collection ads, interactive ads, lead form ads, video ads, and text ads.
  • The major difference between paid social and paid search relates to ad format. While the former has several options to hook user interest, paid search mainly includes keyword-focused text ads to match search intent on Google.
  • There’s no right time to start with paid social ads. But great organic visibility and social media following are a good place to start for sizing up the potential returns from paid social.

    The boosted visibility from ads will not yield much if users don’t trust your brand via organic social media marketing.

  • Craft a solid social media strategy to ace ad campaigns. Pick the right channel, ad format, audience, and metrics to measure the impact of paid efforts.

    Begin with competitive research and find the correct positioning to ensure your ads resonate with the audience.

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What are paid social ads

Paid social ads are any content assets lying under the “promoted” or “sponsored” tag on social networks. They target a specific sub-audience and do not depend on dynamic algorithms for reach.

Instead, the money put into ad campaigns determines their views, traffic, and engagement. The three well-known types are pay-per-click advertising, branded, and influencer-generated content.

Paid social includes many display ads (more on it below) that have varying features and serve different goals. You can use them as stand-alone or in combination to achieve business targets. They offer plenty of options for ad format, budget, and audience demographics.

This makes them a must-try for brands to fuel their inbound marketing efforts.

Paid search includes keyword-focused text ads that match users’ queries on search engines. Though paid search has a better conversion rate than paid social, it doesn’t have many options to create laser-sharp ads matching netizens’ interests.

You need to combine the power of both to maximize the chances of business growth in the digital world.

Types of social media ads

Social networking platforms let brands pick an ad format depending on budget and the action they are trying to drive. To name a few, you can choose an ad format for boosting product sales, offering an immersive experience to users, and generating leads.

Ultimately, the key to running a successful paid campaign is knowing your options and how they serve different business goals.

Some popular ones include:

  • Image ads: They perform best for driving site traffic. Image ads are easy to make and can include links to specific pages on your website.

    Visual-focused channels like Facebook and Instagram are the best bets for distributing them since the users actively engage with visual content.

  • Carousel ads: They let you tell a fuller (and far richer!) story about your brand. Most ad formats allow you to pick anywhere between 5-10 images or videos within a single carousel, each with its specific CTA and individual link.

    With platforms like Facebook, you can also optimize the order of the carousel images, depending on each card’s performance.

  • Product ads: They are great when you want to display multiple products or want to retarget customers dynamically. The top-performing product ads have high-quality images and little to no text.

    Instagram offers the option to tag multiple products directly in posts to help people easily find and engage with your products.

  • Collection ads: They offer an immersive and visual-rich experience to the users. A subset of product ads, collection ads let people window shop in a virtual storefront. They usually have a big image (or video) banner with a row of four product images.

    When users click on a collection ad, it offers a fast-loading visual treat and lets them learn more about the product without leaving the channel.

  • Interactive ads: They draw in users, encouraging them to interact with the content. They are experimental and push people to take actions like tilting a photo by 360°, replying to a question, or answering a poll.

    This interaction helps cement a stronger relationship between brands and their customers.

    Instant Experience, Messenger Ads, Stories Ads, and Conversational Ads are different types of interactive ads.

  • Lead form ads: Also called ‘lead ads’ or ‘lead generation ads,’ they let you build a list of prospects for newsletters, event registrations, and follow-up services.

    Lead form ads work best when you provide useful content to people in the form of an eBook or resourceful guide.

    They easily integrate with modern-day MarTech like CRMs, messengers, and InMail services.

  • Video ads: They are the topmost assets for hooking interest on social. Video ads perform well on almost every social networking site, including Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

    They maximize views, reach, and other engagement metrics to offer capital real estate on users’ screens.

    You can run these ads in different formats like video story ads, video carousel ads, interactive video ads, and unskippable and bumper video ads.

  • Text ads: Although they don’t get as much traction, text ads are a pocket-friendly option for businesses just getting started with paid social ads. You can either ‘boost,’ ‘promote,’ or ‘sponsor’ any text-only post on social channels to increase its reach.

    The best-performing text ads are short, targeted, and relevant to users’ pain points.

How much does it cost to run paid social ads

Research studies on the cost of a social media campaign peg it anywhere between $4000 to $7000 per month, with prices going upwards of $20,000 in some cases. But it can vary wildly based on business size and goals.

As you plan the budget for your social media campaign, think about:

  • The scope of operations: Consider the kinds of content assets you will create, how you will socially engage with your target audience, and measure the performance of ads.

    For example, sharing videos and webinar recordings to drive sign-ups for product demos will cost much more than sharing infographics and online games to boost website traffic.

  • The scale of the campaign: Do you plan to run ads on one platform, or would it be a cross-channel effort on all major social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn?

    Consider these questions alongside the amount of content you will need to create for each and if you will use Google Adwords to solidify your efforts with paid search.

  • Internal costs: Not factoring in fees for a project manager overseeing the execution of your strategy or social media management tools can lead you to underestimate the cost of a campaign.

    The dollars you spend on creating content assets for social media (or hiring virtual assistants who do) are as important as the money paid to social channels directly.

  • Paid metrics: You pay only for work that goes into creating content in organic social marketing. But with paid ads, metrics like cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM), cost-per-view (CPV), and cost-per-action (CPA) determine the cost of a social media to a great extent.

When to start with paid social ads

Any marketer worth their salt knows that a combo of organic posts and paid social ads are the best way to win at social media marketing. Unless you leverage the power of organic social to establish a solid brand presence first, your ads will fail to hit the bull’s eye.

So, long story short, there’s no right time for running ad campaigns.

But before you join the races on paid social, ask yourself the following questions. The more yeses there are, the higher the chances of your ads yielding the desired results:

  • Is there great organic visibility to signal the authenticity of my brand?
  • Do I have a considerable social following to engage and win traction with my existing followers with paid content?
  • Can I allocate an appropriate budget to campaigns for the best returns?

Ultimately, the decision to run ads should rest on various factors, including your industry, business goals, creatives, cost-per-click, and the time for running a campaign.

Do not run ads without a concrete plan and tie them with the bigger revenue picture to fully benefit from the targeting and quick visibility that paid social offers.

How to run a successful paid social media campaign

A foolproof strategy is what a successful ad campaign rests on. As you get ready to try paid social ads, make sure to:

1. Choose the right platform

The Sprout Social Index, Edition XV: Empower & Elevate report echoes that the reach of a channel should be the topmost factor determining whether to target it or not. The fact holds true for both organic posts and paid ads.

Globally, more than half of marketers take it into account when deciding the platform for their social media marketing efforts.

Start where you have an established audience and do not run the same ad campaigns on different platforms.

2. Set goals

Clarity on the goals for ad campaigns will help you pick the right metrics for tracking performance. Is it brand awareness or more product demo sign-ups or sales? Choose the desired results from your paid ads and build a campaign around them with the right creatives.

All modern ad platforms host the right features and options to support a specific brand goal and measure KPIs.

3. Research competitors

Sit down with competing paid social ads and notice their wins and losses. Do not limit yourself to content posted by big brands. Instead, actively seek out ad campaigns run by businesses of comparable sizes to see how their creatives talk to customers.

You can either find businesses on Meta Ad Library or take time to browse social media platforms for yourself.

Image Source: Meta

4. Find right positioning

Ad platforms make it easier for beginners to set up campaigns by offering step-by-step tutorials. They let you touch base with call-to-action phrases, marketing messaging, target audience, and demographics.

Familiarize yourself with these aspects and finetune the details when running your first ads. It will help in strengthening the campaign and ensuring it hits a chord.

5. Track performance

Paid social ads can burn a hole in your pocket if there are no checks in place determining their value for business goals. Use a social media management platform like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to check whether your ads are working.

These tools go beyond engagement metrics and clicks to offer insights that help clarify:

  • Whether paid social ads work better than organic content
  • If the paid campaigns drove ROI
  • How to optimize future campaigns

Next, let us look at different platforms for running advertising campaigns.

Get most of your paid social media campaigns

Channels for paid social media strategy

Every social media platform has unique features that set it apart from others. Like I said before, paid ads on different channels will differ based on the campaign and target audience.

But the three essential components of a highly converting ad that each channel should offer are visuals, space for ad copy, and easy access to lead capture forms.

Meta, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter are four major ad platforms for most businesses. Here’s how you can get started on each one.

1. Meta

Meta Targeted Ads is the most robust ad platform that allows you to narrow your audience to a handful of people depending on demographics, interests, location, behavior, and connections.

Though not necessarily helpful for big companies, it makes all the difference for small businesses that are often short on resources.

To set up a Meta ad, visit your Business Manager account and follow these steps in the Ad Manager:

  • Pick an objective for creating a sponsored post like “send people to website” and give a name to your campaign.
  • Select a group for targeting by choosing from either of the three options: Core Audiences, Custom Audiences, and Lookalike Audiences.
  • Choose the placement for Meta to display your ad at the place most likely to reach the target audience.
  • Set a budget by selecting “Daily” if you want the campaign to be continuous or run for a specific number of days. Alternatively, pick the “Lifetime” budget option, which lets you determine the ad spend over a given period.

    The advanced “Ad Scheduling” option goes a step further to let you choose specific hours and days of the week.

  • Select an ad format for your campaign. While the single image option is self-explanatory, the carousel allows you to pick up to five images or videos to show multiple products, features, step-by-step guides, and brand information.
  • Upload the media and ensure the images do not exceed 1200 x 68 pixels. The ad copy should not cover more than 20% of the image and must include details related to your business, including social profiles and the website.
  • Finish the process by previewing the ad and placing your order.

Let us take an example. Consider this Facebook ad by Harvard Business School Online. It’s a perfect blend of creative and copy, persuading the users to hit the “Learn More” tab at the bottom of the ad.

There’s no doubt about the action it wants users to take and makes it easier for them to convert on the spot.

Image Source: Facebook

2. LinkedIn

LinkedIn has an active user base of 830 million, with thousands of decision-makers, thought leaders, and hiring managers. If that wasn’t enough to prioritize LinkedIn as an ad platform for B2B firms, 4 out of 5 LinkedIn members drive business decisions and have 2x times the buying power of the average web audience.

That easily makes it the most popular ad platform for lead generation. You can set up an ad campaign on LinkedIn by following these steps in Campaign Manager:

  • Select the company account and choose “Sponsored Content” to ensure your ad reaches the members right in their feed.
  • Enter the campaign name and pick the option to create new sponsored content.
  • Add the post text that includes a link to your website and upload an image with 1200 x 67 pixels. Remember to maintain a title safe space of 1000 x 586 to ensure it’s not cropped off.
  • Choose your target audience and set the budget by selecting between CPM and CPC. While the former ensures more visibility, CPC has an automatic bid rate set by LinkedIn to reach most members.

    Fix your “Daily” budget and plan the ad schedule.

  • Last, save your payment details, review the order, and launch.

Take a look at this LinkedIn video ad by Taj Hotels.

 

Source: Linkedin

It works for a couple of reasons. For one, it takes a women-first approach and instantly draws in the users to the vivid interiors of Taj Hotels. It keeps them hooked and makes most of the available space by combining the right mix of captions, copy, and headlines.

3. Instagram

It’s the go-to ad platform for companies in the B2C space. Instagram has 1.16 billion accounts, and 84% of users find new products through social media advertising.

To run ad campaigns on this platform, sign up for a business profile and set up an eCommerce store on the app.

Because Instagram belongs to Facebook, your ads run on both channels and can be easily managed together from one center.

In the Instagram Ad Manager, follow these steps:

  • Choose the objective for creating a sponsored post and give a name to your campaign.
  • Select the target audience and pick placement. By default, Meta recommends “Automatic” placement. But if you wish to advertise on Instagram alone, deselect everything else and manually choose your placement.
  • Pick a budget option and choose an ad format.
  • Upload media, and add copy and a CTA button to the ad for people to easily find your store on the app or visit the website.
  • Preview the ad and finish the process by placing your order.

Image Source: Instagram

Like its ad on Facebook, Harvard Business School Online does a great job on Instagram. Notice how keeping with the nature of the platform, the ad is all creative and hardly includes any written text?

The design is intuitive and contains one simple CTA – making it easy for users to access the required information.

4. Twitter

Twitter has 192 million monetizable daily users, meaning those many people can see your ads daily. That might not be much compared to giants like Facebook and Instagram, but it’s steadily rising the ladder.

The best thing about Twitter ads is that they do not stand out as promoted content and seamlessly blend into the users’ feeds.

With mixed opinions about where advertisements will stand after the takeover by Elon Musk, it’s still a good idea to consider ad campaigning on the platform to reach new people.

Here’s how you can get started with paid social ads on Twitter:

  • Create a new campaign and select an aim for creating promoted content like driving website traffic or conversions.
  • Pick a name for your campaign and fix an ad schedule for the time you want it to be active. The options vary between running it immediately or during a specified period.
  • Add the main site domain and choose a category to describe your website.
  • Select target audience. While Twitter offers similar options to other platforms for pointed advertising, it has one unique option called “Tailored Audience.” It is a curated list of people you want to target through promoted tweets, such as website visitors.
  • Set a budget by choosing between a daily and total limit.
  • Create tweet text, add a headline, and upload an image with 800 x 320 pixels dimensions.
  • Finally, include the website URL to serve as the final destination for users after they click, and publish your tweet.

Take this promoted tweet by Taylor Nieman. It’s a perfect example to wrap up the discussion on Twitter ads. What makes it stand out and highly converting is the harmonious blend of an enticing visual design, laser-sharped copy, and URL for the users to check out Toucan’s website.

It’s neat and resonates with the audience.

Image Source: Twitter

Let us take a few FAQs before wrapping up this post.

Frequently asked questions

1. What are the cons of paid social advertising?

The benefits of paid social far outweigh the cons. Regardless, it helps to remain on top of the challenges posed by ad campaigning to devise an optimal paid strategy. As I mentioned before, ads need the backing of organic content to help users see the legitimacy of your brand.

Unless there’s enough organic presence, the quick visibility offered by paid ads will not amount to any tangible results.

What compounds it further is the competition. Social media is highly competitive, where countless brands are constantly vying to capture user attention.

This makes social a densely cluttered space, leading people to either ignore the ads entirely or get frustrated with the number on their feeds.

A strategy that combines the wins of organic and paid social is the way out of the situation.

2. What is the best way to optimize paid social with a small budget?

Budgetary limits are an opportunity to sharpen the ad campaign and test it with a smaller audience before going all in. Do not target a broad user base when working with a small budget and set easy goals like traffic (instead of conversions) to judge the performance of your ads.

Final thoughts

Paid social ads let brands get in front of their target audience and score quick wins. But setting them up and figuring out best practices for each social platform can be challenging for business owners who already juggle too many tasks. Contact us to pair a top-notch marketing virtual assistant with you to help with that (and much more!), and ace paid social.

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How to Nail Organic Social Media Growth: Tips, Tools, and Strategies

Organic social growth refers to the boost in visibility from posting visual content such as photos, videos, reels, and stories on social media. It lets you drive brand awareness and build meaningful relationships with your target audience.

Unlike paid ads, it’s a free way of advertising your products and services by sharing valuable content that offers a joyful experience to the users.

But it’s getting hard due to rising competition and curbs on the reach of organic posts by social networking sites. This post discusses the challenges to growing organically and how to counter them effectively.

It will share actionable tips and tools to help you build your brand organically on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Key takeaways:

  • Volatile social media algorithms and content saturation affect the reach of organic posts on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
  • Organic social media growth is within reach when businesses create an impactful marketing strategy for each social channel and measure their efforts using a social media management tool.

    Buffer, Sprout Social, and Hootsuite are three advanced social listening tools most virtual graphic designer professionals use for easily scheduling posts and staying on top of all things social.

  • Different marketing tactics work for growing organically on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

    While Instagram and Facebook favor visual-heavy content, insightful text-based posts and threads win on LinkedIn and Twitter.

  • A hybrid marketing strategy is the answer to declining organic social media reach. Brands need to combine the wins of organic and paid social to reach their business goals.
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Barriers to Organic Social Media Growth

Social media platforms work on a pay-to-play model where the brands that get success are majorly the ones putting dollars behind their marketing efforts.

The volatile ranking algorithms are constantly limiting the reach of organic content, and Facebook, in particular, has curbed the spread of non-promoted content over the years.

The average reach of an organic post on a Facebook page is 5.20%. This means only one in 19 fans see a page’s organic content. For big brands, it’s even less.

It leaves small businesses in a lurch as they don’t have the budget to go big on ad spending. What adds to this challenge is the phenomenon of the ‘content epidemic.’

There’s more content on social media than the feeds can hold. Every minute, there are above 510,000 comments and 293,000 status updates. Combine it with the fact that social networking sites constantly strive to offer their users the most relevant content.

And it’s not hard to make sense of the decline in organic reach for optimizing user experience and increasing engagement.

But does that mean organic social media is a lost cause? On the contrary.

Organic social media growth is crucial for winning customer trust and building brand credibility. It’s what acts as a bedrock for paid ads, and unless you invest in getting yourself off the ground through organic means first, your paid campaigns will fail to pull in the desired results.

Here’s how you can ramp up you organic social media growth with the help of remote graphic designer.

6 Tips to Boost Organic Reach

1. Pick the Right Channel

Social media marketing involves optimizing content depending on the business and the channels your target audience hangs out on. If your brand caters to young millennials, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok will work better than LinkedIn and Twitter, which work superbly for B2B organizations.

Your remote graphic designer can do a thorough research and create suitable content for the right social media platform to use its features to the fullest potential.

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2. Create a Strategy

Use your remote graphic designer to perform research on your audience and competitors to create a tailored strategy for each channel (more on this below). In an article for Forbes, Andrew Brooks, Sinclair Global Founder, notes that “building a brand is both a creative venture and a journey of discovery.”

It needs a mindset that rests on “selling a lifestyle” and does not see social as another channel to promote products and services.

Customers are no longer interested in hearing about the latest launches. To intertwine them with your brand, you need to become a part of their daily lives and engage with them personally.

Brooks shared how he did that at Sinclair Global:

“Most of the content my company posts is really based on us. We post funny moments in life, our weekend brunches with friends, etc. We essentially show them what real life looks like. At the same time, we have the hype of unique aspects of our lives, with photos and stories featuring our crew socializing with professional athletes, chart-topping musicians and Hollywood celebrities.”

This diverse marketing strategy allows brands to show off products and services without overselling them and find a way into their customers’ hearts.

Your remote graphic designer evaluates what content type is helping your competitors drive engagement on social and be on the lookout for content gaps. These are topics your target audience wants to explore but does not have the resources for currently.

Let your virtual graphic designer create content to answer these micro-moments and win eyeballs.

3. Engage Employees 

Brand advocacy works like magic for organic social media growth on sites like LinkedIn. And nobody can better hoot for your business than internal team members.

Nearly 72% of customers said they felt closer to a brand whose CEO and employees posted regularly on their handles and trusted them over journalists and advertisers.

Advocacy platforms like Hootsuite Amplify let employees share vetted social content with their friends and followers. You can either opt for one of these or just go the classical way and ask your teammates to give their workplace a shoutout on their profiles.

But do not forget to share their insights on your official company page.

Image Source: LinkedIn

This is how we do it on our LinkedIn. Check our page for more amazing tricks!

 4. Provide Value

Part of what makes organic social media growth so tricky is that social media is not a tool to, as Dave Willis said, “impress people; use it to impact people.” Brands must offer valuable content to their followers to give them a reason for following and sharing their posts.

That value could be entertaining, informative, or motivational, depending on the business type, target audience, and social media platform.

 

Source: Instagram

If you run a local hair salon, then strategize content ideas like styling tips with your remote graphic designer and post it on your Instagram page can capture the attention of youngsters looking to experiment with their hairstyles.

Similarly, since adults over 65 are Facebook’s rapidly growing audience segment, sharing handy tips or exercise tutorials on knee joints through an appealing infographic can work wonders for a small business selling physio and ortho products, for example.

Check out this infographic posted by a Delhi-based medical center called AktivHealth on the benefits of 30-mins walk every day. It’s informative and gently encourages people to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Image Source: Facebook

5. Host Virtual Events

Tequia Burt’s analysis of research studies by Content Marketing Institue and MarketingProfs revealed that virtual events, webinars, and online courses were the top-performing content marketing assets during the pandemic.

And unsurprisingly, businesses planned on allocating a considerable chunk of the marketing budget to digital events to engage their audience in the post-pandemic future.

Image Source: LinkedIn

A budget-friendly asset, virtual events help businesses stir buzz around their brands and up the entertainment quotient. They also let you collect insightful data and your remote graphic designer can repurpose it as blog posts and short social media creatives.

While webinars are the most popular virtual event type for B2B brands, businesses in the B2C space can experiment with Ask Me Anythings (AMAs) and live streams on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Check out this Q&A uploaded as a post by Ladies and Luggage on its Instagram handle. You can also try this as a story and respond to questions over DMs.

To make it more fun and interactive, add your answers as story updates over the entire day and encourage people to come back for your replies!

Image Source: Instagram

6. Connect with People

That’s all it takes to boost organic social media growth. Simple.

A few ways to go about it are: provide quality customer support, use hashtags and leave comments on posts, tag followers in your stories when they show brand love, or ask for their feedback on the latest industry trends using creative polls on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Or you could do something as simple as post pictures with people.

A research study by Yahoo Labs and the Georgia Institute of Technology confirmed that photos containing faces get 32% more comments and 38% more likes. Increasingly, customers are moving away from brands that are out of touch with their reality.

They care about how a brand treats its employees and connect better with the latter than products and services.

Remember what I said about engaging employees earlier? Spotlight your teammates and remember to be diverse and inclusive. The more people see themselves in your content, the more they will engage and share it.

Let us hone in on strategies that work for organic social media growth on Instagram.

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How to Grow Social Media Platforms Organically

1. Instagram

Towards the end of 2021, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, posted a video on his Twitter account to announce that the social networking site was no longer “just a photo-sharing app.”

Nobody knew what that meant for small businesses until, as Sana Javeri Kadri put it, “the algorithm changed and our sales dropped horrifyingly.”

Kadri’s spice company owed its initial success to Instagram, but after the shift to video, the platform reduced the traffic small businesses get to their accounts and, consequently, websites.

When Instagram first arrived in 2010, posting pictures, writing a compelling caption, and including relevant hashtags were enough for sales.

But, after the change in 2021, it is no longer a low-cost advertising method. Businesses that do not regularly post the short-form videos called Reels not only appear below others but have considerably less engagement on their posts.

While posting videos is one way to grow your Instagram organically, here are others:

  • Be consistent about putting out quality content. Fix a posting schedule and frequency by maintaining a social media calendar to track efforts. Research the best times to post on Instagram for your business and set expectations with the target audience.
  • Apart from in-feed posts and Reels, let your virtual graphic designer experiment with content types like stories and IGTV episodes. Test a few stories every week in different formats and see what resonates with your followers to channel efforts in the right direction.

Image Source: Instagram

The above image shows how NY Times does this on its Instagram. Just the right mix of creatives and copy is enough to encourage readers to check out the complete story on the official website.

  • Post contests, quizzes, and giveaways to hook customer interest. It’s an interactive way to let followers know about the latest discounts, running schemes, and offers. You can also engage them further by including specific requirements for giveaways, such as following your handle and tagging friends in the comments.

Take a cue from how Safecup does it on its Instagram channel.

Image Source: Instagram

  • Use cross-platform promotion to direct people to your profile. Highlight your presence on Instagram by using another visual-heavy platform such as Pinterest to distribute Instagram content.

    Another way is by adding social media buttons in your website’s footer and newsletter. Add your Instagram account to in-store signage to do the trick offline.

  • Get micro- and nano-influencers to give your brand a shoutout. Though with a smaller following, they have super specific niches and a highly engaged audience. Partner with them to gain traction and establish trust in your business.
  • Lastly, do not overlook one-on-one engagement. It’s a surefire way of growing Instagram organically. Reply to queries, brand mentions, comments, and repost user-generated content.

    Actively engage on your Instagram feed to build long-lasting customer relationships and move past announcing boring company updates.

Image Source: Instagram

Big clothing brands like H&M make customer engagement a top priority on their social profiles. Notice how they respond almost instantly to a follower’s query and take the conversation forward by asking them to check out other styles matching their taste?

2. Twitter 

Twitter is the hub of political discourse and memes. But it’s also the most prime and underused social media platform by brands for engaging with target audiences.

Twitter has 436 million monthly active users, and its revenue rose to $1.284 billion in 2021, making it a lucrative platform for business growth. No one can say what new Twitter will look like with Elon Musk at the helm.

But here are a few best ways that you can (still) use to increase the reach of organic posts:

  • Keep messages to the point, and do not go overboard with hashtags. Use 1-2 per tweet, trying to include them naturally in your copy and maintaining a conversational tone.
  • Do not write tweets in all-caps. Consider emojis to add emotions to your copy and include strong calls to action.
  • Go easy on text-heavy images. For videos, keep them to 15 seconds or less. Be mindful of people with hearing disabilities and always use captions or any other ‘sound-off strategy.’
  • When driving to links, use website buttons to make the images and videos clickable. Create content themes for each day of the week and find opportunities to take part in recurring weekly hashtags.
  • Maintain a content bank of evergreen and approved tweets to send out using a social media management tool. Test your performance and dig into data to find which copy, creative, and tone resonates the most with followers.
  • Track indirect mentions of your brand in keywords and hashtags and be prompt with responses. You can also improve the response time by creating pre-saved answers to common questions that come your way.
  • Finally, watch out for trending topics in your niche and engage in ongoing conversations to push people to check out your profile.
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3. Facebook 

Facebook is the world’s oldest and largest social network, with over 2.7 billion monthly active users. It commands a quarter of all digital ad spending, making it the no. 1 platform for marketing despite its steady curb on organic posts.

The average organic Facebook page gets only 0.07% engagement, and the shifting Facebook algorithms are making it harder than ever for brands to reach their audience.

Image Source: Smart Insights

This state of affairs makes it important to understand how algorithms work to ace organic social media marketing on the site.

As of 2022, there is no News Feed, and what comes up when your followers scroll through Facebook is simply called Feed. It’s a place where users get stories “that are meaningful and informative.”

And what determines this is a set of three main ranking signals: who posted it, content type, and interactions:

  • Who posted it: Followers will see content from sources they interacted with, including friends and other businesses.
  • Content type: Their feed will be curated for types of content depending on the past engagement. If they engage with photos, the Facebook feed will show photos. If it’s videos, they will get more audio-visual content.
  • Interactions: Your followers will get posts that stir up engagement, especially from people they interact with on the site.

With this in mind, follow these tips to nurture organic conversions and reduce the cost per click of paid campaigns on Facebook:

  • Use Audience Insights to build a target persona for your Facebook page and attract the right demographics to engage with content and boost marketing campaigns.
  • Publish evergreen content like video tutorials, interviews, thought leadership insights, industry news, and snippets from “how-to” posts, as these have a longer lifespan and remain useful for audiences for extended periods.
  • A virtual graphic deisgner must remember to- keep posts short, visuals solid, and calls to action creative. Do not ask people to like and comment on your posts alone. Instead, go the next step and nudge them to check your website for more info about a product or service.
  • Create a Facebook group for the most engaged customers or join another active niche-related group that’s both active and serves business goals. The idea is to use a group for building a vibrant community around your brand and keep it active through a solid content strategy.

    Safecup’s Facebook group is a cool hangout zone for women to discuss their menstruation woes. The brand keeps it pulsating throughout the year and shares informative tips on using its products properly by engaging with customers in the comments!

Image Source: Facebook

No matter what you sell, community groups on social networking sites are a great way to build your online presence and turn customers into loyal brand ambassadors over time.

  • Use organic post targeting to ensure your content reaches the right people. Like Facebook Ads, it helps distribute posts to customers based on their age and location and is particularly useful against the decline in organic reach on Facebook.
  • Post updates at the optimal time. Consider your audience’s profile, the type of content you put out, and when your fans are most active daily and weekly.

    Dig into Facebook insights to collect this info and post during the peak-off hours when the highest number of followers are online.

  • Use the latest features and updates to promote your organic posts. The hottest ones in the market right now are Facebook Messenger Bots, 360-degree photos and videos, Facebook Stories, Facebook Offers, Facebook Watch, and Facebook Marketplace.

Next, let’s look at the most effective ways for building your brand organically on LinkedIn.

4. LinkedIn 

LinkedIn is all about building professional networks and connecting with business influencers. Unlike Instagram, a favorite among B2C brands, this social platform is for B2B companies.

Globally, it has an active user base of 830 million and is the top most-used platform for the distribution of both organic as well as paid content.

But here’s the thing: LinkedIn has one of the most educated bases on social media.

Unless you know your stuff, there’s no point in marketing on LinkedIn. And if that wasn’t reason enough, LinkedIn algorithms favor content from people over pages – making growing a professional page a highly challenging task.

To grow your company page followers and engagement organically on LinkedIn, follow these tactics:

  • Get your employees to connect their accounts to the page properly by adding their current job role in the work experience section. It’s often an overlooked part of setting up a profile and a necessary best practice for organic social media growth for businesses.

See how our team members linked their profile to the company page?

Image Source: LinkedIn

  • Ask a few chosen employees to invite their connections to the company page manually. Do not cold-invite users as it can be off-putting to get DMs from random people and does not help with a great first impression.
  • Ask team members to add the page’s link to their email signatures. It’s a subtle and non-jarring way of getting your brand in front of new prospects and leads.
  • Use LinkedIn’s native ‘Notify Employees’ feature to update team members about new posts on the company page so that they can engage and share them with their networks.
  • Post engaging videos in the form of client testimonials and product demos to drive traffic to your website. But do not forget to optimize your content for users on mobile.
  • Publish long-form thought leadership content on the latest industry breakthroughs to cement your position as a leading expert with a distinct voice.
  • Include questions and polls in posts to make them more interactive and invite readers to take forward the conversation in the comments. Try to respond to all the replies and keep the comment threads active.
  • Follow community hashtag topics from your company page and respond to the trending content showing in the feed. Post content around these trending topics and use relevant hashtags to increase its reach.

    Here are two community hashtags on Zomato’s LinkedIn.

Image Source: LinkedIn

The Hybrid Approach to Social Media Strategy

The debate between paid vs. organic social media has been raging for quite some time now due to the decline in organic social media growth. But the most effective social media strategy combines the power of both paid ads and organic posts to reach business goals.

To bolster your organic efforts, you must:

  • Measure the performance of your social content (more on it in a sec) and select the best organic posts for boosting through paid ads.

    It’s an entry-level (and pocket-friendly) trick for businesses new to the social field that may not have a huge budget for promoting their content.

  • Set up manual split tests for organic content and track them using UTM parameters. This A/B testing helps you check messaging, brand positioning, visuals, ad format, and copywriting to understand what’s working on your social media accounts and which content format is not.
  • Use retargeting ads to hook leads who already know your business through organic marketing but need a gentle nudge to return to your handle and explore new offerings.

    It is a low-cost and foolproof tactic to spark lost interest in your company’s services.

The next section looks at the social media management tools for brands to size up their social media marketing strategy.

Tools for Organic Social Growth

Social media tracking tools ready you for organic growth by providing:

  • Cross-platform support, so you don’t waste time checking every social handle multiple times a day for updates
  • Options to schedule future posts and ace your social media posting schedule
  • Data-informed insights on the wins and losses of your content efforts

The three best ones dominating the industry are:

1. Buffer

Buffer offers support for all the major social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can use it to set up a schedule for posting updates on your profiles according to time zone and the target audience’s social media surfing habits.

Image Source: Buffer

Pricing: It has a free plan for one user account.

2. Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a great tracking tool for social listening, engagement, publishing, and measuring current strategy. In addition to basic tracking features, it has the option for designing and sending personalized messages to prospective customers.

You can also use its customer service features and provide support to your followers.

Image Source: Sprout Social

Pricing: Sprout Social offers three paid plans, with the lowest one available at $89 per user/month. Though paid, it has a free 30-day trial window for users who may not be ready to make the switch just now.

3. Hootsuite 

Hootsuite offers the best social media management features to take charge of your content calendar. You can use it to schedule posts and review content in an intuitive calendar view.

It lets you access images directly from the dashboard for posting and determine what your customers think by keeping a tab on the latest trends, conversations, and brand mentions.

Image Source: Hootsuite

Pricing: Hootsuite has four plans for different social needs. Growing companies can subscribe to its ‘Professional’ pack and connect up to 10 accounts to access their social inboxes from one central place and schedule unlimited advanced posts.

Final Thoughts

Organic social media can get quickly overwhelming for small business owners who often juggle many tasks and don’t have the time to engage with their customers daily.

To build long-term and meaningful customer relationships on different channels, they can hire a marketing virtual assistant to manage their social media operations. Book a call with us to pair you with the right fit today and get ready to kickstart social growth.

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Paid vs. Organic Social: Why You Need to Combine Them

A solid social media strategy can help small and medium-sized businesses reap many benefits. But crafting one requires a good understanding of the differences between paid social ads and organic marketing.

This post takes an in-depth look at the two and discusses their cons and benefits. By the end, you will know which one to choose for your social efforts and how to bring them together for maximum impact on your target audience.

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Key takeaways:

  • Organic social media marketing lets brands connect with their followers and drive engagement over a sustained period. But it depends on volatile ranking algorithms for that and may not directly boost ROI.
  • Paid marketing involves spending money on social ads and campaigns to reach a highly targeted audience. It’s a great tactic to capture leads and drive conversions but needs considerable resources and efforts to deliver results.
  • Organic works for small businesses just entering the field and want to build customer relationships. But paid ads should be a core part of the marketing strategy for any scaling enterprise with the budget and expertise to invest in social ads.
  • Business owners can hit their revenue targets by integrating paid social with organic marketing. A well-rounded strategy helps them reach new audiences while maintaining valuable relationships with their existing followers on social.

What is organic social media marketing

Organic social media marketing denotes activities brands perform to share content with their followers on social platforms. These involve sharing multimedia assets such as posts, reels, and stories to drive engagement and build a community.

It is popular with small businesses because organic social is a free way of reaching new people and converting them into loyal brand ambassadors over time.

That’s what Guy Kawasaki, Chief Evangelist of Canva, meant too when he said:

“A large social media presence is important because it’s one of the last ways to conduct cost-effective marketing. Everything else involves buying eyeballs and ears. Social media enables a small business to earn eyeballs and ears.”

When you use organic social media to share helpful content, it wins you a community of followers who may or may not convert but still play a major role in boosting your credentials.

Or, as Sinziana Ecaterina puts in the below image, organic social media does not directly generate leads, but it’s a ‘business card’ that consolidates your brand in the online market.

Image Source: Superpath

For example, FII is a small India-based digital media and news company whose marketing strategy is nailing organic social.

While its primary aim is to cover the Indian political landscape through a feminist lens on social media, FII has built an amazing community of followers that buys from its merchandise store and helps it find opportunities for business collaboration with similar companies.

Check out its handles on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Image Source: Instagram

Image Source: Twitter

Image Source: Facebook

A large social media presence is just one aspect of organic social. It has other benefits and drawbacks that you must consider when deciding to use it in your marketing strategy. Let’s hone in on them in the next section.

The pros and cons of organic social media

Organic social puts you in front of a large audience. But when these users share your content on their handles through the stories feature or DMs or tag their connections on your posts in the comments, it sets off a chain reaction that guarantees even greater visibility for businesses through what is as good as ‘word-of-mouth’ in the online world.

Apart from traction and brand credibility, organic social media marketing helps small businesses to:

  • Establish a distinct brand personality (more on it in a sec) and voice
  • Nurture customer relationships by sharing resonating content
  • Directly connect with customers and offer qualitative engagement
  • Provide instant customer care support services and manage reputation

Despite these benefits for lifetime value and customer retention, organic social is steadily declining due to ranking algorithms. Hootsuite’s Digital 2020 report shows the organic reach for a Facebook post is about 5.5% of your follower count and even lesser for big brands.

Algorithms curb the spread of organic posts, and their volatile nature makes it difficult for busy business owners to adjust strategies on the go to stay relevant with the trends. Other cons to consider are:

  • It needs massive effort to churn out quality content and actively interact with users on different social media platforms daily
  • It doesn’t let you distribute content outside of your social following
  • Its ROI can be difficult to measure as organic is for branding than sales

Image Source: LinkedIn

As Prasad Bambarkar notes in this LinkedIn comment, organic social is an awareness channel that works magic if businesses focus on branding instead of promoting their services. They need to invest in value-adding content and be patient with the results. Here are a few best ways for acing branding on the organic front.

Social Media Plans

Best practices for organic social media marketing

The benefits and drawbacks listed above suggest that organic social media marketing efforts are best suited for businesses just getting started and fixing their social operations.

As the chief aim during the early funnel stage is brand awareness and building relationships, they do not need to spend many dollars on targeted advertising. But they must solidify their organic social efforts by:

  • Minimizing promotions: Instead, the focus should be on creating informative and helpful social content that positively impacts users. While a local hairdressing business can share pro tips on hairstyling via reels on its Instagram page, a SaaS startup can post thoughtful takes on current problems in the industry and how their product solves them.
  • Showcasing brand personality: The content should mark your visual identity distinctly and always conform to branding guidelines. It’s easy to get swayed by viral social media trends, but picking up the wrong ones can do more harm than good to your business image.

    Stick to niche-specific discussions and create content highlighting your brand values.

  • Addressing topic gaps: Produce content that answers users’ urgent needs during micro-moments. These are times when customers surf social networks with a definite purpose.It could be checking out an easy tutorial or a product demo before making the final purchase.

    Perform competitive research and use social media listening tools like Sprout Social to create in-demand content.

What is paid social media marketing

It’s a marketing strategy in which businesses pay money to social platforms for running social ads and campaigns. Unlike organic, which has a limited reach and depends on ranking algorithms for content distribution, paid social media is a surefire way of getting in front of a broad and specific target audience by boosting organic content and advertisements.

Take this Sponsored Content on LinkedIn from Nielsen, for example. It’s a boosted organic social post that blends right into the feed and doesn’t stand out as an ad.

Image Source: LinkedIn

The social media ad market is the largest in the US, and it will surpass the $200 billion mark by 2024. This trend becomes particularly poignant when seen alongside the changing preferences of consumers during the pandemic and their social media habits.

They spent a good deal of time on social channels browsing products during the lockdowns and bought directly through social eCommerce.

As the number of active users on these platforms continues to go up and likes and retweets influence shopping behavior, businesses need to design their social media campaigns and ads with great care (more on it below) to stand out from their competitors.

But before involving your marketing team to get paid social media underway, check out its benefits and drawbacks for a better understanding.

The pros and cons of paid social media

When Apple introduced additional privacy features that allowed iPhone users to limit ad tracking, marketers debated the value of paid social media to reach their business goals. But, half of the adults said that when brands use their data in advertising, it lets them discover useful products and services.

A broad reach is the top benefit of paid social media, here are others:

  • Target particular demographics that’d be interested in your brand
  • Capture leads and drive conversions
  • Promote the latest releases, events, and deals easily
  • Move people through the various stages of the customer journey
  • Track results and refine your marketing strategy

Ad tracking is a great way for some users to keep up with the latest offerings. But for others, the thought of social media platforms collecting their personal information is off-putting.

The Facebook data breach that exposed millions to Amazon’s cloud computing service and the criminal negligence charges have made customers wary of sharing personal info with social media platforms– making paid marketing relatively tricky.

While that’s one thing to keep in mind when opting for a paid social media strategy, other cons include:

  • It may be difficult for small businesses to match a high PPC rate to reach their target audience by consistently creating high-quality content to get returns on paid budget
  • It’s a massive waste of money if the efforts don’t yield desired results
  • It needs constant monitoring to understand how your ads are performing and pivot if the analytics are not up to the mark
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Let’s dive into the best practices for social media advertising in the next section.

Best practices for paid social media

It’s not hard to nail down paid social media marketing using the following tactics:

  • Select the right audience: Social ads work best when they carry the right message at the right time and for the right audience. Make your paid ads effective by pairing laser-targeted messaging with the intended users to drive results.
  • Craft a clear CTA: The value of paid social ads lies in the business objectives they help serve. If the aim is to capture leads by sharing informative content like an in-depth guide, the ads should carry a direct CTA like ‘Download Now.’

    Include strong (and relevant!) CTAs in your paid campaign to help people take the next action.

  • Be brief: Paid social ads target a large demographic that may or may not have heard about your business. To win attention, keep your ads – be they graphics or videos- catchy and concise. Share resonating content with your target audience and limit your video ads to 15-30 seconds.
  • Track performance: As I said before, paid social ads can be expensive and need constant monitoring to ensure you don’t end up wasting resources.

    Social media management tools help businesses measure analytics and take a data-informed approach to their marketing strategy.Use these tools to measure the impact of your ad campaigns and make necessary changes.

Watch this space to learn the best practices for paid ads on different platforms!

6 methods to combine organic and paid social media marketing

An all-round social media strategy takes the best of organic and paid content to hit business goals. It leverages the ability of the former to build a community and nurture valuable relationships.

Simultaneously, it relies upon paid ads to attract potential customers and boost conversions. Here are six ways you can integrate them to truly serve your audience:

  • Decide upon the promotional posts: Reserve the social ads only for content tied to measurable KPIs. While most big businesses use advertising to promote their latest release and announce new events, organic can be a great way for growing companies to do the same through a creative and compelling organic post without spending much.
  • Boost organic content: Use social analytics tools to identify the organic posts that got the most traction with your target audience and boost them through paid ads.

    It’s one of the low-cost methods for small businesses that may not be well-versed with the ins and outs of social ad campaigns and equipped with the resources to run them on scale.

  • Use A/B testing: Test paid ads with smaller audiences before allocating a large budget for social spending. See if your messaging, positioning, visuals, copywriting, and ad format hit a chord with modern shoppers and offer them an enjoyable experience.

    Set up manual split tests for organic content and track its performance using UTM parameters.

  • Align target audience: Remember what I said about selecting the right audience for paid ads earlier? It’s mostly the lookalike of your followers or newsletter subscribers (for example), having similar likes, choices, and demographics.

    The only difference is they haven’t had the chance to interact with your social media content. Use your customer persona and data on the organic following to run social ads with this lookalike audience.

  • Use retargeting ads: It’s a highly effective and budget-friendly means to capture leads who already know your business organically but need a reminder about the latest product or offering from your company.

    Craft a compelling ad with the right messaging to nudge them to come back and check you out.

  • Automate: Use a social media tool for not just tracking the performance of your organic and paid campaigns but also for managing the workload that comes with combining the two social media marketing tactics.

    Streamline your content creation process, schedule the organic posts in advance, and create customized alerts for boosted content.

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Before wrapping up this post, let us take up two FAQs on paid vs. organic social marketing.

Frequently asked questions

Should a startup go for organic or paid social media strategy?

It depends on many factors, including business type and objectives. Social media marketing is saturated for B2B SaaS and B2C organizations.

They may need to include paid social ads as a core part of their overall marketing strategy to reach new audiences and drive conversions. But the same doesn’t hold for firms offering services to other companies, as organic social can help them achieve the same results without any considerable ad spend.

Is organic or paid marketing better for Facebook?

You get better results from paid marketing on Facebook. The average organic reach of a Facebook post is a small percent of an account’s follower count, and organic reach, in general, has been in a steady decline over the years.

To talk numbers, only one in 19 fans see a page’s non-promoted content– stressing the need for businesses to blend ads into their organic strategy.

A flawless marketing strategy leverages the potential of both paid social media and organic to meet different business objectives at different times. Book a call with us to pair you with an expert marketing virtual assistant to handle your social media operations and help you establish a solid brand identity.

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B2B Social Media Strategy: The Definitive Guide for 2022

Small businesses spend considerable resources on organic reach and email marketing to acquire new customers. But social? It’s the last channel on their mind, and for obvious reasons. They don’t have the time or the budget to design and execute a full-blown strategy.

And when they do, it’s a tepid effort as they’re skeptical about its ROI.

Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, summed this perfectly in a quote:

“When I hear people debate the ROI of social media? It makes me remember why so many businesses fail. Most businesses are not playing the marathon. They are playing the sprint. They are not worried about lifetime value and retention. They’re worried about short-term goals.”

Ignoring the lifetime value and retention of customers and focusing on flimsy goals can lead to poor performance on social. But you can escape this fate through strategic planning.

This post discusses why customer-focused marketing is vital for B2B and shares essential tips and examples to build a social media strategy laced with innovative graphic designs, that convert users into paying (and loyal) customers.

Key Takeaways:

  • B2B social media strategy refers to the way businesses catering to other companies use social media for marketing their product or services
  • An effective strategy helps small businesses to build brand awareness, drive website traffic, position themselves as thought leaders, deliver quality customer support, and manage online reputation
  • Build a tailored marketing strategy for each social channel to win traction with your target audience
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What Is B2B Social Media Strategy?

B2B social media strategy is the approach to social channels for advertising products or services to prospective customers in a business-to-business setting.

The dominant view holds B2B to be a widely different niche from B2C and one that requires a distinct social media strategy. While that’s true, it’s worth noting that customers deciding whether or not to buy in B2B are people and a part of the same marketing ecosystem as customers in the B2C.

But why should you invest in social media in the first place? The next section discusses five benefits of social media marketing.

5 Reasons Why Small Businesses Need A Social Media Strategy

Amy Jo Martin beautifully described the power of social media in this quote:

“It’s a dialogue, not a monologue, and some people don’t understand that. Social media is more like a telephone than a television.”

She means that social media is not an isolated chamber for singular posting. Instead, it’s more like a game where two or more players participate to take it forward.

Social networks promote diverse opinions and encourage dialogues such that every user becomes a part of one big digital community which is always in conversation.

Couple this insight with the fact that 58% of the world’s population now uses social media, and 59% of marketers consider it a very important” part of their overall marketing strategy. And it’s not difficult to see why it’s a lucrative medium for small businesses to win new customers through engaging content.

A customer-focused B2B marketing strategy helps small businesses to:

1. Build Brand Awareness

Research by Sprout Social shows that moving forward, customers would prefer to learn about brands through social media and buy directly from them.

This makes it a golden moment for businesses to leverage social channels and acquire prospective buyers following a few best practices. In fact, 65% of consumers have already directly bought through social media, and social commerce sales will cross $53 billion by 2023, nearly double from $28 billion in 2020.

Most small businesses compete against big names on Google and do not get top spots, but social media offers them an easy route to get in front of their target audience. They can sign up for business profiles and optimize them to increase their reach.

I cover more ground on how social media influences buyers’ purchasing decisions later. Stay tuned.

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2. Drive Website Traffic

Google considers various factors to rank a website on its pages, and social signals are one of them. While social media accounts may or may not directly affect your rank on Google listings and traffic, it certainly influences the content of your search results. Social profiles are often #1 for brand name searches on Google and get significant digital real estate.

Image Source: Google

Notice how our social media accounts on Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn show up for our brand name on Google? A great social media presence adds to your ranking potential on the result pages. It enables users to explore your brand at leisure and offers them the necessary details to make an informed choice.

3. Positioning Themselves as a Thought Leader

Every social network caters to a different audience and purpose. While channels like YouTube and Instagram serve people looking for light time on the net, LinkedIn and Twitter cater to audiences searching for educational content from experts to hone skills and advance in their careers.

A well-planned B2B social media strategy helps businesses share expert takes on the latest developments, get followers, and partner with other thought leaders in their niche.

They let you share your career highlights and show people the formula to replicate similar success, getting you a personal brand and better visibility for your business in turn. This is how Ryan Law, VP of Content at Animalz, does it on Twitter. Though Animalz is not a small business, you get the hint.

Steal the trick!

Image Source: Twitter

Another helpful example for thinking about this is Ashley Faus. Her thought leadership on content marketing is helping her build a solid personal brand on LinkedIn. Read this insightful take on a career in content to understand why others marketers rely upon her wisdom to fix the content operations at their workplaces.

Image Source: LinkedIn

4. Deliver Quality Customer Support

Zendesk’s Customer Experience Trends Report disclosed that three out of five consumers believe good customer service is essential for brand loyalty. And fast responses hold a big share among factors that constitute excellent customer support. Social media and instant chat tools allow you to connect with buyers quicker than traditional methods like email.

5. Manage Online Reputation

Social media lets you privately respond to complaints via DM as well as offers the option to leave comments publicly. That helps prospective clients judge brand authenticity and decide whether they want to transact with you.

Small brands may not get into the center of big storms involving big B2B companies such as HubSpot or Mailchimp. But a bad customer experience can dent their business image within a niche community and escalate into a crisis.

If someone airs their grievance on social, you can use a tool like Hootsuite to track brand mentions and reply promptly to address their concerns.

This brings us to the key to cracking social media for business goals.

It holds incredible potential for earning revenue but only when used right. Its core aim is to bring people together in what Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian philosopher, described as a ‘global village.’ When your marketing efforts align with this purpose and customers’ interests are always at the top, success is yours.

The next section discusses more on that and offers actionable tips on designing an effective customer-focused strategy.

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How to Build a Social Media Strategy?

We live in a time where digital media shapes our perception of the real world and vice-versa. Increasingly, customers are moving away from brands that do not understand their reality and are just profit-driven. Sprout Social’s report echoed this observation and revealed:

  • People trust in the power of social media to forge connections, and 78% of them want brands to use social to help users connect with each together
  • 76% of customers buy from a business that invests in building relationships, and 57% of them increase their spending when they feel connected to a brand
  • 72% of people reported feeling closer to a brand whose CEO and employees posed on their social media feed regularly, highlighting the need for being authentic in building relationships with customers

The takeaway from the above findings is this: customers are not interested in what you sell alone and want businesses to use social media meaningfully. Unless you share interactive content on the right platform, you won’t gain traction with your target audience.

To get success, follow these best practices:

1. Determine Business Goals

Think about your business objectives and where social media fits into that. Every aim calls for a different strategy and social channel. The top three goals for B2B small businesses are brand awareness, building trust, and educating customers about the advantages of a product or service.

Match this goal with the right social platform, target audience, and draft a tentative plan.

2. Perform Competitive Research

Spend time on your competitors’ social profiles and note which content works for them. Is it catchy data-informed visuals or videos generating engagement on their handles? This competitive research will help you identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities in the niche and sharpen your plan.

3. Link Competitive Research with Buyer Personas

Your strategy will always be off the mark unless you know about customers’ social media habits and preferences. Research the social sites your buyers surf for consuming industry news and notice the overall demographics.

For starters, check the age group of your prospective buyers on a particular site and whether the content reaching them is through organic or paid social. Research by Content Marketing Institute reveals LinkedIn is the top-performing organic channel for B2B marketing, and Facebook outranks Twitter for paid social media posts.

4. Share Relevant Content

Use intel on customer preferences to share unique and helpful content with potential customers. As I said, social media aims to bridge the gap between people.

A strategic customer-focused B2B social media marketing takes it a step forward by sharing delightful content as insider tips and hard to come by knowledge in the form of how-to information and thought leadership on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn.

5. Set KPIs

Decide the metrics to gauge your performance and the social media tools for measuring them. Without monitoring KPIs such as response time, impressions, engagement rate, and conversions (more on this below), you won’t know the content that’s working and focus your efforts in the right direction.

Choose your metrics and then track your social media performance against them.

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Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Social media is a competitive space. For small businesses already grappling with budget constraints, it poses unique challenges.

How do they tie results from social to business goals, quantify revenue to different channels, and track actual results? What practices should they adopt to not run themselves dry while simultaneously offering value to their target audience?

Here are a few bonus tips:

  • Measure the success of your marketing efforts by using corresponding metrics for different stages of the sales funnel. If you are just getting started, focus on building brand awareness and track metrics like followers, engagement, reach, and cost per lead.

    After gaining traction, start tracking followers who engage with your website and contribute to the pipeline.

  • Adjust your brand’s message as per the social media platform, and do not overwhelm followers with dull posts filled with industry jargon. Adapt your marketing strategy to the informal nature of social and share relevant and engaging content at all times.
  • Use micro-moments to answer clients’ urgent needs. These are instances where potential customers surf social media with a definite purpose. They may go to YouTube to find a product demo or use LinkedIn to inquire about a future event.

    Address these micro-moments to convert users into loyal brand ambassadors by maintaining a solid online presence.

  • Refine buyer personas depending on the profiles who used your product or service. Ask them for feedback, schedule interviews, and collect testimonials. Pick their brains on the past problems, the solutions they stumbled upon, and what about your product/service stood out to them.

    Use that insight to make suitable changes to your marketing strategy and strengthen brand positioning.

Here’s a great question bank from Fio Dossetto for reference:

Image Source: contentfolks

  • Join niche social media groups and communities to share content until you have a dedicated audience. But remember to check (and abide by) the unsaid rules regulating the sharing and promotion of content in these networks to ensure you are not violating them and risking getting marked as spammed or blocked.
  • Try combining different tactics on each platform to see what works best for your businesses. Explore options like social media ad campaigns, influencer marketing, and brand collaborations with established market players in the industry.

The three sites that hold the most value for small businesses in the B2B industry are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Let us look at social media best practices for them below.

B2B Social Media Strategy for LinkedIn

It is the most effective platform for generating leads, and a large share of visits to company websites comes from LinkedIn. Over 600 million active users on this channel mine it for articles, status updates, and networking opportunities with other professionals daily.

That signals a huge opportunity for business owners to build brand awareness and credibility. The best ways for driving results from LinkedIn are:

  • Optimize the company page by adding an impressive business overview, banner image, and CTA button for directing users to your homepage or a service landing page on the website
  • Try different content formats like carousels, video testimonials, and PDFs
  • Use the native poll feature to perform market research, kick-off engagement, and collect customer feedback

Image Source: LinkedIn

  • Start an employee advocacy program to get in-house team members to give their organization a shout-out (remember what I said about how employee stories help people feel closer to a brand and build authentic relationships?)
  • Repost blog posts on your website as LinkedIn pulse articles to establish credibility

B2B Social Media Strategy for Facebook

With the shift to Meta, Facebook has (almost) entirely rebranded itself. It isn’t the platform where people hang out to share goofy pictures of themselves anymore. Their preferences are different, as are the platform’s products and features.

But that’s not all bad news. It’s still the most used social site, and conversion from Facebook ads is between 9 and 10% – higher than most paid channels.

To drive results from Facebook:

  • Target broad paid reach to get through users interested in your offerings but who haven’t visited the website yet
  • Join community groups to share industry breakthroughs and answer customer doubts about products and services in your niche
  • Create engaging video content in the form of reels, ads, and lives
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B2B Social Media Strategy for Twitter

Not many small businesses use Twitter for social media marketing. And the ones that do fail to get it right. Mostly, it happens because they don’t get the platform’s quirks.

Unlike Instagram or Facebook, Twitter is about building relationships with your target audience in real-time. With close to 300+ million monthly active users and 500+ million tweets sent daily, it’s a channel for keeping tabs on what’s happening worldwide.

To drive results from Twitter:

  • Cement meaningful relationships by having one-on-one engagements with users and personalizing your brand’s interactions with them by retweeting their tweets and quote tweeting them
  • Track mentions to see what people are tweeting about competitors as well as your business and gather customer intel to find new content opportunities
  • Join conversations on trending topics in your industry and leave thoughtful comments to get likes and retweets and win brand awareness for your business
  • Share short videos and tweet at the correct times for better reach

Social Media Tools for B2B Marketing

You may now be wondering about the tools to create assets for your social media marketing strategy. Social media is all about visual content marketing.

But before filling your content calendar with ideas and executing them, follow these best practices for creating visual content:

  • Design original graphics to grab eyeballs and avoid stock photos. A virtual graphic designer (or remote graphic designer) can help you in the quest.
  • Play with colors to add personality to posts but maintain branding.
  • Use contextual images to complement captions and be relevant.
  • Choose a suitable format for data-based visuals. If the data involves big figures and shifts, use graphs. But if it’s a trend during a specific period, go with a pie chart.
  • Use contrasting colors in data-informed graphics to avoid confusion about represented values.
  • Ensure these visuals need no additional context to decode them.
  • Use business objectives to pick a suitable format for video content. For example, if the aim is to drive website traffic, a client testimonial may work better than an interview with a subject matter expert on a technical topic.
  • Produce engaging videos by taking a story-telling approach to content.
  • Include captions in videos for people with hearing disabilities.
  • Add CTAs to videos depending on the content to drive people to take the desired action after watching them.
  • Notice videos formats getting the most engagement on a specific channel. Create them for your profile and use others on a different platform.

You can use the following tools to bring your marketing strategy alive:

For visual content

There are plenty of options for creating high-quality visual assets for social media. But most of them are either too expensive for small businesses or highly complex to use for those not savvy with design. Pick these two user-friendly freemiums tools to produce content for your social media operations and hit the ground running:

1. Canva

Canva is the most loved design platform among small teams for its incredible library of professionally designed layouts. You can choose from over 100 free templates for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and design incredible graphics following the steps outlined in this photo.

Image Source: Canva

2. Vimeo

Vimeo provides video-related services and delivers HD videos across various devices. Though not strictly free, it’s the best video-making and editing platform in the market. You can explore a wide range of free professional templates and create stunning videos for your marketing campaigns in seconds.

Follow the steps shown in the photo below:

Image Source: Vimeo

For tracking performance

Tracking tools align your operations across social networks and bring uniformity by offering:

  • Cross-channel support to save time on posting and checking for updates on individual sites multiple times a day
  • Options for scheduling future posts to remain on top of your social media calendar
  • Analytics features for identifying engaging content that resonates with your target audience

Based on the above criteria, here are two tools that make the cut:

1. Buffer

Image Source: Buffer

Pricing: It offers a free plan for one user account.

Buffer supports all major B2B social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It automatically creates a schedule for social posting according to your time zone and lets you easily schedule future posts.

2. Sprout Social

Image Source: Sprout Social

Pricing: It has three paid plans, with the lowest tier priced at $89 per user/month. Though paid, Sprout Social offers you a 30-day free trial before subscribing.

Sprout Social is great for social listening, publishing, engagement, and sizing current strategy. Apart from basic tracking features, it lets you design and send personalized messages to followers and prospective customers. You can use its customer service features and offer support to your buyers whenever needed.

Let’s take a few FAQs before wrapping up this post.

Frequently asked questions

1. Which social media is best for B2B?

There isn’t one right channel for social media marketing, although research suggests LinkedIn performs the best for B2B. Ultimately, a data-informed and well-designed marketing strategy rests on customer and market research. If your audience is on Facebook, target it.

But suppose they like to learn about the latest developments in your industry through videos on YouTube. In that case, it would be the ideal platform for boosting brand awareness and building trust.

Let customer preferences govern the course of action for your marketing efforts.

2. Which B2B companies are winning at social media marketing?

Semrush and Slack are B2B brands with a great social media presence on Twitter. Apart from them, Drift and Salesforce are two examples that get frequent shout-outs for their social media strategies.

3. How can I manage multiple social media accounts?

You cannot be on top of all your profiles without a social media management tool. It lets you automate future posts, track updates, and monitor pre-determined KPIs to judge whether your existing marketing strategy needs to be adjusted. Sprout Social and Buffer are excellent options and must check-outs for scaling small businesses.

4. What lies ahead in B2B social media marketing?

Only time will tell! But one thing is sure. The pandemic disrupted the content marketing budgets across industries and realigned priorities, with many businesses opting for videos and webinars to engage with their customers during the COVID peak.

Research by Content Marketing Institute revealed that 58% of B2B marketers identified virtual events and webinars as top-performing assets in 2021 and planned on continuing investing in them.

Final thoughts

Social media will have a lot more users by 2025, but marketing to them will become tougher due to increased competition among small businesses to capture new customers. To leverage its full potential for business growth, book a call with us to pair you with an expert marketing virtual assistant and scale your social operations.

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