Innovate your Marketing Comms using Social Media

By Holly Duffy, Digital Strategist

From “is your brand on social media?” to “how do we drive a return on social?”, times have certainly changed. The question is, are you keeping up?

A few years ago, the central considerations for marketing departments talking about social media were follower growth, reach, and organic posting. But now it’s 2019. And times have changed significantly.

Now, the conversation has become much more qualitative. Presence is no longer enough, and marketers are asking themselves whether they’re using their social channels correctly. And perhaps more importantly, whether they’re maximising all the opportunities available within these platforms.

But many businesses don’t really know where to start

Today’s businesses are seeing diminishing returns from PPC, and a distinct move from traditional programming to online video. As a result, it’s unsurprising that most brands are now looking to social media to drive their business forward, from both a brand and sales activation point of view.

The problem is, when it comes to turning a social following into active, engaged, and monetised customers, many don’t know where to start.

Do you know your lookalike audience from your flexible audience? A carousel from a GIF? The timeline from the newsfeed? Okay, those are pretty easy questions. Maybe we’ll try harder. Have you used Pinterest’s shoppable ads? Utilised storytelling through IGTV? Trialled Facebook Messenger ads?

Some may be familiar, some less so, and that’s the whole point. These channels evolve and introduce new formats rapidly, all of which are designed to help businesses achieve a multitude of objectives. But as marketing departments are expected to spin many plates, we take on the role of keeping in touch with the latest trends. That way, our clients can stay in touch with all the ways social can help deliver business success – with much less effort on their part.

So, how do we capitalise on the latest social capabilities?

One way is to establish some of the different ways you can target and tell your story – ways that go beyond simply sending out image posts that target an audience you think will carry out an action.

Here are five of our favourites.

1.     Facebook Lookalikes Audiences

Importing data into social media channels is nothing new, but Facebook offers a unique feature that utilises its large audience base and understanding of its users. A lookalike audience is an audience you can select after importing a data list. Facebook will match users from your data list, and then create a percentage of grouped lookalikes. These are people (or ‘accounts’ in Facebook speak) who Facebook believes are similar to those in your data list. Then you start running ads.

In short: find prospects on Facebook who are similar to your customers. In theory, they could be more likely to purchase your product or service.

2.     Facebook Messenger Ads

After Facebook moved its users onto a separate Messenger app, it wasn’t going to be long until we started receiving ads within the lists of messages. It’s just another placement available through the platform.

However, because it’s still a relatively new feature, users are less likely to be desensitised to seeing ads here. It’s perfect for audiences who use Messenger frequently - teenagers and young adults, for example.

3.     Instagram Shoppable Ads

An ecommerce dream. You’ll need a Facebook ecommerce Partner (Shopify or BigCommerce) and should connect the catalogue with your Instagram account. This will enable you to tag up to five products in an image post and get selling. Sweet.

4.     Pinterest Promoted Pins

If your audience insight leads you to Pinterest, don’t be afraid. Their business accounts allow you to run ads to audiences via the Pinterest dashboard – and it’s simple to do. Select a pin you’d like to promote, choose your targeting, objective and you’re good to go! The ads sit nicely within all the unpromoted pins the user is scrolling through, and already we’re seeing big brands use the platform for this type of advertising.

5.     Spotify Audio Ads

Recent developments in the Spotify ad platform have enabled us to run campaigns directly for our clients. By offering a self-serve platform, Spotify has become more affordable - with the option to run audio ads from as little as £250. Reaching users who are signed up to the free version of Spotify, the ads can’t be skipped. We’ve seen strong frequency rates with Spotify, and think the channel is worth trialling for brand awareness campaigns.

These are just a few of our favourites, and in reality the list of opportunities could be endless. 

So if you want to find alternative ways to meet your marketing objectives on social media, give us a head’s up. We’ll happily help define what we think will work for your audience and business goals.