Which Social Network Is the Best Use of Your Advertising Dollars?

Marketing Trends Online Digital Concepts

THE FIRST PUBLISHED AD APPEARED IN THE BOSTON HERALD IN 1704. IT WAS A LISTING ADVERTISING A PIECE OF PROPERTY FOR SALE.

ADVERTSING EVOLVED FROM NEWSPAPERS TO PHONE BOOKS, TO DIRECT MAIL AND TO RADIO AND TELEVISION ADS.  ALONG CAME THE INTERNET AND THE INTRODUCTION OF BANNER ADS, SPAM E-MAIL, AND POP-UP ADS.

WHEN GOOGLE TOOK OVER, THINGS CALMED DOWN A BIT WITH THE ADVENT OF ADWORDS.  AND MORE RECENTLY, MUCH TO OUR CHAGRIN, ADVERTISING HAS BECOME AVAILABLE ON MANY OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS.

IN THIS ARTICLE, I’M GOING TO PROVIDE AN OVERVIEW OF THE AD OPPORTUNITIES ON 6 OF THEMAJOR PLATFORMS: TWITTER, FACEBOOK, LINKEDIN, PINTEREST, YOUTUBE AND INSTAGRAM.

TWITTER

WITH OVER 300 MILLION ACTIVE USERS, TWITTER IS A GREAT PLATFORM TO CONSIDER WHEN ADVERTISING.

CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES:

  • INCREASE ENGAGEMENT ON TWEETS – LIKES, RETWEETS, REPLIES
  • WEBSITE CLICKS OR CONVERSIONS
  • APP INSTALLS OR APP ENGAGEMENTS
  • VIDEO VIEWS
  • INCREASE FOLLOWERS
LEAD GENERATION

ON TWITTER, YOU CAN TARGET BASED ON LOCATION, GENDER, HASHTAGS, INTERESTS AND FOLLOWERS OF OTHER PEOPLE (PERHAPS A COMPETITOR OR AN INFLUENCER).  THE TYPES OF INTERESTS ARE NOT AS SPECIFIC AS THEY MIGHT BE.

COST OF ADS – $0.75 – $2.00 PER CLICK OR NEW FOLLOWER

FACEBOOK

LAST YEAR, IN JUST THE THIRD QUARTER ALONE, FACEBOOK MOBILE ADVERTISING BROUGHT IN OVER 3.4 BILLION IN REVENUE. FACEBOOK ADVERTISING IS HUGE.

CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES:

ON FACEBOOK:

  • GROW PAGE LIKES
  • GET RESPONSES TO A FACEBOOK EVENT
  • WATCH A VIDEO
  • INSTALL AN APP
  • CLAIM AN OFFER
  • LEAD GENERATION (MOBILE PLACEMENT ONLY)

    OFF FACEBOOK:

  • SEND PEOPLE TO YOUR WEBSITE
  • SEND PEOPLE TO YOUR WEBSITE (WITH SOME EXTRA CONVERSION MEASUREMENTS)

    COST: $0.15 – $2.00 DEPENDING UPON CAMPAIGN

LINKEDIN

LINKEDIN ADVERTSING IS MORE EXPENSIVE BUT PRODUCES MORE QUALIFIED LEADS.

OPTIONS:

  • CREATE AN AD
  • SPONSORED CONTENT – ONLY AVAILABLE FROM COMPANY PAGES
YOU CAN TARGET BASED ON JOB TITLE, NICHE GROUPS, DEMOGRAPHICS AND LOCATION.
COST: $2.00 – $8.00 PER CLICK

PINTEREST

PINTEREST ADVERTISING IS ONLY AVAILABLE TO THOSE WITH A BUSINESS ACCOUNT. IT’S EASY TO CONVERT A PERSONAL ACCOUNT TO A BUSINESS ACCOUNT, SO IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN ADVERTISING, YOU MAY WANT TO DO THAT.
CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES:  
  • IMPRESSIONS
  • ENGAGEMENT – LIKES, COMMENTS, REPINS
  • CONVERSIONS – MUST ADD A SNIPPET OF CODE TO YOUR WEBSITE
YOU ARE ABLE TO TARGET BY KEYWORDS AND DEMOGRAPHICS.
COST: $0.25 – $1.00 OR MORE PER CLICK.
*VIDEO ADVERTISING IS COMING SOON.

YOU TUBE

YOU TUBE HAS OVER A BILLION MONTHLY ACTIVE USERS AND IS OWNED BY GOOGLE SO IT’S DEFINITELY A GOOD OPTION WHEN CONSIDERING ADVERTSING.
OPTIONS:
  • IN STREAM – PLAYS BEFORE OR DURING A VIDEO. VIEWERS CAN SKIP THE VIDEO AFTER 5 SECONDS. YOU PAY ONLY IF 30 SECONDS OF YOUR VIDEO WERE WATCHED.
  • IN SLATE – VIEWERS ARE OFFERED A CHOICE OF ADS TO WATCH. IF YOURS IS SELECTED, YOU’RE CHARGED. THESE APPEAR IN VIDEOS THAT ARE LONGER THAN 10 MINUTES.
  • IN SEARCH – THESES VIDEOS SHOW UP AT THE TOP RIGHT CORNER OF THE SCREEN WITH SUGGESTED VIDEOS. YOU PAY WHEN VIEWERS WATCH.
  • IN DISPLAY – THESE VIDEOS ARE EMBEDDED CONTENT ON OTHER SITES. YOU PAY WHEN THE AD IS WATCHED. 
THESE ADS ARE SLIGHTLY MORE COMPLEX TO SET UP. YOU CAN TARGET BY INTEREST, DEMOGRAPHICS AND KEYWORDS. 
COST: $0.05 – $2.00

INSTAGRAM

INSTAGRAM IS THE NEWEST OF THELARGER PLATFORMS TO OFFER ADVERTISING TO THE PUBLIC AND IS MANAGED THROUGH THE FACEBOOK ADS MANAGER.
THEY ARE DISPLAYED IN THE USER’S INSTAGRAM FEED AND ARE THE ONLY POSTS THAT HAVE A CLICKABLE LINK WITHIN THE POST. 
CAMPAIGN OPTIONS:
  • LINK TO WEBSITE OR PAGE
  • INSTALL OR ENGAGE WITH AN APP
  • LEARN MORE
TARGETING IS SIMILAR TO FACEBOOK AD TARGETING.

You are able to advertise on Instagram without an Instagram account. You must have a Facebook page though.  If you don’t have an account, you will be able to see the comments and likes, but you will not be able to interact with the people who leave those comments.

*DO NOT INCLUDE INSTAGRAM AS AN OPTION WHEN SETTING UP A FACEBOOK AD. INSTAGRAM ADS SHOULD BE DONE SEPARATELY. THE IMAGE SIZE IS DIFFERENT AND THE COST PER CLICK WILL BE MORE EXPENSIVE WHEN COMBINED WITH A FACEBOOK AD.

WHICH SITE IS BEST TO USE?  ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS:

  • IS MY TARGET AUDIENCE THERE?
  • DO I HAVE A PRESENCE THERE?
  • IS THE PLATFORM IN MY BUDGET?
  • DO I HAVE A STRATEGY FOR LEAD GENERATION VIA THAT PLATFORM?
HAVE YOU TRIED ADVERTISING ON ANY OF THE SOCIAL PLATFORMS?  WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR EXPERIENCE?  IF YOU HAVE ANY TIPS, I’D LOVE TO HEAR THEM.  COMMENT BELOW.

Optimizing Your Pinterest Account for Business

Pinterest for business articleThis article first appeared on SheOwnsIt.com

With over 70 million users and 2.5 billion monthly page views, Pinterest has proven to be a great social media platform for almost all businesses.  Studies have shown that consumers who engage with your small business on Pinterest are more likely to do business with you and spend more money in the process.  When using Pinterest, you’ll want to optimize your experience as much as possible in order to gain the most benefit. Here are 14 tips.

1. If you are a business, sign up for a business account rather than a personal account.

This allows you to take advantage of business offerings such as verifying your website and applying for Pinterest’s “rich pins”.

2. Optimize Your Profile.

As on any other social media platform, your profile is the first impression anyone has of you so make it count.  Your Pinterest user name and the about section underneath it are picked up by search engines so be sure to include who you are, what you do and the specific keywords that are used in your niche.

3. Create Focused Boards With Catchy Titles.

Make your boards specific and remember to use your keywords.  So for instance, if you sell kitchen cabinets, rather than creating a board with the title KITCHEN, you might create “White Kitchen Cabinets”, “Oak Kitchen Cabinets”, “Modern Cabinet Hardware”, etc.

Try to keep your titles under 28 characters so that the full title is visible.

4.  Create Keyword-Centric Pin Descriptions.

Many people choose not to add a description to their pins but descriptions can have great SEO value. Pinterest allows a huge amount of space for a description but per Hubspot, studies have shown that 100-200 character descriptions seem to work the best. Use your keywords but in addition to that, know your target market and know how to captivate them with your descriptions.   Consider using appropriate long-tail keyword descriptions, as well.

Hashtags are also being used again on Pinterest although searching by a word is easy enough. Remember to use them sparingly.

5,  Organize Your Rows.

Just as you would on your website, place your most important boards above the fold in the top 2 rows.  Studies have shown that the eye tends to see towards the middle so position the boards that you want to be seen most in this area.

6.  Share Unique Content From Your Website Onto Your Boards.

I think we all know the importance of having images attached to our blog posts, but when pinning from your website, you want to be sure that the images you use are interesting, clear and large enough to be seen well on Pinterest. Images should be at least 750 pixels wide so when purchasing your images, keep this in mind.  They don’t need to appear this large on your site; they just need to appear that large in your media url.

When folks are using the Pin It button from your site, be sure that your image populates correctly with the title of your post/page and your website name.  For more on that, check the Pinterest article here.

When folks are using the “Pin It” button in their browser to pin your images, it usually populates with whatever is in the “Alt text” box. This actually distresses me because the purpose of the Alt tag is to describe the image for those readers who are visually impaired.  I’ll leave it to you to decide what is best.

Once you pin an item from your website, go back to the pin on Pinterest and edit the pin to be sure it redirects to your post or website.  You will find the edit pencil on the upper right hand corner of the image. Do NOT edit other pins from other websites to redirect back to your own. I know that you wouldn’t, but it has been done.

7. Make sure that your boards are visible in “Search”.

Under Pinterest settings, which can be found on the drop-down menu under your name, there is a category called “Search Privacy” and if set to “yes” will “Keep search engines (ex: Google) from showing your Pinterest profile in search results”. This needs to be set on “no”. It is one of the biggest mistakes I see people make.

8.  Place the “Pin it” button on your website to make it easier for others to Pin your images.

You will find instructions for this here.

9.  Pin great content from other sources.

Just like on other social media platforms, it’s a mistake to make it all about you.  Choose images and content that parallel your own content or that shows some of your personality.  Some popular Pinterest niches are Food, Family, Home Decor, Photography, Design, Crafts, DIY, and Weddings. Pinning in these categories is a way for people to get to know you and then your business.

This is also a good way to position yourself as an expert in your niche by curating great content.

When you do pin other content or repin it, check to make sure that the link to the pin actually works.  There is nothing more frustrating than finding a delicious looking recipe, clicking on the pin to get to the recipe and finding either no link or just a link to the homepage of the site.

10.  Build followers.

Use the search box to find Pinterest users with similar interests or those who would might be a potential client and follow either their whole Pinterest account or the certain boards that are of interest to you..

11. Accept invitations to join “group boards”.

This is one of the fastest ways to gain followers and extend the reach of your content. Participating in group boards allows you to share your content on the group board and thus it is repinned by many of the participants onto their own boards.  Every time a pin is repinned, it is a “shout-out” the search engines by creating a backlink to the source page. The more a pin gets shared, the more backlinks are created within Pinterest.  These backlinks are said to be “no-follow” so they don’t add SEO value to your site.  The links in your pin’s descriptions are “dofollow”. I am NOT an SEO person so hopefully that made sense.

12. Take advantage of the “Gift” category.

Pinterest recently launched this new Gift category.  Whenever a price is added to a pin, it will appear in this category.  So whether you sell products or services, if you create an original image and place a dollar amount in the description, you’ll gain extra marketing exposure by having your pin fall into this category.

So there you have it.  Which are you favorite ways to optimize your use of Pinterest?  Can you share any tips that you have used successfully?

Is Pinterest’s New(ish) Gifts Feed Right for Your Business?

stacked gift boxes The answer is easy.  If you have a product with a price tag, then yes, it is.  While it is much more advantageous for tangible products that are gift-worthy, it could be used for digital products, as well.

The Gifts feed can be found in the interest lists which are under the drop-down menu in the upper left hand side.  When a price is added to a Pin, it becomes a “Product Pin” and can be featured in the Gifts feed. (Caveat: You will need to apply for “rich pins” in order to be able to do this.)  Product Pins include real time pricing, availability and where to buy.  If your product goes on sale, people who have pinned your Product Pin will be notified of that.

The gifts feed includes categories of pricing so that pinners can search for a gift within their desired price range or they can dream of bigger purchases. 

  • $            – anything less than $25.00
  • $$         – priced between $25.00 and $50.00
  • $$$      –  priced between $50.00 and $200.00 
  • $$$$   – anything over $200.00

Pinterest says that they’ve learned that Product Pins get higher click-through rates than regular Pins.  So if you have a product to sell, you may want to give this a try.