How to use social media advertising to increase traffic

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Social media is a well known source for website traffic, but there are two common problems many businesses face. The first is having a large enough social media audience to engage with. The second is being able to actually reach the social media audience you have through organic posts. Facebook, for example, recently came out and admitted that organic reach is decreasing and that their platform is more effective for businesses who use their advertising system.

The key to paid advertising on social media is to make every ad dollar count. Here are ways to ensure that you use your social media advertising budget effectively.

Define Your Goals

Facebook offers the most options when it comes to advertising. When you begin to create an ad, you will get to choose from the following options.

facebook-advertising-options

If your goal is to get more engagement for a post on your page or get more fans for your page, then Page Post Engagement and Page Likes are the obvious choices. But if your main goal is to get people back to your website, then you’ll need to opt for Clicks to Website and Website Conversions.

Website Conversions is perfect for businesses who want to track conversions through the Facebook Ad interface. It will allow you to add tracking code to your website that tells Facebook when a website visitor who clicked on your ad meets a conversion goal, such as completing a sale, subscribing to your email list, or submitting a lead contact form.

If you just want traffic and don’t have a conversion to track, Clicks to Website will be the choice for your ad. With either goal, you will have the option to create ads that appear in the desktop news feed, mobile news feed, and desktop right column.

Twitter, on the other hand, offers two ad options: Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts. Promoted Tweets would be the option for driving traffic to your website. These will appear in targeted users’ Twitter newsfeed. Twitter also allows for conversion tracking.

LinkedIn, for businesses targeting ads specifically towards business professionals, offers Sponsored Updates from company pages that will show up in a user’s newsfeed and traditional ads that can appear throughout the LinkedIn network.

Create the Perfect Ad

Next, you will want to create the perfect ad. With exception to tweets and newsfeed updates, most ads will have the following elements.

  • Title or Headline – Generally, an ad title or headline will be 25 characters. This will be the text that is linked to your website. Make it something that drives people to click on it.
  • Descriptive Text – Descriptive ad text will usually be 75 to 90 characters. This should continue describing why people should click on your ad.
  • Image – Images are key – the will attract a social media user to your ad and distinguish it from the other ads surrounding it.

If you are targeting an ad to a user’s Facebook or LinkedIn newsfeed, you will have the same options as if you were creating a post on your Facebook page or LinkedIn company page. So think of it as an organic post that you are gearing towards conversions. Promoted Tweets will, of course, be the usual 140 characters including your website link.

Speaking of your link, if you want to track your social media ads in Google Analytics, the best way to do it is to add UTM parameters to your website links. This will allow Google Analytics to link visitors from specific ads to your website. Instead of just seeing how ads perform using the social network’s analytics, you can see how social media ads from different social networks stack up against each other.

Not sure how your ad should look? The best way to do a little competitive research is to create a profile on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter that matches the type of user you would be targeting. For example, if you are targeting a 25 year old female that lives in London, you would want to create profiles for that specific persona and then use them to see what ads you receive throughout each platform.

Target the Audience Likely to Convert

Targeting your audience for a social media ad is where you will make or break your budget. This is where you have to really think back to your goals. You know you want people to visit your website. Now you need to think about who you want to visit your website. Who is most likely to convert in to a customer, email subscriber, or lead?

This is where you need to get very detailed. On Facebook, you can target your audience by age, gender, location, interests, relationship status, family, and other demographics.

facebook-ad-targeting

On LinkedIn, you can target your audience by location, industry, company size, title, school, skills, age group, and gender. On Twitter, you can target by interests, location, and keywords.

Ultimately, you want to start with a highly targeted audience so that you have more opportunity for a conversion after the person clicks on your ad. It’s better to broaden your targeting later if you aren’t getting a lot of impressions and clicks than to spend a lot of money on impressions and clicks that don’t convert.

Measure the Results

Last, but not least, you will want to measure the results of each ad campaign. Look at the click through rates and conversion rates for each ad variation so you can focus more spend on the variations that produce the best results. If you chose to use UTM parameters on your links for Google Analytics, use GA to link visitors from your ads to conversions and determine which network drove the most qualified traffic.

google-analytics-ads

By learning from your ad analytics, you’ll be able to use your social media advertising budget wisely and get the best results from your campaigns!

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  • http://www.fancyclone.net Hitasoft

    Kristi once again you post a informative post.

  • http://techshodh.com Bhargav

    it is true that many people waste their money on social media advertising. it is not the fault of social media but it is absolute fault of individual who doesn’t know whom to target. very useful information anyways

  • http://websitecash.net/ Scott McKirahan

    Nice, informative post as usual, Kristi. I have been close to pulling the trigger on Facebook ads a couple of times but backed off because of the fear of wasting money on a new advertising platform when I don’t have clue what I am doing or what it is all about. The finger is back on the trigger. :-)