I’m often struck by how many ads I see across social networks that I find completely out of place. Often times, a company might focus on a few ads, and then disseminate those across all social networks with the same messaging and graphics. But all networks are not created equally. There are things that work on Facebook that just don’t float on Linkedin. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn offer their business users the ability to promote their posts or create entire ad campaigns to promote across the network. But all three networks have different demographics and ways that people digest their information. Therefore, a silver bullet ad just won’t work across all three. Here are the differences, with advice for each:
Keep it short, funny, and contextual. People respond on Twitter to tweets that are engaging and evoke emotion. I’ve seen tweets from companies that have been hilarious, touching, and anger-inducing. However, when companies pay to have a tweet promoted, their ability to evoke emotion seems to fall to the wayside. When a company is looking to get exposure with their organic tweets, they work hard to make the tweet engaging. But when the tweet is guaranteed to receive that exposure, they get lazy and just cram an ad into the tweet. Don’t succumb to this shortcut. Regardless of whether a tweet is promoted or organic, it should engage your audience and induce some type of emotional response from your followers or target demographic. Tweets that evoke emotion or create ties to what the user is experiencing at that moment are much more likely to be shared or retweeted.
If you’re advertising for a B2B product, then LinkedIn is the way to go in many cases. However, also understand that the people you’re targeting on Linkedin are being solicited by many different sources. Whether it’s the salesperson, recruiter, or service provider that is trying to earn their business, Linkedin can often feel like the floor of a sales convention to some of its users. So avoid being too promotional with your ad. Linkedin users digest a lot of news stories from their news feeds. With the purchase of Pulse earlier this year, Linkedin has thrown their hat into the news distribution business. This provides an opportunity for businesses to attract attention to their offerings by positioning the promotional material as a news story. Write a thought provoking story that really works to promote your offering in a natural and newsworthy way. Then, post an update to the story and promote that update. If the title is engaging and the story has value, you’ll find a great conversion rate with this method.
If you want to really take full advantage of Facebook ads, then you have to look to the newsfeed. Facebook recently opened up the prime real estate of the newsfeed to advertisers, and the results have been remarkable. Previously, click through rates on left sidebar ads were in the low single digit percentiles… if you were lucky. However, with the larger images and message that is allowed in the newsfeed, CTRs of double digits are possible. Take advantage of the space that Facebook gives you. Design a beautiful ad and write great copy to go along with it. What’s great about ads on Facebook is that if your targeted audience likes or shares the ad, it’s then disseminated through their network and you receive extra advertising for free. Because of this, you should try to make your ads as “viral” as possible (to learn more about virality, I recommend reading “Contagious” by Jonah Berger). In summary, examine the demographics of each social network and the way that their users digest information. Then build a marketing strategy that focuses on each network individually. By doing so, you’ll maximize your marketing dollars and ensure that you’re getting optimal results from your ads. Screenshot taken 12/27/13 of https://twitter.com/search?q=%23MyDunkin&src=typd Screenshot taken 12/27/13 of http://www.linkedin.com/channels/accountancy?trk=tod3-chn-cta Screenshot taken 12/20/13 of www.facebook.com/FamilyCord