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Paid Social Channels You’re Missing Out On

Looking to expand your paid social strategy? Here are the top social channels to consider and how you can leverage them based on your campaign goals.

Paid Social Channels You’re Missing Out On

Facebook has solidified its place over the years as the leader of the paid social landscape.

But as more brands are investing on Facebook (and Instagram), costs are continuing to rise as advertisers are competing for inventory.

Add that to the data showing that time spent on Facebook is declining and brands should start to consider shifting media dollars to other social platforms.

As the seasoned veteran in the space, no one questions Facebook’s ability to drive meaningful results for brands, especially for branding and direct response objectives.

But as Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn have continued to innovate, they are showing real promise as platforms for advertisers to look at for strategic expansion.

Each social platform has a unique value proposition for advertisers and that is important to keep in mind when looking at a holistic paid social strategy.

While Facebook has proven it can move the needle with conversion-based campaigns, brands shouldn’t expect those same results when expanding to other channels – at least not right away.

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With continued investment in these emerging channels, brands can see real impact on their bottom line.

Which channel you choose to expand to depends a lot on the end goal you’re looking to achieve.

Here are a few examples based on some of the business challenges brands can face.

Examples of Campaign Goals & Which Platforms to Leverage

Brand Discovery & New User Growth

Looking to drive new user acquisition? Consider Pinterest.

According to the platform, 72% of people have discovered new brands through pins.

The unique targeting capabilities allow brands to capitalize on intent signals based on keywords which can help put the message about a product offering in front of the right eyes at the right time for someone who might not be familiar.

In-Store Traffic

A great option for driving foot traffic in and around store locations is Snapchat. Brands with multiple locations can use geo-fencing around locations to reach people browsing the platform on mobile.

Make sure to pair with location-specific creative around promotions and offerings to provide a reason for users to head in-store.

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Mobile App Installs & Engagement

Mobile-first platforms such as Twitter and Snapchat are great spots for advertisers looking to move the needle in terms of driving net new app installs as well as in-app engagement.

Compared to Facebook and Instagram, CPIs and CPEs trend lower across these channels which can drive incremental conversion growth.

Lead Gen

LinkedIn’s targeting capabilities are perfect for those in the B2B and EDU space, however, cost and volume tend to limit growth on the platform.

If advertisers are already running there and not seeing the results they are looking for, consider using Facebook as a traffic driver and potential lead generator.

Aim to hit key stakeholders while they aren’t at work to hammer home the value proposition outside of the LinkedIn environment to continue to drive the consideration.

Store Opening or Event Support

Platforms with high mobile user bases should be utilized for any event that a brand is looking to support, including store grand openings or in-store promotions.

Combining strong mobile creative with geo-targeting across Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram can boost awareness around peak times.

What About TikTok & Reddit?

Both TikTok and Reddit provide unique opportunities for brands to consider when looking to drive incrementality across paid social.

The word of warning there is to think about both the audience you are looking to reach and what you are wanting to achieve.

TikTok trends extremely young and has yet to roll out official conversion tracking.

While it might be something new to pitch during planning meetings, until the platform becomes more sophisticated, most brands can pass.

Reddit, however, has a lot of potential and has made many strides in the past few years to build out a more robust offering.

From cost per install bidding to audience targeting via thousands of topics and communities, give Reddit a second look.

How to Measure Success

Now that you’re thinking about where you want to go next, it’s important to also think about how you want to measure success on those channels.

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No two platforms are the same and they shouldn’t be judged by the same KPIs.

For ecommerce advertisers, revenue and return on ad spend are not always the best gauges of success for these channels.

Can they drive revenue and produce a positive ROI? Of course.

But they need to be vetted and measured properly prior to launching as part of a long term paid social strategy.

In order to gauge success, a measurement plan needs to be in place prior to any media running.

Here are some key metrics brands can look to evaluate when launching on these other channels:

  • Click-through rate.
  • Engagement rate.
  • Landing page views and sessions.
  • New versus returning users.
  • Unique reach.

The Takeaway

The key takeaway is that investing in channels other than Facebook is vital for a diversified paid social strategy.

Whether you’re an ecommerce brand looking to find new purchasers, a newly minted startup looking for leads or an established brand looking to drive loyalty and retention, these channels can provide unique opportunities to expand reach being the Facebook ecosystem.

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Testing across these platforms is key for business growth, and given the pace in which social innovates, there will be more players in the space before we know it. Why not figure out these ones first?

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Katy Lucey

Director, Paid Social at Tinuiti

Katy Lucey is one of the founding members of the Tinuiti paid social team. With a focus on paid strategy ... [Read full bio]

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