Remember when using social media to grow business revenues was a crapshoot? Social Media Advertising has become essential to making money with your online business.
You would post on Facebook and Twitter, religiously, at least once a day, and make sure to respond to all comments and retweets. You may have optimized your profile and put out good content, but you also spent a lot of time worrying about the money you had poured into a business page ad.
“Will people would click ‘like’ on my page? And will they land on my website 25 clicks later?” 😆
As Facebook fine-tuned their advertising options, other social media channels jumped on board, and everyone from LinkedIn to Pinterest began offering paid advertising options to businesses. Facebook pioneered the “non-disruptive” digital advertising model, based on Mark Zuckerberg’s attitude towards marketing.
This post is the first in a 2-part series on social media advertising. We’re going to explore all the OTHER platforms besides Facebook – since they get little spotlight because of the FB ad frenzy. In this post we’ll discuss Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. Our next post will feature LinkedIn, Google, YouTube, and a surprise one you haven’t thought of!
Once Pinterest figured out how to incorporate non-intrusive ads into its user experience, businesses really began to reap the benefits.
Pinterest User Stats that Affect Your Business
- According to Hootsuite, “75 percent of saved pins come from businesses and 2 million people pin product pins every day.” That’s a good reason to have a business Pinterest account AND to pay for advertising on the platform.
- The average order of a Pinterest-generated sale is $50, which is the highest of all the social media platforms.
- Pinterest users are approximately 26 percent of the population, but nearly 40 percent of pinners make over $100,000 a year.
- Pinners are predominately women (80 percent of the platform’s users) but the percentage of men on Pinterest has steadily grown since 2015—a trend not to be ignored.
- Millennials use Pinterest as much as Instagram.
- Pinterest has 100 million monthly active users with 93 percent of the platform users planning to purchase from the platform.
- Currently, Pinterest is only available in the US, UK, and Canada, but it is planning on expanding to other countries.
What do all these stats mean for your business?
Pinterest may not be used as much as Facebook, but when Pinners are on the platform they are very engaged in their pins, are ready to buy if they see something they like, and have the income to purchase what they want.
Pinterest is unique, because of its users are generally considered dedicated buyers. This means that Pinners may actively be looking for your Etsy store passion planner, wedding favors, or whichever unique product you offer.
Pinners are often more aware of new and hot products than non-pinners, and they seek out and enjoy viewing new products via targeted ads on Pinterest.
So, what kind of social media advertising on Pinterest will your audience will enjoy?
How to Target and Attract Customers on Pinterest
#1 Create a Pinterest business account.
You’ll first have to create a business account, and add some pins to that account (specifically the ones you want to promote) because only Pins that have been added to your profile can be featured in an ad.
Next you can click the + button from your profile and select “Create ad” or go to ads.pinterest.com.
#2 Select your business goal (campaign type).
You’ll need to select from one of three campaign options which include awareness, engagement, traffic, promoted app pins, and video.
Once you’ve selected a campaign, you’ll be able to pick which pin you want to promote. Pinterest has filters that tell you which are your most clicked and most repinned pins from the last 30 days.
#3 Select the pin you want to promote.
Pinterest offers a few Promotable pin options so you can make the most appealing pin for your specific type of product. Pinners experience one or all of these ads when they’re on Pinterest.
Place Pins—If a user pins an item from anything from Target to their local gastropub, the contact and location details (including a map) will come up on that pin, helpfully showing the pinner how close they are to a retail location.
Cinematic Pins—allow brands to tell a story using animation within the pin. If the viewer continues scrolling on their Pinterest account, the Pin will continue to move. If they stop, the pin stops.
Promoted Video Pins—offer advertisers another option for telling their story.
Buyable Pins—these easy-to-use pins have a “Buy” button on them, and Pinners can purchase a product they see and love, all without ever leaving the Pinterest site. Advertisers will need to connect their business account to Shopify, Salesforce or BigCommerce to utilize buyable pins, and the pin will need to be approved by Pinterest.
#4 Select where you want your audience to go (what webpage you want them to land on) after they click on your pin.
Ideally, your “Pinterest landing page” won’t lead directly to a lead generation landing page, even if that’s your goal. Pinterest maintains a seamless user experience for its pinners, and when a pinner sees a glimpse of what you have to offer, she expects to finish learning what your offer/product/pitch is before sharing any of her information (like an email address.) Pinterest calls this “building serendipity.”
You’ll probably want to build a landing page that’s specific to your Pin, rather than drive traffic to a “catch-all” landing page.
Lastly, be sure not to include redirects in the landing page that links directly from your Promoted Pin because Pinterest will disprove your ad.
#5 Target your audience.
You can select an audience for your Pinterest ad using location, gender, language and device, as well as interests, keywords and/or audiences. Pinterest allows a combination
- Interests: there are 420 options to select from. This targeting feature allows you to reach audiences based on their past Pins and Pin engagements. You audience will either see the Pin in their home feed or if they search for that topic (topic = interest)
- Keywords: Pinterest will provide recommended key words based upon trending searches that correlate to your Pin. Assigning key words will make your promoted Pin show up in search results and related Pins when prospective customers are searching for something in Pinterest.
- Audience: Pinterest’s audience selector is robust because it takes the data you already have regarding your customers and combines that with data on Pinterest-driven behaviors.
You can select:
- People who have already visited your site or app
- Existing customers
- People who have engaged with Pins that link to your site
- Or an “actalike” audience that targets Pinners who share attributes with those Pinners that are already engaging with your content.
#6 Tell Pinterest how much you’re willing to pay for your ad.
Pinterest uses a “second-price auction model” which sounds complicated, but is actually easy to use. In the “details” page of your ad set-up, you’ll enter the maximum you’re willing to pay for each cost per click (CPC), as well as your total budget. You won’t necessarily be charged this amount—and you could pay less. Pinterest will only charge you the CPC required to beat the second-highest bidder in auction.
#7 Look at your analytics to see what is making you money and what isn’t.
To track your repins, close-ups, page visits, and other Pin engagements, go to the “Ads” menu on your Pinterest business profile and and click on “Conversion tracking.” You’ll see all the types of conversion tracking available to advertisers.
Twitter is one of the more controversial social media channels because its value is currently 30 percent below its IPO price. This is enough to make brands and business owners question the value of advertising on this platform.
One of the key factors contributing to the devaluation of Twitter was its devaluation of ad slots. Twitter lowered the price of its ads even though its monthly active user count rose (MAU). Since its ad revenues fell, the total profitability of the company dropped and lowered the overall value of Twitter.
So does that mean Twitter is another social channel that offers low-budget advertising to poorly-vetted customers?
Not so fast. Let’s take a look at their stats.
Twitter User Stats that Affect Your Business
- The most notable characteristic about Twitter is its international use. 78 percent of Twitter’s users live outside the U.S, although the U.S. contributes the greatest number of account holders.
- Twitter is also very popular in India, Brazil, Mexico and Japan. Interestingly, Saudi Arabia has the highest number of internet users who are active on Twitter.
- According to Pew Research Center, Twitter averages 320 million MAUs. There are 974 million Twitter accounts.
- The majority of Twitter users in the U.S. are under 50 years old, and 63 percent of them make over $50K a year. The majority of users are college educated, and Twitter has one of the largest concentrations of advanced college degree holders of any social media platform.
- What happens in the U.S.-based“Twitterverse” doesn’t always reflect national popular opinion. Twitter responses can swing more conservatively or more liberally in reaction to political events, even if national polls are showing an entirely different response. This should affect the creative aspects of any Twitter ads you run.
- Twitter ads vs Facebook ads is a never-ending debate. Where Twitter excels is mobile ads, their conversion rate, and their average order value (AOV). Yes, Facebook’s reach is significantly larger, but Twitter’s targeting pre-qualifies leads in a way that so far, Facebook hasn’t beat.
- The majority of Twitter ads are Promoted Tweets (88 percent) so businesses may want to consider other ad types on Twitter.
- A Tweet has approximately 60 minutes to be seen in a user’s news feed.
- According to a study by Kissmetrics, 64 percent of Twitter followers are more likely to buy from a brand that they follow on Twitter.
What do all these stats mean for your business?
Twitter can be an effective paid advertising platform for businesses who want customers outside of the U.S. and Canada, and especially for e-commerce businesses who are concerned about their AOV.
What Types of Social Ad Campaigns Can I Run on Twitter?
Twitter offers advertisers three types of advertising campaigns (based on advertising objectives) with multiple formatting options.
A promoted account is one that is promoted to other Twitter users in their feed, to follow. The targeting fora promoted account is usually based on location and interests. Log into your personal or business Twitter account. On the home page, on the right hand side, you’ll see a list of “Who to Follow” and in that feed might be a promoted account, like Harrah’s SoCal resort below:
To budget for a Promoted Account ad, you’ll need to figure out the value of a new Twitter follower to your business, and then determine your maximum budget for this type of campaign. You’ll decide how many days you want to run your campaign, and then divide the number of days into your total budget, and the result will be your daily ad spend.
Like Pinterest, Twitter uses the second price auction bidding model. They also allow for automatic bidding which means Twitter controls the bids for the campaign objective, and generally enters the advertiser into the auctions with the lowest bid possible.
Twitter only charges for the followers you gain from the campaign. All other engagements are free.
Why Run a Promoted Account Ad?
A promoted account ad will increase your followers, aka, increase brand awareness. This helps you later down the road when you want to sell to your loyal brand followers, as you’ve expanded this potential customer base.
Engagement will increase slightly from a promoted ad account, which is a nice metric, but doesn’t necessarily increase your income. Again, it’s about expanding your potential customer base.
Running a Promoted Account ad is always a better option than buying Twitter followers since Twitter doesn’t approve of buying followers.
Promoted Accounts can be used to build up a follower base before a large event. For example, Turbo Tax uses Promoted Accounts to build their follower base before the February-April tax season.
Don’t forget the statistic mentioned above—Twitter users are 64 percent more likely to purchase from a brand they follow. Think of a Promoted Account as helping lay the groundwork to later sell to your customers AND to expanding your customer base.
A business or individual can simply post a tweet and purchase more exposure to it. This is where true lead gen and advertising on Twitter come into play. See this promoted Google Cloud Promoted Tweet for an example of a lead gen tweet.
To budget for a Promoted Tweet, you’ll need to follow the same instructions as for a Promoted Account. In this case, you’ll probably want to figure out how much a lead is worth and what your business’s typical lead conversion rate is before setting the maximum budget.
Twitter only charges for engagements on a Promoted Tweet, including retweets, likes and replies. Impressions are free.
Why Run a Promoted Tweet Ad?
A Promoted Tweet can help with brand awareness, same as a Promoted Account ad. Turbo Tax also runs these ads in order to stay in the minds of its prospective customers before tax season, to continue having a conversation with the customer throughout the year.
A Promoted Tweet is also good for lead gen. You can offer a tripwire via a Promoted Tweet, similar to how Google Cloud did in the above ad. Thanks to Twitter’s robust targeting options, you’re leads may already be prequalified, and your conversion rate higher than other ad campaigns.
A Twitter ad can promote lead gen at 1/3 the cost of other paid advertising platforms. The fact that a Promoted Tweet can fit into almost anyone’s budget makes it worth testing.
An advertiser can essentially promote a trend (even a new trend) on Twitter. A user will click on the trends (listed on the right hand side of their Twitter home page under “Trends for you”). A user may click on a sponsored tweet and at the top of the resulting page of Tweets will be a brand’s Promoted Tweet. See the #GalaxyFamily Promoted Trend example below.
Promoted Trends are only for those with high budgets. At $200,00 a day, Twitter only offers this option to those advertisers that indicated they had that type of budget in a Promoted Tweet.
Why Run a Promoted Trend Ad?
Trends are featured very prominently on Twitter, and users constantly turn to them to get updates on hot and current topics. So, if you promote a trend, you could get a lot of eyes on your brand.
@getunreal, a natural candy brand, ran a Promoted Trend ad using the hashtag #MattDamonGetsUnreal. Users who wanted to check this trend out were met with a fun video that featured Matt Damon as well as celebrities such as Gisele Bundchen and Jack Dorsey. The brand saw brand mentions increase 96 times the week before the Promoted Trends campaign.
If you’re able to coordinate an entire marketing effort with Top of Funnel content, and if you’re able to continue holding the conversation with users on Twitter so it isn’t one-sided, a Promoted Trend ad could be the boost your brand needs.
Those are the high-level campaigns you can run on Twitter. Twitter further breaks down advertising formats to include these 9 types:
- App Cards drive app installs for new mobile applications
- Lead Generation Card a specific type of ad that allows businesses to collect highly-qualified leads
- Photo Cards are good for increasing web traffic as they consist of a full-width image, title, description, and link alongside your tweet. When a user clicks on the image, they will be taken to your website.
- Gallery Cards are similar to the photo card set up, but instead, you can feature various products or images from your website in order to reinforce what you’re selling once they land on your site.
- Website Cards are used to increase web traffic to any website or landing page. They consist of a horizontal image, text, link, and a CTA button. Traffic-generation campaigns on Twitter are often successful thanks to this ad format.
- Player Cards encourage click-throughs to your content by featuring areas for music, videos, and GIFs.
- Summary Cards look like organic Tweets but include a brief summary of the Tweet in a separate paragraph. This format is best for attracting consumers to purchase during a specific event, i.e. the Turbo Tax example.
- Product Cards are generally considered the best option for retailers as they have space for a product image, description, product details, and price and stock availability.
- Conversational Cards include an organic Tweet that your business made, and also display a CTA button that include your hash tags. So, Twitter users are encouraged to Tweet your hashtag and Tweet with simply a click of a button that’s easier to use than the retweet button.
Instagram is rapidly becoming an advertising powerhouse, a favorite of marketers who target millennials.
Instagram User Stats that Affect Your Business
- In the U.S. roughly six in ten online adults ages 18-29 (59 percent) use Instagram.
- Instagram users are very active with over 80 million photos a day being uploaded to the platform and 700 million MAUs.
- 80% of Instagram users follow a business on Instagram and up to 120 million Instagram users interact with a business each month on the platform. This number will grow before the end of 2017.
- Over 80 percent of Instagram’s user base lives outside the U.S.
- Instagram videos receive two times the engagement of videos posted to any other ad platform.
- According to Forrester, engagement with brands on Instagram is 10 times higher than on Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter.
- Instagram is expected to generate about $1.5 billion in mobile advertising sales this year and $5 billion in 2018.
- In 2015 more than 90 percent of Instagram users were under the age of 35.
- The average income of an Instagrammer is $75K a year.
- The U.S., Russia, Brazil, Turkey, and the U.K. have the highest numbers of Instagrammers.
What do all these stats mean for your business?
Instagram is a digital marketing powerhouse, and if you want to market to millennials in the U.S. or elsewhere, you had better be on this platform.
What Types of Social Media Advertising Campaigns Can I Run on Instagram?
Instagram ads are usually run from inside the Facebook Ads Manager since Facebook owns Instagram. Facebook offers 11 ad campaign objectives, but Instagram offers 8.
- Brand awareness
- App installs
- Video views
- Lead gen
With all these options come Instagram’s targeting options, built from Facebook’s ad editor. So familiarity with Facebook’s targeting is very helpful when building ads on Instagram, but you can’t just replicate Facebook advertising campaigns on Instagram, because Instagram users aren’t the same as Facebook users, and the user experience is different.
Instagram Ad Targeting
Instagram offers the following targeting options:
- Financial Status
- Ethinic Affinity
- Politics (U.S. only)
- Life Events
Instagram also gives you the option of creating lookalike audiences to reach new people with similar demographics and interests as your current fan base. And, you can create a custom audience to reach people who have already visited your website, or interacted with your business in another fashion.
Ad Campaign Budget & Scheduling
Instagram ad budgets are set according to schedule. Daily budget allows your ad to run continuously throughout the day, and the algorithm will pace your daily ad spend for you. Typically there is a minimum daily ad budget, usually around $1.
Lifetime budget means your ad will run for a specified length of time, so the algorithm is set for that entire time span rather than a daily algorithm.
You have the option of Manual (you select the price for link clicks) or Automatic bidding (Facebook’s algorithm determines the price for link clicks.) You also have the option of paying for either impressions or for link clicks.
Instagram also allows you to choose exactly when you want your campaign to start and end and what days of the week you want your ad to run.
Ad Optimization and Delivery
Instagram allows you to decide how prospective customers will receive and experience your ad in their newsfeed.
Link Clicks is Instagram’s recommended optimization format. Instagram uses its algorithm to get the most clicks to your website at lowest cost via it’s scheduling algorithm. If you’re trying to generate leads with this type of ad, Instagram also gives you the option of adding a customized lead form to your ad.
Impressions ads are delivered to Instagrammers multiple times a day. If you have seen the same ad in your newsfeed throughout the day, you’ve seen an impressions ad campaign!
Daily Unique Reach delivers your ad to people once a day, for multiple days.
Ad Formats in Instagram
Instagram’s high engagement rates are arguably due to its beautiful and eye-catching layout. Since the focus is so
photo driven with everyone competing for the cutest, prettiest or generally the most attractive ads, Instagram advertisers need to make visually-pleasing ads that enrich the Instagrammer’s user experience.
To that end, Instagram supports five ad formats. A sixth format, the Canvas format, is currently only compatible with Facebook, not Instagram, but may updated for use in Instagram this year.
Carousel ads are ads that can be scrolled through. They consist of up to 10 images or videos, and they are great for telling brand stories and engaging an audience. An Instagrammer will scroll through the images but the text at the bottom of the ad remains the same. Fossil and Sephora have used carousel ads effectively.
Single image ads are just that—a single image with a CTA and a text description at the bottom. If a brand is just starting to experiment on Instagram, a single image ad is ideal because they cost the least to design. Carousel ads cost more due to more photography, and video ads can also be expensive to design.
Single image ads are often used to drive traffic to websites as it’s easy to add a CTA button or text overlay to the ad as well as ad the website url after the text description.
Single video ads are great for telling a brand story, engaging an audience, ecommerce, and for driving traffic to a website. They can be up to 60 seconds long and have text at the bottom of the ad with a link to a website as well as a CTA button. Here’s an example of a video ad on Instagram.
Slideshow ads consist of multiple images uploaded to the ad, with a music overlay, so that the viewer experiences almost a video-like ad with multiple images. These ads can also contain a link to a website or landing page.
Stories ads are featured in the top area of the Instagram screen along with user stories. These are up to 15 second videos that take up the viewers entire mobile screen so they are very immersive ads. Airbnb has had significant success with Stories ads, as people remember the ad and seek out Airbnb vacation options when traveling. Here’s some examples of stories ads.
Utilizing Facebook’s powerful targeting options, Instagram offers advertisers a marketing experience that doesn’t disrupt the Instagram user experience, and that boasts higher rates of ad and brand recall than any other social platform.
Make sure you’re on our mailing list so you know when the next edition of this post comes out. We’ll be discussing LinkedIn, Google, YouTube, and another little known advertising platform that most people aren’t using!