Entrepreneurs should all now be aware of the incredible exposure that social media marketing can offer small businesses, but in 2017 social media’s lucrative marketing potential has expanded even further. Hootsuite and We Are Social found that mobile social media use has been increasing by 30% each year and has reached 2.5 billion users – so shouldn’t you be making sure that your business is reaching the right people?
In the past, making money from social media and targeting an audience simply meant connecting your website to your efforts on WordPress, Facebook and Twitter. However, there are now monetizing and brand-expanding opportunities within social networks themselves via their advertising and marketing options.
Let’s take a look at three of the most popular social media networks and see how you can make sure that you are targeting the right people, who are firstly going to be interested in what you have to sell, and secondly most likely to buy from you.
Back in the early days of making money from social media in the form of Twitter marketing, most marketers would spend hour after monotonous hour following thousands of random people in the hope that they would be followed back. Thankfully, Twitter has become a much smoother, advertiser-friendly network, meaning that small business marketing through this social network is both easier and better targeted.
Consider this: if you type a phrase such as “I want to make more money” into Google, it will search the web and find you a giant list of people who want to sell their product to you, with the promise of helping you make more money. Alternatively, if you type the same into Twitter, you will receive a list of potential customers who want to find a solution to that problem. These are real people with real problems, venting their thoughts and feelings on Twitter, and likely in a high or low emotional state and therefore a more receptive mood. You can even pay Twitter to find your demographic for you.
A smart way to use Twitter is to coincide your advert with a relevant TV episode, media release or current event, and pay Twitter to run your adverts below user’s comments concerning that particular programme or news item. This essentially gets TV networks or streaming sites working for you!
You can even run adverts so that they target the people following companies which provide similar services to your own, running them directly to the audience that your competitors have sweated so hard to build for themselves!
People often begin their days checking their social media profiles, and end them in this way too. With the advent of trending topics on Facebook being reported in a similar way to the up-to-the-minute reports across Twitter, people are even – for better or worse – receiving their news from this network. This means that, in effect, small business marketers on social media have access to a captive audience, 24/7.
Facebook has become as advanced in its advertising opportunities as Twitter, with countless ways to help your small business make more money from social media, and target your precise demographics in effective, often non-disruptive ways. In this context, avoiding disruption when advertising on social media is a good thing! It simply means that the user’s experience does not suffer, because they are not being “disrupted” from their activities.
While the site’s advert manager can seem a clunky or complex at first, it allows you to target key demographics in a precise manner. You can split your targeted traffic into postcode, specific user interests, the pages they follow, what kind of life events they have recently or will soon experience, their online behaviour, and even those who have already clicked through and purchased from Facebook adverts in the past.
Use the “Detailed Targeting” section of the Facebook Advert Manager and target broadly if you are looking to expand your contacts, followers, and leads, or target specifically if you want your small business marketing to encourage fast, direct sales. You can both include and exclude specific traits in the social media users too.
Like Twitter, what could be the most useful target users are those interested in the pages and products of your competitors, mentors, and the thought leaders in your field. You can also use Facebook to check for audience overlaps between your page(s) and your competitors’, helping to ensure that your fans and theirs have more than just a cursory amount in common, and that your small business marketing is likely to bear fruit.
Not everyone promotes their business using videos yet – but they should, and probably soon will. In 2017, videos are still the most commonly viewed online format, and stats show that a video shared on almost any social media page is more likely to gain traction than a text-based post, even if it’s adorned with pretty pictures! Potential customers and fans are now more likely to consider a company’s YouTube page and videos to be just as important as a business’s website, Twitter profile and Facebook activity while in forming their opinion of the company.
There are, once again, numerous options to help you target your viewers and make money from this social media network. If you opt for targeting your competitors’ audiences, YouTube will helpfully suggest a list of other channels that could also be worth targeting with your banner adverts and links to your videos. The only restriction is that the desired channel you are targeting must also be set up as a Partner Channel, meaning that they are already monetizing their videos through Google.
Like the Interests option in Facebook, Affinity audiences allow you to target YouTube users whose interests are similar to the product(s) your company provides. You can add keywords and URLs relating to your target audience, view what your segment looks like, and then let it go live.
A third powerful method of targeting your audience on YouTube is via the Customer Match option. This links in to your AdWords campaign, where you can upload categorised email addresses and ensure that the people who matter most are more likely to see your adverts and videos.
If you would like to learn more about how to make money from social media, see this blog on the subject.
You might also be interested in Mark Homer’s book Uncommon Sense, which you can find here