Social Media Marketing
When And Why To Pay For Tweets

When And Why To Pay For Tweets

If you’re on social media, you’ve seen them: ads dressed up to look (almost) exactly like normal tweets, Facebook posts, and LinkedIn updates from your friends and followers. They’re called native social ads, and while user opinions vary from indifference to annoyance, the results would seem to speak for themselves.

As reported by , Facebook native ads that appear in users’ news feeds are clicked on 49 times more often than traditional banner ads in the right sidebar, according to AdRoll. Meanwhile, Promoted Tweets have shown engagement rates of 1% to 3%. Normal banner ads are clicked on just 0.2% of the time.

According to , social ads now drive a major portion of their enterprise-level customer leads and do so at a lower cost than any other paid ad channel. Here’s what they’ve learned about how to use paid social effectively:

1. Use free social media to beta-test your paid social ads.

If your company is on social media, you’re likely already sending out multiple Tweets, Facebook Posts, and LinkedIn Updates every day. Using free analytical tools, track which ones are being clicked, shared, and commented on the most. These high-performing messages are the ideal candidates for native social ads.

2. Take advantage of targeting features.

  • On LinkedIn, sponsored updates can be targeted to particular regions (countries, cities, etc.) and industries, as well as to specific job titles and even particular companies.
  • Twitter allows advertisers to drill down based on region, gender, device, and literally hundreds of different interest categories.
  • Facebook’s sponsored posts can be blasted out to a nearly endless list of interest groups. (If you can think of a demographic — say, Game of Thrones fans — Facebook can target their news feeds.)

3. Rotate ads frequently.

Use fresh, ever-changing ad content through a series of different, highly targeted groups.

4. Use small samples to A/B test your social ads.

One of the great virtues of native social ads is instant feedback.Send out several “test” ads to small audiences and wait to see the results. For minimal spend, you get a clear, data-driven picture of which ad performs best.

5. Understand how ads are sold.

Different networks sell ads in different ways:

  • On Twitter, companies pay on an engagement basis. Every time users take an “action” — click, retweet, favorite, etc. — a fee is assessed.
  • Facebook and LinkedIn offer the option of paying per impression, where companies are charged whenever their ad shows up in users’ streams (regardless of whether or not it’s clicked on).

6. Design your ads with smartphones in mind.

Social media is consumed overwhelmingly on mobile devices. This means messages have to be optimized for viewing on small mobile screens. For promoted tweets, this is hardly a challenge, given the 140-character limit. For Facebook’s sponsored posts, this requires keeping messages short and sweet and, ideally, image-based.

Native social ads are cheaper to produce than traditional ads and reach their target with impressive efficiency. Plus, at their best, they’re creative, entertaining and even useful — a novel concept in advertising and one whose time has come.

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