While Facebook offers the dominant market share and the greatest variety of ad units, the other social platforms have rolled out compelling opportunities you can’t afford to ignore. If you leverage multiple platforms for their unique strengths, you can build a comprehensive social media marketing plan that reaches the widest possible audience, with the fullest spectrum of media types. You’ll echo and reinforce your message across multiple social networks, and by dropping remarketing cookies, you’ll extend your reach 360 degrees.
Here’s a snapshot of how the other platforms can round out your Facebook ad presence and work in concert:
If you’re a publisher, blogger, or thought leader, use promoted tweets, trends, or accounts to help build a “subscriber base.” If you’re a retailer, amplify your news, campaigns, and offers from other channels with a timely and efficient promoted newsfeed.
With pre-roll ads and featured videos, bring to life the sights and sounds of active, visual products and services. As a bonus, amass a remarketing cookie pool of qualified leads, to be shown banner ads across the Google Display Network.
The Google+ ad play is not advertising on the social network, but bringing social proof into your Google Ad Words paid search and online advertising program. It can be powerful.
Even B2C businesses live in a B2B world much of the time. Ad targeting on LinkedIn can help you zero in on the vendors, business partners, PR audiences, and other professionals who will be part of your company’s social media success.
Smaller niche players
In addition to those larger platforms, your paid media strategy could extend to some of the smaller niche players like Yelp, Stumble Upon, and Trip Advisor.
If you’re a bricks-and-mortar retailer, Foursquare will be an important element of your coordinated social media promotional strategy. The other social networks can drive awareness and engagement, but only foursquare can regularly deliver a community of friends to a local business.
Let’s look at each of these options, in turn, to see how they might best fit your advertising needs.
Twitter has been slower and more measured than most big social networks in rolling out advertising options. In fact, it was third parties who first sprang up with unauthorized paid-Tweet programs. Eventually, though, Twitter stepped up with three offerings.
- Promoted Tweets
- Promoted Trends
- Promoted Accounts
Promoted Accounts, Tweets, and Trends
With Promoted Accounts, you pay to have your account featured on the left column or within relevant search results. The extra exposure helps you attract new followers. Promoted Accounts appear on the left-hand column under the headline “Who to Follow”—and you may find yourself in pretty good company.
Interest-Targeting on Twitter
The most compelling change at Twitter is the enhanced interest-targeting, which brings it up to par with Facebook or even leapfrogs its rival. With interest-targeting, Twitter advertisers select from a list of 375 topics and subtopics. Twitter identifies a user’s interests algorithmically, by analyzing the contents of his or her tweets and retweets and the handles the user follows.
YouTube, the second most visited of all social media websites, offers a wealth of powerful new advertising options, including integration across the advertising network of its parent company, Google.
Promoted Videos are ordinary YouTube videos, of any length, uploaded to your YouTube account. These videos can appear as relevant search results (driven by keywords, as on the Ad Words platform) or alongside contextually related video content on YouTube, along the top and right-hand side of the page. Merchants like Vera Bradley and Pottery Barn Teen have run back-to-school promotions on YouTube, creating themed channels and buying True View ads targeted to back-to-school searches and related content.
The Google+ play is not about bringing ads to the social network—it’s about bringing social media to the world’s biggest ad platform. By linking your Google+ page to your Google Ad Words account, you harness the social endorsements of your fans to boost the exposure of your Ad Words ads and turbocharge their click-through rate (CTR).
While no other social platform offers quite the advertising muscle of Facebook, it’s important to recognize the unique benefits of the other networks. Twitter offers reach, simplicity, and value for the dollar, and it should be part of the toolkit for any news, culture, information, or media-oriented business. YouTube is perfect for visual markets, and it has an unmatched ability to build a cookie pool for display advertising across the broader Internet. Google+ is all about boosting the impact of your Google Ad Words program.