You can sell your product all you want, any way you want. You can spend countless resources in establishing your brand. People may buy it, people may not, but what people will definitely do is talk about it. Enter Social Media.
Having an online presence takes some work, but being able to have open lines of communication with your current and potential customers benefits your business and overall online marketing tremendously.
Social Media and PPC are two very different online marketing efforts. Social media is the medium people use to praise, complain or talk about what you’re offering, or the brand you are trying to promote. Tapping into this vast amount of consumer insight is an artform in itself, but in this blog post I will provide you with some easy-to-follow guidelines for using Social Media to boost your PPC campaigns.
1) Analyze Your Social Media Interactions
It’s as simple as checking out your like count. What posts have you shared that have yielded good responses from your audience? Let’s look over these two examples from the Nordstrom Twitter page:
The second post was published 6 hours before the time I’m writing this post. In a longer span of time it got 43 favorites and 30 retweets. On the other hand, with a shorter span of time published, the first post has already gotten 18 retweets and 82 favorites, a significant amount higher than the first post. Simple logic can tell you that for some reason, people seem to be more attracted to the Converse shoes as opposed to the Tory Burch sweater.
Even though the retweets, favorites and likes can give you a good idea of what updates are most effective, you need to make sure you look beyond that. Basically you want to ensure that you’re not just comparing apples and oranges.
Take all factors into account:
- Did you post the updates at the exact same time of day?
- If you’re measuring clicks, what post had the most clicks?
- If you’re measuring engagement beyond Social Media; how did those metrics compare?
Test products, ideas, and Promotions!
Social Media is great at calling people to action and getting results quickly. Check out this great promotion offered by Whole Foods Market:
Let’s say you run a similar promotion on your social media channels. If your promotion is successful in social media, chances are it will also succeed in your PPC campaign. Difference is, it probably did not cost you as much to figure it out.
If you think about it, it’s a form of A/B testing. A best practice when handling PPC campaigns is to create two ads with a small variant among them, let them run for a determined span of time and then analyze which ad appealed more to the consumer based on factual data.
Another way to exploit social media to get a competitive advantage in front of your competitors is by using it to perform keyword research:
- Identify the demand and frequency that people mention a specific keyword.
- Look for trending topics and the words that are being used to describe them and apply it to your campaign.
- Get a deeper understanding of the intent and objectives of your target audience.
And turn it around! Try to take control of the conversation by popularizing a determined keyword that is important to your business through witty and catchy copy.
2) Use Social Extensions
Another way to get social with your PPC campaign is through the use of social extensions. At this time, they are only available in the Google AdWords platform.
To use the Social Ad Extension in AdWords you need to have a Google Plus page (i.e. White Shark Media’s). Google Plus is Google’s social networking platform. Even though it is not as widely popular as other more seasoned social mediums, it is a great way to get your brand noticed, link your online community together and give your brand a voice. Being present in Google Plus is important, but especially crucial if you are currently using AdWords with your online marketing efforts.
The way it works is that you verify the URL that you have linked to your Google Plus page. In addition, you must post relevant content and have at least 100 followers. Once you meet all the criteria Google will show the social extension whenever they think it could improve campaign performance. You will not get charged if someone clicks on the extension itself and you can segment your performance data to see if the social extensions uplift your campaigns performance.
Take a look at White Shark’s Media social extension live:
Having a social extension in place can primarily help in two ways:
1. It makes your ad look bigger, and more attention grabbing
2. More importantly, it helps establish credibility by reassuring the future customer that there are other people who validate and trust your business as well. That there is, in fact, a whole community that does.
3) Monitor Your Competitors and Their Marketing Efforts
It is a common concern to be worried about what your competitor is doing. Are they selling more than you? Are they spending more on advertising than you are? Is that why they are more successful? Can you afford to do that?
There have been some tools and systems in the PPC world like SEMrush or Spyfu that help us get an idea of what competitors are doing and how you compare to them. However, if you are not the competitor, you won’t know for sure what they are doing. Through social media, you can monitor not only your conversation, but also your competitor’s along with their promotions, follower count, etc. and because it is public and social, you know it’s true.
The biggest thing social media can do for you in this sense, is to help you figure out your competitor’s overall marketing strategy. The type of people they interact with, the response they get from their audience, and the type of websites that they visit or refer to.
Below you can find part of the Twitter feed of one of White Shark Media’s competitors, Yodle.
What can White Shark Media learn from this?
First off, we have a large amount of client testimonials, but they are not in a video format, should we start doing this? Will it work for us? Is our CEO or CMO getting enough attention on online mediums? What kind of attention would we like to achieve for ourselves? Is customer service something our customers are also interested in? Should we write more about this? Is sharing news about our successes a good approach?
Take this analysis and implement a similar one for your company based on your monitoring of your competitor’s social media. And take it a step further in your PPC efforts.
Here are just some ideas: Add/Exclude websites from your display campaign that your audience has or has not shown interest in. Add keywords that your clients use to describe your company to a branded ad group, add as a negative keywords the services you don’t offer but similar companies to yours might. Just to name a few!
In short, actively listening and being present in the social media sphere could be the motor that gives you your next promotion, ad group, or ad idea. And it could all start with one simple browse through your Twitter page. Look below for some:
Tips To Improve Your Company’s Social Media Efforts
If you are not so sure if your social media efforts are up to the task, here are some basic tips to refine your social media efforts:
1) Know your audience and make sure your message appeals to them.
Define who you want to appeal to, who is your ideal audience, and craft a persona and message that resonates with them.
2) Show up. Be constant with content and conversation.
Don’t abandon your social media channels. Make sure you are constantly speaking to your customers and posting about your business.
3) Be Polite.
Just like your parents taught you. Say thank you and please, and reply to all of your customers inquiries.
4) Know how to be a bit off topic.
Mix it up a bit. Throw a joke, or a personal anecdote in the mix. It’ll do wonders.
If you have any more ideas about how to use social media in PPC, send me an e-mail or a tweet!