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Banners to Paid Promotion: 4 Social Media Tools You're Using Wrong

Generating buzz isn't as easy as you might think in a world filled with smartphones, social media and 24/7 cable news. There's a lot of information, promotion and just plain old weird stuff competing for your customer's attention. It might be tempting to just jump into the fray and start posting, sharing and blabbering on about anything and everything your customers might enjoy.

But, the disciplined online marketing pro will step back and create a data-driven plan to cut through the 362 ads and 590 minutes of media the average adult consumes in a 24-hour period.

To really make an impact, you need to maximize the tools and resources available to you. Let's start the process by identifying 4 tools you're probably using incorrectly.

Banner Ads: Design / Layout is More Important Than Text

When your marketing team gets together to discuss the messaging of your next banner ad campaign, are you spending more time on the wording than the actual design of the ad? With just 13 milliseconds to make an eye-catching impression, the design is far more important than the actual text of the ad. If the design falls through, who will actually read the message?

If you're looking for some design inspiration, look no further than Spotify's retread of an old printing technique for their banners, which can easily be recreated using Colorizer. The story behind Colorizer sounds like this: "Because the design looks so good, Brett Renfer (Director of Experience Design from Collins) created a software program, named The Colorizer to automate this process. And this was a great solution for a brand like Spotify that has so much visual content to process."

For those new to banner design, who believe Colorizer is too advanced, there is an alternative in Bannersnack. Bannersnack offers plenty of banner design templates, ready to use and adjust, as well as an editing tool which requires little design knowledge if any."

Engaging Posts vs. Broadcast Posting

Posting on Facebook, the world's largest social network, is a great way to boost engagement; assuming you're doing it right. The tone of your post is critical for gaining traction and building an audience. Are your posts simply sharing news and information about your company (broadcasting), or is your Facebook Page chalked full of interesting and useful advice that Facebook's users will want to share with their friends and family?

A great example of an engaging post, according to an article published by the team at RebootOnline, is one that asks a question and encourages response. "Facebook was used to publicise a survey we put together for one of our clients; using the social media network enabled us to reach a lot of people very quickly - meaning we got 100 survey responses in a very short period of time and little effort required."

When was the last time an update about your company received 100 responses that included new customer info and insights?

Failing to Fill Out Your Facebook, Twitter and Google+ Business Profiles

When a customer visits your website, they expect to find all of the information they need in order to make an informed buying decision. The same is true of your social media profiles, albeit in a more streamlined format. A customer needs to know the following within 10 seconds or less of view your social media profile:

  • What's your company's name?
  • What does your company do?
  • What makes your company or product unique?
  • Where are you located?
  • Do you have a website?
  • What is your company logo and brand color scheme?

Yes, all of this information can and should be accessible via your Facebook Page, Twitter Profile and especially Google+ profile.

Targeting Phrases within a Targeted Ad

The power of social media marketing is that your paid advertising can be carefully targeted towards the audience that needs your product or service most. For example, a company selling donuts and coffee can direct their ad campaign to reach Facebook, Twitter and Google+ users within their immediate vicinity, during the hours that customers generally want to consume coffee and donuts.

The problem with many ads is that they open with a targeting sentence. Sticking with the same hypothetical ad for a coffee shop, a poorly written ad would open with "Want coffee?" If you've targeted your ads properly, you already know that the person viewing your ad probably wants coffee.

Instead of wasting valuable ad-space on a redundant targeting phrase, open with a strong value proposition that's sure to excite:"Hazelnut Coffee, brewed just for you, is ready right around the corner!"

Taking the time to devise a strategy that's data-driven will help you to achieve maximum impact with your social media advertising. Whether it's the design, tone or text of your post, you'll find that constant tweaking can mean some serious bang for your advertising buck.

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