Best Practices: Advertising on social media in 2020

As the economy slowly begins to reopen and the country continues to reel from the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s become apparent that the way we do business has been greatly altered. For some, the outbreak and subsequent closure left business owners re-evaluating their marketing strategies, trying to pivot more to online sales and marketing than before.

Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter provide small business owners with excellent ways to execute paid advertising campaigns. Here’s a quick list of digital advertising “best practices” your business should be sure to follow if you’re just starting to wade into the waters of social media advertising campaigns.

Know your Objective

One of the biggest mistakes companies make when getting started in social advertising is throwing a lot of money at a lot of ads on a lot of platforms, without really taking the time to first identify their objective. Are you trying to drive traffic to your website? Or are you trying to gain more signups for your email list? Are you selling products? Or does your business provide a service? All of these questions will change the type of campaign you setup within your chosen social media platforms.

Another area to identify when narrowing in on your objectives is to select the proper social media channels — not everything that will resonate with an audience on Facebook is going to be best suited for Twitter. Without taking the time to analyze the pro’s and con’s of each platform’s advertising capabilities, you could be throwing money away.

Identify your Audience

You don’t necessarily need to spend “big money” in social media advertising to get your desired results. Utilizing customer data and current social audience data, identify your key demographic and their interests, purchase behaviors and more using your chosen social media platform’s advertising dashboards. Facebook, for example, will let you narrow your audience down to not only geographical locations, but specific interests — like other pages, publications or products on the platform.

By identifying your audience early, you can help reduce the amount of “wasted” money spent on those that may not convert, instead targeting an audience that is highly likely to follow through on your desired objective.

Keep it Short, Focus on Visual

No matter the social platform, the emphasis has shifted from text to organic, engaging content. For Facebook and Instagram specifically, it is important that your organic posts keep the text to a minimum. When posting to these platforms, make sure you’re keeping your text to a minimum of 1-3 sentences, at most. Also, avoid using links in the text, when possible on Facebook (you should NEVER use links in text on Instagram), instead using the link preview that Facebook provides.

You should also, if possible, try to utilize high-quality video (over images) when creating your ads. Social posts containing video see over 48% more engagement and interaction, with a share rate of 12x that of generic text and/or static image posts. However, if video isn’t readily available, be sure the imagery you are using is high-quality, and relevant to the ads themselves.


At times like this, SmartSolutions understands that managing the current state of your company in the midst of a global pandemic can be a massive undertaking. Our team can help assess your company’s marketing strategies and efforts and help you create a plan that will not only help you get through the COVID-19 outbreak, but thrive in the online space well after. Contact our team today to get your free consultation!

 

Every company has a story — and at SmartSolutions, we’re passionate about helping you tell that story. 

Latest Twitter Trends & Updates for 2020

Happy New Year from SmartSolutions! With the dawn of a new decade, there’s no better time than now for your business to put social media at the forefront of your company’s marketing operations. Here’s a quick look at some of the top marketing trends and platform updates for Twitter as we begin 2020.

Topic Following

A look at the Twitter web redesign from 2019.

In 2019, Twitter made a handful of platform updates — from introducing dark mode to a complete redesign of the web app. However, there’s one update in particular that could benefit business accounts as a whole.

In late 2019, Twitter announced the ability to follow specific topics across the platform — breaking from the traditional account-only following process. By following specific topics such as “marketing,” specific sports and teams and more, users are being exposed to more tweets from accounts they may not follow individually, thus lending businesses the upper-hand in getting in front of potential new followers.

Marketing: Twitter Threads

Utilizing Twitter “threads,” which allows users to send multiple tweets in one organized manner, is nothing new. However, companies should be aware of best practices in how to use these threads to help market their products or services.

A perfect example of how to utilize Twitter threads was from the Disney+ account just weeks before their launch of the streaming platform. The account tweeted out a 400+ tweet thread that detailed each and every item launching on the platform.

The thread was successful for multiple reasons. For one, the tweets were sent out one at a time (instead of in one big batch), thus ensuring the tweets were spaced out and would remain seen by followers. By using one tweet for each title, it also allowed users to quote-tweet or retweet their favorites, creating engagement opportunities that wouldn’t normally be seen by one tweet alone.

Ongoing Shift to Video

Social media’s shift from emphasis on photos to an emphasis on videos continue, and Twitter is no exception. Whenever possible, using your Twitter account to distribute quality video content can have two- and three-times the engagement rates as a standard, static photo. Consider investing in quality video content for your company’s social media platforms in 2020.

Every company has a story — and at SmartSolutions, we’re passionate about helping you tell that story. 

Looking to give your company’s social media marketing presence the boost it needs to start seeing a more positive return on your investment? Click below or call us today to get your free consultation!

Social Media Image Sizing Cheat Sheet

Keeping up with the latest social media image sizing trends can be confusing, we understand. 

What looks good on Instagram won’t show properly on Twitter, and what populates in an Instagram link won’t look the same as LinkedIn. Allow our (free to use) social media image sizing cheat sheet to help!

Note: all image sizes are listed in pixels.

Facebook

One thing to remember when sizing images for Facebook is that different images will display differently on mobile vs. desktop. With most of the traffic nowadays being mobile traffic, be sure that when you’re creating your social images, you’re using mobile-friendly images and templates. 

Your profile photo will be the photo that universally represents your brand across searches and posts on Facebook, so be sure you’re selecting the proper logo and displaying it properly.

A cover photo is particularly tricky, as the image will display differently on both mobile and desktop — so be sure to create an 820 x 312 cover photo, while containing the messaging or particular imagery to 640 x 360.

One of the most common ways of sharing on Facebook is to share links — and with verified domains, you can customize the image with the accompanying link. This is one of the most popular ways to share custom content on Facebook.

 


 

Instagram

One of the most popular photo-sharing social networks (and really, social networks overall), Instagram is the best place to showcase your company’s visual experiences and creativity.

With Instagram being based on visuals and pictures/videos, it’s important to be sure you’re using the correct dimensions. 

You can choose one of several photo sizes on Instagram, but the best is to either post a 1:1 (1080 x 1080) or a 4:5 (800 x 1000) ratio image. While 1:1 fits within the grid more uniformly, the 4:5 ratio choice takes up more of the news feed, giving your brand optimal exposure.

One of Instagram’s hottest features at the moment is stories, a format that allows users to view uploaded videos and photos that are only available for a 24-hour period. The best format when posting created content (that’s non-organic) is 1080 x 1920.

 


 

Twitter

With over 313 million active monthly registered users, Twitter is known worldwide as the “engagement” platform. If there’s a discussion happening around your brand, or support needed, chances are it’s coming from a Twitter account.

Similarly to Facebook (and every other social channel, really), your profile picture will be the main image that represents your brand or company across the platform. Next in importance when setting up your profile will be your cover photo, which will maintain the same aspect ratio on both mobile and desktop.

And finally, the in-stream images, one of the staples of the Twitter timeline. Make sure to keep the image to 440×220 (or 2:1) as any other aspect ratio will display improperly.

 


 

LinkedIn

With over 460 million registered users, LinkedIn is the world’s largest social media network dedicated specifically to the professional realm — so it is imperative that your company’s LinkedIn profile look professional as well.

When it comes to LinkedIn’s imagery style, the most apt comparison is Facebook. The cover photo, profile photo, and shared images are the most common images needed to get your profile on the right track.

 


 

Every company has a story — and at SmartSolutions, we’re passionate about helping you tell that story. 

Looking to give your company’s social media marketing presence the boost it needs to start seeing a more positive return on your investment? Click below or call us today to get your free consultation!

Why Marketing Matters in a Fan, Like & Follow World

When it comes to putting together a business plan for your company, the tasks can seem a bit intimidating. From planning out long-term campaigns to summarizing short-term objectives, to social media marketing, advertising and more, there are many more details that one would originally think.

One of the most integral pieces of a marketing strategy, yet often the most overlooked, is a company’s social media strategy. 

Social media marketing has skyrocketed in importance, and is increasingly separating the good from the bad when it comes to interacting with companies online. Considered your “digital footprint,” it can also be viewed as a “welcome mat” to potential (and existing) customers — meaning when they Google your company, it’s one of the first things they see.

So why does the social piece of a fully-integrated marketing plan matter so much?
 

Creating Brand Experience

In a recent survey done by GlobalWebIndex, 54% of those polled stated they used social media accounts of companies and brands to research products or services before purchasing.

By properly utilizing social media, your company is able to not only dictate and create an experience around your brand, informing your customers and potential customers, but also allows your company to quickly respond to and resolve support issues or complaints from the customers themselves.
 
 
 

Building Trust

Once your company has made a sale or provided a service, the focus shifts from creating a customer to maintaining that customer — in other words, creating “brand loyalty.

Social media not only helps create a trust and loyalty with your current customers, but helps provide some of the most powerful word-of-mouth marketing possible. Over 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend that brand to their friends and family (via HubSpot, 2018).
 
 
 

Continuously Growing

Every minute, there are 400 new users on Facebook, 54,000 links that are shared, 147,000 new uploaded photos and 317,000 status updates. And with nearly 42% of the world’s population, or 3.2 billion people and growing, already active on social media every day—the potential reach of your company or brand is seemingly limitless.

 


 

Every company has a story — and at SmartSolutions, we’re passionate about helping you tell that story. 

Looking to give your company’s social media marketing presence the boost it needs to start seeing a more positive return on your investment? Click below or call us today to get your free consultation!