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Casey Weinfurtner

Total posts: 9
Last post: September 27, 2019

What's The Difference Between These Social Media Platforms?

What's The Difference Between These Social Media Platforms?

By Casey Weinfurtner on  September 27, 2019

Social media can be extremely valuable to building audience connections and filling your sales funnel. Whether you’re a small business developing your presence, or a large company with years in the industry, utilizing the various social media channels can provide several benefits to engaging customers. But with so many social media platforms available to reach your goals, which is best for your business?

Trying to understand the differences between social media platforms and which is right for you can be overwhelming. As a business owner, it’s important to know how specific platforms can be impactful for your company and drive results with your key audiences. Whether you plan to post organically to social media or invest in paid social advertising, we’re here to help you determine which platforms are fit for your organization.

Which Social Media Platforms Should My Business Be Using?

Before you start with a social media platform, start with a social media strategy. It’s important businesses take time to consider who your audience is, what outcomes you hope to accomplish through your social media efforts, as well as how you will measure success. Spending a little time evaluating the latter can help you match your goals to the platforms that will help you succeed.

To align with your goals, you’ll want to consider each social media platform’s purpose and audience, which helps in creating a strategy for content on each channel. Throughout your initial strategy development, do a bit of research to understand where your core audience lives online. Are your ideal customers utilizing Facebook or LinkedIn? Are they using Twitter to find the types of content or products you offer? Evaluating your current social media analytics from tools such as Google Analytics, or even within the social networks themselves, can help with understanding which platforms are seeing the most engagement from your readers.

How Are the Big Social Media Channels Different?

One of the largest factors to consider when sharing your messaging on any social media platform is how conversations shift within each channel. For example, conversations you may have on LinkedIn can be quite different from those you have on Twitter. You’ll want to adjust your message to fit the social media platform and audience spending time there.

To help with your evaluation, we’ve outlined some key insights for businesses using the widely-used social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Facebook

Facebook is a social media beast that can’t be ignored. With over 2.24 billion monthly active users, your customers are likely going to be using the network either for business or personal use. Though connecting with family and friends is the core mantra of Facebook’s platform, the channel is also a large advertising platform for businesses, primarily strong for B2C companies.

Outside of advertising, Facebook is a great place for businesses to share employee culture and updates on your company. Whether it’s a client or interview candidate, your Facebook page should give outsiders a clear sense of your people and company values.

It’s most important for organizations to note that Facebook has made it more of an obstacle for businesses to reach their audiences organically since newsfeed algorithm updates in early 2018. While there are certainly many strategies business can use to combat the algorithm, considering a paid budget for boosting organic Facebook posts or paid advertising can help ensure your messaging reaches your audience on the platform among other prioritized content from user family or friends.

Twitter

For current news, technical blogs, and industry updates, Twitter is a great way for businesses to engage in real-time. Capturing 326 million active monthly users, Twitter can help your business stay relevant in your industry. With up to a 240-character limit per update, it’s important businesses find ways to keep information concise, compelling, and relevant on such a fast-paced network. The platform opens the door for quick feedback and discussion, using the limited characters to share an opinion, create polls, or join trending conversations with relevant hashtags.

However, always keep in mind the lifespan of your Tweets is short, so contrary to other platforms where sharing multiple updates in one day may be taboo, Twitter is a platform where sharing more updates is a necessary tactic to gain more exposure in your audience’s feed. The more you Tweet and use trending hashtags or topics in tandem to your posts, the more likely your brand is to become influential on a discussion.

Instagram

Though Instagram is owned by Facebook, the social platform certainly has its own identity – not to mention over 1 billion monthly active users, too. For companies that are particularly visual, Instagram is your network to shine. The emphasis on strong or high-resolution images provides businesses an opportunity to showcase brand products or story, people, and other highlights of your company in an eye-catching way. Instagram recently rolled out the option for users to shop right from the app, which also now provides B2C companies another advantage for converting sales from product images.

Similar to Twitter, relevant Instagram hashtags can help with reaching audiences part of your industry or interests. Businesses can include up to 30 hashtags on your post caption or within the comments to expand exposure of the post.

Amongst the advantages of using Instagram for business, Instagram does have its disadvantages for those working to generate more web traffic from the network. Individual posts do not allow for links in the copy, so you’ll want to ensure your company website or other important campaign-related links are provided within your company bio. Of course, this requires your audience to click on your profile and take an extra step in order to interact with your directed webpage, so the emphasis of strong visuals and a compelling call-to-action is huge!

LinkedIn

For B2B companies, LinkedIn is the right place to connect and build professional relationships. With over 303 million monthly users, including 90 million of those users that are senior level influencers or in a decision-making position, LinkedIn is a growing social network that businesses shouldn’t neglect.

Unlike Facebook or other social media platforms, LinkedIn emphasizes a professional connection with organizations and other industry professionals rather than family and friends. Any content that is related to your business or professional career – company news, employee updates, milestones – all are excellent pieces of content that will serve your audience well on LinkedIn.

For individual professionals, you can use LinkedIn as your “online resume” to share education and articles expertise with business owners, clients, or potential new employers. Business owners have the opportunity to expand their organization’s credibility and thought leadership by sharing updates from LinkedIn Business Pages to their own personal networks.

Find Which Social Networks Drive Results for Your Business

No matter where you begin or with which social network, remember one of the best ways for success to translate to business goals depends on your evaluation or updates on a regular basis. Results on any social media network can take some time, but a little effort and evaluation can help determine which platforms are well-suited for your audience and messaging.

If you need help with auditing your current social media performance and developing a strategy for which social networks can drive business outcomes, contact us today to speak with our team about social media marketing services.

4 Social Media Tactics All Businesses Can Leverage

4 Social Media Tactics All Businesses Can Leverage

By Casey Weinfurtner on  June 14, 2019

There is always a new approach in the world of social media for businesses. With more brands competing for your same audiences’ attention, you need to find ways to consistently create compelling content that will drive your end goal.

But let’s be real for a moment – no business operates the same. Regardless of how many suggestions social media marketers are given, not all tactics apply or are effective long-term for every brand.

When it comes to social media marketing, businesses may be surprised to find that there really are simple approaches that apply to all (and will even maintain through the ever-changing updates of social media networks). Whether you’re hoping to fill your sales funnel or drive awareness of a new product, here are a few of our “one-size-fits-all” social media tactics every business can leverage.

Understand Your Audience

Before you make any social media plays, take some time to define who your audience is first. Once your team is clear on who your audiences are and why, do the research to understand which social media networks you’ll be able to effectively reach them on based on what you’ve learned.

There’s no benefit to putting content out to a disinterested audience, all because you weren’t clear on who your messaging should be created for and where.

Determine Business Goals and Objectives

Don’t post or promote without purpose. Before actively using your social channels, determine what results you hope to accomplish collectively or from the individual networks, as well as how that will tie in with your business objectives. Understanding what types of content you should be publishing based on your goals can help better craft your social media strategy toward results.

Choose your goals and objectives with purpose, too. Simply stating you’d like to receive 100k followers on Instagram may seem like an exciting feat to accomplish but be sure your reasoning can tie back to results. Why do you want 100k followers? Does that correlate to your brand awareness goals and gaining more impressions per post? Will it increase your likelihood of more leads? Or, is it truly a vanity metric? Consider your goals thoughtfully and let social media work its benefits.

Use Your Channels, Time, and Content Wisely

One of the biggest misconceptions is that brands should have a presence on every social media network. Your company may not be right for every social network, and that’s OK. If you see your success driven from LinkedIn vs. Facebook, pivot your time and strategy toward the networks driving more results. There’s no sense is putting out content on a network that isn’t going to align nicely with your business objectives or audience.

Track Your Efforts

Successful businesses on social media track their data alongside their goals. So you want to drive 1,000 visits to a specific product page this quarter–how’d you do? Analyzing how your results compared to the metrics will allow your business to draw insights from what actions or messaging drove the ideal outcomes, and what aspects of your strategy should be shifted if results fell short.

Aztek’s team of social media experts work with businesses of all industries on tactical and strategic approaches to social media marketing. For help with building an effective social media strategy and driving ROI for your business, contact us today to learn more.

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What Does a Social Media Advertising Agency Do?

What Does a Social Media Advertising Agency Do?

By Casey Weinfurtner on  March 18, 2019

Social media advertising plays a pivotal role for businesses. With the right strategy in place, your social media channels can assist with driving traffic to your website, building a connection with your audience, and generating quality leads. However, if your business is like any other, you’ll recognize managing your social media channels internally, creating compelling content and producing results is not always an easy task – not to mention it can be pretty time consuming!

If this sounds like you, a social media advertising agency may be a good fit. Here are the types of services and key benefits working with a social media advertising agency can provide.

Three Types of Social Media Services

The role of a social media agency is to help identify and engage with your audience, and provide measurable results in return. To achieve this, there are three primary services a social media agency can provide.

Social Media Management

Keeping up with your social media channels can be overwhelming, regardless of whether your company has a preexisting presence to maintain or needs to build a presence from scratch. Though it may take time, finding ways to engage with your audience and stay in front of them can directly impact your brand's business objectives, so it’s important to take managing your social channels seriously.

A social media agency will work with you to best understand who your audience is, identify which social channels are the right fit, and create high-quality content that can be shared on a consistent basis. You should expect your agency to create engaging content calendars as well as handle the scheduling and distribution of your content at ideal times using social media management tools such as Sendible.

Some agencies may even assist from a customer service aspect and respond to questions or comments shared from your audience online. Be careful here. You should consider whether you're comfortable having a third-party be the voice of customer service for your brand on social media. Also, consider how "available" you need to be, and how quickly you need to respond.

Paid Social Media Advertising

It can be difficult to grow your social media audience and get in front of the right demographics. In the past few years, social platforms like Facebook have introduced algorithm updates that make it harder to organically reach your audience, which has made social media marketing more of a challenge.

So what other options do marketers have? You can use paid social advertising to help supplement your organic efforts. Paid social advertising helps place your message in front of the right audience by targeting key segments or demographics.

Each social platform has its own targeting options and ad types and can serve a different overall purpose. Depending on your audience and KPIs, a paid social agency may recommend different networks for different goals. Whether you want to generate more sales, awareness, or website traffic, a social advertising agency will work with you to develop a campaign strategy that will produce results.

Social Media Strategy and Reporting

Running a social media campaign won’t be effective without the proper strategy in place and reporting to measure the results following a campaign.

When it comes to continually optimizing and improving social ads, reporting and measurement is key. Generally, the measurables that social agencies focus on when it comes to reporting and on-going strategy are:

  • Effectiveness of ads for your specific audience
  • Sales, leads, or prospects generated
  • Cost per lead or result

These metrics often will help you determine if a social network is a good fit, if you’re targeting the right audience, and if your ad spend is working efficiently.

With a solid reporting framework in place, a social media agency will be able to give your business better, more thorough recommendations and overall paid social strategies. A social media agency will work with you upfront to determine what is important to your business and use that to drive their reporting and recommendations for specific social networks.

Benefits of Working with a Social Media Advertising Agency

While there are certainly many reasons you should consider outsourcing your social media advertising and management, working with the right social media agency can provide several clear benefits to your company.

Time

Point blank, working with a social media agency gives time back to your team. If your business is not equipped to hire internal digital marketing resources or your current internal team needs support, a full team of social media marketers and advertisers can help produce a steady stream of content, engagement, and results in a more efficient time span.

Social Strategy

You may know your business in and out, but sometimes an outside perspective can provide an alternative strategic direction that targets your audience more effectively. Social media advertising agencies have the expertise for building successful campaign strategies, all while remaining within a dedicated budget and aligning with your data-driven goals.

Experts within a social media advertising agency are also well-versed in multiple social networks, and spend time working within these platforms daily – time your internal resources may not have the capacity to spend. Working with a team of experts that stays on top of trends in the industry and social networks can help support your company's social strategy and provide stronger decisions or recommendations for your campaigns.

ROI

Did you generate enough clicks to a specific product page on your website? Did you receive enough quality leads after promoting your whitepaper? Nobody wants to spend money on advertising and question whether there was a return on investment. A social media agency will provide detailed campaign reporting to help analyze the impact your social campaign has had in relation to your business objectives.

Work with a Cleveland Social Media Advertising Agency

Aztek’s team of social media experts will partner with you by producing or leveraging high-quality content and promotional strategies to grow your social media channels into impactful marketing tools. For help with building your social media strategy and paid social advertising campaigns, contact us today to learn more about our social media marketing services.

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8 Benefits of Social Media for Your Business

8 Benefits of Social Media for Your Business

By Casey Weinfurtner on  December 17, 2018

If you aren’t utilizing a variety of social media marketing benefits to build your business, we’re here to get you on the bandwagon. Over 3 billion people throughout the world are utilizing social media each month – and growing. Yes, 3 billion people. These people are following and engaging with brands daily, and reaching an audience quickly has never been easier.

Regardless of which industry, products and services you offer, or tenure of your company, here are eight social media benefits to take advantage of your business right now.

Increase Brand Awareness

You want your audience to know who you are, don’t you? With billions of social media users utilizing platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, your business has an opportunity to reach a high-quantity of new potential customers on more than one social network. By just a simple click, you can expose your content to an existing or new audience, as well as join trending conversations to make your brand more discoverable.

Connect with Customers

Your customers and prospective customers aren’t going to engage, purchase from, or follow a brand that doesn’t appeal to them. Use your social media channels to provide a human element of brand by developing a voice, values, and content that resonates with your audience. The more you can engage and strike an emotion with your current or new audience, the more your connections and brand loyalty with customers grows.

Increase Website Referral Traffic

Sharing strategic, high-quality content through organic social posts or paid social advertising is an easy way to increase traffic to your company website. Whether it’s a downloadable guide or ever-green content you’re promoting to your audience, social media is a quick way to gain traction to specific pages of your site you’d like to create awareness for. Those who find your content valuable are then more likely to come back to the site or take an action such as purchasing a product, requesting a quote, or contacting your business.

Generate Leads and Sales

Whether it's through paid advertising or organic posts, social media is an easy way to drive attention to specific products, offerings or services your business provides. It's crucial you share content that will connect with your audiences but don't forget to consider how the content you share will ultimately guide audiences to make a purchase or want to learn more about your services.

Social media is also a way for customers to express initial interest in your brand or products. For example, if you are running a lead generation paid advertising campaign on Facebook to promote 15% off a product in store, a customer that completes your form and submits their personal information in order to receive this 15% off coupon is telling your brand there is interest to try your product. If someone is willing to give up their information, this shows they believe there is value in what you're offering.

Brand Reputation Management

Sometimes, things happen that a business may not be able to plan for and your reputation may be on the line. Your social media channels are owned by your brand. Use these channels to portray your brand the way you want your customers to perceive you, and if there are times where your credibility is questioned, social media is a way to clear the air and represent the mission/values your company stands for.

Customer Service

Whether we always like it or not, customers are more likely to take to social media if they have an issue with your company or brand. They are also likely to take to social media for praise of a new product they love or a positive experience.

Regardless of whether you are dealing with a displeased or happy customer, use your social media channels as an addition to your customer support team. Take time to personally respond to customer issues and provide a next step for resolution. Take time to thank your customers for their positive messaging.

Nobody wants to talk to a robot - make your responses personalized and genuine. Your customers will notice and this can speak volumes about your brand.

Audience Learning

All social media networks have analytics that provide detailed demographic information about your audience and those interacting with your brand. Use this information to learn more about your current and prospective customers. From there, you can use the information you've gathered to better tailor your messaging throughout your social promotions and work towards accomplishing business goals.

Brand Sentiment

How your audience responds and interacts with your brand on social media can also say a lot about whether or not your efforts are working. More importantly, you can learn how customers are perceiving your brand through their own messages they share. Using social media monitoring tools such as Hootsuite or Sendible can help you better gauge sentiment of posts your audience is sharing around your brand, monitor conversations, and truly understand how your audience feels.

Business Promotion

Social media is a great way to reach potential new customers and promote your business. Through paid social advertising you can target specific audiences that fit your ideal customer base and drill down on targeting options such as geography, language, or interests. Depending on your social media strategy or business goals, you can promote specific content to that audience about your business or brand. Whether you're striving to drive leads or gain awareness for your brand, social media paid advertising is a great avenue.

Is your business looking for additional ways to market on social media? Aztek can help with building your company social media strategy, maintaining your campaigns, and analyzing the results. Contact our team today to learn more.

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A Better Way to Create Content: Core Model Workshop

A Better Way to Create Content: Core Model Workshop

By Casey Weinfurtner on  July 27, 2018

Aztek is always looking for new ways to improve our process and make content creation easier. Recently our team started using the Core Model Workshop. This workshop is designed to help narrow down what kind of content needs to go on the most important pages (core pages) of the website.

Originally presented at IA Summit 2007 by information architect Are Halland. The idea is to make sure we are thinking about user needs and goals when building a website. Sound like something you need? Here's the process our team has started to use:

What it is:

A half day workshop to align users needs with an organization's business goals. The workshop focuses on thinking about how a user gets to a page, what to communicate to them while they are there, and what we want them to do next.

Why it Matters:

It drives home the idea of putting content first when designing a website. It also helps to keep both the client and agency teams aligned when it comes to what needs to appear on a specific page.

Often times the homepage is seen as the most important page on the site. The Core Model helps to remind people that there are many important pages throughout the site. In some cases, users may never actually make it to the homepage if they find what they are looking for on another page via Google.

Content can feel forgotten in favor of "pretty" design. But in actuality content is the most important part of a website. If users can't find what they are looking for, it doesn't matter how nice the site looks.

When do we do it?

At Aztek, we do this workshop once we have done discovery work, such as a competitive analysis, and also put together the new sitemap. This way, we have a good understanding of what core pages of content we will need. This gives us a good base to start from when thinking about what pages we want to use in the workshop.

We do this before the design phase because what we decide needs to go on a page during the workshop may impact how the pages are designed.

During the workshop, we:

  • Identify Core Pages for the new website - We use the new sitemap to determine which pages are most in need of important content.
  • Identify Relevant Objectives/Business Goals - In order to make sure the content we are putting on the pages is effective, it is important to understand the organization's business goals.
  • Identify the Most Important User Task - It's important to understand what users need when they come to a site. Identifying their most pressing tasks will help to determine what content needs to go on the page.
  • Identify Inward Path - How will a user find a specific page? What leads them there?
  • Identify Forward Paths - What do we want a user to do next? Where do we want to take them?
  • Identify Core Content - What actual content points need to be on the page? This is where all of the ideas come together. From business goals to user needs we want to make sure the content on the page conveys the important information.

How we do it:

  • 3-4 hour workshop
  • 1-3 participants from our team (e.g., designers, UX, content, developers, and so forth)
  • 6-8 stakeholders from relevant fields or departments in the organization
  • Printed worksheets

Sheet from Tazen

We work on one section at a time. After everyone fills out one section we come together as a group and discuss what points everyone finds important, then we move on to the next section of the sheet. This allows for some good discussion about what needs to be included.

Challenges & Recommendations:

As with any process, there is always room to improve, we have been using this workshop for a few months now and overall we really like it. We do see some challenges, however, one of which being that the worksheets can sometimes feel repetitive when it comes to the inward and outward paths.

Often when we are filling those portions of the sheets out, it's the same information each time. To get around taking up time to rewrite the same thing over again, we leave those areas blank and work from the sheets we have already completed with that information.

It can also sometimes be hard to hold everyone's attention. Often people will start moving on to another section before we have had time to discuss the current section. Sometimes this leads to good discussion, other times, though, it gets us off track and cuts into our timing. One solution we have thought of for this issue is potentially using post-it notes for each section of the sheet. Instead of giving everyone a printout, we work together on a whiteboard and have each person bring up their post-its for that section.

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We are still adapting and learning about this process as we go, but we have seen great results with the clients we have used it with so far. It allows us to get through the content process quicker, and focus on what content is really important for the new website. Need content help? Contact Aztek to learn more about our content services.

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6 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

6 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

By Casey Weinfurtner on  July 13, 2018

It’s not easy to market your brand on social media. With high volumes of content shared every minute, challenging algorithm updates and the pressure to make your brand stand out, it can be easy to make mistakes. To help you navigate through the ever-changing social landscape, we’ve compiled six social media mistakes you should avoid.

1. Oversharing Your Content

Sharing your content multiple times a day per social media platform doesn't necessarily mean your content will be seen by your audience, nor is it necessarily the right strategy. In fact, an overload of content by one brand in a user's newsfeed may not be the ideal experience.

Before you post to social media, consider quality over quantity. Review your social media platforms individually and determine how many posts per day per channel make sense for the results you are trying to achieve. It can make a bigger impact for your brand to post to your Facebook Business Page once a day with an engaging message that resonates well with your audience, rather than sharing multiple blog posts or images that don't have an effective strategy or purpose.

2. Sharing the Same Content Across All Platforms

You shouldn't utilize a "one size fits all" approach when it comes to social media. Your audience may have different intent when scrolling through their Twitter news feed vs. LinkedIn. That being said, your content should be created around the intent of your audience on each of those platforms. Don't assume your audience will consume and interact with content the same on one platform as they will on another.

Rather than posting the same message across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., consider how that content will be valuable to your audience on each of those platforms and how you can create a unique message depending on which platform you choose. If you share without the right social media strategy in place, you could put your brand in a position for ineffective results.

3. Trying to Gain a Presence Everywhere

Just like you shouldn't take one piece of content and post it everywhere, you don't need to try to gain a presence everywhere either. Think about your audience. Where are they spending time online? Which platforms will help you reach your audience most effectively?

Do research and gather insight into your audience's behavior on each of the social platforms before creating new profiles. You will engage more with your audience and align better with your goals if your brand has a strong presence on just a few social media channels, rather than a scarce presence on all.

4. Failing to Engage Your Audience

You may have a presence on the appropriate social media channels to reach your audience, but your success will be limited if you fail to engage your audience. A few ways to maintain engagement with your audience on social media include:

    • Using expertise. Show that your brand is a subject-matter expert on topics, trends, and questions your audience cares about.
    • Being genuine. Don't just sell to your customers. An audience is more likely to engage with a brand they trust than with a brand they don't feel valued by.
    • Asking questions. By prompting a conversation, your brand will be able to better connect with customers and learn from how they interact with your content.
    • Listening to your audience. Your audience wants to be heard. Show them you've listened by providing content types your audience enjoys and responds well to.

5. Not Utilizing Social Media Management Tools

Social media management tools can be your best friend. As beneficial as real-time and relevant responses are for a brand, trying to find time to post unique content on each of your social media channels throughout the day can be a daunting task. Utilizing social tools such as Sendible or Hootsuite can assist with scheduling content ahead of time and collecting data to better understand the impact of your social media efforts.

6. Ignoring Social Trends

Though it may not be ideal, your approach to social media marketing is likely to change as often as the social platforms roll out new updates and new trends emerge. The best approach you can take for your brand is to adapt to the changes and adjust your social media strategy accordingly. Learning to work with the updates and find effective methods to still reach your audience can only help bring a long-term return.

 

Need help understanding which social media tactics are right for your brand? Aztek can help build, maintain and analyze social media marketing campaigns for your business. Contact our team today to learn more.

10 Tips for Creating a Social Media Strategy

10 Tips for Creating a Social Media Strategy

By Casey Weinfurtner on  May 18, 2018

Social media is a beast that can’t be ignored, and it's safe to say that the same old approach may not last forever. When revamping or creating a new social media strategy for your business, here are some considerations to help guide you through the process.

1. Audit your social media channels in the current day

Before diving in, it’s important to understand how your social media channels are currently performing and at what level your audience is engaging with your brand. Here are a few questions to ask as you review:

  • Which social platforms receive the highest levels of engagement?
  • What types of content appear to resonate well with your audience?
  • How well does your content drive referral traffic back to your site?
  • Do your customers or audiences from social media turn into conversions?
  • What are your competitors doing in the space?

2. Define your audience

Evaluating your brand’s current and emerging audiences on a periodic basis is a step that shouldn’t be overlooked. If you have a clear grasp of who you’re reaching, you’ll understand how to tailor your messaging and what opportunities you may have to better reach your ideal audience if you are not doing so already. A few steps you'll want to take when defining your audience:

  • Think of your ideal audience or customer base...
  • How large is your audience?
  • Where is your audience located?
  • What is your audiences age, gender or demographic?
  • What are your audience's interests?

3. Determine which social platforms your audience uses

Once you define your audience, you’ll want to understand which social media platforms are most popular with your audience. Though your business may have a presence on social media, take time to evaluate whether each platform is right for your brand. You want to know what content is reaching your audience, and, more importantly, encourage your audience to take some sort of action with your brand.

At Aztek, we recommend our clients focus more effort and time into the platforms that work well for their audience rather than joining several social media sites that may not be as impactful.

4. Lay out your business goals and objectives

Whether it’s replying back to your customers, sharing a blog post, or using a specific hashtag, you’ll want your actions to align with your business goals. Think about the outcomes you’d like to see from your social media efforts and keep them in mind when you take action. A few business goals could include:

  • Generating more website referral traffic
  • Increasing the number of followers to your Business Page
  • Increasing the number of purchases to your brand’s store

5. Determine how you will measure success

Once you have identified your overall business goals, you’ll want to establish how you can measure success so that your efforts work towards a target metric and hold you accountable. Set specific targets you'd like to reach so that you can work to stack up your success each month.

Example: Drive 150-plus visits to company website from Facebook per month.

6. Consider what (quality) content you’ll share

Think about how the content you create will align with your audience’s varying intent on each of the platforms. For instance, a user on Facebook may have higher intent to purchase a product for personal use or share a humorous photo with a friend, but may not be all that interested in an educational post about progressing their career. That approach might be better well-suited for LinkedIn.

Think about the types of content you’d like to see produced and shared by your brand, then compile or formulate the actual content from there.

7. Establish a cadence for sharing content

Publishing content once or multiple times a day on each social platform may not be feasible for your organization or strategically make sense. Think about how often you’d like to post to each of your channels and how this plays into your objectives.

It's helpful to determine the right cadence for each social platform. Create a monthly content calendar that outlines upcoming content ahead of time. This way creating ideas and finding quality content to publish won’t need to be a daily task.

Once a content calendar is finalized, consider taking advantage of a social media scheduling tool. Here at Aztek, we’ve utilized a few social media management tools such as Sendible and Hootsuite.

8. Review your opportunities for paid social advertising

It will be beneficial to consider paid social advertising as another component to your overall social strategy. Not only can paid advertising compliment your organic efforts, but it presents an opportunity to target audiences or consumers that may not already be engaging with your brand and grow your following. You have more control of the audiences your messages will reach and with greater exposure, there's a greater likelihood you'll reach some of your target goals (ex. "X" number of new page followers or "X: number of new subscribers to company blog).

9. Adjust your strategy as changes to the social platforms are ruled out

2018 has already been a busy year filled with updates for a number of leading social media platforms—and more changes are sure to come. It can be hard to stay informed, but keeping up with the latest social media trends and algorithm updates can have an impact on your brand’s visibility to your audience.

A few helpful resources include Social Media Today and Social Media Examiner.

10. Identify what process or tools will work best for you and your team

Coming up with the right strategy can take a little trial and error, but that’s all a part of finding success and what ultimately works best for you. Try out a variety of posts, read up on the latest news, and bounce ideas off your team. The good news is that no strategy needs to be—and shouldn’t be—the same for every brand.

Need help creating a social media strategy for your organization? Aztek can help build and maintain social media marketing campaigns for your business. Contact our team today to learn more.

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Facebook or LinkedIn: Which Social Media Platform is Right for Your Paid Advertising Campaign?

Facebook or LinkedIn: Which Social Media Platform is Right for Your Paid Advertising Campaign?

By Casey Weinfurtner on  March 12, 2018

As two social media powerhouses, both Facebook and LinkedIn offer tremendous advertising potential for businesses. However, not all social media platforms are created equal. Facebook and LinkedIn each have their distinct advantages and disadvantages depending on what you're trying to do and who you're trying to reach.

To help determine whether Facebook or LinkedIn is the right paid social advertising avenue for your organization’s specific campaign, you'll want to start by understanding the unique features of both platforms.

Facebook

With more than 2 billion users worldwide and 50 million businesses using a Facebook Business Page, Facebook has defined itself as a leader in the social media realm. Their success has ultimately evolved through their expansive advertising network, which, despite recent criticisms and controversy, is estimated to generate $21.57 billion in U.S. ad revenues in 2018 alone. In fact, Facebook ad revenue in the U.S. is expected to exceed total print ad spending by 2019.

Facebook’s ownership of Instagram also presents further opportunities for marketers using Facebook as a paid advertising tool to expand their network reach through another platform.

It's important to understand that when you advertise through Facebook’s platform, the ads you create can be promoted through both Facebook, Messanger, and Instagram simultaneously (or separately), and even displayed on other websites through Facebook's ad network. You'll only need to build your ads once through Facebook’s advertising tool, which minimizes your marketing efforts for multiple platforms into one. This offers you additional audience reach through your dedicated campaign budget.

When building Facebook ads, you have a few options:

  • Link Ads – Drive audiences to specific pages of your site to help build the traffic to your website
    • Examples include:
      • Video ads
      • Carousel ads (displaying up to 10 images or videos in one single post)
  • Lead Ads – Gated content that requires individuals to submit personal information into a form in order to view the content
  • Business Page Like Ads – Promote your Business Page to increase your number of page likes

Facebook’s audiences can be segmented by distinct details such as:

  • Geographic location
  • Demographics
  • Job titles
  • Online behaviors
  • More

You can segment audiences a step further by building custom audiences from current customer lists or by re-targeting people who recently viewed content on your website.

Facebook charges advertisers at a CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per mille – cost an advertiser pays for one thousand clicks or views from an ad). The CPC or CPM of promoted ads depends on several factors: demographics, size of your target audience, or the social network itself.

Facebook’s advertising network tends to be less expensive for marketers than other social advertising platforms. The average CPC and CPM of Facebook ads is $0.27 and $4.03.

To evaluate the results of your campaign, these are the key metrics to understand within Facebook’s ad platform:

  • Impressions – The number of times your ads were on screen.
  • Reach – The number of people who saw your ads at least once. Reach is different than impressions, as impressions may include multiple views of your ads by the same people.
  • Cost per result – The average cost per result from your ads.
  • Frequency – The average number of times individuals saw your ad.
  • Unique link clicks – The number of people who performed a link click.
  • Button clicks – The number of times someone clicked on the call-to-action button of your ad.
  • Click Through Rate (CTR) - Indicates how many times someone clicked on the link in your ad compared to how many times they saw it.
  • Relevance score – Facebook’s ad rating score ranging from 1 to 10. This score estimates how well your ads are resonating with your audience. A score of 7 or higher means your ads are resonating well with your target audiences. Facebook will incentivize you for a higher relevance score by lowering your overall costs.

LinkedIn

Well-known as the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn’s advertising platform is another key asset to marketers. With more than 450 million users, LinkedIn’s growing advertising platform has made its mark alongside Facebook as another significant tool to get in front of businesses or consumers.

While Facebook is more of a social platform, LinkedIn positions itself as a network for businesses, engaging users on a less “social” level and serving as an outlet for recruitment, expertise, and connections in a professional environment. Marketers can utilize LinkedIn’s ad network to directly target key decision makers within an organization, along with reaching influencers and opinion leaders whose reach could make an impact on their brand.

Like Facebook, LinkedIn offers a number of ways to build your ads through their Advertising Campaign Manager tool:

  • Sponsored content – Promote news, articles, or even posts on your company page. This advertising option can either direct website traffic back to your site or allow you to gate your content through lead generation ads that require your audience to submit personal information to access a story or some other form of content.
  • Text ads – This desktop-only option allows you to drive traffic from LinkedIn to either your Company Page or company website. These ads are showcased as text link advertisements at the top or side of the page.
  • Sponsored InMail – This option enables you to send personalized messages to targeted LinkedIn professionals through LinkedIn Messenger or email.

LinkedIn advertising campaigns allow you to target very specific professional details, such as:

  • Company name, industry, geography and size
  • Job titles, functions, and seniority
  • Member skills, schools, fields of study, and degrees

LinkedIn follows similar cost structures to Facebook, charging marketers at a rate for CPC and CPM. The average CPC within LinkedIn tends to be higher than Facebook – around $6.50 per click.

LinkedIn also requires marketers to place a bid against other marketers for ad placement on the network. LinkedIn will make bid amount recommendations for you based on estimates of competing bids for the same target audience, but you are able to specify the maximum amount you are willing to pay for each click.

When evaluating the success of your campaign, here are a few of the key LinkedIn data metrics you’ll want to understand:

  • Average Click-through Rate (Avg. CTR) – The percentage of people that clicked the ad to go to your website
  • Social – The volume of social engagements your ad receives: likes, comments, shares, and follow clicks
  • Average Engagement – A percentage that reflects how often people engaged with an ad
  • Average Cost Per Click (CPC) – The total spent on an ad divided by total clicks to your website
  • Conversions Rate – The percentage of clicks that lead to a conversion, calculated by conversions divided by clicks

Now that we've broken down Facebook and LinkedIn’s advertising platforms, there are a few questions you’ll finally want to consider for your campaign:

1. What type of content are you promoting?

The content itself plays a vital role in deciding which social platform is right for your paid campaign. Consider an audience's intent on either Facebook or LinkedIn's platform and how your content might resonate with them from there.

For example, professionals using LinkedIn to connect with influencers in their industry may be more receptive to a promoted post with relevant educational information for their career than a promoted post for clothing items to purchase. It's important to understand what role Facebook and LinkedIn both serve as social media platforms and think of how your content fits the expectations of the users on that platform.

2. Which audience are you trying to reach?

Your audience is going to play a big role in the success of your campaign. Just as it's critical to have knowledge of Facebook and LinkedIn's platforms, it's also important to understand which audiences use these networks and which audience you specifically want to reach through your campaign.

Consider whether you're focused on reaching businesses or consumers, specific locations or demographics, etc. The more details you can gather about your target audience, the easier it will be to compare whether or Facebook or LinkedIn, or both, can accommodate your audience specifications.

3. What are your goals and metrics of success for this campaign?

After you've determined which content you'll promote and the audience you'd like to reach, it's essential to create campaign goals and metrics that will ultimately determine whether or not the campaign was successful. Are you focused on creating awareness around your brand? Are you interested in driving traffic to your website or generating "X" number of leads? Determining what results you'd like to see prior to launching a campaign will help you make adjustments throughout the campaign and serve as examples for campaigns in the future.

4. What is your campaign budget?

Your overall campaign budget could have an impact on whether you advertise on LinkedIn or Facebook. Throughout your evaluation, consider how your goals could align with costs. For instance, if your campaign is solely focused on driving as much traffic as possible to a blog article and your budget is limited, it may make sense to promote your content on Facebook where the average cost per click tends to be lower.

Regardless of which social network you choose for your paid social advertising campaign, there's no right or wrong answer for your choice. Experimenting with your content strategy, audiences, and budgets over time will give you insight into what works best for your organization and build successful future campaigns.

Need help? Aztek can help you create and maintain social media marketing campaigns that make sense for your business. Contact our team today to learn more.

4 Reasons You Should Outsource Your Social Media Management

4 Reasons You Should Outsource Your Social Media Management

By Casey Weinfurtner on  October 20, 2017

We get it - it's not always easy to stay on top of your organization's social media marketing.

In our current digital age, social landscapes and trends are consistently changing. Sometimes it may seem like a full-time job just to keep up. If you feel bogged down by the upkeep of your social channels and the best strategies to support them, maybe it’s time to have a conversation about outsourcing your social media management. Here are four things to consider:

1. Properly managing social media channels takes valuable time out of your day

It’s not uncommon for professionals to wear multiple hats in an organization or take on responsibilities outside of their job title – including social media.

We often hear from our clients that although they’d love to create quality content, research third-party resources and share this knowledge on their social media channels, they just don’t have the time. Other daily tasks take priority, and social brand presence falls on the back burner.

At Aztek, we work with our clients to establish a content calendar and maintain an appropriate post cadence. Based on our experience, social media maintenance can average anywhere from 2-10 hours a week at minimum – several hours of valuable time you could spend on other tasks. By outsourcing this time to an agency, the weight and responsibility is lifted off your shoulders and productivity can be applied elsewhere.

Note: Although outsourcing your social media management will assure your channels are maintained, your company should work alongside an agency to handle all “replies” and company “insider” posts. At the end of the day, you will always understand your business best.

2. Content strategies play a role into your success

Although writing content is half the battle, you should put some strategic thought into your posts and how this prompts your audience to engage. With the time provided to an agency, they can not only craft the content, but ensure a strategy is created to encompass pieces such as:

  • A consistent brand voice
  • Goals and KPI's to strive for
  • Calls-to-action from your audience (ex. Website links or PDF downloads)
  • Scheduled posts at times likely for engagement
  • Third-party content research
  • Thought leadership

A social media strategy Aztek has adapted for our clients is the 4-1-1 approach. For every six pieces of content published, four posts cover general soft content about the company (such as blog posts or employee highlights), one post showcases a third-party resource and one post focuses directly on calling your audience to contact your organization.

An agency will be able to build an approach customized for you, and your content calendar will reflect a range of planned topics.

3. Agencies have the expertise

Another common trend among our clients is not only lacking time to manage their social channels, but the knowledge of which platforms to actually spend time on and how to best utilize them.

An agency will not only have the experience of working with social media, but an entire team of resources behind them to keep your company up-to-date with current social trends, new platforms and behaviors to better utilize your channels.

Agencies will also be equipped with social media management tools to ensure your content calendar and analytics are intact. Here at Aztek, we often work with tools such as Hootsuite to schedule out an upcoming month’s social posts, or MeetEdgar to recycle ever-green content.

4. You need to prove ROI

Ultimately, you want social media activity to help drive engagement, conversions and revenue. Although it's important to see a consistent post cadence on your social channels for branding purposes, it's even more important to see how those efforts are paying off.

An agency can help your team utilize tools such as Google Analytics, and spend time interpreting the data for you. Monthly analytics reports provide valuable insights into your audiences behavior and based on the data, an agency will be able to make recommendations for a strategic content plan moving forward that helps drive ROI.

Your organization’s presence on social media is an essential part to your overall digital marketing strategy. If you’ve considered outsourcing your social media management, contact us for more information on how Aztek can help.