How to: Facebook advertising on a budget

This blog post is part of our Lessons from SMSS15 series. Legendary Social Media is taking part in Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Success Summit 2015, which is the world’s largest online social media marketing conference. This blog series covers the points and ideas we’ve taken from the course that we’ve deemed to be eye-opening and highly useful for other marketers and for small- and medium-sized businesses. To discuss any of the ideas in these blogs or other ideas about social marketing, please don’t hesitate to contact us here.

For most businesses, Facebook advertising can be hugely successful for brand awareness, lead generation and even sales. But many (most) businesses have a tight advertising budget. With so many types of Facebook advertising options available, where should you focus your limited budget?

Just a few types of Facebook ads include:

  • Website clicks
  • Website conversions
  • Page likes
  • Use your app
  • Watch your video
  • Email optin

In SMSS15, Facebook advertising expert Andrea Vahl recommends using Facebook as a “warmer” for your customers or clients. Facebook isn’t ideal for leading to sales, however it’s great for building your email list and just getting your brand recognized so the sales can come later.

Here’s where Vahl says your Facebook advertising spend should go:

  • Email optins: 70%
  • Building page likes and post engagement: 20-30%
  • Sales: 10% max

First, though, Legendary Social Media, like Vahl, recommends you create a pixel so you can focus your ads on customers who are most likely to buy from you. Here’s how to do it.

Go to the Facebook Ads Manager.

  1. Click Tools.
  2. Click Pixels.
  3. Create a pixel by following the instructions, and install your pixel in the <head> section of your website. This will track people who came from Facebook to your website and will allow you to group these people into a Custom Audience, so you can send ads to them specifically in the near future.
  4. Next, test your demographics. Contrary to many experts’ advice, Vahl recommends testing your audience first and your ads second. I tend to agree with her methodology!
  5. Create one ad that you believe will be effective for your target audience. Now, go to the Facebook Ads Manager. Create a campaign based on your objective (from the Facebook ad types above). Now, create three highly targeted audiences at the Ad Set level.
  6. If your target audience is women aged 35-55 in Vancouver, base all your audiences with that demographic. But split the audience into three using interests and other variables. Save each audience separately at the ad set level.
  7. Now add the ad you created to each audience, using the same text, visuals and links for each, and run each ad set for three days with identical budgets.
  8. After three days, go back and check which audience responded best to your ad, by checking which resulted in the lowest cost per click/conversion/optin. Use this audience as you create multiple ads to maximize the effectiveness of your campaign for your budget.

Struggling with Facebook ads? If your cost per click is over $1.50, you could probably use some help. Contact us today so we can help you create more effective campaigns with Facebook advertising, Twitter ads, Google Adwords and more!

What are LinkedIn Company Pages and how can you use them to get noticed?

This blog post is part of our Lessons from SMSS15 series. Legendary Social Media is taking part in Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Success Summit 2015, which is the world’s largest online social media marketing conference. This blog series covers the points and ideas we’ve taken from the course that we’ve deemed to be eye-opening and highly useful for other marketers and for small- and medium-sized businesses. To discuss any of the ideas in these blogs or other ideas about social marketing, please don’t hesitate to contact us here.

Awareness of LinkedIn as a tool for B2B marketing is growing, but the social media platform is still underutilized. In our last blog, we explained how to get noticed by your target audience on LinkedIn if you’re a B2B business, but today we’re going over another aspect of LinkedIn that also acts as a B2B marketing tool: Company Pages.

How to make a LinkedIn Company Page
  • Sign in to your LinkedIn profile. Move your cursor to where it says Interests near the top, then click Companies.
  • On the right, it says Create a Company Page. Click the yellow Create button.
  • Enter your email and check the box that says you’re an official representative of the company you’re listing, then check your inbox for the confirmation email to arrive.
  • You’ll be prompted to log back in to LinkedIn, and you’ll be taken to the page to create a Company Page.
What to do with your LinkedIn Company Pages

Once you’ve created your page, the next screen that pops up shows a link to Company Page Best Practices, and also gives you a tour of how to manage your page. Here are best practices as per the LinkedIn master, Viveka von Rosen:

  • Use the header image space to promote specials, deals and areas of expertise (you can create great headers with Canva)
  • Address your reader in the first few words of your company description by identifying their pain points and letting the reader know how you can help them.
  • The “specialties” section is ideal real estate for keywords (words people would search to find your company)
  • Don’t put “self-employed” as your type of business, even if you are. Prefer privately held or some other option.
  • Include a call to action in your company description. Encourage people to follow your LinkedIn page, or connect with you on other social media.
  • Post updates every day, or every few days, depending what works for your audience.
  • You can target these posts to specific people and groups you’re part of. The more focused the post is to the audience you send it to, the better engagement you’ll get.
  • You can pay to advertise your company posts to a specific audience, but simply targeting the audience you want to see the post might get you better results.
  • The post types that work best are:
    • Best ofs
    • Influencer posts (von Rosen’s advice is to interview an influencer, publish a post about the interview and tag that influencer in the post. If this happens to you, I’ll give you a hero cookie.)
    • Visual or video posts
    • Posts from your personal profile on LinkedIn that have your Company Page tagged.

Thinking of marketing your B2B business on LinkedIn, but not sure how to get started? Contact us for a free consultation on how to get noticed on LinkedIn today!

14 insanely easy Instagram marketing tips you should do now!

This blog post is part of our Lessons from SMSS15 series. Legendary Social Media is taking part in Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Success Summit, which is the world’s largest online social media marketing conference. This blog series covers the points and ideas we’ve taken from the course that we’ve deemed to be eye-opening and highly useful for other marketers and for small- and medium-sized businesses. To discuss any of the ideas in these blogs or other ideas about social marketing, please don’t hesitate to contact us here.

For those of us who have been using Instagram for a long time, the app is clearly well-loved and well-used (we find it sometimes replaces Facebook!). But for marketers, Instagram remains one of the least understood marketing tools available.

Some businesses have truly nailed Instagram marketing while others are just starting to figure it out. During her presentation at SMSS15, Insta expert Sue B. Zimmerman gave a multitude of amazing tips to help marketers and businesses understand how Instagram marketing works and master it for their own business.

Here’s a little caveat from us at Legendary Social Media, though: Instagram is not the ideal marketing tool for every business. Being that it’s a photo-sharing tool, businesses that don’t have a ton of visually appealing content to post may not see a ton of response on Instagram. That said, some businesses you wouldn’t expect to do well have blown away experts and used creativity to make Instagram a great platform for communicating with their customers and clients.

If you’re thinking of using Instagram for marketing your business, here are 14 super easy tips to follow to get the best engagement, the most leads and get major brand recognition.

  1. Take your photos using interesting/unusual angles. They’ll draw more attention.
  2. Use the description space provided to put out “microblogs.”
  3. Use emojis in your description!
  4. Answer every comment and question under each photo.
  5. Get super specific with your accounts. If you’re a bar-restaurant, try having one account for drinks and another for food.
  6. Post daily, but run some tests to see if posting four times daily, or just three times a week works better with your audience.
  7. Use the geo-tag!
  8. Use hashtags. Up to 30 are allowed. Save them in a Note on your phone so you can copy and paste them in.
  9. Put hashtags in the description, not in a comment.
  10. Check what your competitors, or similar Instagrammers are using for their hashtags. Which are working and which fall flat?
  11. Collaborate with others and tag them in your photos.
  12. In posts with calls to action (sign up, etc.), have someone using a phone or tablet in the photo. It can help the user connect better with the intent of the photo
  13. Use Instagram’s video capabilites as a teaser to promote your YouTube video or channel. Include a link!
  14. Be mobile friendly. Always.

LinkedIn marketing tips: What to post to get noticed and get engagement

This blog post is part of our Lessons from SMSS15 series. Legendary Social Media is taking part in Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Success Summit, which is the world’s largest online social media marketing conference. This blog series covers the points and ideas we’ve taken from the course that we’ve deemed to be eye-opening and highly useful for other marketers and for small- and medium-sized businesses. To discuss any of the ideas in these blogs or other ideas about social marketing, please don’t hesitate to contact us here.

Marketing on LinkedIn is either an art or a science, or maybe both. As a marketing tool, LinkedIn works well for B2B companies, but not for B2C. And as we learned in our last blog post, based on the swath of useful information from LinkedIn experts Melonie Dodaro and Stephanie Sammons during SMSS15, the way to get noticed by other businesses is to produce original, engaging, helpful content that solves their specific problems.

Today, we delve deeper into LinkedIn marketing to talk more in detail about how to produce that content: What it should include and what exactly to write about.

What to write about

  1. Universally helpful business-type themes, such as professional development, career moves, leadership and marketing.
  2. Trends related to your own business’ niche.
  3. Trends in your target clients’ industry or industries.
  4. Personal insights and lessons learned. This is where your storytelling skills should come in!
  5. News that affects your target audience, with personal and professional insights and analyses.
  6. Posts that rehash, with your own insights and analyses added in, articles coming from LinkedIn influencers.
  7. Story or post ideas that come from LinkedIn influencers.
  8. Story or post ideas from LinkedIn Pulse. (We definitely recommend checking out that pulse page! It’s full of great suggestions of who and what to watch on LinkedIn.)

What to include in your posts

  1. A primary image, ideally one you created on your own (try Canva).
  2. Subheads for easier scanning and readability.
  3. Tags (this is a new feature; LinkedIn allows you to add up to three pre-set tags to a post).
  4. A call-to-action, such as a clickable image at the end, a link to your website or download page, or an invitation to call or connect.
  5. An amazing headline that your readers can’t help but click.

Extra tips for publishing posts on LinkedIn

  1. Share your posts a few times over a few weeks, and share them to specific connections who might be interested.
  2. Repurpose your website’s blog articles as LinkedIn posts, but don’t publish them on LinkedIn until a week or so after it was first published, as LinkedIn posts tend to gain traction quicker and can take away from your website’s traffic driven by the post’s headline.

Need help with producing tons of useful, topical and researched content for your target audience? Legendary Social Media in Vancouver has roots in journalism, which means we’re great at research and writing. And our social media savvy can help you manage your LinkedIn account to get you noticed. Interested? Send us an email.

Stuck on how to market your B2B business? Here are 4 essential ways to make it happen

This blog post is part of our Lessons from SMSS15 series. Legendary Social Media is taking part in Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Success Summit, which is the world’s largest online social media marketing conference. This blog series covers the points and ideas we’ve taken from the course that we’ve deemed to be eye-opening and highly useful for other marketers and for small- and medium-sized businesses. To discuss any of the ideas in these blogs or other ideas about social marketing, please don’t hesitate to contact us here.

B2B marketing is a massive challenge. You, like Legendary Social Media, need to get your business in the face of other businesses – but how to do that? B2C marketing techniques like Facebook and Twitter aren’t as effective, anecdotally speaking, so what’s the answer?

According to most experts, the answer is LinkedIn. It’s something we at Legendary Social Media are still struggling with (not because it’s difficult, but LinkedIn can be so boring that spending time on it is like watching paint dry) Find Out More.

However, the facts don’t lie. And those facts show that LinkedIn is, in fact, the most effective B2B marketing tool out there right now.

How should you use LinkedIn to market to other businesses? It all starts with producing original, useful, high-quality content on topics that your target audience would find interesting, according to the two LinkedIn gurus who presented their findings during SMSS15, Melonie Dodaro and Stephanie Sammons.

Here are 4 tips to help you do just that.

  1. If you’re marketing to oil and gas, for example, produce and share articles that oil and gas companies would be interested in, and speak their language by using terms specific to that industry.
  2. Create downloadable guides for that industry and write posts that direct people to download your guide. Make sure your content is well-branded so they know who produced it!
  3. Learn your audience’s specific problems, and come up with ways to solve them. This one is critical. Do some research by joining LinkedIn groups that your audience is part of and search for the questions and discussions happening there. Once you’ve identified your audience’s pain points, formulate solutions and produce content targeted to solving those problems.
  4. Speaking of LinkedIn groups, joining groups where your target audience is active is a great way to get noticed. Respond to questions and stay active in discussions. Be helpful. You’ll not only show your audience that you’re an expert, but you may even be top of mind should a business need your services in the near future.

Need help with producing tons of useful, topical and researched content for your target audience? Legendary Social Media in Vancouver has roots in journalism, which means we’re great at research and writing. And our social media savvy can help you manage your LinkedIn account to get you noticed. Interested? Send us an email.

Tips for creating awesome visual content

This blog post is part of our Lessons from SMSS15 series. Legendary Social Media is taking part in Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Success Summit, which is the world’s largest online social media marketing conference. This blog series covers the points and ideas we’ve taken from the course that we’ve deemed to be eye-opening and highly useful for other marketers and for small- and medium-sized businesses. To discuss any of the ideas in these blogs or other ideas about social marketing, please don’t hesitate to contact us here.

Whether you’re a marketing professional, a small business or just looking to have fun with some of the cool new tools out there on the interweb, one thing to keep in mind is that visuals absolutely rule the world. People process images faster than text or audio, so having strong images can work miracles for whatever it is you’re creating, be it ads, infographics, blog post images, Facebook posts or even book covers. During yesterday’s Social Media Success Summit 2015, presenters Donna Moritz and Rebekah Radice gave some handy tips on how to create awesome visuals – with major impact – easily.

First, the tools. Here are Moritz’s picks for the coolest new visual content creation apps that you probably want to play with. I know I do.

(These are in my order of love/want to test out, from most to least)

Canva. Can’t live without it. Canva turns averages Joes like myself into wannabe graphic designers and the stuff I’ve churned out since I started using Canva even impresses my own picky self. Canva lets you combine images, text and shapes into graphics. And those graphics come with pre-sized templates so they’ll fit properly into whatever platform you’re using them for, like Facebook ads (beware – there’s no template for Page Like ads), infographics, Facebook cover photos and more.

Videolicious. Apparently makes it easy to whip up mobile video, which goes nicely with Amy Porterfield’s talk on video ads from the previous day. Definitely a must-try.

Hyperlapse. An Instagram app that puts video into fast forward. Perfect for tours, behind-the-scenes videos and events.

Piktochat. Makes it easy to create infographics.

Wordswag. Adds funky/trendy text on top of images, especially for Instagram.

Blab/Periscope/Meerkat. Is this the future of social media? Probably. Each of these is a live-streaming video app. I’m one of the ones who’s terrified of the live-streaming trend, but also interested it give it a whirl.

Legend. An app for turning video into GIFs.

Relay. Like Canva, but less customizable, which is great if you’re not super keen on creating visuals from scratch. It supplies the template, you plug in the images and text. Bam.

Stop Motion Studio. Just in case you feel like creating some claymation (or any kind of stop motion video).

Now, when it comes to the content within your visuals, it’s crucial that you consider the purpose of what you’re creating, before you create it. According to Radice, your visuals should very clearly solve your customers’ or clients’ pain point or problem. It should show them quickly that you know what they want, and you’re offering a way to solve that. That’s what the “purpose” is all about.

Use fonts that are easy to read.

And most importantly, be consistent. Keep the feel of your visuals consistent, not only with each other, but with your brand. Be consistent with the colours you use, and the fonts.

And finally, each piece of visual content you create should go beyond the purpose of the post it’s destined for. Instead, content that’s highly sharable should have a longer-term purpose. It should grab attention, be useful and fit in with your brand’s goals.

The 6 keys to transforming social content into economic value

This blog post is part of our Lessons from SMSS15 series. Legendary Social Media is taking part in Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Success Summit, which is the world’s largest online social media marketing conference. This blog series covers the points and ideas we’ve taken from the course that we’ve deemed to be eye-opening and highly useful for other marketers and for small- and medium-sized businesses. To discuss any of the ideas in these blogs or other ideas about social marketing, please don’t hesitate to contact us here.

In a world where everyone says that “content is king,” why doesn’t content move like we expect it to? We’re all told that if we put out valuable content, it’ll transform into page views and social shares, adding to our brand’s authority. The problem is, that doesn’t really happen too often anymore, and the reason is that competition is high in the content game.

Imagine, every brand and individual who’s pushing to make a name for themselves online is putting out content as fast as they can manage. The result is a flood of content online and on social platforms. As part of the Social Media Success Summit 2015, content guru Mark Schaefer gave six key tips for not just getting your content noticed, but getting it shared.

And as we know, shares are really king, because shares mean trust. We’ll get to that later in this article.

The 6 keys to transforming social content into economic value are:

  1. Brand development. Showing people that your brand is run by real people who actually care about their customers/clients/followers. This one’s about creating and maintaining an emotional connection with people.
  2. Audience and influencers. A very small percentage of your customers/clients/followers actually engage in and share/retweet/repost the content that you put out there. Somewhere around 0.5% and 2% of them. These people are your golden geese.
  3. SEO. It’s not as important as you would think anymore, in part because of the competition factor, but also because highly sharable content can go viral even if your site’s SEO is seriously lacking. That said, sites with lots of authority with Google will always beat out sites with poor SEO in Google searches.
  4. Authority. Similar to the previous point, your site’s “relationship” with Google will affect your content’s search ranking. If your site’s SEO is lacking, it’s easier to get noticed by publishing on LinkedIn.
  5. Social proof and social signals. This is a big one. Tons of shares represent tons of people who trust your brand and lends credibility to your content. Winning!
  6. Sharability. There are several elements to this one, all of which have the goal of making sharing your content really EASY:
  7. have share buttons on your website for one-click sharing
  • write awesome, attention-grabbing headlines
  • articles should be more than 1,000 words – people like value, and Google likes it when people spend more time on your site
  • be first out the gate with new ideas and research, so that people who share will feel that they too are helping to spread to word about revolutionary concepts

On another note, Schaefer made a great point about the future of online marketing. This upcoming generation of Millennials doesn’t trust advertising; they trust reviews, which is what will REALLY impact their buying and behaviour decisions. Therefore, building trust by being transparent AND trustworthy will become key to any brand’s success over the coming years.

Need help building trust with your customers? Legendary Social Media isn’t your typical social media management agency in Vancouver – we do social the way it was meant to be done. Curious? Send us an email.