Many businesses who are just entering the world of social media believe that social media is a free form of advertising, and that a post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram will be seen by all their followers. Unfortunately this is not the case. What many businesses are doing is simply slapping up a marketing message (possibly from an existing print campaign) on their social media channels hopping to get their message across and foster engagement. Social media messaging should be very different from traditional print advertising or even digital banners. When posting something on any social media channel it has to be eye-catching and engaging, something that stands out from all the other posts that it’s competing with. When advertising on Facebook your image can’t have more than 20% copy, this is because Facebook doesn’t want their platform to look like a cluttered marketing channel.
A common myth that I have encountered frequently is that social media marketing is free. Yes, organically you can post a message on your feed for free but the chances of it receiving the number of impressions you are looking for is unlikely. Facebook’s algorithm is changing all the time and now posts hit less than 3% of your audience. Twitter claims not to have an algorithm, however, due to the frequency in Tweets a post on Twitter will only be seen by a fraction of your followers as well. But what’s unique about social media advertising is the targeting. Social media allows for brands to target their messages at users interests & demographics. You can even use an existing mailing list where you have gathered stats and information and target people that way, through Facebook Custom Audiences and Twitter Tailored Audiences.
Social media advertising is growing which also means companies mobile teams are growing too. People are now consuming content more than ever through their mobile device. According to Salesforce, 84% of companies plan to maintain or increase their digital spend this year and 70% of marketers plan on increasing their social spend this year. Here are some other highlights from Salesforce’s “State of Marketing Report”:
- 71 percent said mobile marketing is core to their business.
- 68 percent have integrated mobile into their larger marketing strategy.
- 58 percent have a dedicated mobile team.
- 73 percent think email is core to their business.
- 66 percent believe social media is core to their business.
- 66 percent have a dedicated social media team.
- 56 percent said their corporate websites are their most effective digital technologies.
One organization that had a successful social media campaign was Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes-Benz is a German automobile manufacturer, a multinational division of the German manufacturer Daimler AG. The brand is used for luxury automobiles, buses, coaches, and trucks.
Like their cars, Mercedes-Benz is no stranger to luxury or forward-thinking when it comes to their marketing campaigns. That is why when the time came to launch their new GLA compact SUV, Mercedes-Benz decided to leverage Facebook and Instagram together to tell their story to a targeted audience.
With the GLA, Mercedes-Benz was entering the compact SUV segment for the first time, so prior to it’s release Mercedes started developing its creative by looking at popular themes on Instagram to see how they could participate in the conversation in a relevant way.
They saw that on Instagram a theme called #ThingsOrganizedNeatly, where people posted photographs of all kinds of items, flowers, books etc. that were organized neatly. Mercedes decided to use a custom mat in the shape of the GLA cargo area as a canvas for creativity. They partnered with photographers to create a new theme, #GLAPacked, and asked the question, “What would you pack in your GLA?” The photographic results were stunning and engaging. In order to captivate a younger demographic, in hopes to convert them to Mercedes and also drive traffic to the GLA website, Mercedes-Benz leveraged Facebook ads that highlighted the GLA’s progressive design and eye-catching interior which had a link that went to their webpage so people could explore the vehicle further. Mercedes used consistent messaging on both Instagram and Facebook highlighting visual inspiration on Instagram and using Facebook to drive action.
Mercedes-Benz saw a 54% increase in website visits by serving branding ads to the same people across Instagram and Facebook. They also saw a 580% increase in website visits when Instagram and Facebook branding ads were paired with Facebook direct response ads. By using the two platforms to complement each other, Mercedes-Benz effectively moved people from awareness to action and sparked further discovery among their target audience.
This year Mercedes-Benz launched a new campaign which allowed for users to build their own GLA on Instagram! Check out the video below.
Lessons for others:
Social media isn’t a marketing tool that should become an after thought when building your campaign. Campaigns need to be created with social media in mind at the beginning. Social media has the power through paid and organic messaging, across all platforms, to help your marketing campaign reach it’s objectives and even surpass your expectations if done right. With Facebook and Twitter’s unique targeting, marketing on social media allows for a business to target people all the way down to what TV shows they’re watching, sports they are interested in, even the grocery stores they shop in. It’s important for brands to remember to utilize more than one social channel when creating a campaign. As you saw with Mercedes-Benz, this allows for more exposure for the campaign and allows for you to reach different audiences and utilize the channels in a way that it appropriate for the campaign.
To learn more about how to build a successful social media marketing campaign, check out the podcast here: How to Build a Successful Social Media Marketing Campaign
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If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Programme Director, Social Media for Business Performance.