In a recent experiment I created ad campaigns on 3 of the most ad-friendly social media outlets, and spent a small amount of money promoted the same piece of content for around 5 days. My motives were simply to give this little piece of content (my Design-Dev Manifesto) a bit more visibility in the web design community in Minneapolis, and increase people’s awareness of my personal brand in the community, or the tribe of web designers in the Twin Cities, and to drive a bit of well-targeted traffic to my website.
By targeting anyone who is a Designer/Developer in Minneapolis I served up this content to people who would be interested in it.
It’s pretty clear that you might as well push content towards the people that it’s most relevant to, and Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn all give you ways to pin-point your demographic. Nothing quite says “I’m thinking about you” than by targeting individuals on social networks with content that is written with the express intent to serve them, and start a discussion with them.
I thought the results would reflect strongly that the social media efforts I have already spent alot of time on would be the one’s that were amplified.
I spend alot of time on Twitter, and try to connect with as many people on there as possible. I try to engage with people on there more than I do, particularly for my trade of web design, for any other social media outlet followed by LinkedIn, and in a far third, Facebook. Before looking at the results of this test, spending equal amounts of money advertising on all three of these social networks I would guess my money would go the farthest on Twitter, then LinkedIn and then Facebook.
Keep in mind this is a small test, and pinpointing demographics is easier on Twitter say, because of it’s ability to simply target the followers of Design Agency’s in the area. So because they are digital marketing agencies in my area, I chose to serve my content to people who worked at Space 150, Rocket 55, Olson, The Nerdery, Clockwork, Westwerk, Colle + McVoy, Periscope, and others.
Twitter ads: B+
Twitter Total Spent: $30.00
Engagement Rate: 2.89%
Cost Per Engagement: $0.27
Where-as choosing the demographics to show the ad to on Facebook is more about industries rather than particular companies. You can choose by company, but it most of the companies you can choose from are the very large ones, and not the small-to-mid size digital marketing agencies in Minneapolis I was looking to serve my content to.
Facebook ads: C-
Facebook Total Spent: $30.00
Engagement Rate: 1.39%
Cost Per Engagement: $1.20
Should I try and defend Facebook’s lack of productivity for engagement? Or is it just a real signal for a dying breed of advertisements on this site that is increasingly competitive and generally highly lackluster for brands. (Why brands are leaving facebook)
LinkedIn apparently wouldn’t let me spend money at the rate I wanted to. The ad is still running, is making a lot of impressions, but isn’t engaging the audience, even though it’s the same content as the other two social networks.
LinkedIn Ads: D
LinkedIn Total Spent: $8.02
Engagement Rate: .038%
Cost Per Engagement: $4.01
So for reaching audiences on LinkedIn, I think the best bet is still just to connect with people in your industry, and to potentially publish articles on the LinkedIn platform itself. As you can target people from particular companies I do think this would be effective if you have an ad that you really want to reach and affect people that belong to select organizations.
I like to think that regardless of whether people clicked on my Ad that these ads can be leveraged to spread brand awareness on Social Media. If someone sees your ad on LinkedIn, you follow them on Twitter, and a promoted article pops up for them on Facebook, you’ve likely crossed their awareness threshold. When putting together a social media advertising strategy it’s important to have some clear goals. This particular time my goals were to understand Social Ads better, to increase people in my city and industries awareness of my personal brand, and to increase traffic to my website from people that my content would be valuable for. Even with a small budget, I consider this little campaign to have been a success.
Have any thoughts? Share in the comments or Tweet at me at @timbdesignmpls