Building an audience on social media is a great way to grow your credibility (do you take anyone seriously that has little to know following on social media?) while opening up channels beyond email for your target audience to receive important updates. Many organizations do not invest enough time in building online communities because traditional content marketing and earned media is generally a slow grind to build a robust following.
For those of you frustrated with a slow community building process we have good news. There are affordable paid media options to help you supercharge your online community growth. In this post we will focus on two platforms with huge audiences that provide simple ad units to boost your following: Facebook and Twitter.
In the Meta platform you will want to select Page Like Ads. These ad units largely look the same as any other ad unit that shows up within your feed, but what makes it unique is the “thumbs up” image appears making it easy for someone to like your Facebook page.
On Twitter you will want to select “Followers” from the campaign objectives menu in the ads setup. Just like Facebook, these ads look like any other ad in the platform, but they have a “follow” button that makes it easy for users to follow your content.
What kind of content should you use for an effective paid like/follow ad? Remember you are playing the long game with these ads. Your objective is to build a community of long term advocates, customers, etc. The most effective ads are short and to the point. Let people know why they should care to follow you.
For example, with brands, instead of focusing on your products, focus on your mission and/or brand identity. In the example from Neutral above, they are a carbon neutral dairy company, but their mission is to provide customers with carbon neutral milk that tastes good and is also good for the environment. Our paid like/follow campaign focused on the latter and was very successful in building community, quickly.
When considering how to target here are some suggestions:
- CRM Upload: Uploading your email list can accomplish two things. First, you can negative target them. This means you tell the platform you do not want to target them with ads. This tactic will allow you to save money by not targeting people you can already reach while focusing solely on adding net new followers. Second, you can create a lookalike audience of people who are similar to those that already follow you via email. This is a great place to start.
- Interest Targeting: Meta is very good at understanding their users interests based upon their in-platform browsing behavior. What is your target audience interested in? Meta will likely have an interest-based audience for you to target.
- Handle Targeting: On Twitter you have the option to target people based upon who they follow. Do you know that your audience will likely follow a certain brand, influencer, organization, etc? Add them to your targeting list.
- Geotargeting: If your organization is localized it is vital to zero in on the area(s) you serve. This will help narrow down your target audience and achieve maximum efficiency.