Navigating Native Social Advertising

The Twitter Feed and Facebook News Feed are some of the best forums for any brand to deliver its message. They are also the most competitive. As organic content and social ads become increasingly integrated, brands need to know how to rise above platform edge rank scores and a surplus of content to reach users with the right message, at the right time.

To ensure content is widely seen by fans/followers — and their friends — brands should aim to stand out in the crowd by taking two essential steps: increase organic engagement on posts and tweets and invest strategically in promoted posts and tweets.  

Coordinating these two strategies is the only way to break through platform noise to achieve prominent positioning and a longer lifespan in the feed. For both tactics, start by understanding what content resonates organically with a brand’s audience.

Engagement on a post or tweet is one sure way to launch content to the top of the user feed, giving it extended reach and earned viral impressions. To create posts and tweets that achieve high response rates, marketers are encouraged to follow best practices:

  1. Call to action  (CTA) – They encourage engagement., specifically in the beginning of the post or tweet.
  2. CTAs that outperform – For Facebook, posts asking users to comment realized a lift in engagement by three times – significantly higher than calling for likes or shares.  On Twitter, using the word retweet and reply within tweet copy boosts retweet rates by 43 times and reply rates by eight times.
  3. Use photos – Use a photo in your Facebook post to catch the eye of your target users – animal images often work best .(There’s a reason why cute cat photos have taken over the Web.) On Twitter, include a photo to arouse curiosity and encourage clicks.  
  4. Post after hours – Post after 7 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday when users are most active, and there is less social noise and competition.
  5. Keep it short – A given for Twitter, this role of thumb was also proven to be true in our Facebook campaigns.  Posts using five to 10 words scored the highest levels of engagement.

It is also important to drill down and find the engagement strategy that works best for your specific brand.  Some strategies to do include testing various page posts/tweets to monitor and measure performance and trends. By tracking which aspects of a post/tweet are successful, marketers can better inform future posting strategy.

Through a strong content and posting strategy, brands will perform above engagement averages and ensure their content is seen by a greater number of users.

Tactical Sponsorship for 5X Organic Reach

Even the most engaging posts or tweets will eventually drop off of the feed. However, a high-performing post or tweet is an engagement gift that can keep giving. Marketers should consider boosting it through a targeted media buy. A promoted post/tweet has benefits beyond the direct impressions it buys; it acts as a viral accelerant.

Promoted content increases organic distribution to fans/followers and their friends, giving the post a longer life cycle in a feed. Sponsoring posts or tweets is the most efficient way to stretch your media dollars to drive the greatest reach engagement for the least spend.  

In our client campaigns, for brands with page sizes ranging between 500 thousand and 5 million Fans, we found that by putting $1,000-$3,000 of ad spend on the right page post, the organic distribution of the post increased by five times, and and going viral increased by 40%.

Identifying the Right Posts or Tweets Makes all the Difference

While paid media alone can result in a dramatic lift in earned media, it is important for marketers to track which posts/ tweets receive high response rates organically before promoting. Once organic engagement is maximized on a post or tweet, it is recommended that the best organic posts/tweets are promoted to maximize ROI.

By understanding how to maximize engagement on posts and tweets, when to promote them and how the two tactics work together, marketers will have the edge when it comes to maximizing the value from social content.  Social, unlike other marketing mediums, need to be considered in a holistic paid, earned and owned strategy so brands to get value out of their social audiences.




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