16 Nov 2015 By Iris Shoor

53 killer tips to boost your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn ads

Mastering Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn ads can be the key to bringing a massive amount of new leads at low costs. While Google Adwords focus is search driven traffic, advertising on social networks opens a new world of opportunities – new audiences, new ways to reach prospects and amazing segmentation options. The goal of this guide is providing easy to implement hacks which can help you reduce your current advertising costs by 80%.

General

Starting with some basics before diving into more advanced tips:

1. Don’t compete against yourself, make sure not to run campaigns for the same audience at the same time

Basic but not trivial at all. When you run multiple campaigns in parallel that target the same audience you’re actually competing against yourself, causing the bid to be higher. You obviously don’t want to run only one campaign at a time as the best way to improve your campaigns is to have as many tests as possible. If you have different audiences (remarketing, lookalikes, audience by interests) run every set of campaigns with a different audience. If that’s not the case or you want to run more tests at the same time try cutting your audiences in a way they won’t compete with each other – for example, a different campaign for each country, different age groups, male/ female. If not competing with yourself isn’t enough to convince you, by testing out different audiences at the same time you can gain faster insights on which audiences respond better to your campaign.

2. Change ads every few daysScreen Shot 2015-11-16 at 2.58.53 PM

The users you’re targeting are likely to view your ads dozens of times. You want to avoid “banner blindness” which happens after seeing the same ad over and over again. Facebook and Twitter advice to change the ad’s image and copy every 3-4 days. It doesn’t mean you can’t use the same image a few times – run each ad 3-4 days and after a cycle of few ads go back to the first one and start the cycle all over again. Your Audience is likely to forget ads from a few weeks back. Best practice to creating an ad set – try preparing around 5 different images in advanced. I like using images with very different styles to make sure my audience don’t get used to it. The second reason I like using diverse image styles is to test which one works best. Different images I’d test:

  • With/ without the product
  • With people
  • Very minimalist image
  • Funny image, “feed like image” (any picture which looks like one of your friends might have posted it)
  • News related image
  • Very dramatic image.

3. oCPM is not always the best choiceScreen Shot 2015-11-16 at 2.59.37 PM

oCPM (Optimized Cost Per Mille) is Facebook’s most recommended and popular bidding option. In most cases, it works very well and brings better results than CPC or other bidding types. However, when targeting smaller audiences, for example, B2B or working with lots of small segments, oCPM results are not optimal. If your audience is smaller than 250,000, oCPM is probably not the best option. If you know exactly how many clicks you need in order to reach a conversion it might be better for you to choose a maximum CPC bid, that way you can calculate your exact expenses for each conversion and measure ROI faster.

4. Decide whether to continue an existing campaign or start a new one based on your score

Campaigns are dynamic and you can change their setting every day or even every few hours. The best practice is probably to start a new campaign every time you want to change parameter so it’ll be easier to compare different campaign results in the future. But, creating dozens or hundreds of different campaigns is time costly. One important thing you should take into consideration is how your campaign scores. A common scenario is – you have a campaign which doesn’t perform well and therefore you tweak it a bit. The problem is its score is already low – your starting position is worse than a fresh campaign and you’re probably paying more for each click. It can also work the other way around, if you tweak campaigns with a high score, you’re likely to get more impressions for lower bids.

5. Always use manual bids

If you’re not using oCPM choose manual bids. Automatic bids will always be more expensive than using manual bids though this might seem counter-intuitive.

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 3.00.25 PM6. Give any new feature a second chance

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn ad feature set and algorithms change every couple of weeks. In many cases, when a new capability is released it’s not mature yet and doesn’t work very well. Many times a certain capability that didn’t perform well will work much better after a few months. Try coming back to old campaigns every once in a while and give them a second chance. For example, about a year ago, using ‘interests’ on Facebook to defining an audience didn’t bring the right leads. A year later, I was able to define better segments using interests and get good leads.

7. Create separate campaigns for desktop/ mobile

A must. Unless you’re choosing just one platform always create 2 campaigns, one for desktop and a second one for mobile. Here are a few of the main reasons: a). The same campaign will probably perform completely different on each platform. To optimize each campaign you need to split it. b). You want to direct each campaign to a different landing page. c). If your Facebook campaign goal is website clicks, not splitting the campaign will cause a problem. Mobile users tend to click much more but tend to convert less. Facebook will automatically show your ad mainly to mobile users as they click more, but even though the CTR will be higher the end result will be fewer conversions.

8. Create an alternative landing page for mobile users

As mentioned in the previous bullet – mobile users tend to click more but convert less. Most advertisers put lots of effort into adjusting the website and landing page to mobile. The main problem, however, is not to have your landing page look ‘good’ on mobile but rather to make it part of the user flow. A landing page for mobile usually works much better if it’s super simple, describes the product benefits in short and asks the visitors to fill out their email for more information. For example, I’ve been advertising a complex B2B product which can be installed only on desktop. I created a simple landing page for mobile users, asking them for their email in order to send them more details and installation information.  Rather than sending them to our website, we sent all the installation instructions by email, telling them to go over it when they’re at work.

 

Getting to the right audience

Most experts on social networks advertising will agree that getting to the right audience is key for a great campaign that results in high quality leads. The following tips will help you create accurate audiences and to overcome the obstacle of not having enough traffic in order to create a custom audience.

img31. Retarget by page/ post

(AKA remarket). Showing ads to users who’ve already visited your website or blog will almost always lead to better results than advertising to ‘cold’ audiences. This applies mainly to Facebook and Twitter ads, there are some retargeting options on LinkedIn but it’s still very limited. The secret sauce of nailing retargeting is not to treat all your visitors the same but to create different segments based on pages they’ve visited.

  • Create segments based on visitors engagement – users that have been to your website a few times and visited all the main pages are inherently different to a user that visited the homepage and left after a short while. While the short-term visitors probably need a reminder what the product is, the engaged visitors are more likely to respond to ads about new releases, discounts, and product news
  • Change your bid and ad according to visitors’ likelihood of buying – visitors who visited the pricing or the product pages, for example, are probably much closer to buying the product than a visitor that only visited the homepage. Create a segment of those users and use higher bids and/ or ads which relate to buying the product.
  • If you’re retargeting your blog visitors, using different segments based on content types can lead to amazing results. We created about 4-5 different content ‘buckets’ and decided which post matches which bucket best. We used different ads for each bucket, for example, visitors who read posts about Java, got an ad about a new tool for Java developers. Visitors who read posts about Scala (a different programming language) saw an ad for Scala developers. Using ‘mini’ segments within our blog visitors helped us to optimize our campaigns by 30%.

2. Create content in order to get the right audience to retarget

If you don’t have a custom audience, an interesting and advanced strategy is to create the right content in order to get to the audience. I’ll use an example to simplify it: let’s say that you’re launching a new service for vegans in Seattle and you don’t have traffic to your website yet.

Step 1: Embed a Facebook audience pixel on your website.

Step 2: Write a post on “Top 10 restaurants for vegans is Seattle”. Write a general post and not one about your product. You’re likely to get at least a few thousand visitors to the post.

Step 3: The next step will be using these visitors as the initial audience for retargeting. To get to a wider audience you can also use lookalikes. This technique usually works well when you’re launching a new feature or product for a very specific audience.

3. Retarget by traffic source

Another powerful technique for retargeting is creating segments by source. For example – if you know a certain visitor got to your website via Facebook ads, he has a different profile than a visitor that found you on Google or a visitor that visited your blog first. Each segment will work better with an ad set which was built for it, the bid might also change – pick the visitors’ source that results in the best conversions and places higher bids there. To create those segments use a different UTM for each funnel you’re tracking.

4. Retarget by conversion type

Until June 2015 users had to define a ‘Conversion pixel’ to help track users who converted (signed up, installed the product or any other activity which the advertiser defined as conversion). The new Facebook’s custom audience pixel supports much wider types of conversions which are tracked automatically, you can read more about it here. You can track the following actions:

  • View Content
  • Search
  • Add to Cart
  • Add to Wishlist
  • Start Checkout process
  • Add Payment Information
  • Complete Purchase
  • Lead
  • Complete registration

Visitors that started checkout for example, but didn’t complete the purchase are very valuable. Using retargeting with the right ads and bids can close the sale.

5. Exchange retargeting pixels with other websites

One of the common problems advertisers are facing is that they don’t have enough traffic for proper targeting. A great workaround is to exchange pixels with other companies/ websites that have a similar audience. Another advantage of Facebook’s new custom audience pixel is that it lets you share audiences with other advertisers easily. If you’re advertising on Twitter or still using the old Facebook pixel – you’ll need to ask the other website to embed a new pixel for your use. Tip: before exchanging pixels I recommend to test it first – advertise your product to the other website audience (from their account) and make sure you’re happy with the results. Sometimes small differences within the audiences can lead to poor results for your product.

6. Combine email lists from different companies to create enough volume for lookalikes

Another alternative for exchanging pixels is creating a meaningful email list by joining forces with other websites. Lookalikes is a very powerful tool which enables you to create a wide audience similar to yours. If you’re able to provide a list with over 10K emails of high quality leads from the same country, you can expect great results. If you don’t have enough emails, one solution can be combining a few lists from different websites owners.

7. The ‘work email’ challenge

As mentioned before, ‘Lookalike’ is an amazing way to reach a very targeted audience. ‘Lookalike’ is based on a list you of emails or phone numbers you provide. Facebook is trying to match the emails you provided with Facebook existing users. This methodology causes a huge pain for B2B companies as most users enter their work mail while they use their personal email for their FB account. My first advice is to be aware of the problem and take into account that even if you have 10K email addresses Facebook is likely to find only a few hundred matches. An interesting way to bypass this problem is to create a retargeting group, using the audience pixel, of users who converted by tracking sign up, installation or checking out on the website. You might even want to retarget based on product usage, for example – only users who actually used the product after signing up. The disadvantage of this method is you can track ‘the best’ users only for the last 180 days, also, since you segment by web pages you can’t make a deep analysis (like engaged users who also pay more than $200 a month). There are some tools which automatically match between a work email to a personal one, for example: Full contact (link).  Those tools will probably help you find some of the personal email addresses but not most of them.

img48. Opt out users who already signed up

You don’t want to spend the budget on users who’re already using your product. Another important aspect is not to ‘spam’ them with too many ads or show them ads which might affect their engagement (for example, discounts on a product they bought for a full price). Create a group of users who have converted and subtract them from all your audiences. You can use this group as an audience when you want to promote new features and products.

9. Job titles

Mainly for B2B – creating a detailed list of all job titles which describe your target audience can be a great asset. In order to move the needle, you’ll need to stop using wide terms and go after all the options, even if it mean you’ll have to come up with dozens or hundred of items. For example, instead of using “marketing”, “marketer”, “marketing manager” use a wide set of titles like “director of marketing”, “marketing team lead”, “VP marketing”. This list can be used on Facebook, Twitter and especially LinkedIn.

 

 

 

Creative – how to design an ad which will make people click?

Getting people to notice an ad through their busy feed is not an easy task. Since Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn ads appear in the context of a social feed, you’ll need to adjust your ads to this context. You’ll need to find the balance between being noticed and not being too commercial or intrusive. Here are some tips to creating the perfect ad.

1. Create mystery

You have very little space and text to explain what your product is and what is it good for. One approach which works well is to create enough interest and mystery to make the user will click to learn more. On one end of the ‘mystery’ spectrum is Buzzfeed like headers (“You won’t believe which vegetable you must stop eating now”), whether you like it or not, it works well. You don’t need to be too cheesy. For example, one ad title which worked very well for us was “4 out of 5 Java Developers Failed to Solve This Question”. Another aspect of mystery which works very well is creating images which imply some kind of secret which will be revealed after the click. Here’s an example to one of our top performing ad images:

mystery_fb_1200_1024

 


2. Use numbers

img5I’m not sure what is the user psychology behind it but it just works. Give it a try. It can be the product’s price, % of discount, a number of users, lists and much more. Here are some examples:

  • Get X for only $29.99
  • X is now available in 30% discount
  • 70,000 people are already using X
  • Discover over 400 new tools for marketers
  • 55 tips to save money on your next vacation
fbAdsNumbers

Different examples of using numbers on the copy.

 

3. Test how the copy works with/ without highlighting the company name

I couldn’t find a clear pattern based on product or industries, but most companies which A/B test copy and images with/ without the company name find out that one methodology usually works better. Wix, for example, usually avoids mentioning their brand on ads; they will use a line like “Create better websites” and a general image. When I A/B tested using the brand name of my company, it performed better when I mentioned it. I don’t think it’s related to how strong the brand is; it’s more about the ad context.

wix

4. Translate the copy to different languages

Doesn’t cost too much time or money and works like magic. Even if you don’t have localized versions of your website/ landing pages it will still perform better than using ads in English for non-English speaker-audience. Try translating the copy to Spanish, French, Italian, German, etc. I usually use Fiverr for the translation. If you don’t know Fiverr, it’s a super cheap freelancers marketplace. I advise not to translate ads to audiences which don’t speak English at all if you don’t have the right landing pages. While prospects from Germany, for example, can handle the English on your website well, if you’ll translate just your ads to Japanese, Chinese, Korean and similar languages you’re likely to get high CTR but zero conversions.

5. Easily change the landing page to match the ad copy using Optimizely or Unbounce

Better synergy between the ad to the landing page will result in more conversions. You want your landing page to have the same message and graphic language as the ad. When testing dozens of ads it’s not an easy task. A great way to increase the conversion without designing dozens of landing pages is using the dynamic capabilities of Optimizely or Unbounce. You can set different texts based on the UTM the visit is from. Using this methodology you can make sure the ad messaging is consistent with the landing page.

6. Cut the edges of texts/ images

Tricky one but can lead to good results. If you want your prospect to stop his endless scrolling through the feed, you need to come up with an interesting ad. One way to do it is by using images or text that are a bit out of frame. Once something is missing, people tend to notice it much more and it causes them to stop. Notice that Facebook might not approve the ad.

cutImage

The text is not complete and the image is a bit out of frame. Likely to cause users to take a closer look.

 

7. Make your ads look like a part of the feed

While you want your ad to stand out you also don’t want it to look too commercial. One type of creative you should definitely try out is the ‘feed style’ – try to come up with an image that someone could have posted on Facebook. It can be a casual picture, family picture or even a selfie. Using images of people (not stock photos or studio pictures!) always work well. Here’s an example of an ad which was designed to look the part of the feed in a casual and fun way which worked well for us. The same goes for Twitter, there’s a good chance a tweet that feels like it was composed by any of the people your prospect is following will perform much better than a commercial one.

 

people_fb

Using a funny, not edited picture of ‘real’ people.

 

meme_fb

Using memes

8. Always use subtitles on video ads

Video ads are a powerful tool which probably deserves a guide of its own. Take into consideration that most of the people which will view a video ad will see it without a sound as it auto plays on their feed. Even if they’ll click the ad there’s a high probability they’re at work and won’t use sound. When designing a video ad – think how to get the message without sound. The sound is only a bonus here.

9. Choose Facebook over Twitter for video ads

While there are usually no rules determining which content will work better on each network – you want to use this one. The vVideo is more commonly used on Facebook, adding to it the auto play, your video ads will probably perform much better on Facebook than Twitter.

 

Timing

1. Test working hours vs. time at home

(9am – 6pm vs. 6pm-9am) – testing how your campaign performs on work vs. leisure time is critical. Getting to the right audience is the first step, but you also want to find them in the right state of mind. While we usually assume people will play, shop or read mostly on their leisure time you’ll find out that many times this is not the case. I suggest to A/B test both time slots. Cutting it later to a narrower window, for example, only evening time can also work.

2. Create different campaigns for weekends vs. workdays

Similar to work vs. leisure time. You’re likely to get very different results of campaigns which ran during workdays compared to campaigns which ran during the weekends. After testing both you’ll probably choose to focus only on one type and turn off all campaigns during the weekend for example. To give it another optimization boost – make sure to include all the holidays at the weekend bucket as well.

 

Facebook tips

Some advanced tips to get the most out of your Facebook ads

1. Test lookalikes by % groupsScreen Shot 2015-11-16 at 3.08.44 PM

If you have a wide list of existing users, lookalikes are the optimal way to reach the right audience. The tricky part about lookalikes is determining the % – do you want the top 1%, making sure you’re reaching a high-quality audience but limiting your campaign to a smaller number of people, or do you want to go with 10%, getting to a less accurate audience but to bigger numbers? A/B testing lookalike groups are one of the most critical tests. I’d start with 1%, 5%, and 10% and narrow it down based on the results.

2. Segment by devices

There are many ways to segment your audience better. Your potential user’s mobile device can tell a lot about his profile. For example, if you’re targeting luxury goods – you’d also like to target users who are using new and expensive devices.

3. Advertise only to users using 4G/ Wifi

Simply turning off the 2G and 3G network connections can optimize your campaign by a few %.  Users who use 2G and 3G not only have a negative impact on your bounce rate but are also more likely to be fake accounts. When turning off 3G connection – make sure you’re not targeting countries where it’s still the leading network connection type. In addition to ignoring countries that might have high levels of fraudulent traffic, you will be surprised by the improvement you will see from tier 1 countries such the United States because even in New York and San Francisco some areas have horrible 3G coverage and low bandwidth in some areas.

4. A/B test different ads using separate campaigns

the most important test is the creative of course. Which image and text bring the most conversions. When you run a campaign with a few ads, after a certain amount of impressions, Facebook’s algorithm will automatically ‘choose’ the winning ad and will stop or reduce the impressions of the other ads. The problem is Facebook chooses the winning ad based on parameters which are usually different than yours. The main criterion for Facebook is the CTR. You might find out that a certain ad has a poor CTR but an amazing conversion rate. Instead of running a few ads on one campaign split it to separate ones.

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 3.09.10 PM5. Segment audience by education

In certain cases, you’d like to create a highly segmented audience. Most people indicate on their Facebook profile the college/ university they went to. Using a list of institutes which match your audience can lead to amazing results. For example, let’s say you want to target professional photographers. Using photography on interests will probably bring many amateur photographers as well. Google “best photography schools”, add the list to the audience settings and you’re likely to get to the right people with very little competition.

6. Use “Frequent travelers” behavior

The behavior option is not commonly used but it hides optimization secrets you should definitely know. The “Frequent traveler” behavior is a hidden gem. When would you like to use it? Mainly when you want to target a financially stable audience. There’s a high correlation between financial wealth and traveling. You’d also like to use it when advertising conferences.

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 3.09.54 PM7. Define states within the US

A/B testing different countries is a must. While most advertisers will run different campaigns per country to see how it performs, very few campaigns optimize the biggest market – the US. You can choose a set of states within the US. Try A/B testing different sets of countries. For example, advertising a product for startup companies will probably perform better when targeting only California, NY, Boston and Texas.

8. Choose an age group based on the campaign results

One way to determine the right age group for your campaign is to A/B test different age groups. But – you can also go the other way around. Start with a wide audience and then use the audience report to see which age group responses best to the campaign and where to allocate your budget. Take a look at this example: gallery  toYou can see that the 45-54 age group performs surprisingly well with a high conversion rate. The campaign will probably work better if you define it as the age group.

audience

You can see that the 45-54 age group performs surprisingly well with a high conversion rate. The campaign will probably work better if you define it as the age group.

9. Use AdEspresso’s ad gallery to get creative ideas

Need some fresh ideas for images and copy? AdEspresso created a beautiful Facebook ads gallery to help you get some inspiration. Easily sort ads by placement, industry, and objective.

10. Build two Facebook fan pages

“The $1,000 Facebook Guide: How I Advertise to People You Can’t…Yet” (link) is an amazing post by ViperChill with super creative tips. One of the most interesting tips he’s sharing is to build two separate fan pages for the same product/ niche/ audience. The pages should address the same audience but will have different names and content. When you post something on a page, Facebook will display it to less than 5% of the people who like this page. But, when Facebook algorithm detects a certain link was shared by two pages a user likes, it mark it as interesting and there’s a very high chance it will show on the user’s feed. So, split your efforts between two pages and share the important links from both pages. You can advertise the new page to all your existing page fans and by doing so establishing an audience for the new page easily. This method requires lots of work, it will probably return the effort if you have a popular Facebook page which creates good traffic for your website.

 

Tip: Analyze your facebook campaigns performance with Oribi.

 

Twitter

1. Don’t target followers of other companies

One of the most common and effective ways to create an audience on Twitter is by a followers list. Creating a followers list means providing a list of Twitter handle names – Twitter will show your ads to all the users who are following these accounts. A common beginner’s mistake is to target the handle names of competitor companies. The main problem is that most companies ‘buy’ a large number of their followers. Companies run a followers campaign to acquire more followers, it’s legit and helps them to create a more trustworthy account. Users who were ‘bought’ are likely to be on cheaper bids, these users are probably also the first ones to see your ads. Bottom line: using followers of blogs/ influencers/ industry experts will lead to better conversions than followers of competitors.

2. Don’t use lead generation card, especially not on desktop

‘Lead generation card’ sounds like an amazing concept – instead of sending people to a landing page – get their email directly on Twitter. This concept was designed especially for mobile. In reality, it doesn’t work well, even Twitter recommends using other options. In my experience – the cost per lead from a standard card directing to a landing page vs. lead generation card was X6. Another thing we noticed was that interacting with leads who signed up using the lead generation card was much more challenging, many times they didn’t remember signing up or didn’t know what they signed up to.

3. Use Hashtags

There are unlimited creative and smart ways to nail Twitter campaigns by using hashtags the right way. Unlike Facebook where hashtags are (still) pretty worthless for advertisers, on Twitter it’s a must. You want your ad to show when users are looking for a certain hashtag. This is the key. People will not look for general hashtags; they will look for contextual or trendy hashtags. Some examples:

  • Use hashtags of conferences or other events as they happen. We had successful Twitter campaigns where we used a conference hashtag and a related text/ image.
  • Use hashtags of TV shows, news related events, and other trendy hashtags. The message doesn’t have to be about the trend you’re piggybacking but it should relate to one way or the other. For example: Can’t get over the last #gameofthrones episode?  Try our $5 coupon to….
  • You can also piggyback on launches and PRs of other products. For example – let’s say that Google has released a major update and you’re in the SEO business. Use the update hashtag and offer your product.
  • Don’t use general hashtags no one is looking for. Something like “Best task management tool #startups #productivity #innovative #getthingsdone”  – won’t work!

4. Use Klear, Twitter counter, and other tools to create your ‘followers’ list

As mentioned before, one of the most effective ways to define an audience on Twitter is to advertise users who are following certain accounts. You probably know some of the leading influencers but you want to create a wide list to reach a bigger audience. Try Klear or Twitter Counter to get a list of the top handles by keyword/ industry. Also, try to simply google “best twitter accounts to follow” and your keyword, you’re likely to find some good lists you can use.

5. Leverage tweets from influencers

The moment you’ve been waiting for has arrived – a super important influencer or brand has just tweeted about your product. You want to make sure you leverage the endorsement. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to promote a tweet of an account you don’t own. What you can do and works well is to use: RT @handleName (of the influence) and then the tweet. Promote this tweet to the followers of the person/ brand who tweeted about you.

tweet

Intercom.io is using a quote of a UX “celebrity” as an ad. I can’t tell what is the audience of this campaign but if they’ll advertise it to his followers they’re likely to get great results.

6. Always use images

The majority of tweets are text only. Many advertisers select what is natural for the platform and use ads without images. While sometimes matching yourself to the platform standards works well, it’s not the case here. Twitter ads with image/ video always outperform text only ads. Twitter officially recommends using images as much as possible when creating Twitter ads.

7. Use pinned tweets

Not really ads tip but definitely related to bringing new leads. You can ‘pin’ a tweet on your Twitter account – the pinned Tweet will be the first one to appear on your page feed. Many users are likely to visit your page before/ after following the account. Make sure the first tweet they see can converts them to leads. Since it’s Twitter, up to date tweets work better than a general tweet about your product. Try promoting an upcoming webinar, conference announcement, new release or a discount. Make sure to change your pinned tweet every week or so, it’s still Twitter 🙂

tweet2

Another example from Intercom.io, Twitter account – they’re using the pinned tweet promote a new podcast.

8. Target influencers for high bids

This method can work well for content promotion such as blog posts, webinars, podcast, etc. It will not work for the direct promotion of the product. Retweets of your tweet by the right people can bring amazing leads/ traffic. Not only you get to a bigger audience but a retweeted tweet is less commercial and people are more likely to ‘trust’ it. Not all retweets were born equal – retweets of influencers with a lot of followers are worth much more. Create a list of influencers and people in the industry with lots of followers and build a different campaign with a much higher bid just for them. Note that your list can’t be only of the top influencers as it’s too small, it should include at least 500 handle names. The downside is these campaigns are not likely getting many clicks and in some cases, none of the people within the list will retweet your ad. The upside is that if this is the case it won’t cost you anything. You’ll probably get only a few retweets but each one of them will have a great impact. I recommend creating this list once, every time you’re promoting content build a campaign with high bids for this group. This strategy can also work well to get to a small audience you’re super interested in like blog editors, analysts, investors. By using a $10 bid you can make sure they’ll almost always see your content.

Tip: based on my experience there’s no difference between campaigns with ‘website clicks’ objective to ‘engagement’ (retweets/ favorites). I ran identical campaigns where the only difference was objective and both had exactly the same results.

 

LinkedIn

1. Use “BuiltWith” or similar products to create a list of companies you wish to target

While creating an audience on Facebook or Twitter is a ‘softer’ skill, on LinkedIn, it’s all about creating good lists of specific companies, job titles, schools, and skills. It’s almost impossible to get good leads on LinkedIn when targeting wide. LinkedIn is a great way to reach out to people working at a certain company. The challenge is usually to create a list of all the relevant companies for your product.  BuiltWith is a great way to build this index. You can look up a certain product and see who’s using it today. Let’s say for example that you’re building a new analytics tool and you want to see who’s using KissMetrics, MixPanel or Intercom today. BuiltWith will help you generate this list. Note that Builtwith tracks pixels used by different services on their websites so it can’t help build lists of on-premise software and other apps which don’t leave a footprint on the website.

2. Create buzz by targeting the right companies

Not necessarily a lead generation method but definitely a great way to create a buzz in low cost. You want your industry to know when your company rocks. Fund raising, hiring, new release, great PR – you want competitor companies, investors, and influencers to know about it. This campaign will be pretty cheap as the audience is small and the clicks are limited. You’ll be surprised to find out how many of the people within your audience will see the news on LinkedIn.

3. Test sponsored content ads

One of the ad types you might want to use is sponsored content, similar to promoted post or tweet on Facebook/ Twitter. You probably ask yourself (for a good reason) – who reads the feed on LinkedIn? Well, most people hardly spend time there. But – unlike a Facebook/ Twitter which is full of interesting content, there’s not much competition on LinkedIn and there’s a high probability that when users enter their LinkedIn account your content will be displayed.

4. Get to know sponsored InMail

A very interesting option with no equivalent on Facebook or Twitter. LinkedIn InMail is the messaging system of LinkedIn – your LinkedIn ‘inbox’. LinkedIn allows you to send an blast to a selected audience. The audience setting for sponsored InMail is similar to standard ads – you can choose your audience by industry, title, companies, skills, interests and groups. The bidding is also similar to other ads systems – the higher the bid is, the more likely your sponsored InMail will be sent to more relevant/ high-quality audience.

5. High “CPC” for the first 30 minutes

One of the most frustrating things in building campaigns is that after the hard work of creating great creatives you can still find yourself with zero impressions due to a low bid. What can one do if paying overpriced rates for clicks isn’t an option? Start high, and dive low after a short amount of time. If you can monitor and drop your CPC after 8-12 clicks you might be able to get the ball rolling without going overboard.

6. Target the decision makers

One of the best tactics in the book when trying to achieve B2B marketing success is to target your audience by job titles. If you need to sell or market a product or service to a company, you can make sure that you are only spending money on the decision maker eye-balls. For example: Let’s say you want to launch a campaign for a CRM, you don’t need to target each and every employee of all companies you want to attract as clients, target only the Directors and VP’s of Business Development or Sales, that way you get the attention of the decision maker that calls the shots regarding CRM platform.

7. “Your network is talking about” trick

You are about the post something on LinkedIn, and your employees and partners are really excited to share it as well. How important is it for you that they all do it in the same timeframe? Very! If you have a network that can share something around the same time, you can achieve the effect of “Your networking is talking about”, which essentially is a big box on LinkedIn that is very easy to notice on the LinkedIn feed. Due to the audience’s basic FOMO (Fear of missing out) instinct, you LinkedIn post automatically receives much higher engagement rates.

 

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