Modern Marketing: Wisdom From Seth Godin

Wondering how empathy can help your marketing stand out? Curious how trust and tension help marketers retain their customers? To explore what is and isn’t working for marketers today, I interview Seth Godin. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is designed to help busy marketers, business owners, and creators discover what works […]

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How to Maximize the Exposure of Your Videos: A Strategic Plan

Is video a key part of your social media strategy? Wondering how to get more visibility for the videos you create? In this article, you’ll discover a step-by-step plan to help you post, promote, and distribute your videos more effectively. Why Your Business Needs a Video Distribution and Promotion Strategy Right now, video is the […]

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Knowing When to Change: The Journey: Season 2, Episode 10

Ever have a moment where it becomes crystal clear that something needs to change? Then watch the Journey, Social Media Examiner’s episodic video documentary that shows you what really happens inside a growing business. Watch the Journey In episode 10, Michael Stelzner (founder of Social Media Examiner) realizes lots of things he’s doing must stop. […]

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6 Tips for Writing Social Media Ad Copy That Converts

social media how toDo you want to create more effective social media ads? Wondering how to write ad copy that produces conversions?

In this article, you’ll discover six tips for writing social media ad copy that converts.

6 Tips for Writing Social Media Ad Copy That Converts by Ashley Ward on Social Media Examiner.
6 Tips for Writing Social Media Ad Copy That Converts by Ashley Ward on Social Media Examiner.

#1: Extend Your Brand Voice to Your Ad Copy

Every business needs to have its own voice, one that mimics that of its followers. When users scroll the feed, they should be able to recognize your brand voice immediately.

If your brand is more of a cargo short and t-shirt vibe, avoid using words that reflect a suit and tie mentality. The wording in your ad copy needs to mimic your other posts and include the language your demographic uses. Incorporate local lingo, slang, and grammar to match. Yes, how you spell the words in your ad makes a huge difference here.

Example of social media copy that matches target audience

The same goes if you’re a B2B that uses more professional and business-like language when you speak and write. Mimic that style in your ad copy.

#2: Clearly Communicate the Who, What, When, Where, and Why

Your social media ads not only need to include a call to action but also answer the who, what, when, where, and why. Communicating these details helps ensure users have all of the information they need to know so when they do engage with the ad, they become a warm engagement and not just a casual liker who double-taps on everything they scroll through.

If you look at this WeWork ad, here’s how they answered each W:

  • Who: WeWork
  • What: Flexible workspace for any size company
  • When: Today
  • Where: WeWork offices
  • Why: Because they’re here to help my business grow

example of social media ad copy that answers who, what, when, where, and why

Go back to the social media ads you’re currently running. Does the ad copy answer the who, what, when, where, and why for the user? It should, and if it doesn’t, pause, edit, and republish those ads.

If you’re having a hard time trying to get an answer for all of the W’s above, think about your target demographic’s pain points. For WeWork, their target demographic is startups that need office floor plans from a business that can customize them. To make a great story out of your ad copy, you need to know your audience and understand not only what makes them tick but also what they need.

#3: Test Ad Copy Length for Performance

On some social media platforms, you have the option to use longer ad copy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should use all of that real estate. If you can communicate your call to action or primary point in three to five words, do so.

Some social media experts argue that shorter copy is more effective, while others say longer copy converts better; split testing will help you discover which copy length your audience prefers. What’s most important is getting to the point and ensuring users understand the message you’re conveying.

In the WeWork ad above, the point is crystal clear. The ad is both informative and provides an incentive for users to act. If you want to take a tour of the WeWork offices because you’re looking for a custom floor plan for your new startup office space, click Learn More and schedule a visit.

The imagery is an added bonus and harmonizes the text point perfectly by showing the interior of a WeWork custom office floor plan. The image helps paint the picture of what the text is describing.

About Split Testing

The more engagement your social media ads receive, the more those social platforms will want to show your ad—given budget restrictions, of course.

engagement, comments, and share for social media ad example

If you’re competing with businesses that have large ad budgets, focus on creating ads that followers naturally want to like, comment, share, or even click through. A/B test different ad copy, ad copy length, and jargon to better understand what makes people click.

Once you have that data, it’s time to amplify. Put a majority of your budget on those sweet spot ad copy ideas and set the rest aside to go back and A/B test even more. Remember, testing never ends. People’s preferences change as fast as technology changes. When photography gets better, and videography becomes more accessible, we only want to engage with the best.

#4: Combine Your Copy With Complementary Visuals and Targeting

One of the reasons users flock to social media platforms is to take a break and be entertained by what they read and see. They’re bored at the DMV, they’re waiting for their food to arrive at the table, or their attention span of 3 seconds has expired, and it’s time to look down at their phone again.

Whatever the reason, it’s important that both your text and content space are harmonious. Having creative to enhance your text is like adding extra-credit points on a quiz. Your text gets the call to action (the primary point) made, but the visual further communicates that point.

example of social media ad that effectively combines ad copy with visual

I’m a bride-to-be who’s also a business owner and entrepreneur, so Ringly’s targeted ad stopped my scrolling fingers in their tracks specifically because of how they combined the text with the image.

After looking at the ring and being impressed, I then gazed up to read the ad copy. Hmm, what’s a “smart ring”? Naturally, my eyes then scrolled down to the headline and then it made sense: It’s a personal assistant inside the ring. Now I’m intrigued to learn more.

Make sure all of the components of your ad (the description, headline, URL) all work together and deliver a story to users. This will make users more likely to want to learn more and not just “like” the ad.

#5: Align Your Ad Copy With Specific Sales Funnel Targeting

Ad copy is essentially sales copy. But with social media ads, it can’t look or feel like sales copy at all. There is no intent on social media platforms so you can’t come in with a hard sell like you can on AdWords. That’s a big reason why the conversion cycle for social media ads can take a bit longer than other marketing efforts and have more hurdles to jump through.

To help get around the anti-sales hurdle, think of the TOFU (top of the funnel) > MOFU (middle of the funnel) > BOFU (bottom of the funnel) strategy. While this entails creating lots of ads and custom audiences, the results will make it worth the effort.

TOFU

This ad is designed for the top of the funnel sales copy. It’s light, harmless, and a friendly neighborhood wave. Your ad copy should let users know that your brand or business exists and you’d just like to say hello. You’re not trying to sell or force users to take any action with this ad. I repeat, no selling!

example of top of the funnel social media ad

This is a very soft touchpoint. Each person who engages with this ad gets categorized into a new custom audience and is shown a MOFU ad.

MOFU

All right, now they know you exist. They’ve heard your brand voice, seen imagery to match, and developed a light feel for who you are. Now let them know how you can help. In the ad copy, explain what you provide and what pain points you solve.

Again, you aren’t selling yet. You’ve waved to the user from across the street and are now knocking on their door with a plate of freshly baked cookies. All of your TOFU audiences that engage with this ad get placed into a separate custom audience, a warmer audience.

BOFU

Now’s the time to ask for the sale. Here’s where you include the discount code, the hard call to action, the immediacy, the full story. You already have a warm audience that knows your brand and understands what you offer. Now give them all you’ve got and convert those users.

example of bottom of the funnel social media ad

Anyone who engages with this ad is officially a hot lead and more likely to convert than the nice TOFU audience that waved back from across the street. You’ve officially been invited inside the house and you have a chance to talk business over coffee in the kitchen.

Conclusion

A good social media ad isn’t just a high-contrast image or a 45-second video. The ad copy itself can make or break engagement rates. It’s time to get past the idea that we’re all too busy to read.

Your ad copy needs to inform and entertain social media users to grab their attention in the news feed. If you’re going to interrupt them and stop them in their scrolling tracks, give them something worth their while.

What do you think? Do you use some of these tactics when writing copy for your social media ads? What tips would you add to this list? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

More articles about social media advertising:

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How to Use LinkedIn Elevate to Manage an Employee Advocacy Program

social media how toWant your employees to share curated on-brand content with their own social audiences? Wondering how to measure the impact of those shares across multiple social media platforms?

In this article, you’ll learn how to use LinkedIn Elevate to manage and measure the impact of an employee advocacy campaign for your business.

How to Use LinkedIn Elevate to Manage an Employee Advocacy Program by Karlyn Williams on Social Media Examiner.
How to Use LinkedIn Elevate to Manage an Employee Advocacy Program by Karlyn Williams on Social Media Examiner.

What Are the Benefits of Employee Advocacy for Your Business?

Employee advocacy is when you engage your employees to be ambassadors to grow your company’s reach, generate more prospects, and convert them into paying clients without spending excess advertising dollars.

Let’s look at a few reasons why employee advocacy works, according to LinkedIn:

  • Content shared by employees has double the engagement than when shared by a company. People want to interact with other people, not a faceless brand. So let employees be that face (if they want to be). Let them share in and contribute to the online voice of the brand.
  • Salespeople who regularly share content are 45% more likely to exceed quota. They’re the employees who are building the initial rapport with prospects. They’re the ones who want to be the experts in their fields so they can showcase their knowledge and position themselves for the sale. Assisting them in sharing safe and on-brand content would be a smart idea, right?

By positioning employees as advocates, you’re also giving them the freedom to create a personal brand. A personal brand is when you, as an individual, actively market yourself as an expert in your industry or chosen field. In today’s digital age, personal brands are becoming the vehicle by which larger brands are being seen.

National Geographic is one of the most authentic brands when it comes to employee transparency. The photographers who snap the amazing photos run their main Instagram. This means their employees out in the field are creating the content and the copy that goes with it. Here, Christina Mittermeier shares one of her photos for National Geographic and links to the magazine’s Instagram:

example of social media post shared by employee/advocate

Employee advocacy is the employee equivalent to influencer marketing. It’s a win for your employees because they get to show their expertise online and it’s a win for your company because you get more exposure to different audiences.

How to Manage Your Program

Many companies haven’t adopted a social media employee advocacy program for a few reasons:

  • They don’t understand the tools that will be used to implement the plan.
  • They don’t trust their employees to be their frontmen and -women.
  • They’re scared of what employees might say about their company online that could damage their reputation. (Hint: Employees are already talking about you, so don’t you want to give them something relevant to say?)
  • They can’t get their employees engaged.
  • They don’t have someone to run the program to ensure its success.

LinkedIn Elevate Trending in Industry list

What can assist with some of these objections, and make the plan simple and effective to implement is having a tool that manages it all for you. Enter LinkedIn Elevate.

To give you a jump start, this tool will quickly identify your most active employees on the platform. These employees are the ones you want to get on board first and maybe even have them take ownership of some of the program’s implementation. Elevate also will suggest trending content based on relevant topics you’ve selected, and help ensure you engage key employee audiences and customers.

Just like anything that makes marketers’ lives easier, there’s a price tag involved. It varies based on the size of your business and number of participants; you’ll have to contact LinkedIn directly to get a price breakdown. Now let’s look at how to set up an employee advocacy program with LinkedIn Elevate.

#1: Plan Your Employee Advocacy Program

Crafting a plan for your employee advocacy program gives you clarity before making the case to leadership. Ask yourself, “What’s the main objective for our program?” Here are a few to consider:

  • Drive traffic to your website.
  • Attract top talent.
  • Amplify your brand story to new audiences.
  • Further position your leadership insights.
  • Develop relationships among employees and customers.

The list could go on, but narrow it down to one or two main objectives. It’s important to note you should choose objectives that relate to your business’s primary audience.

Also decide what types of content you want to make your employees aware of to share with you and other employees (yes, it’s a two-way street):

  • Curated content (sources outside your company website)
  • Company-only content (sources like your blog, press releases, recent company news)

Whatever content mix you decide, it’s important that there’s consistency with relevant categories/topics.

Set Up a Simple Employee Advocacy Program

If you don’t want to use a tool like Elevate to manage your advocacy program, you can simply create a daily or weekly email to send to your top social media employee influencers. This email can include content that’s curated or owned (from your company’s blog/website).

To make it quick to consume, include the headlines, short descriptions, and the native link to the complete article. Also include share buttons linking to appropriate social channels. Adding these share buttons makes it easy for your influencers to share and you can pre-fill copy for the articles if you want.

#2: Use LinkedIn Elevate to Push Approved Content to Employee Advocates

Now that you’ve developed your plan, you’re ready to set up your LinkedIn Elevate account. Once it’s up and running, click Sources in the top navigation bar to pull up the pre-populated content from Elevate based on the Trending in Industry list in the left column.

LinkedIn Elevate dashboard interface

Click the Broadcast button to the right of any articles you want to share. Employees will see content you (or your admin) have published and/or scheduled on the main Elevate dashboard. Each piece of content is labeled with the appropriate topic, helping employees select content that most interests them.

LinkedIn Elevate top recommendation with Broadcast button

Employees can also recommend content to you to be broadcast on the company’s Elevate feed. You may want to set your own parameters for what fits within the content topics that are relevant for your company and industry.

To see what employee participants want to share, toggle over to Employee Suggestions. You have the option to broadcast right from this window.

employee suggestions in LinkedIn Elevate

#3: Use LinkedIn Elevate to Measure the Impact of Employee Advocacy Across Platforms

LinkedIn Elevate offers metrics to highlight employees’ shares and how they’re driving key business metrics. That’s why you want to have your goals written down before implementing the program so you can properly measure success.

Some key analytics collected through Elevate include:

  • Trends (number of broadcasts, shares, total reach, and engagement)
  • Reach, engagement, and earned media value (Elevate integrates with Facebook and Twitter, so it captures the data from each platform)
  • Audiences engaged (based on industries, professionals, and companies)
  • Employee share rates (by topics)
  • Top sharers (participants in Elevate who are sharing the most content)
  • Top broadcasts (the pieces of content that performed the best)

Explore the LinkedIn Elevate Dashboard

To access your analytics data, click on Analytics from the top navigation. You will see a dashboard with a snapshot of trends.

LinkedIn Elevate analytics trends, reach, engagement, earned media value

Scroll down to view reach and engagement data, earned media down to the cent, the most engaging topics, and the top employees sharing and suggesting content.

LinkedIn Elevate analytics audiences engaged, employee share rate, top sharers

Examine the Leaderboard

To dig deeper into these metrics, toggle over to the Leaderboard tab. On the leaderboard, view which employees are your best ambassadors based on how much they share. You can also see what topics interest them most so you can continue to provide topic-rich content for them to share. This measurement will be useful if you put together a rewards system for the top sharers of the month.

LinkedIn Elevate Leaderboard filters

Also notice the drop-down menus on the right that allow you to filter the data further. You can select the type of analytics category, the timeframe, and topics.

Get Broadcast Insights

Next up is the Broadcasts tab. This data is similar to the Posts Insights that many of us are familiar with on Facebook. From the drop-down menus at the top, select the topics for which you want to see metrics, the curators who shared those broadcasts, and the groups most active when broadcasting.

LinkedIn Elevate Broadcasts tab filters

Groups are how you segment employees within your Elevate community. Are they part of the sales team, marketing team, or C-suite? And as always, you can change the timeframe for a different look at the data presented.

View Stats for a Specific Share

Of course, you can always take a deeper dive into specific posts. Click on a headline to open a new window where you can see the trends of the broadcast and the reach, engagement, and earned media.

LinkedIn Elevate metrics for broadcast

You can also view the top sharers of the content and where they shared it.

LinkedIn Elevate metrics for broadcast

Run a Report

The last feature I want to point out within the metrics is the Reports function. My business primarily uses it for downloading “seats” reports, which means it runs the numbers of all employee groups and pulls out the top sharers, and lets us check in on how many employees exist within each segmented group.

To run a report, toggle over to the Reports tab. From the drop-down menu, select the type of report you’d like to run.

types of LinkedIn Elevate reports

It takes a few minutes to run a report. Once the data is scraped, you’ll see the option to download the report from the page. All reports are in Excel format.

Download links for LinkedIn Elevate reports

Sometimes it’s nice to have monthly reports outside of the platform to give you a broader overview of where your employees are with their engagement with the platform. This analytics data is essentially for social proof, and to see how many of your employees are engaging with your online advocacy program and how many aren’t.

Other Tools Similar to LinkedIn Elevate

Although I haven’t yet had the opportunity to use the following tools, here are my takeaways from walking through demos with a representative:

  • Hootsuite Amplify: Many social media managers and employees who create content for companies are familiar with Hootsuite. What you may not know, though, is that the Enterprise version (pricing varies by organization) offers an employee advocacy feature. A positive for some businesses is the adaptability because you don’t have to open another tool or learn another system.
  • GaggleAMP: This tool caters to the medium-sized business crowd. Pricing is based on the size of your company and your needs. If you have 10 employees or fewer, you can get started for $200/month, which includes onboarding and support.
  • EveryoneSocial: This is a more robust yet user-friendly tool. This platform is geared toward businesses with 200+ employees. Plans start at $1,500/month.

Conclusion

I love it when organizations use a tool in a creative way that benefits their audiences but doesn’t align with how the tool was originally meant to be used. For example, organizations like American Public University System, an online university, are leveraging LinkedIn Elevate to engage not only staff in the main office but also faculty and alumni—a fun and relevant influencer program.

“Organizations should think of advocacy programs as more than an employee-only focus. As a higher education institution, we have an incredible community of faculty, students, and alumni with expertise in so many fields with wide-reaching networks,” said Madeline Kronfeld, Marketing Director, American Public University System.

She went on to say, “By extending our advocacy program beyond staff, we’ve been able to reach people in industries from intel to health sciences and share relevant information from our own subject matter experts.”

Just like any type of social media, blog, or video episodic program, you have to stay consistent with cadence and relevance of content for employees to begin to adopt it and stick with it. In addition, you need either a dedicated staff member to run the social employee advocacy program or recruit a small team internally to kick off the program and decide later, based on social proof, if it’s worth bringing on a dedicated employee to run the initiative.

All in all, your employees can and should be your company’s greatest asset. The question is: Are you leveraging them as willing participants to become the driving force behind organically building your social media presence?

What do you think? Do you have an employee advocacy program for your business? Will you consider using Elevate to help manage it? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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How to Optimize Your Ad Budget Between Facebook and Instagram

Do you advertise on Instagram and Facebook? Wondering how much to budget for each platform placement? In this article, you’ll learn how to use Facebook’s split test feature to reveal how best to distribute your ad spend on Facebook and Instagram. Is Allocating Ad Spend via Automatic Placement in Your Best Interest? When you advertise […]

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IGTV Video Previews Now Sharable to Instagram Stories

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore the option to preview IGTV videos in Stories and new Pinterest ads tools. Our special guests include Jenn […]

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How to Create Ads That Move People to Action

Want a faster, better way to optimize your ads? Did you know that focusing on customers’ emotions can help? To explore how to use emotional messaging to move people to action, I interview Talia Wolf. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is designed to help busy marketers, business owners, and creators discover […]

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6 Collaboration Tools for Social Media Teams

Is your social media team working well together? Need to improve communications? In this article, you’ll discover how to use six collaboration tools to keep social media teams and stakeholders on the same page. #1: Set Up Front and Trello to Manage Facebook Messages Front is a tool designed to help teams collaborate efficiently and […]

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Failing and Rapidly Regrouping: The Journey: Season 2, Episode 9

Do you ever come up with a great plan and then it fails? Then watch the Journey, Social Media Examiner’s episodic video documentary that shows you what really happens inside a growing business. Watch the Journey In episode 9, Michael Stelzner (founder of Social Media Examiner) and his team work through a failed launch of […]

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