SMX Advanced always has a big impact on me, as the strategies other digital marketers share are always data-driven and insightful. 2016 sessions were no exception, and in my last post I included some key tips on optimizing for the mobile journey. It’s no surprise that mobile was a big topic, but one of the most insightful presentations for me was about social media. We learned how marketers’ targeting and behavior of consumers on social media has driven increased engagement not only with consumers, but also in conjunction with other digital channels.

I pulled together 7 of my favorite tips from the presenters and slides that were shared at SMX Advanced that I am taking into consideration when planning and optimizing my paid social media campaigns.

Social Is an Omni-Channel Optimization Effort.

Social campaigns can drive lead gen, run PLA’s, build retargeting pools, create brand awareness, promote content, rank on search engines, and utilize look-alike targeting. The driving force behind building audiences and customizing creative in search and display channels is also available in social campaigns and marketers can utilize insights and learnings from each channel to influence the others.

It’s All About the Audience.

The targeting opportunities in social media are on another level – a personal level to be exact. Social platforms allow campaigns to target consumers before they even enter the “purchasing” stage based on insights achieved in past campaigns. Advertisers now know not only consumers’ geographic location, job title, marital status, and education level, but also what other brands consumers like.

Build Out the Customer Journey.

During the presentation, five phases that were identified as important for the social journey were as follows: acquire, onboard, engage, retain and advocate. Similar to search, when you are building social campaigns make sure you create segments by goal. This way you can allocate budget based on individual goal performance. Social campaigns ensure you get the opportunity to touch your customers across all points of their journey, from the point of acquisition, to re-engagement, and finally to getting them to become a brand advocate. I’m going into my next tip here, but remember to build creative based on the phase they are in.

Customize Creative.

As digital marketers we already know our ad content should match our landing page content. But in social we can take customized creative one step further by building content based on audience interests and how it relates to our brand. Also, look at how you obtained your audience: Did they like your brand? Are they part of a look-alike audience? Or are you targeting purely based on interest or a retargeting pool? Use these insights to test custom creative and drive additional engagement. You can even gather insights on top performing social media copy and apply them to display and paid search campaigns.

Move to a Big Brother Mentality.

Often times, individuals will tell their social media followers more than they tell their family! As marketers we shouldn’t be scared to utilize these insights. In search, we are used to capturing intent and letting the customer come to us (with our enticing ad copy, of course). But in social media we can personalize our messaging and promotions to match individual profiles. Take this opportunity to create personalization.

TV Is a Unifier.

Television ads account for 1 in 5 social engagements for brands, and research shows that advertising during premium programming delivers greater social brand engagement than during non-premium programming. Consumers are tweeting, posting, and snapping about their lives, including the programming they are watching. This gives marketers another opportunity to take advantage of consumers’ specific likes and interests. Remember to adjust budgets and bids during the premium time ads are being displayed so you can reach consumers at peak engagement.

Analytics Make the Magic Happen.

As with any digital channel, analytics and reporting is key to defining and measuring success in social media. Social campaigns need cross channel attribution as they may not always result in direct ROI, but could be part of brand introduction or nurturing. After a few weeks of testing your campaigns, take a step back and measure the impact you see on your other channels and take action based on these insights. Social media is no exception to ensuring you’re continuously testing: it will be the backbone to achieving your goals.

I love when a presentation excites me to reevaluate my own campaigns and build my own tests based on other marketers’ ideas and strategies. The learning opportunities are never ending and I hope that one of the tips above will excite you to take action in your own campaigns!

If you’re looking for new channels to test with social media, check out our on-demand webinar, The Click-to-Call Playbook for Facebooks Ads: How to Drive More Calls and Customers.