7 Actionable Social Media Tactics To Rock Your Marketing Plans

Do You Use Advertising With Your Social Media? [Research]

Offline Advertising SocializesWhile consumers have wholeheartedly embraced social media, marketers are following their prospects and customers to these platforms reluctantly because they remain challenged to show ROI for their efforts.

Despite this, marketers plan to increase their social media budgets and integration of their marketing efforts largely to use social media advertising. Based on new research by Nielsen, here are seven actionable marketing insights on social media advertising complete with the research charts and related tactics to help your marketing.

How marketers use social media advertising

1. 89% of advertisers use free social media tools compared with 71% of agencies, while 81% of agencies use paid social media advertising compared with 75% of advertisers. This makes sense. Marketers are more likely to keep their social media activity in-house where they can leverage their existing marketing, sales and customer service resources to create content and engage with prospects and customers directly. By contrast, they’re more likely to delegate their paid social media advertising to their agency as they do with other aspects of their adverting. Actionable Social Media Tactic: Determine where your employees can participate on social media most effectively to ensure that you’ve got a human voice and extend your brand in an authentic way.

Nielsen - 2013 - Social Media

2. About two-thirds of respondents plan to increase their social media advertising spend and about a third plan to keep it the same. Of those planning to increase their social media advertising budget, over 40% will increase it by under 10%.  Therefore, while social media advertising is increasing, it’s not increasing very much. Two-thirds of advertisers have dedicated social media budgets. Actionable Social Media Tactic: Ensure that your social media advertising spend is aligned with your social media presence on the social media networks your target audience frequents. Additionally, incorporate your social media advertising into your social media calendar. Nielsen 2012 growth of social media budgets-1

Marketers use social media advertising to extend the reach of offline ads.

3. Almost 40% of marketers are shifting some offline marketing budget into paid social media advertising. Social media crosses into the offline budget since it’s considered a cross channel connector. Even more important to note is that over half of advertisers run social media advertising with offline advertising. This is no surprise since social media advertising is significantly less expensive and provides a means to easily connect with prospects. (BTW, almost a quarter of marketers are moving their online advertising budgets to social media advertising and two-thirds of them coordinate their ad buys.) Actionable Social Media Tactic: Consider how you can create a social media connection with your target audience to extend the reach of your offline media in a measurable way. Coordinate your paid social media advertising with your social media presence to maximize your impact. It’s a good idea to send prospects from your social media advertising to your social media page since they’re interested in staying on the social media platform. Leverage your social media presence to continue your connection beyond the initial social media engagement.

Nielsen 2013 social media ad with offline advertising

Marketing goals for social media advertising and related metrics

4. Almost half of marketers use social media advertising to support their branding objectives. By contrast, one out of six marketers uses social media advertising for direct response. While this difference should be a surprise since social media supports the sales process by providing information prospects seek as well as search optimization, most marketers still view social media as a top of the funnel activity to build awareness. Actionable Social Media Tactic: Determine what you want prospects to do after they view your social media ad beyond just stopping by your social media page. Plan the process of your prospect’s visit from viewing your offline ad to viewing your social media ad to landing on your social media page to building your relationship with the prospect.

Nielsen SOcial Media Adv goals

5. Over 40% of advertisers want to use the same metrics for their offline efforts as their social media efforts. This makes sense since good or bad they understand how to track and evaluate these offline metrics. Specifically they’re looking for sales, brand lift and earned media. Unfortunately only one in ten social media publishers can supply these. Instead, half of social media publishers offer metrics specific to the medium. To increase social media advertising usage, these publishers need to offer more comparable metrics to offline advertising and/or prove that they’re capturing and extending the branded experience. Actionable Social Media Tactic: Integrate a contextually relevant call-to-action and tailored landing page on your website to capture new prospect information. Incorporate a promotional code into your call-to-action to track results. Bear in mind that prospects don’t magically move from your social media site to your website to purchase.

Nielsen SOcial Media Advertising Metrics-1

Nielsen Social Media Advertising Metrics -Puiblishers

6. Over 90% of marketers want to use social media advertising the same way they use other forms of advertising and marketing.  Specifically, they want to define campaign goals, establish relevant metrics to achieve those goals and calculate results. A third of advertisers think that social media advertising helps but they can’t track it and another third believe that it has potential. Actionable Social Media Tactic: Determine how to produce effective metrics from social media advertising campaigns that translate to understanding their contribution to the bottom line or you’re revenue potential will be limited. Marketers are currently able to track results from some social media executions and networks. For example, blogging and Pinterest.

Nielsen - Advertisers want to set goals and measure results from social media ad

Nielsen - views on social media ads

7. Two-thirds of advertisers want to see the benefit of using social media advertising  in the form of measurable sales although half would be happy to see a lift in brand impact. To this end, the use of social media benchmarks would be helpful. (BTW, here are five steps you can take to make your social media ore measurable.) Actionable Social Media Tactic: Integrate a contextually relavant call-to-action that drives viewers to your social media site where you can encourage them to take the next step in the process. By using additional steps, you’ll increase the amount of time between initial contact and sale.

Nielsen - Clear link between social media advertising and sales


Social media advertising supports both online and offline advertising and provides advertisers with the ability to engage their prospects further to build relationships that result in sales. To accomplish this, social media publishers must find ways to better track advertising and prospects without interfering with consumer trust.

What has your experience been using social media advertising? What did you learn from using it?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen



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