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Use Social Media Marketing Strategy to Generate Ad Revenue

A marketing strategy for social media is often used to build brand and drive traffic to the parent Web site, but it also can be used to boost advertising revenue.

A marketing strategy for social media is often used to build brand and drive traffic to the parent Web site, but it also can be used to boost advertising revenue.

Isn’t that the ultimate goal of the strategy anyway? A limited view of social media is that Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc., simply acquire followers who like the company’s product or service. Job done. Ego gets a boost.

But the real goals should deliver value and benefit for the company sponsoring the social media accounts. Just take a look at Coke’s Facebook page — it’s packed with followers making comments about the product.

Coke knows that an enormously popular Facebook page doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t boost sales of Coke products. It has famously announced that it can’t quantitatively identify an actual value to the company from that page.

It can be argued that the value lies in maintaining, building or enhancing the brand. But what Coke is saying is that it wants people to buy more Coke products. Liking its Facebook page doesn’t seem to deliver more sales, at least not in a way that can be tracked.

That’s the commerce / transaction view of a social media marketing strategy. But how can it deliver ad revenue?

Selling Social Media Promotional Ads

Companies with Facebook and Twitter accounts pay those companies money to run ads throughout their sites to generate more likes and followers who ideally will click on links on their accounts and go to their Web sites.

Facebook logoFacebook and Twitter aren’t the only ones who can generate likes and followers. Nothing stops a Web site from running paid ads that do the same thing.

It’s actually quite simple. Both Facebook and Twitter provide tools that create code showing likes and followers in the form of a box.

The user can dictate the size of the box. The box size can fit any of the Internet Advertising Bureau standards for ad sizes — 728×90, 300×250, 160×600, etc.

In the case of Facebook, use the follower photos to enhance the graphical appeal of the ad.

The code then goes into the ad delivery system of the site as a standard display campaign with an agreed-upon CPM.

The ad rotates throughout the site like any other ad. Site visitors who see the ad click on it, go to the social media page and become followers if they like it enough.

In some cases, advertising directly on the social media accounts can be so expensive that paying a Web site for the privilege can be less expensive.

Ads on the social media sites have the benefit of targeting. They are seen entirely by people logged into the accounts.

Ads promoting social media accounts on Web sites are seen by people who may not be logged in to their social accounts. A lower CPM can compensate for the lower targeting rate. It’s a tradeoff of targeting and cost.

Use Social Marketing to Target High-Revenue Channels

Another method of using social media marketing to generate ad revenue — indirectly in this case — is by emphasizing social posts that link back to high-value site channels.

Twitter_logo_blueFor example, a media site has a news channel and a health channel. Health almost always commands a higher CPM than news, so it makes sense for the site managers to put health-related posts on the social media account at a higher rate than news-related posts.

Certain categories such as news and sports do especially well with people clicking on the social posts to go to the Web site to view the full article.

Those sites should use social media aggressively to maximize the amount of clicks. The end result is more audience on the parent site, more page views, more ad inventory and therefore more revenue.

Other categories don’t do as well generating clicks from Facebook and should monitor their efforts more carefully.

These efforts should include not only activity on the page, in the case of Facebook, but also any communities where the site managers can get access. It can be difficult at times to get access to Facebook communities, but it is much easier to do so on Google Plus.

Another opportunity lies with Pinterest because an account owner can create a board specifically targeting health.

A social media marketing strategy is not limited to branding and response in the form of a click. It can attract high-value audiences who go to high-value Web site pages. The increased traffic to those pages present a great opportunity for increasing ad revenue.

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