When you dive into the Facebook ad targeting tool, you’re faced with many, many choices. You can chase users by age, education level, region and much more. The most important decision you make, though, may be right up top: where do you want to send the clicker? This is the most fundamental of choices; you want to send someone who engages to the most valuable destination. And that means figuring out whether to send him to your Facebook page or off the platform.
When advertising on Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as Facebook, you encounter the same decision … leading to the question of whether you want to keep your marketing on the social media platform or bring the user into your own sales or marketing funnel.
Obviously, the right decision will be based on your company’s marketing strategy, as well as where your budget is and what your strengths are. A marketing team that’s fantastic with email will probably want to draw the user into a newsletter registration, while a Twitter-savvy group will be best communicating in bursts of under 140 characters. That being said, there are some questions you should ask yourself regardless of how you market, just in case you’re missing a big opportunity.
1. How do you convert? Are you sending users directly from your Facebook page or Twitter feed into your sales cycle? Or, do you have to warm them up with social media content for a while before moving them over? If you have a robust social media environment, with frequent exclusive deals, for example, you may be wise to advertise your on-platform presence, as you’ll have the opportunity for ongoing marketing where you’re already doing it well. On the other hand, if you use these social media platforms strictly to bring users over to your blog or corporate I, you should go with an off-platform link in your ad.
2. What does your industry prefer? If you struggle to convert Facebook visitors into fans, for example, investing n Facebook ads probably won’t help. Sure, you’ll get impressions and clicks. People will come to your Facebook page and see your brand. Maybe they’ll click through your page to your website or corporate blog. Some users are likely to fall out, however when you require this extra step. So, your ad will underperform relative to its potential. In highly regulated or extremely competitive B2B sectors, asking for a “like” may be asking too much. Send the user from your ad right to your off-platform presence. If you can convert socially (e.g., in the consumer space), advertising your on-platform presence will give you fodder for future engagement.
3. What do you do well? As I mentioned above, if email marketing is where your company does best, advertising for your Facebook page or Twitter stream isn’t as effective as getting the users to a landing page for email registration. Companies that push direct mail successful should direct users to a page where they can supply name and address information. Even if you get fewer people this way, you’ll do a better job of converting them later. Play to your strengths.
4. How does your target market behave? If the people you want most are only occasional social media users, and you have a large enough pool on the social media platform where you advertise, you may be able to generate enough clicks for an ad campaign to be useful. You may even get a lot of these people to like or follow you. But, they won’t be logged in often enough to interact with you sufficiently. If you are marketing to active social media users, push to keep them on platform. If they are more active elsewhere, send them to your website, a landing page or your blog.