By May Laursen

December 27th, 2013

While you find yourself at various holiday events with distant relatives and other peripheral acquaintances, summarizing the year that has passed since the last Christmas party and you realize that not much has changed, the trepidation about not achieving more than an economy-dependent salary increase arises.

Fear not, your prayers have been heard.

THESE COOKIES DON’T LIE

That gym membership you’ve been considering is not going to change your life. Really. If you’re marketeer, your New Year’s resolution is about targeting. Cookies have taken the art of segmentation to a fine-grained measure that not even jewelers possess. Not unlike children and drunks, they only speak the truth. Combined with the causal self-segmentational epidemic of social media – I present to you the Holy Grail of targeting.

The depth and scale of the psycho- and sociodemographic index called social media was unforeseen at the start. The biggest leap in social advertising is the possibility of segmenting based on interests – not the kind of interests that people express in surveys, but the kind of interests that are rooted in pure behavioral data. I was also taught the Mini-risk model in school, but it doesn’t mean that it’s the best beacon if you’re an online marketeer.

On Twitter, you can target your ads based on the handles people follow, on LinkedIn, by the groups in which they participate, and on Facebook by the pages or broad subjects they engage with, as well as creating custom audiences for your contact list.

No excuses.

TO TARGET OR NOT TO TARGET

There’s the kind of marketeers who fill their promotions with disclaimers, and there’s the kind of marketeers that scrape every single email they can get their hands on. And then there’s you. Think about your target segments; the audiences that are most likely to generate value to your business. How many of these have expressed interest in your content, such as customers, newsletter signups and Twitter followers? Are you offering multiple products or services, and are the target groups the same?

Social media is not just the modus operandi. Social media is a part of your marketing funnel. Sure, you can can get a decent amount of likes and engagement by throwing some ad spend at it, but the bottom line is that these dollars should return in increased business. If your target segment is going to generate revenue directly or indirectly at a feasible price – you should go for it.

THINK COMPLEMENTARY

You didn’t invent the wheel. There are probably several competing products, but there are also the complementary ones. The lower the perceived proximity between a feed’s organic content and your promoted content, the lesser the likelihood of spamming. If you’re selling travel insurance, you might want to target those who engage with airlines, travel agencies and car rentals. Being non-spammy is not the threshold level, though. Co-contribution is. If you want to expand your target audience without deflating your brand, synergy between message, channel and receiver is key.

If you still think that the gym membership is a viable option, it’s ok. Just don’t blame me for high CPAs for the next three hundred and something days.

Understanding Social Media ROI

Effectively measure the ROI of your social media marketing so you can optimize it.

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