How Apple Dominated Twitter Without Tweeting

This past week, Apple has conducted a master class in how to take over Twitter—and they did it without a single organic tweet.

If you visit @Apple on Twitter, you’ll notice that despite over 2.2 million followers, the company has not tweeted even once.

And yet during the #AppleEvent, when the company unveiled their new line of products, including the iPhone XS and Apple Watch 4, not only were people’s timelines packed with updates from journalists and thought leaders dishing and delving into the devices, but the company spent what some call “a significant amount” on ads.

Why would a company that doesn’t deign to tweet from its own account spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on paid posts?

Well, they’re trillion-dollar Apple—they can do whatever they want. But there’s more to it than that.

Here’s how Apple dominated Twitter for the #AppleEvent

Digiday had a rundown of the prices Apple likely paid for all their advertising on Sept. 12, including:

  • A promoted trend: $200,000/day
  • A custom “like for reminder” build: $250,000 for several days
  • Promoted tweets in 12+ languages (ranging from $0.50 to $8)
  • A “hashflag” (custom Twitter emoji) and a livestream of the event (likely free)

And indeed, no matter where you went on Twitter on Sept. 12, you couldn’t avoid the #AppleEvent hashtag and hashflag. The feed was flooded with tweets about what Apple was unveiling, which was the product of both Apple’s paid efforts and tweets from writers and journalists (more on that in a second).

Apple wasn’t running any ads on Facebook. Why is that? Isn’t Facebook the biggest social media platform, with the most reach? How could Apple avoid it on Apple Event day?

Twitter is where conversations start

Perhaps the biggest draw of Twitter is that it’s built to get conversations started. Journalists, early adopters, and other people who make a living covering and have a passion for Apple products know that Twitter is better for breaking news than Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or any other major platform.

Apple recognizes this. By meeting users on Twitter—supplying them with a livestream (that’s where this writer watched the event), creating a rare “like for reminder” tweet that helped users remember when the event would take place, and tweeting in languages used all around the world—Apple was actively encouraging and helping those users to have more informed and productive conversations about their products.

For whatever reason, tweeting doesn’t fit Apple’s brand. Tweets from other people do, however. So by pouring money into the platform at the right moment, Apple found a way to boost those tweets, to make them more visible and engaging. Again, that’s without sending a single tweet from their own account.

While Apple has plenty of money, they’re not in the business of wasting it. This was a showcase in how to pick your spots on social media and use each platform—even platforms you don’t engage in yourself—to maximize value.

Images via Apple

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4 Incredible Image Hacks to Improve Your Facebook Ad Campaigns

Five years ago, a colleague of mine began promoting her e-commerce business on Facebook. After spending two years promoting it on AdWords, she believed that split-testing ad copy was the path to building successful Facebook campaigns. After a year of struggling, she started testing images instead. She soon discovered that testing images was the key to success. Today, she is one of the most successful Facebook e-commerce marketers I know. She told me that applying several image hacks increased her average ROI by over 400%!

Facebook Image Hacks Can Boost Your ROI by 400% or Higher

Facebook is the second most popular advertising platform after Google. Around 93% of marketers use Facebook to reach their audience, because it has such a vast base of users. While Facebook is a powerful advertising medium, it takes a tremendous amount of testing and a dedicated strategy to reach your target customers effectively.

My colleague, Jacob Erdei told me that Facebook advertising campaigns will go much more smoothly when you prioritize the right variables for your testing. He tells new Facebook marketers that 80% of the performance of a Facebook ad is attributed to its image.

Unfortunately, choosing the right image is easier said than done. Any campaign requires extensive testing to find the right marketing creative. However, there are a number of great image hacks that increase the probability of success and minimize the resources that you need to allocate to testing images. Here are some great image hacks to test with your Facebook ads.

Segment by age and find images that help users reminisce about their youth

Gabriel Ciordias, the CEO of BannerSnack, says that the biggest mistake that new Facebook advertisers make is testing the same images for every target segmented audience. This drastically limits the likelihood that you will find images that appeal to any of your target users. It takes a large budget and a lot of time to test more than four ads at a time. It is better to choose unique images that are likely to appeal to every segmented demographic.

One effective way to do this is by finding images that bring people back to their youth. In my own campaigns, I have found that people have a strange subconscious fixation with colors and themes that relate to the period of their life when they were in middle school to college.

For example, if you are promoting an offer to baby boomers, you may want to consider using the same colors from the most popular Beatles albums of that era.

Don’t rule out testing darker background colors

A surprising Number of marketers insist that you need flashy images with bright colors to run a successful campaign on any advertising platform. These guidelines don’t align with split tests conducted by Nadya Khoja.

Khoja found that images with darker backgrounds had a 136% higher click-through rate and 18% lower CPC. The conversion rate on this campaign was 87%.

What is the reason for this shocking difference in performance between images with brighter and darker colors? Khoja believes it is because darker colors demonstrate more power and authority.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that images with darker background colors will necessarily perform better for your specific campaign. However, it does show that it is definitely worth a test.

Use avatars that relate to your target audience

In the blog post that he shared with me, Jacob states that using avatars that appeal to your target audience is a great way to boost the performance of your campaigns.

“Really it’s all a matter of testing and segmenting out your groups by interests, age, and any other factors you can think of.  You need to uncover and create multiple customer Avatars.  From there you will be able to select images that closely align with the target group,” Jacob writes.

While this is good advice, I feel it is necessary to qualify it by saying that you should do more research about your target audience before choosing an avatar. The best performing avatar may not be someone that matches their exact demographic. For example, my own tests show that men between the ages of 35 and 48 tend to respond best to images of females that are 5 to 8 years younger than they are.

Try Using Instagram-like Filters

Instagram has changed the expectations of users on all social media sites. Facebook is no exception.

Using Instagram-like filters can be a good way to make your images more engaging. However, there is a caveat – you need to make sure they don’t come across as offensive or too bizarre. Otherwise, they may not get approved by the editorial team.

Try testing different filters and see what works. The simplest and most effective is to simply add a solid, red border to the outside of your image. Luke Kling did a case study on using these effects on PoF ads and found this can increase your click-through-rate by 600%. The same results wouldn’t be surprising on Facebook, especially with the right targeting.

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8 Ways To Use Facebook Engagement To Boost Sales

In 2008, Facebook was first ranked as the most used social network on a worldwide basis and still holds that position today in terms of active users. Still, its popularity is waning, especially among teens, but don’t count this social media giant out just yet. Facebook provides many opportunities to engage your target audience and boost sales.

Post the Right Information at the Right Time

Rather than share the same information across all platforms, understand which types of posts do best on each. Facebook is the best platform for blogs, curated content, videos and live chats. Also, posting between 1 pm to 3 pm results in optimal engagement.

Deliver High Engagement Content

Svetlana Ustinova created iGotOffer as a safe place for people to receive a fair price for their old phones, computers, and pads. To engage the target audience and drive business to the website, he delivers blog content that includes reviews of new phones, fixes for common tech problems, industry updates and more. “We found that by providing content about the latest phones and computers, then posting it on Facebook, we drew people to our site. Nearly everyone has old technology lying around and once the hook gets them to the site, it converts to a sale.”

Be Ready for Your Close-up

Go Live on Facebook to share specific experiences, demonstrations, discussions and more. This opportunity takes engagement to a new level. First, you step out from behind your logo and show yourself as the face of your brand. You can share how your products are made, used, and even recycled, or show the impact that your company’s philanthropic efforts have made on a specific community or area. Second, you should follow the live stream and answer questions, respond to comments, and further connect with your audience.

Boost Your Posts

Many Facebook ad experts pooh-pooh the “boost your post” option as being ineffective. The truth is that for small and/or local businesses, boosting your post results in more sales, and increases the number of page likes. For those on a tight budget, ignore the experts and boost the post. You can achieve a great ROI.

Share the Love

Or, more accurately, make it easy for others to share your content. Always include Facebook’s “like” plugin and share button on every blog, sales announcement, and other relevant content on your site. As you grow more followers, they become an extension of your sales team by sharing pieces about your products and services. Also, when posting information on Facebook, add a caption encouraging them to share it with someone who would be interested in what you have to say and/or sell.

Leverage Facebook Remarketing

This powerful tool has three specific aspects. First, customer lists which function like email marketing using personalized messages instead. Second, website traffic serves ads to people who meet specific filters you’ve established, including people who have visited your site during a specified timeframe. Third, app activity helps businesses with apps boost sales by reminding people to complete a purchase, offer special discount codes, and more.

Take Facebook Ads to a New Level

Facebook Ads have been around for a while so people think they have a pretty good handle on what to do, but let’s kick it up a notch. First, don’t settle for Facebook’s CPM model. Set your own CPM bids and switch to CPC pricing under the advance pricing model. Second, use a multi-product carousel and theme it to tell a story, outfit, or use. You can even use all of the panes to display one compelling image to really capture someone’s attention and imagination. Third, use a video advert because Facebook’s algorithm prioritizes video content. So not only is a video more engaging, it is more likely to be seen by others.

Incorporate Reviews

According to Search Engine Land, almost 90% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. When posting on Facebook, incorporate positive reviews in your ads to establish an element of trust. Also, when you’ve had a run of great reviews, shout-outs or other special acknowledgments, share a brief post such as, “Wow are we blushing about all of the great reviews our (name) product has recently received, including…” Don’t forget to link to the product page so readers can experience it for themselves.

Bottom Line

Facebook is still at the top of social media pyramid in terms of active users and provides significant marketing opportunities for the foreseeable future. Use this platform to post the right things at the right time, looking beyond the obvious opportunities to truly engage your target audience. Sales opportunities are alive and well on Facebook if you’re willing to make the effort.

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