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8 Tips to Jumpstart Your Business’s Paid Social Strategy

112987077Every day, social media plays a bigger (and more expensive) role in the way brands find and court new customers. From ever-evolving social advertising opportunities, like video ads on LinkedIn, to the rise of social advertising by politicians in a contentious election year, one thing is clear: Businesses have more paid ways to crack the social code than ever before. The question is, who's paying for what — and is it really working?

Small businesses are on board already, to varying degrees. I asked a panel of successful young entrepreneurs to share one paid aspect of their social media strategy that has actually worked. Here's the advice they'd offer other entrepreneurs who want to succeed doing the same.

1. Look Into LinkedIn Pro Accounts

Access to LinkedIn Pro has made a huge difference in my business, especially with attracting corporate partners. It's easy to find the right person to talk to at non-profits and universities, but corporate information is hidden very well. LinkedIn provides a more direct route to reach high-level corporate executives within my niche, through their InMail feature. This allows me to create up to 25 new connections per month, without having that individual in my network to begin with.

It is not good enough to just reach out to senior people with nothing of value to offer. Since my company works a lot with media, I offer to interview their senior executives to give them more personal brand exposure. My success rate with LinkedIn Pro is three times higher, compared to the direct route.

- Lawrence Watkins, Great Black Speakers

2. Promoted Tweets and Bitly Links

For the launch of our newest game, we used Promoted Tweets on Twitter to help raise awareness for our game and to direct people to download it from Google Play. We used a variety of informative, funny and call-to-action tweets, and let users decide which ones they thought were the most interesting.

We also added Bitly links to our tweets, so we could measure how many people were going to Google Play. We could then analyze how many clicks we received and which countries were clicking our links to the most. Definitely worth the investment.

- Justin Beck, PerBlue

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