Social media advertising includes display ads, boosted and promoted posts and tweets, and more – and is an essential component to any business’s digital marketing arsenal. If you’re reading this, you or your clients have probably already established a social media presence and are looking for ways to take it to the next level. Employing social media advertising can increase your overall engagement on social media platforms and can bring in a wider audience, increase website visits and sales, and help influence your search engine rankings. Ads on Facebook and Twitter are also known to outperform other Web display ads in click-through rates.
Whether you are new to social advertising or are looking for tips to improve your already-active campaigns, here are principles to apply when setting up social media advertising campaigns.
1. Choose the right platform. For increased engagement, start your social media advertising on a channel where you have an established fan/follower base.
2. Target your audience. Social media platforms provide powerful tools for targeting who sees your ads. Depending on the platform, you can target by expressed interests, income, age, geographic area, buying habits, and more. So brainstorm to identify the attributes of your target audience.
3. Learn from your existing posts. Take a look at your posts to see which ones generated the most shares, likes, and comments. Analyze them to see what they have in common; try to determine what the extra appeal was and apply those insights to your ad development.
4. Remember, it’s still advertising. If you have a successful established advertising strategy that, too, should inform your strategies on social media channels. Identify what has worked in your traditional or other online advertising and apply what makes sense to your social media advertising.
5. Craft your ads wisely. Social ads follow traditional and/or display advertising rules when it comes to creating the ads themselves. Ad copy must be concise, calls-to-action need to be strong, and images must be used and they need to be arresting. You should also have multiple ads ready to deploy and rotate (once you’ve exited the test phase), as ad fatigue can be a real issue in social.
6. Make sure to create mobile friendly ads. Mobile media time in the United States has been rising for years and is at 51% mobile, 42% desktop. So make sure the ads you create will look good on mobile devices.
7. Set goals and identify KPIs just as you should with any campaign. Usually KPIs revolve around how many unique visitors you attract; the quality of those visitors, as measured by conversion rate or interactions or some other pre-defined measurable action relevant to your goals; and/or sales or revenue generated or some combination of these three values. But whatever your goals and how you measure them, make sure to set them and track your successes against them.
8. Start small. It’s best to start any social media advertising campaign in test mode. Start with small budgets, focus on one or two platforms at a time, and do lots of a/b testing (and don’t forget to tag your ads so you can attribute clicks/conversions accordingly). Social advertising is going to give you fast feedback on what is working or not, so you have the ability to tweak your campaign repeatedly to find the right targeting, copy, and imagery. Once you’ve tested for a short time and you’ve found the right way to tailor your ads, you can then enter into full campaign mode.
9. Even after your campaign is active, continue to test–not only by trying different ads and tactics but also by experimenting with different targeting configurations. And be creative and imaginative with your targeting! It can pay to think outside the box when choosing what interests or other parameters to try, and since feedback is fairly immediate in the form of results, you have everything to gain and little to lose. For example, a company running a very narrow campaign once experimented by targeting only readers of a certain well-known publication in a distinct geographic area and saw immediate positive results.
Each social media platform is going to have its nuances – so you should study each to understand the various advertising options available, the best ways to target, and how to monitor and tweak your campaigns for the best results.
Do you have any tips on social media advertising? Share them in the comments!