There are two main ways to approach social media: organically and paid. Think of organic social as the amplification of your business, and paid social as the accelerator.
In a previous post I wrote about growing an audience organically. Here I will focus on the paid media aspect of social media.
Why Build a Social Media Campaign?
Many still believe social media is a playground for teenagers. That is not for serious matters such as building a business. However, research posted on Hootsuite shows that 45% of the world was in 2019 using social media with an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes per day.
But… social media is not for salesmen. Going on social media with a seller’s mindset is like going to a date with a catalog of products.
Today’s social media ads are not what people expect to see in their feeds. Most of us use social media for interaction, for education, and for entertainment
As a business on social media, you have to focus on all three of them. You have to connect, educate, or entertain through your content. And only after you Give, Give, Give then you can Ask (not take) for money.
1. Setting Objectives
Before creating the course of action you need to understand where you want to go, what is your goal exactly?
Marketing goals can be set around Awareness, Site Traffic, Purchase, Lead Generation, Brand Affinity, etc. To develop a clear and articulated goal I recommend learning about how to set SMART goals.
Accomplishing your goals using social media ads is not a straight line. You test multiple variations of your ad and based on the results you get, you develop the next campaign based on what worked better in the first campaign.
Multiple ad variations does not mean just a different ad copy. It means different images, different videos, different messages and different audiences.
2. Audiences and Personas
Starting a social media campaign without knowing your audience is like trying to catch more fish with a rod when you can use a fishing net.
To maximize your social media campaign efforts is important to carry on audience research and find as much as you can about your target customer. Do they spend time on Facebook or on LinkedIn? Or both? What percentage for each platform? What type of content do they engage with?
Answering these types of questions will help you deliver the right ad for the right audience at the right time.
If you have already a customer base, try to find more about them either by asking questions or by researching them using audience research tools.
When it comes to targeting you can target new audiences or retarget to past audiences. Within the Facebook Ads platform, for example, you can also target to similarly looking audiences.
Let’s say you have identified two types of audiences.
- 1st audience is formed of males aged between 35-49 with a 5 to 9 job. They like soccer and going to bars during the weekends and use mostly Facebook.
- 2nd audience is males aged between 18-35 that work from home and like to spend weekends playing video games while using mostly Instagram.
Would you create one ad for both audiences using the same language style, the same references, and the same photos or videos?
Of course not.
You create at least 2 different sets of ads for the two audiences.
3. Measurement and KPI’s
Social media is here to stay on the marketers’ side. But unlike PPC or SEO where you target keywords based on users’ buying intent, on social media users don’t have a buyer mindset.
That’s why this channel is broadly used for raising awareness about your brand or product – with that awareness eventually pulling the user to a sale through the 5 steps of the customer’s journey.
You can set your KPI’s for each individual platform or set it for the entire social media campaign. Following the results of the social media KPI’s, you can then measure their performance against your overall business goals.
Remember, social media KPIs are set around raising awareness, interest, and affinity for your business, not sales.
There is a lot more to extend on this than I can do here. SproutSocial did a better job than I could ever do by explaining in this post how to measure your KPI’s for Reach, Engagement, Conversions, and Customer Loyalty as well.
What I would add is that you can also check the number of google searches related to your brand to measure brand awareness.
4. Budget and Run Dates
After setting KPIs is time to allocate the budget for your social media campaign and run dates and times.
Not just for the overall campaign, but for what platform for how long and how much is going into each platform.
Many businesses eliminate social media from their marketing strategy on the ground that is not cost-effective anymore. If done right it can actually be the main awareness-driving channel for your business.
For your ads to be effective they need to be contextual to the platform and add value to the audience.
Let’s check some best practices to help your ads stand out:
Social Media Ads Best Practices
- Contextualize the format to the platform you are advertising on. For example on Facebook use videos with captions as most people watch videos on FB with the sound turned off.
- Contextualize the content to the platform too. On Facebook, you would create ads that are more personal, more authentic. On LinkedIn people are more business-oriented while Instagram is for flashy and visual ads.
- While the creative is meant to be adjusted and tested, you have to be consistent in your message.
- Be consistent in your branding by using the same colors, intros, logos.
- Optimize your content to be viewable on mobile devices. If you have a widescreen video, convert it into a vertical screen format.
- Use multiple creatives, titles, and ad copy for the same platform. This helps to optimize your best performing ad by finding out what works and what does not work so well.
- Update the creative regularly to avoid consumer fatigue.
- Use creative formats and features that are best for the platform you are advertising on. For example on Instagram story ads work better than ads within the feed.
- Create a posting calendar to plan your campaign.
A social media campaign is not creating an ad account, start running ads and expect sales the next day. It’s a dynamic process that requires fine-tuning and a close eye on the details. It’s about being analytical and creative at the same time.
As long as you have a learner’s mindset more than an “I know how to do this” mindset, then nothing can stop you from running successful social ads campaigns that deliver real results.