Have you ever heard the saying, “build it and they will come?” For social media pages, unfortunately, that’s rarely true. Just two years ago, the average reach for an organic Facebook post was a mere 2.6 percent. With the recent algorithm changes, that’s likely to plummet even more. Does that mean your business should stop all social media efforts and look for some other means of customer engagement? No, but you’ll need to jump into the social media advertising ring if you want to find any success.
Currently, there are more than 4 million businesses actively advertising on Facebook and more than 1 million on Instagram. Social media spending across all industries combined is expected to hit $17.34 billion by next year. In other words, there’s a ton of competition in the space. So, how do you stand out? Follow these social media advertising tips to get the most from your marketing budgets.
The most important question you need to ask before starting any social media campaign is - what do I want to achieve? For some, the answer may be increased website traffic or to generate leads. Others may want to build brand awareness. Whatever your goals are for the campaign, be sure to identify them and start with the one that is most important to you. By focusing on a single goal, you’ll be able to optimize your efforts and set clear benchmarks for success.
Before you launch your campaign, you’ll also need to identify your target audience. You can do this through a variety of methods, including Facebook’s audience insights and Google Analytics. Once you understand who your audience is and how they interact with your brand, you can tailor ads to speak directly to them, instead of throwing ads out into the universe for all to see. That approach will just waste your time and your money. Imagine throwing a pebble into an ocean. Will it result in a ripple or a tidal wave? The same is true for advertising. Keep your ads confined to a smaller, targeted audience for optimum impact.
Could you advertise on every social media platform? Sure. Should you? No. Instead, choose the platforms that resonate with your target audience and give you the best chance of winning over new customers. If you’re targeting millennials, Snapchat and Instagram should be high on your list. For a predominantly female following, try Pinterest. Be sure to check out our blog post, Which Social Media Platform is Right for Your Business, to see if Facebook and other social media channels are right for your marketing efforts.
It’s never wise to throw all your eggs into one basket. To stay top-of-mind with potential customers, layer your social media advertising efforts with other marketing channels. Targeted display banners are perfect for geo-fencing the competition or building awareness for an upcoming store opening. Google AdWords (PPC) puts your company at the top of search results when customers are actively seeking your services, and video marketing is an effective way to get your message to the right people at the right time. Every time a potential customer sees your brand it increases the chances that he/she will convert to a sale.
The key to a successful social media advertising campaign is to continually test, alter and refresh your content. You do not want to set it and forget it. You should run several ads at the same time to see which get better results. Keep those that work and retool underperforming ads. A good rule of thumb is to update ads (content & images) a minimum of once a month. In addition to the ads, frequently check your landing page to ensure it is converting visitors into customers. If there is a high bounce rate or low conversion rate, you may need to adjust content. Keeping things fresh will help attract new clients and encourage existing customers to visit your website on a regular basis.
Although anyone with a budget can advertise on social media, your overall website performance is more important than you might suspect. Social media platforms will determine ad placement and cost per click (CPC) on a variety of factors, including your website’s organic keyword ranking and content relevancy. If your website isn’t optimized or mobile-friendly, this could not only affect where your ads are placed, but also how much you pay for them. Before starting any social media advertising campaigns, make sure your website is at peak performance and has clear calls to action. If you start with a solid foundation, you’ll not only be rewarded with lower costs, but also higher conversion rates.