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Social Media Advertising: Don’t Be Tardy for the Party

Posted on May 12th, 2015
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    Social Media Advertising

    Social media advertising presents many exciting opportunities for marketers regarding media, targeting and general flexibility for reaching customers where they hang out.

    However, having seemingly unlimited options can make paid social a daunting channel to tackle. Just like you may feel after a long week, it’s sometimes easier to just stay home on a Friday night. But in today’s social media driven world, having a quiet evening at home just isn’t an option.

    According to a recent report from Salesforce, 70% of marketers plan to increase their social media ad spend in 2015. Over the last couple of years, social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have made numerous updates to their algorithms. These updates have made it even more difficult to engage with your current followers, let alone attract new audiences.

    Since it has become clear that “not going out” is off the table, I’ll share the basics for a successful night out on the social media town.

    Plan Your Destination

    What does your night out entail? Perhaps you’ll have dinner and catch a comedy show. Have you ever gotten your group of friends together and then no one could decide what to do? You should always have a game plan with your night out and the same is true for your paid social media campaigns.

    When starting a campaign, ask yourself the following questions:

    1. What do you want to accomplish with your campaign?
    2. How much do you plan on investing?
    3. What is the offer or promotion that you’ll be advertising?

    With any type of marketing, but specifically Social Media, the best results will come from campaigns with one specific goal and/or action to be taken.

    Interact with the Crowd

    Nobody wants to sit next to the person on a night out that sits and talks about themselves without taking an interest in anyone else.

    Similarly, I’ve seen many campaigns fail when the target audience is too broad or the messaging within the ads is too generic. Paid social media gives you an opportunity to target specific groups of people, companies, individuals and even behaviors. Each campaign you run should have one singular target with messaging that speaks directly to them.

    I receive tons of sponsored updates within my own LinkedIn. Below you’ll find an excellent example that calls out a concern for many digital marketers.

    BrightRoll Ad

    Try Some Different “Looks”

    You can’t wear the same outfit each time you go out; people will quickly tire of it and think you’re behind the times. You have to experiment to see what works.

    In that same way, social media moves at a very fast pace. I recommend that you test and adjust messaging with regular frequency, along with any images to find out what will work best for your target audience. Social Media Advertising presents a great opportunity to experiment with features like bolder images and copy in a way that you aren’t able to with other paid search advertising.

    Stick to Your Budget

    Chances are, you’ve likely let loose and spent a night out on the town without keeping a budget in mind. And then the next morning when you check your bank account, it’s not a pretty sight. Don’t make that mistake with your social media ads.

    Most social media platforms will provide suggestions for recommended budgets, and most budgets are set at a daily spend. The cost for entry is low and for the most part, CPC’s/CPM’s tend to be relatively inexpensive.

    Your social ads budget is going to be dictated by the size and scope of your audience. That said, developing a highly focused target audience for your first campaign would generally keep the budgets required for a successful campaign small. This will help mitigate any financial risk.

    I typically recommend ramping up the budget based on performance versus starting high and windling down your budget.

    The Performance

    It’s finally time for the big show, but do you know what you’re watching?

    As I mentioned earlier, you should always have a general understanding of what your desired outcome is worth to your business, whether that outcome is a lead, demo or signup. Always base the campaign’s performance against that goal.

    Paid Social Ad Results

    Mobile is the Magic

    A cell phone on a night out can mean the difference between boring (where is everybody?) and knowing where the fun is.

    So, make sure that you’re keeping your mobile audience in mind when building paid social campaigns. Approximately 59% of Facebook and 81% of Twitter advertising revenue comes from mobile devices, which means many other smart marketers are reaching their customers through mobile targeting.

    When optimizing social ads for mobile, make sure that your images and landing pages are mobile friendly to help meet the needs of these audience members.

    Social Media Advertising can give you the opportunity to develop highly targeted media directed at a specific audience to drive a specific action – all at a low cost and in a way that can complement your other online marketing programs. With those huge opportunities and little to no risk, what are you waiting for?

    Consider this post your invitation. And don’t be tardy to the party!

    Image: Shutterstock