Social advertising budgets are rising at almost twice the speed of display and more than twice the
speed of search budgets. In fact, spending for social advertising was up 26 percent year over year
(YOY) in 2015, and it’s predicted to rise an additional 26 percent this year to $13.43 billion. And this
increased spend, along with the maturation of social ad placements and smartphone adoption, is
showing results — social media inquiry generation is up 64.7% YOY according to our most recent
quarterly benchmarking report.
Growth like this is a clear indicator of strong competition. And that means your campaigns need to be smart and efficient, targeted and engaging. The best practices highlighted below will help ensure your social advertising campaigns are built for success.
Like any advertising campaign, you shouldn’t move forward until you have a reason to do so.
Outlining marketing objectives needs to be your first step, and social advertising should be
implemented as a component of a holistic media plan instead of just a standalone tactic.
The options for social advertising are growing on almost a daily basis, and you’ll go broke if you try to cover them all. Like other forms of media, they need to each be evaluated for quality and their ability to place your brand in front of your target audience. Select the social channels that will be both efficient in terms of cost and effective in terms of achieving your objective.
Outline your objectives first and then work to achieve them.
Social advertising without targeting is comparable to nailing jelly to a tree: messy, time consuming
and rather pointless. Fortunately, there are many data-based options for identifying
and reaching your target audience. By combining your customer data with information about
your social media followers, visitors to your website and third-party geographic, demographic
and psychographic data, you can develop audience segmentation centered on prospects most
likely to convert.
This defined target audience should be the foundation of your social media strategy. At the simplest level, it will help you identify the platforms to use. For example, if your audience indexes highly for women with a household income of more than $50,000 per year, Pinterest is a great fit. But there are many more sophisticated ways to use this data as well. Social network ad platforms allow targeting by geography, age, interest, profession, behaviors and more. “Lookalike” targeting is also available on some platforms, giving you the ability to generate audiences that match multiple characteristics of your current customers.
You can, and should, reach a tightly targeted audience.
Social platforms are not consistent in their metric definitions. To effectively measure
performance, you must understand the nuances of those definitions or employ an expert
On Facebook, for example, “Clicks (All)” includes every click on your ad — to your website, on the like button, on the comment button or for any other interaction with the ad. If you’re measuring traffic driven to your website, “Clicks (Links)” is the metric to evaluate. Similarly, many marketers incorrectly believe Twitter’s “engagement” metric reflects the number of times someone clicked on the link within an ad. But it actually measures all engagement with the tweet. To measure traffic to your website, you need to export a campaign report and review the “URL clicks” metric.
Tracking and measurement platforms are regularly being updated in an effort to better meet the needs of advertisers. While these enhancements are typically good in the long run, they can create confusion in the short term. Unless social media tracking is your full-time job, you may want to consult an expert to make sure you’re analyzing and optimizing based on the right data.
If you don’t understand your reports, make sure you find someone who does.
Many self-service ad platforms allow bidding and optimization based on specific objectives like
conversions or new followers. While this supports the needs for many entry-level advertisers, it
can also be an easy way to produce poor campaign performance. If none of the objectives in the
self-service ad platforms fits your needs, try manually entering bids to improve performance.
Your bidding strategies must support your objectives.
Mobile device users are prevalent on social networking sites. In fact, of Facebook’s 1.6 billion
monthly active users, approximately 90 percent access the site through mobile devices. This
means everything you do, every post you make, needs to consider the mobile user.
Facebook published a number of creative recommendations for ad effectiveness, including
simplicity and the use of images that include people. With regard to mobile devices, a
90-character limit is essential. Remember, you need to engage your audience as they scroll
through their news feeds at lightning speed. Expecting them to click “read more” is an exercise
Similarly, make sure you provide a strong call to action. If your audience doesn’t know what you want them to do, they may not engage with you at all.
It is likely that most of your ads will only be seen on mobile devices.
Stock photos are the visual equivalent of elevator music: boring, inoffensive, non-compelling
white noise that is there to stop the awkwardness of standing in silence with strangers. In an era
where visual-based apps, like Instagram, abound, compelling narratives require something more.
Generating your own photos doesn’t have to be expensive. If you don’t have a photographer on
staff, invest in a number of high-quality, low-cost digital cameras, and hand them out to your
team to start building your own photo archive. To capture interesting views of a normal day, nonobtrusive
wearables (like Narrative’s Clip 2 or a body-mounted GoPro) can be effective.
In the meantime, while you’re building your photo library, consider supporting alternative stock
houses, like Death to the Stock Photo, that strive to supply marketers with unique options
designed to capture attention.
Don’t be afraid to stand out.
Do you need help with your Social Advertising? Talk to the experts at DMS. We deliver cost-effective and scalable solutions that meet your goals and your budget. Most importantly, they are built to deliver a measurable and impressive ROI.
To launch a Facebook Lead Ads campaign with instant delivery of your leads or learn how you can maximize all of your social advertising campaigns, contact your DMS account executive or email Sales@thedmsgrp.com.
Last Updated July 2016