Social media management has now become an imperative component of a healthy marketing strategy. From the beginning, social media has had a significant impact on all of us. Social media platforms were initially designed to connect people. However, they’ve grown into something much bigger.
Businesses now heavily rely on social media to promote their product in a tailored manner to a well-defined target audience. Furthermore, advertising on social media seems to be highly effective when combined with other more traditional types of advertising and marketing. In this article, we’ll look into the essential elements of a healthy social media advertising strategy.**
1. Know your advertising needs
The interplay of metrics and the company’s goals
An advertising campaign needs to reflect business objectives. Some companies jump headfirst into creating advertising campaigns on social media without understanding their broader needs. The real value, however, surfaces from the interplay between the social media advertising metrics and the company’s goals.
Not all advertising drives direct sales. Having a spray-and-pray approach will rarely provide businesses with high-quality leads or significant exposure. In order to build an effective advertising strategy on social media, establish the metrics that are most important to your business at this moment in time.
Two primary advertising goals
Offering services instead of tangible goods adds another layer of possible advertising strategies. Ideally, you would identify one or two central needs that could host individual sub-goals. Having more than two may render your advertising campaign inefficient, due to the fact that you’re trying to focus on too many things at the same time.
It is also a good idea to align those goals throughout the social media platforms you’re looking to advertise on. So for instance, if you’ve set up da campaigns on both Instagram and Facebook, it’s a good idea to focus on the same metrics on both platforms.
2. Identify your target groups
Before social media, targeting still existed in advertising, but it was broader. Billboards in certain districts gear towards more affluent members of society. Newspapers verge towards certain political convictions. Social media advertising allows you to be more precise in your targeting than it has ever been possible. You need to identify your potential customers to use all the tools available to craft a message that will be enticing to them in particular. Creating customer personas is essential for cutting the costs and raising efficiency on social media advertising platforms.
Facebook enables you to target many variables attached to the targeted customers. You should strategically link your buyer personas to the target information when creating a new campaign. If you don’t have any personas created, it’s essential to invest some time and effort into delineating who your average buyer is.
Gender, age, interests, and location are the main pieces of data you should collect and merge into fictional profiles. While there might be only a handful of people perfectly matching with your persona, using these profiles still helps to create proper segmentation and designing a well-targeted advertisement message. The infrastructure of social media platforms allows us to get the right message out to the right people.
3: Picking the right platforms and approaches
A platform is the key
Let’s say you’ve identified the target groups. It’s crucial to take into account that social media platforms are very varied; determining a target group is only part of the job. You need to pick the best medium to advertise on. Based on the data you’ve collected on your potential customers, you’ll be able to identify what platform they prefer. When your targeted segment adores Pinterest but doesn’t really do Twitter, then there’s no point in investing too much budget in tweets.
Many possible approaches
Considering that different demographics prefer different platforms, you should also have a diversified approach towards crafting ad copies. There is a broad spectrum of variables that come into play when you’re advertising on different platforms like tone, visuals, copy length, post format, and so forth.
However, it’s safe to say that any approach needs to be thoroughly tested. This infers that before establishing the optimal strategy on a particular platform, you need to start with meticulously testing all the variables and finding the best combinations.
4. Create a financial plan
Planning the costs
When lacking financial planning social media advertising can be a cause a significant portion of your budget to leak. Having a well laid out financial plan allows you to set realistic goals regarding potential results.
However, advertising doesn’t imply just paying for ads to be distributed to your target audience. It often implies having a list of 10 essential activities, and each of them demands a piece of your budget. Below you’ll find an approximate percentage breakdown of how much to is commonly used for each of these activities:
• Strategy and Planning — 10%
• Project Management — 5%
• Design, Images, and Videos — 25%
• Ad costs — 40%
• Text and editing —15%
• Tracking — 5%
Two expense categories
Creating a financial strategy for social media advertising includes two main expense categories. The first category contains all expenses that need to be taken care of before running the campaign. Copywriting, graphic design, and investing in social media monitoring tools are just some of the possibilities.
The second category of expenses reflect the costs related to running the campaign on a particular platform. For example, Facebook or LinkedIn receives the latter. Outsourcing the campaign set-up activities? Then you should consider increasing your budget by 15-20%. It is also advisable to hire top writing services to craft a well-penned ad copy for you.
5. Measuring the results
What are the essential metrics?
Once your advertising campaign starts running on social media, you need to start measuring the results thoroughly. Just skimming through metrics isn’t enough. We need to carefully study all the financial implications of the metrics that our campaigns have shown. Depending on the peculiarities of your business, you may need to be looking at the following:
• CPA (cost per action)
• CTR (click-through rate)
• Traffic activity
• Traffic sources
• Mobile traffic
• Cost per lead
• Customer conversion ratio
Ignore the vanity metrics if needed
If your social media advertising strategy fails to include tracking, measuring, and analyzing key indicators, you aren’t off to a good start. Putting the results into the context of measurable goals allows you to evaluate different approaches.
Once you have more data, deciding on relevant advertising methods becomes easier. Always try to see past the “vanity” metrics. They catch the attention of all social media marketers, but professionals often ignore them as irrelevant. Each metric gains relevance in the light of particular business goals.
Experiment with analytics software
Another thing to note is the sheer amount of tracking and analyzing software. It’s essential to take the time and find which one works best for you. It’s always a good idea to have someone with a digital analytics background in the team, in order to leverage their understanding of tracking and analytics software.
6. Optimizing constantly
Optimize to cut costs
Every successful social media advertising strategy relies heavily on optimization. There is always space for improving metrics, reducing costs, and increasing engagement. Usually, this means spotting patterns that lower your costs per conversion or other digital goals. Say, for instance, your target group responds positively to visual cues in posts, you can always try to implement emojis in your copy to increase the emotional value of your social media posts, which in effect will increase engagement. You are able to optimize by having the same style across all the posts.
A or B – which performed better?
Sometimes small details make a huge difference. This is why A/B testing is a fundamental part of optimization. Trying out new tweaks one at a time is much more costly in terms of time and energy compared to straightforward A/B experiments. Therefore, when planning campaigns, you should take the time to prepare two or more iterations of the same ad post to be able to test other variables.
Influencers’ value isn’t uniform
The same goes for opting for influencers as part of your social strategy. Getting influencers on board is a great way of reaching out to people that might highly value your products. When you have a bigger budget, then it’s a good idea to do a few test runs with different social media influencers. This lets you see who has the most responsive audience in terms of engaging with your services or products. After that, you can cut the collaboration with the low performers and start working with the stars.
Social media advertising can often seem intimidating and overly complex. However, the critical aspect behind it is to follow your company’s needs before anything. There is no ideal way of running a campaign, since different companies have different aims and goals when it comes to advertising.
Now that we’ve gone through the essentials, it’s on you to invest time into defining your own KPI’s and goals.