Are you looking to dabble in paid ads but don’t have the resources to learn a new platform? Consider using one you already use in your free time – social media. Social media ads can get you the reach you want without the complexity of alternative pay-per-click (PPC) advertising methods. These ads are exactly what your company needs to get your inbound marketing efforts off the ground. Whether you want to share a new eBook or encourage online sign-ups, social media won’t let you down. Here’s how to take advantage of this easy-to-use advertising platform.
Why pay for social media ads?
Organic reach is decreasing with every day that goes by. Even if you have 1,000 followers, each post may only reach 20 people. Why is that? Perhaps these platforms realized they could make a quick buck off of companies because more than 90% of American companies use social media as part of their marketing strategy. Or maybe it’s because new algorithms are released to customize a user’s timeline based on their preferences. If you want to disrupt that, you have to pay.
But think about this: People use social media to share their interests and consume information. Is there a better place on the Internet to advertise your noteworthy, original content? Probably not. And it’s relatively inexpensive, unlike those radio spots or newspaper ads. To get the most out of your ads, make sure you don’t skip any of the following steps:
Step 1: Determine your goal
Determining your goal before you get started kills two birds with one stone: You’ll establish a destination and decide which type of ad you’ll be using.
Not all ads are created equally. Some are better to create brand awareness, while others are better for immediate lead generation.
If your company just created a Twitter account and wants to quickly establish your presence, you can build a following by promoting your account. Did your marketing team just release an eBook? Promote the post on Facebook to encourage downloads. Are you in desperate need for web leads this month? Create standard Facebook display ads to encourage people to visit your website.
Step 2: Target your audience
All major social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.) allow you to create sponsored content. How do you know which platform to use? Start with what you know, like who your audience is or what you feel more comfortable using. Demographic information about each platform is just a Google search away. Before you make any assumptions, remember that Facebook was once for college students but is now a picture-sharing hub for grandparents. Once you have the proper platform in mind, it’s time to create a target audience. We advise using historical data of actual customers, not of people who “like” or “follow” your page. Don’t feel like creating an audience from scratch? You can upload a list of current customers and make a lookalike audience. If your product or service is not a frequent purchase (i.e. membership, big ticket item, etc.), you can exclude this audience so you don’t waste your time retargeting current customers.
Step 3: Add tracking pixels
If you forget to add your tracking pixels or code to your website, you might as well forget about using social media ads. Every time someone takes a desired action (e.g. fills out a form, purchases an item, etc.), the tracking pixel fires and registers a conversion. If the code is not on the site, you will see that people are clicking on your ads, but no one is converting. Do you not have access (or the technical know-how) to add this snippet of code? You can track conversions from social media in your Google analytics account, but this won’t be as helpful because you’ll also be viewing goal completions from organic social.
Step 4: Keep an eye on your ads
Once your social media ads are up and running, you can’t simply set them and forget them. While you don’t have to keep a constant eye on them like a stock ticker, you should poke your head in every few days. The reporting tools aren’t as advanced as your paid search options, but they give you a pretty good idea of which ads are performing and which ones are not. Pause the ones with low quality scores or cost per conversion.
Step 5: Keep it fresh
One day you’re in someone’s Top 8, the next no one even understands that Myspace reference.
The key to social media success is to keep your ads fresh and exciting. Once the frequency starts climbing, it’s time to give your campaign a new facelift.
The timeline for this depends on the platform. Facebook ads can stay strong for a month, while Twitter ads need to rinse and repeat every few days.
Contact us today for more tips and tricks on how to make your inbound marketing campaign a social media star.