13 Jan Use Social Media Ads [Social Media Tip]
I know what you’re thinking – either “aren’t you all about an organic audience?” or “Ads? I don’t have that kind of budget”. Social ads boost your organic reach, and they’re not as expensive as you think. Hmm… to have more potential customers see my brand or go on a Starbucks run? If you’re serious about your business, putting a few dollars into social media ads is worth it.
The benefits of social media ads go beyond driving traffic to your website, product, or collecting leads (although they work great for these). Social media ads are a great way to bring more attention to a post, or your social channels in general, building brand awareness, and in turn also increasing your fan numbers (yay). Because of the way social media ads are targeted (I’ll get into this in a bit) and the context of the content in the ad, the fans you are collecting should (I say should because this is depending on the quality of content you promote and if the targeting is done correctly) be an extension of the fans you already have.
A few reasons why you should test $25.00 in a social ads/network:
- Targeting: Social media ads offer really, really specific targeting. LinkedIn allows you to target specific groups, Twitter lets you target the followers of specific accounts and multiple hashtags, Facebook has the option to show your like campaign to friends of the people who already like your page. More recently, Facebook and Twitter have included custom audiences – using your list to target your customers and then serve your ads to other people who mirror your list. Creepy, but effective.
- Conversion Tracking & Re-marketing: Social ads can track if someone visited your website and later made a purchase after interacting with your Twitter or Facebook ad. Facebook re-marketing also allows for the reverse – finding people who have visited your website and showing them your ad on Facebook. Again, creepy, but effective.
- Call to action buttons: Facebook and Twitter now offer call to action buttons built right into your ad. The buttons have a variety of different call to action choices including “Shop Now” and “Learn More”. This saves valuable character space and the buttons have proven to increase click throughs.
- Flexibility. Test combinations of text and creative in one campaign. Toss the ones that don’t work and allocate your budget to the ads getting the most action.
- Budget: Last but not least, and certainly an important factor is budget – social media ads don’t cost a lot. If you had a post do exceptionally well and it got shared 1,ooo times on Facebook, you can “boost” it and add targeting with a minimum of $1.00 – you read that right $1.00 minimum. Literally less than a trip to Starbucks. Boosting a post is easy and I’ve boosted posts from my mobile app for as little as $3.00. As with anything, the more you spend the more you get. This doesn’t mean putting a small budget won’t get you anywhere. Remember your post with 1,000 shares? Even a tiny budget will push it to more newsfeeds, which means more shares – more visibility and reach (that you essentially did not pay for) perhaps the start of a viral post? More eyes, more fans, more branding, more potential customers for minimal cost.
I won’t lie, social media ads are time consuming to put together. Every part of the ad matters from the creative, to frustrating character limits. A few tips for success:
- Test. Create several images, and several text options. Mix and match to form combinations. You will see in real time (or close to real time) which images and text pairings are working best, and which are getting clicked on most.
- Allocate your budget to what does work. Keep track of your analytics and dump the messaging/image combinations that aren’t converting. This will allocate your budget to the ads that are working. Yay you, getting the most bang for your buck!
- Be clear on who your target is. This because you want to reach the right people. Where are they? What groups are they a part of? Always know your audience. The more you can narrow down and target, the better.
- Be clear on objectives. Knowing your objectives helps you in the creative and messaging parts of your ads.
The bottom line is social media ads work. With such detailed targeting, the ability to reach your own existing customers and people like them how could they not? The ability to target and monitor your audience’s response to the ad so closely also means that you can afford it! Go ahead, boost a post, run a like campaign – it can cost less than your latte to acquire a fan and potential customer.
I leave you with the “Social Media Marketing Advertising Beginners Blog” from the Buffer App blog – a great place to start brushing up on all the different advertising options available on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
Have any questions about social media ads? Let me know in a comment or tweet me @DhariLo