So you want to advertise on social media? Use these 6 ad tips

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Posted by - Gavin
26/06/2020

A fairly low investment, a ‘ready-made’ platform and a ‘DIY’ approach – what could do wrong when it comes to advertising on social media? Not much, surely? Then, why do we hear so often, “Facebook ads don’t work for me” and “I never saw any sales when I advertised on Instagram”.

Usually, the reality is that social advertising will work for you. But knowing how to navigate, set-up and manage it correctly will be key to seeing a return on your investment.

So you want to advertise on social media?

In this blog post, we’ll dive into 6 ways you can increase your ad spend potential – giving you the very best chance of succeeding when it comes to social media advertising.

Want to cut to the chase and get expert support setting up your campaign? Get in touch to speak to our Digital Marketing experts about seeing results from your social media advertising.

6 social media ad tips

Pinpointing what you want to achieve is the first thing you need to do. Think about why you are running social media advertising. Is it to:

  • Increase followers or engagement? (i.e. more likes, comments and shares)
  • Generate leads? (i.e. getting more people to contact you about your product or service)
  • Drive traffic to your website? (i.e. you have a specific webpage you want to promote as part of the longer sales funnel – like a blog post)
  • Invite people to shop and buy? (i.e. you want people to convert there and then)
Tip 2: Make sure you use an ad type that fits your objective for advertising on social

Defining your objective(tip 1) allows you to pick the appropriate ad type.

For instance, on Facebook, you select between ‘Awareness’, ‘Consideration’ and ‘Conversion’ depending on what stage you expect your target audience to be at – and what step you’d like them to take next. This then further drills down your options.

You can see it gets pretty specific. So, if your audience is at the ‘consideration’ stage, it’s likely your audience already knows about you and is thinking about working with you/ buying from you – and comparing you to the competition at this stage.

Therefore, your goal will be to encourage video views, increase engagement, drive traffic to your website or generate leads – taking your audience member to the next stage.

An example of Facebook's prebuilt algorithm selector

No vanity metrics, please!

Avoid falling into the trap of, “we need more followers” and “we need more likes” and ask if that’s what you really need? An engaged audience that converts – even if only 10 people – is better than 100 or 1000 people who don’t care about who you are and what you do. And will never buy your product or services.

Remember, ‘likes’ don’t necessarily mean sales.

Tip 3: Keep your campaign structure simple

Running ads can become a headache. From set up to customisation, there are a lot of options. In reality, great ads take time to build – and then, optimise. So start simple and build as you go.

Most social advertising platforms follow similar steps:

  1. Campaign level – This is where you set your objective – which is the action you want people to take when they see your ads.
  2. Ad set level – This is where you detail out how your add will run and confirm the targeting, budget and timescale. The targeting is one of the most important elements of the campaign – and can make or break the performance. So, spend some time defining your audience. 
  3. Creative level – The last level, this is where you use different ad formats and creative (images, video, gifs etc.) and the copy (the words) to resonate with your audience. This is what your audience will see.

Top tip: Running different scenarios to test different elements of your creative is a great way to increase the efficiency of your ad spend.

Tip 4: Use high-value customers to create lookalike audiences

In Facebook terms, “a Lookalike Audience is a way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they’re similar to your best existing customers.” (Source: Facebook for Business, Learn about Lookalike Audiences).

A Lookalike Audience works by using a “Source Audience” from your Facebook fan page – or your Facebook pixel on your website or mobile app.

What’s a Facebook Pixel?

“Pixel is a few lines of code from Facebook that you copy into the header section of your website. This code allows the pixel to receive information about the actions taken on your site to make your Facebook ads more relevant to your audience.”

(Source: Facebook Pixel Overview)

Facebook uses your “Source Audience” to find people who are like your customers – using demographics. That’s everything from their age to their location. From this, you can narrow it down and focus on your ‘best’ customers for higher quality results.

Tip 5: Set up efficient tracking and measurement when advertising on social

Regularly reviewing your social media advertising campaigns is vital. However, with so many measurement options, what do you focus on?

Go back to your objectives and be clear on what you are looking to achieve – this will help steer you to decide what metrics to focus on.

Ultimately, you can use reporting to:

  • Work out how successful the ad has been by reviewing actions taken as a result of your ad (conversions, leads, offline decisions etc.)
  • Inform future-campaign decisions (compare with past campaigns, see what platforms worked best etc.)

Overall, you’ll have a good idea of your return on investment – and a clear picture of how to optimise for future advertising on social.

Tip 6: Try running A/B tests for different key elements

In your ad you’ll have:

  • Creative (the design, graphics, media)
  • Copy (the words you use)
  • Placements & format (where your ad appears and on what devices)
  • Call to action (what you want the person to do, i.e. “buy now”, “message us.”)
  • Bidding methods (lowest cost or target cost strategy)

Running A/B tests basically means tweaking these elements in your ad, or ad sets, to run two slightly varying versions – to understand how specific tweaks may perform stronger.

It allows you to make data-driven decisions in the future – because you know that advert ‘B’ performed better than advert ‘A’.

Run successful social media ad campaigns as part of your digital marketing strategy

If social media advertising is part of your overall marketing strategy, we hope this blog has given you some initial pointers to get started.

However, if you’d like more in-depth support, we’re here to help. As a full-service marketing agency, we will take a holistic view of your whole marketing strategy and advise you the best way forward – to make sure that social media advertising is the right way forward for you.

And if it is, we’ll help you put a plan in place that optimises your ad’s potential and ensures you work towards a healthy return on your investment.

Arrange your free digital marketing consultation

We are also running free digital marketing consultations at the moment for both new clients – and our existing clients! To get started, simply get in touch here to ask about an initial strategy session – where we’ll outline the initial actions your business needs to take in this increasingly digital world.