Welcome back to the second part of my Attracting Customers and Fans using Social Media Series, where we learn different social media strategies and how it plays a part in gaining traffic, and displaying to your proper main target. This week we will be diving into Social Ad Tactics: Focus, Research, and Measure. This week well answer the questions everyone has been asking like why would I use social ads to promote my brand? or How can I set up my social ads for success? or How do I know if my ads are working. Let’s dive deep and look at each one of these individually, and see how we can increase your social ad investments, by utilizing the 3 key components of Focus, Research and Measure.
Imagine Layla’s Llamas sells sweaters knit from the wool of, you guessed it Llamas. Layla wants to advertise on social media to let people know she is having a sale. She isn’t sure what she wants her ad to say but like the phrase “Shama-llama-ding-dong” because it’s funny and attention getting. So, she uses it as the ad’s headline and features a beautiful photo of a sweater. She finishes submitting her ad and payment to her chosen social media network, turns off her computer and calls it a day.
You can probably already guess that Layla’s social ad won’t be hugely affective. Beyond the ad’s headline where else did Layla go wrong? Let’s count the ways.
Did Layla check if her target audience is active on her chosen social network? No
Did Layla make sure her ad’s copy and imagery work hard to help her reach her goals? No
Did Layla use a photo of a beautiful llama sweater in her ad? Yes
Did She figure out how to measure her ad’s return on investment (ROI)? No
Layla only made sure that her ad would feature a llama sweater. She didn’t set a business goal for her ad, research her target audience’s social media habits, or figure out a way to track her ad’s ROI.
Done right, social media ads (those display ads and promoted posts on social networks) can help you efficiently connect with your target audience. That’s because social media ads let you reach audiences based on occupation, interests, locations, gender, and other information people like to share on social networks. These ads also let you measure how effective they are, kind of like a built-in self-evaluation function. You can track how many leads the ads bring in and / or how many people sign up or take other actions based on your call to actions (CTA). To get the most out of your social media ads, however, set them up and run strategically. Research your target audience, set a goal, develop and test your ad’s creative elements, and measure your ROI.
First, let’s look at setting goals for your social ads. You don’t want to leave your ads stranded on a social network without a specific job to do. Decide on the one thing you want each ad to help you do. Do you want newsletter signups? Social media followers? More sales? Don’t forget: Your ads’ visuals, messaging, and call to action (CTA) need to drive to this goal. Whatever your goal is, make it the one and only focus of that ad. Giving your ad too many jobs to accomplish and your audience too many CTA’s to choose from can hurt your ad’s performance.
Next, research your target audience. Beyond looking at demographics, make sure you’re targeting the right audiences by checking out similar businesses. Specifically, look at who you want to follow you on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn. Then set up ads to target those people. Also, not every social platform is right for your brand and goals. Invest your time and money on the ones that are most popular with your audience and that get you the best ROI. To figure out where you should be investing, analyze your website data to determine which social media channels are driving traffic your way. Tools like Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics can help you do this. You can also go through the process of creating an ad on a social platform without actually buying or running the ad. This can give you valuable insights into the targeting capabilities of that particular platform.
“Good results aren’t just about getting a high click-through rate. You want to invest in social platforms that have audiences who engage with your brand and also complete your ad’s CTA. Knowing your target audience and your social media platforms will help you develop and test your ads’ creative elements.”
To come up with the right message, check your brand’s social media pages for your most popular non-paid posts. Study their language, tone of voice, and content, and use what worked well to help you craft your ads (as long as it’s relevant to your goal). Messaging should be goal-oriented and also clearly state the benefits of clicking on your ad (like “30% off”). You pay per click, so you want to avoid click-throughs where people leave your site right away because it’s not what they expected. Your visuals should stay true to your branding and imagery your customers are familiar with. If your ad leads to a landing page on your website, make sure the visuals on both match.
“To track the performance of your creative elements, use third-party analytics tools like Marketo or Salesforce to monitor ads and test variations. This lets you be more hands-on with tracking, versus relying solely on social platforms’ analytics.”
Once your ads are up and running, it’s time to measure your ROI – or how effectively and efficiently your ads are helping you reach your goal. If your goal is conversions or sales, a good ROI means you make more from your social ads than you spend on them. To track which site customers came from social ads, you can use UTM-coded URLs (trackable text added onto your site URL). Some social platforms also offer pixel tracking programs, where you embed snippets of code that let you see how people are interacting with your ads. If your goal is generating leads, you can assess your ROI by figuring out your cost of acquisition, or how much each lead is worth to your business. To get this information, you first need to calculate your average conversion rate.
Let’s say you know 4 out of every 100 people who visit your website (leads) end up buying (conversions), and they spend an average of $1,000. Your average conversion rate is 4%, or 4 conversions ÷ 100 leads. To get your cost of acquisition, take the average conversion rate and multiply it by customers’ average spend. In our example, it would be 4% x $1000, which is $40. For a good ROI, then, your social ads need to cost less than this per lead.
Don’t miss social media opportunities
How is your social media strategy faring? Is it producing the expected results? How do you deal with setbacks, and more importantly, how do you determine where the problem is and how it should be fixed?
Remember, consulting with a social media expert ensures you’re benefiting from the most cutting edge tools available, and not losing out on opportunities right beneath your nose. If you don’t have a professional on staff, be sure to schedule a consultation every so often, to make sure you’re not falling behind on current trends, or missing an important piece of your target market.