It’s no secret that a social media presence is important for connecting with consumers and getting the word out about your business these days. There are all sorts of important elements of a successful campaign, such as posting on your page regularly, not being too self-promotional, including images, responding and engaging with followers, sharing a variety of content…of course I could go on. But another helpful way to increase your social media presence is through social media advertising. Why is this so important and how can you get started? Keep reading to find out!

Why Is Social Media Advertising Important?

Running a social media ad campaign is a fantastic way to reach new users. When you create an ad, you can determine exactly what type of user you want to target and place your content directly in their news feed.

In addition, the cost of running a social media advertising campaign is very cost-effective; you can choose a daily budget or a set amount for the life of the ad, and the platform will charge you a few cents to a couple of dollars per click. Compared to traditional advertising, the overall cost is much more manageable, especially for tight budgets!

But is social media advertising really effective? Yes, it is! Here’s what recent research shows:

According to Connext Digital

  • Consumers are 71 percent more likely to purchase a product based on social media referral. 
  • 31 percent of online consumers say they searched on social media for products before purchasing. 
  • 80 percent of consumers engage with brands through social media.
  • Millennials are 1.6 times more likely to use social media to learn about new brands. 
  • 47 percent of purchases by millennials are influenced by social media. 
  • Online stores that have a strong social media presence have an average of 32 percent more sales.

And according to Hootsuite:

  • 59 percent of global consumers use social media as a source of inspiration for purchases.
  • 31 percent of 16-24 year olds say they find new products and brands through paid social media ads.
  • 97% of digital consumers have used social media in the past month.
  • 52% of all online brand discovery still happens in public social feeds.

Social Media Advertising: What You Need to Know

Initial Advertising Questions

Before you begin your ad campaign, you need to ask yourself a few questions:

What are your goals? Make sure you have SMART goals in mind! They should be: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. 

  1. Where are your target users? Which social media platforms do they use? Facebook continues to be a popular choice, but it’s important you make the decision based on the consumers you’re trying to reach. If you’re trying to reach millennials, for example, you may want to invest in Instagram ads; if you’re targeting affluent women, Pinterest may be a better fit.
  2. What’s your budget? How much can you invest in social media advertising? While all social media platforms allow you to set your own budget, and the advertising fees are based on cost per click or impression, there is a pricing difference between the actual social media networks, as well as for the different types of ads you’re running.
  3. What sort of content do you have? Will you need to invest in professional photos or video, which may take funds from your overall budget? This is important to think about up front.

The Social Media Advertising Process

Once you’ve had a chance to think through the questions above, it’s time to get started!

  1. Define your goal. Are you trying to increase website traffic, page follows and so on? The results you’re hoping to achieve will drive your calls to action, images, videos, ad format and more.
  2. Define your target audience. In addition to options like geographic location, age and gender, think about their interests. What drives them? Each of the platforms have different options, but most of them allow you to choose job titles, income levels, relationship status, entertainment or dining and so on. The better you can specify your target, the more personalized you can make your ad, and the more successful it will be.
  3. Test up front. We always like to start with testing up front. What this means is, you run two virtually identical ads that have one variable so you can see which your target consumers respond best to. You can use different images, different text, different ad formats. There are all sorts of ways you can test your ads to learn what resonates best with the people you’re trying to reach.
  4. Design the creative. 
    • Each platform has different video and image specifications, so before you create your social media ad you’ll want to tailor your visuals to meet their requirements. Sprout Social has a fantastic guide to edit/crop your visuals so they’re the ideal size.
    • Each social media platform also has different specifications for content length. For example, Twitter limits the character counts much more than Facebook or LinkedIn. Before you write your ad’s copy, check out the character count limits you’ll be working with, so you don’t need to change the text you carefully crafted once you’re uploading the ad.
  5. Begin your ads. If you’re A/B testing, we recommend letting them run for 5-7 days and then reviewing which ad is resonating better and putting more money behind that one. In general, we recommend changing up your social media ads every 2-3 weeks so they don’t get stale in users’ feeds.
  6. Review the results and compare. The more ads you can run and the more results you can compare, the more you can start to see trends regarding which types of ads resonate best for your company.

Social Media Advertising Tips and Tricks

Here are some helpful advertising tips and tricks to keep in mind:

  • Remember the call to action! How do you want users to respond to your ad? This is your call to action! If you can entice users with something of value (such as a special discount or giveaway), even better.
  • Use clear, crisp visuals.
  • Update your ad content every several weeks; if the ads are showing up in the same users’ feeds, you don’t want it to get stale!
  • Put the most compelling information first since that’s what will draw users’ attention
  • Be relevant and timely.
  • Don’t use too many words in your visuals; in fact, Facebook only allows you to cover 20 percent of the image with text.
  • Consider including user-generated content to add a personal touch to the ads; just make sure you have permission from the user first!
  • Include hashtags in your ads (remember each platform’s best practices when you do this)
  • Keep the mobile user in mind! Remember, 90 percent of social media users are accessing the platform on their phones and tablets, so make sure the ads are compelling on these devices as well
  • Create a landing page for your website specifically for social media users who click your ad; creating a custom page allows you to target the first page they see on your website to reference the ad’s content or something specific they may be interested in
  • Remember to review analytics regularly; if you don’t look at what works and fine-tune your ads, you’re wasting your hard-earned dollars

Want to learn more about running a successful social media marketing campaign for your business? Check out these helpful blog posts:

Do you need help with your social media advertising campaign? Contact Three Girls Media today! We’re happy to help, whether through proofreading content or fine-tuning your target audience to actually running the ad itself.

Special Offer:

Sign up for a complimentary consultation during October and receive a Search Engine Optimization Guide valued at $475!  We offer a 30-minute phone consultation with our CEO, and can answer your questions and discuss your specific marketing needs - no strings attached. Call 408-218-2391 or contact us today to arrange your consultation!

Subscribe To Our E-Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest marketing news and advice from our team! We share tons helpful tips and tricks to keep you at the top of your marketing game.

Woo Hoo! You'll get your first newsletter soon!