Tired of running your social media ads campaigns with a poor return on investment (ROI)? You need to optimize your social media advertising campaigns.
A well-optimized social media ads campaign will increase conversion and ROI.
Google is a great way to find new customers and make more sales, but in 2018 when rumors about the impending death of search engine optimization (SEO) are rife, attention is switching to social media.
Social media is a big deal for brands who want to meet their customers where they are at so they can boost relationships, conversions, and sales.
However, the problem is that to reach as many targeted people as possible, we have to run ad campaigns. And ad campaigns can get mighty expensive if you do them wrong.
The numbers for this are scary. According to a report, brands on social media can easily waste as much as 80% of their budget on advertising campaigns.
And the problem isn’t even just that you’re losing cash on your social media advertising campaigns.
The problem is that, as long as you keep running ineffective ads, you’re losing time and potential customers, and you’re also falling behind your rivals.
We’re not going to lie: hitting a home-run with your social media ads isn’t easy. However, companies before you have been there, done it and made a success of it.
There are lessons you can learn to have success when it comes to optimizing your social media advertising campaigns.
How can you optimize your social media advertising campaigns to improve the return of your investment?
Here’s what you need to do…
1. Know your campaign objectives
For a social media ads campaign to be successful, it must be driven by a clearly established set of objectives right from the start.
If you’re not totally sure what your goals are just yet, here are some ideas:
- Boost sales – This is an obvious one, and many brands use social media for the sole purpose of boosting their sales. Perhaps, for example, you could use your ads to push promotions and discounts.
- Boost traffic – Traffic without sales isn’t totally useless. In fact, it’s often a good idea to use paid ads to drive more traffic to your site so that you can see what people like and don’t like about it. For example, without substantial traffic, you’ve got no real way of discerning how effective your landing page is. It could be that a few tweaks to the images and design of your website could boost conversions. Moreover, more traffic on your website also allows you to capture email addresses via a lead magnet.
- Boost engagement – It’s impossible to gauge much about your social audience if no one is even engaging with your posts. When you pay for social media ads, you could use them to see what content people interact with the most.
- Boost brand awareness – No one is going to buy from you if no one knows you exist. The easiest way to raise awareness of your brand and put it into the minds of customers is to run an ad campaign on social media. The more people see you, the more they will start to trust your brand.
- Boost leads – If you just want to get people into your funnel, social media ad campaigns can help with that.
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Once you’ve selected your goals and written them down, you then need to decide which social platforms to advertise on.
There are a number of social media platforms available to you, but there’s no need to advertise on each one. So which ones should you choose?
It depends on a few factors. Let’s take a look at each of the main social platforms:
- Facebook – This one is a must for all brands, as it’s still the social media network with the most engagement. Facebook is ideal for building relationships through valuable content, and it allows you to easily ask questions and live stream.
- Instagram – Instagram is growing rapidly. If you want to catch your audience’s attention with a visual ad, it’s the place to be. Shots of your products, cool stock photos, and behind-the-scenes glimpses are great ways to lead customers to your website.
- Twitter – Twitter is great for raising awareness of your brand and you can use ads to help you create a buzz around a product launch.
- SnapChat – If you’ve got a younger audience, SnapChat is a good place to advertise. The ultimate aim is to encourage user engagement via fun, snappy ads.
- LinkedIn – If you’ve got a B2B business, LinkedIn lets you advertise to a very defined audience to generate highly qualified leads.
Whichever platforms you choose, make sure to always be looking for customer feedback so that you can keep delivering the content that people want to see.
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3. Decide on what devices to target
According to Twitter, 80% of their users access the social media platform via their mobile device.
What does this mean for you? It means that you need to tailor your ads according to a specific device.
Twitter actually lets you reach audiences based on all kinds of various things, from their mobile carrier to their operating system.
But why does device targeting matter?
A few reasons to consider…
For one thing, desktop users behave differently to mobile users, and when it comes to shopping, they are often looking for different things.
For example, mobile users search for local businesses more than desktop users.
For another thing, your social media ads campaigns must be properly optimized for the device you’re targeting.
If you’re targeting a mobile user who you know is 1 mile away from your physical store right this minute, you will lose their custom if your ad takes too long to load on their device.
Once you know what users expect from different devices, you can then start to focus your ad campaigns to increase conversions and sales.
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4. Targeting the correct audience with the correct advertisement
Following on from the above point, it’s key that you put the right ad in front of the right people. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your resources.
Fortunately, the top social media platforms are doing all they can at the moment to help you create a targeted audience.
For example, Facebook has an Interesting Targeting feature that lets you target users according to the interests that they like and share.
Audience Behaviours is another feature that lets you narrow down your audience so that you’re finding the right people.
At first, you will find that building a targeted audience is a bit of a guessing game. But as you experiment, you can then save your audiences and then tweak them as you go along.
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5. Monitoring your analytics
When you check your analytics, you can see how effective your ad campaigns are.
If, for example, it seems that you’re targeting the right people, you can then double down on that particular campaign and increase your budget for even more results.
And when your social media advertising campaigns aren’t performing well as you’d hoped, you can check your analytics to refine your targeted audience.
Analytics also give you insights into metrics such as clicks and conversions. These are important metrics to keep tracking.
For example, if clicks are down, it might be that your headline isn’t compelling enough.
Or if clicks are up but conversions are down, it could be that your call-to-action (CTA) isn’t compelling enough.
Here’s how to optimize your call-to-action to increase clicks and conversion on your social media advertising campaigns.
Run A/B tests too. These tests allow you to compare two ads that have the same message, but which are presented in two different ways.
For example, you could use a tool to create your own image for Ad 1 and compare how it performs versus a stock image in Ad 2.
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This is the scary bit for many of us – how much do we risk spending?
The common advice is that you create an ad on a small budget, and if it performs super well, you then run it again but with double the budget.
The problem is that, for many of us, if things don’t work out from the start, we either blow all our cash in one go, or we waste opportunities by limiting our audience with low bids.
When it comes to Facebook, there are a few different bidding strategies available to you such as:
Cost Per Mile (CPM) bidding allows you to set the max you want to pay for 1,000 ad impressions. It’s ideal if your goal is simply to raise awareness if you’re not a big brand.
Cost Per Click bidding (CPC) is where you bid for more clicks. This means that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.
This is ideal if you want to take people away from your ad and onto your website.
However, if no one is clicking your ad, it might not be too long before Facebook decides to pull it.
Bidding on Conversions
Your conversions depend on what your campaign goal is. For example, if your objective is to receive more Page Likes, Page Likes become your conversions.
Conversions are a good bidding strategy, as it’s the campaign most guaranteed to bring you the best results.
However you work out your bidding on social media, any strategy you use must align with your goals.
It’s important to be safe and smart, but you also need to find the right balance between effectiveness and not wasting resources.
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7. Advertising during the optimal time – matching the timing of when your audience is most active online
Lastly, for your ad campaigns to be effective, it’s not just enough that you target the right people – you need to target the right people at the right time.
There is no magic bullet for this one, but as long as you understand who your audience is and their behaviors, there’s no reason you can’t target them at the right time.
To do this, you need to check your analytics to first discover the demographics of your core audience, before running A/B tests to find out what time of the day and on what day of the week people engage with your content the most.
This can be costly, but once you’ve got all the data you need, you’ll be in a stronger position to consistently run ads at the right time.
All in all, winning on social media takes time, effort, knowing what platforms you should be targeting – and, ultimately, understanding your audience.
Apply these steps to optimize your social media advertising campaigns correctly and increase conversion and ROI.
About the author
Michelle is the Marketing Associate at Design Wizard. She spent four years studying Media Studies at Dublin Institute of Technology before completing her Master’s Degree in Marketing and Management in University College Cork. She’s delighted to work with such an exciting design software company and is eager to help Design Wizard continue to grow. Michelle is a dog lover. She enjoys going on hikes with her four-legged friend, traveling and going to the cinema (mainly for the treats).