I’ve decided to put money behind our social media, how do I get started?
Social media is an important component in most companies’ marketing strategies. And it’s no wonder. More than 3.1 billion people (and counting) use social media channels, so it’s likely the person you’re trying to reach is in the mix.
In the early days, when everyone following you saw everything you posted, having a robust organic strategy might have been enough. Those days are long over. If you want to ensure you’re reaching your own followers and groups of people you think need to hear what you have to say, you’re going to need to put a paid program into place. It’s the best way to reach your target audiences and speak to them in a way that’s tailored to them.
When you decide to supplement your social media strategy with a paid promotion, you need to consider which channel is best for your audience, put a tracking process in place and ensure compliance is followed.
Choosing the Right Social Channel
Because you publish organic content on your social channels, you likely already have a channel-by-channel strategy and know which audiences engage best and with what type of content. But targeting tools give you immensely more options. Facebook and Instagram are ideal for B2C campaigns, whereas LinkedIn is more suited for B2B. If you’re looking to reach a younger audience, Snapchat may be a great place for your brand to play—if it’s a good fit.
In addition to thinking about which channels to use based on the audiences you’d like to reach, you should also consider if your creative content will perform well on the channel. You don’t want your content to stick out negatively or turn off people to your advertising. Instead, it should feel natural to users on the platform.
Social media allows the ability to track the performance of your advertising and tie back to defined KPIs. However, don’t rely only on the platform’s metrics; be sure to have a tracking system in place.
How do you do this? First, if you have a link present in any of your social advertising, it needs to be trackable. This allows you to correlate web traffic and activity directly to a specific ad. You can easily do this too with Google’s Campaign URL Builder. Next, set up an internal tracking process to be used consistently in which the campaign name and content help you track what type of ads are performing well, and which ones aren’t, so you can learn and adjust.
Depending on the industry you work in, you may have very strict compliance you need to follow in your advertising—and social is no exception. For instance, the location of any disclaimers may change based on which state you’re advertising in, or you may not be able to use your contact list based on restrictions.
But, it’s not just the compliance of your industry: you must consider the compliance rules that each social channel requires. For instance, if you’re working on a public affairs campaign, you may need to provide additional information about the actual person running the ads and who is paying for the ads.
These rules can play a big role in the type of language and images you use, so keep tabs on each platform’s guidelines, as they are adapted frequently.
Once you have a social media advertising strategy and process in place, these three aspects become second nature, but they tend to get forgotten when first starting out. If you look deeply into these prior to launching your campaigns, you’ll save time in the long run.