So, you’re in charge of your company’s social media accounts? You’ve probably got the usual posting and engagement under control, and you might already reply diligently to all of your followers, so your reply rate is top-notch. You’ve looked into paid advertising but you’re not sure where to start. Facebook has probably sent you a teasing email saying: “Your post could be reaching more people online, boost it now!”
Does that sound familiar?
We know it’s tempting but step away from the boost button. It’s not your friend.
We’re here to help you avoid this and other common mistakes our clients make so you can succeed with paid advertising.
The truth is (unfortunately for us marketers) the days of posting something online and it reaching all your followers is over. Organic reach is down across most of the major platforms and places like Instagram and Facebook are now very much ‘pay to play’.
We’ve worked with B2B businesses across the globe to launch, grow and leverage their brands on social media. Here are the ins and outs of Facebook advertising strategy so you can skip the mistakes and go straight to sales…
As tempting as it is to use the boost feature on Facebook we highly recommend spending a bit more time and getting to know the Facebook Ads Manager. It may seem daunting at first, but it allows much more detailed budgeting, targeting, timing and placement of your ads. It also allows you to choose many more objectives than engagement alone. You might be looking for people to click through to your website, sign up for a sales opportunity, download an app or watch a video. All of this can be achieved with a little more time.
Now you’re in the social media Ads Manager, you may as well do more than just one ad. A/B testing two or more ads at once allows you to test different versions of your ads so you can see what works best and improve your future campaigns with actual results rather than guesswork.
Too many times have we seen people target 25-35-year-old males in Australia or 30+ females interested in food. This is not taking advantage of the wealth of data Facebook has at its fingertips. Narrow down your targeting using job title, interests, specific locations, Facebook activity, language, income, you can even target people by the car they drive or the number of children they have!
Now you’ve really drilled down on your target audience, you should speak directly to them and forget the rest of the general public that might see your ad. Don’t rely on targeting alone to compel them to click – make sure you use words and images that would make them crazy NOT to click on your ad. Make it specific, try things like “ATTENTION CHEFS” to literally get their attention and weed out any that might have snuck through your detailed targeting.
On top of this, make sure you’re not just using stock images. When people scroll through Facebook every day they only stop for eye-catching creative so make sure yours is loud and clear. Adding text is good too but be sure to keep it minimal (Facebook won’t let you advertise with an image that is over 20% text).
If you take a look at any of our current clients’ analytics, you’ll see that a vast majority of their audiences access social media through their mobile device. That means that most of our ads are being viewed on mobiles too. So, make sure your images are mobile friendly and work on a small screen. Test them before you publish them to avoid embarrassment like half your text being cut off or your image having terrible resolution.
Have you ever visited a website and then seen ads for that exact website later that day? Of course you have, it’s 2020. Well that is all thanks to a small piece of code referred to as a ‘pixel’. The Facebook pixel is relatively easy to install on your website and enables you to track when a user visits your site or takes an action (like signing up for a webinar or putting something in their cart). You can then easily retarget these users with a custom audience so your ads are even more targeted.
Sometimes it is all too easy to focus on the numbers of reach, engagement or leads and forget that these numbers represent actual people. Just because you got 10 leads for $10 each today doesn’t mean you can add $100 and get exactly 10 more leads tomorrow. Facebook’s advertising algorithm works like an auction, where you bid against other companies for users’ attention. The more people bidding for your audience, the more expensive it is. And you can’t just scale your ads and expect them to work like clockwork, your audience is human and humans all behave differently so expect your ads to go up and down.
This may all seem a little overwhelming at first, but social media advertising is an excellent way to complement your wider communication strategy and achieve goals other platforms (like traditional media) cannot. If you’re looking to incorporate social media paid strategies into your communication plan, we’d love to talk you through it.
Sponsored posts on social media increase your brand’s reach on key platforms. Contact us to start a conversation around social media marketing today!
Sarah Park is the Digital Director at Mulberry Marketing Communications, an award-winning full-service B2B communications agency based in Chicago, London and Australia. She oversees the development of digital marketing strategies for clients to drive brand awareness, and ultimately sales.