Making the Most of Social Advertising without Worrying About Tech Changes4 min read

social advertising

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Welcome to the wild west of advertising. Social ads are truly unchartered waters for most traditional marketers, and even those who have played in the digital space for a decade struggle to keep up with the changing tides. Every month, there’s a new button or feature with one of the major social networks. Even the most tech-savvy marketers can fall prey to subtle changes in Facebook or Twitter’s API, not to mention networks where advertising is slowly emerging, such as Pinterest.

So how do you keep up? Focus on the timeless, not the timely.

There are a few underlying principles that are true of social media advertising today and will continue to ring true no matter what changes we see in technology or network preference. I could give you quick tips for optimizing your Twitter or Facebook ads today, but quick tips and short-sighted solutions are for quitters. There are three core principles that ring true throughout all social advertising, and if they ever change, I will eat my hat.

Don’t Be Lazy, Do the Research

A basic principle of marketing that has never and will never change… Your ads can only be as good as the research that informed them.

Social networks have made targeting your key demographics easier than ever. Never before have brands been able to hit such concentrated segments at scale. Just because actually targeting and reaching them is easy, however, doesn’t mean that knowing who to target has gotten any easier.

Don’t get lazy and carpet bomb “Men and women, age 25-60, located in the United States.” Your social ads can only be as effective as the vision behind them, and if you don’t have a specific audience in mind and a specific action for them to take, your social ads will fail. Helpful things to be thinking about when targeting for any social campaign:

  • Where do my consumers hang out? Start with where they hang out online – Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc. – and then move offline. What cities, states, or regions should you be targeting with what messages?
  • What interests my consumers? And please, DO NOT say your brand. 99.9999% of the time, no one cares about your brand. What actually interests your target consumers when they’re not being advertised to?
  • What competitors do you want to steal market share from? What do their consumers care about and what advantages do you have to offer them that they may not know?

Put Good In, Get Good Out

Another fundamental principle of marketing… If you put good effort and resources behind something, it’s far more likely to succeed.

Social advertising can be a fickle beast and you only get as much out of it as you’re willing to put in. Don’t skimp on effort here. Just because you’re paying less per exposure or interaction on social doesn’t mean you should be skimping on copywriting or design resources. Here’s a list of the resources that you need to put behind every social ad campaign if you want to see it succeed:

  • Strong strategic vision for each ad campaign, including a full calendar outlining how you will focus your campaign over time.
  • Strong copywriting and copyediting on all advertising and landing pages.
  • Strong design on all ads and landing pages.
  • Lead capture on all landing pages.
  • Lead nurture capabilities for more effective follow-through.
  • A strong analytical mind who can produce true insights from social data and react appropriately, which brings me to our last core principle…

React Based on Data, Not Instinct

This isn’t just true of marketing decisions, it’s true of all business decisions… you need to follow the numbers.

Digital advertising gives you more data than any other form of advertising. If you’re not leveraging that to make better decisions, you’re not doing your job as a marketer. Analytics platforms change all the time, but the ability to leverage the data that is housed in these platforms is a universal and permanent need in the world of marketing.

As the marketing tech world evolves platforms will change, some social networks will die, and new networks will emerge. Nothing about today’s social advertising world is destined to stay put. Most of the “Optimization Tricks” you’re employing today will be absolutely worthless a year from now. These core principles, however, will remain the same.

If you want to learn more about social advertising and the impact it could have on your business, let’s chat. Fill out our form here and we’ll get back to you shortly!