Using paid advertising on social media is a quick and effective way of reaching a large, yet specific audience. Targeting people based on demographics, interests and geographic locations. This can either be for a specific post or for the social media account as a whole. Before you get started, make sure you have a clear objective of what you want to achieve from this and then you can measure against this to evaluate the success.
Paid advertising can differ depending on the social media channel, so we’re going to take you through the process for each key social media channel and give you an insight into the most important pros and cons to make it just that bit easier for you.
We use Facebook advertising regularly with many of our clients, and it’s very straight forward. Facebook Advertising options are vast and it’s crucial to think about your objective and the content you are promoting to make this work successfully. There’s also been some interesting research on the which is better: Boosting a post, to promote or create a specific advert. Give this a read!
In the main, we boost posts like the one below for a competition with Wagtail Designs.
In this instance, the objective was to increase likes and drive awareness of the new range of cycling related products. We, therefore, targeted those specifically interested in cycling across the UK. Facebook also allows you to target those who do not currently like your page, which means you don’t waste your budget on your current fans.
Another successful campaign, we ran was boosting a Facebook Page for Remi Cachet, again with the objective of increasing likes and promoting their attendance at a trade show in the US. Targeting those with job titles, work and interests in hair and hair extensions in the US only, we attracted nearly 500 likes in a short time and the US soon became their second largest audience moving forward.
After you have set your audience, you will get an estimated reach figure and guidance from Facebook on the cost of the campaign depending on the length of time you want. With a minimum of £1 a day for 7 days, you can always go back and tweak your audience to add or deduct to suit your budget.
One point to note is that if you work as a team the person who created the boost will be the only one who can amend it and the post itself. So if you’re not around and you want to edit anything mid-promotion, plan ahead for a colleague to load and monitor this.
If you are starting out, we would also recommend that you test and review your results. Facebook results are easy to understand. If you have been boosting posts then through Insights Post tab, swap the end category into the Engagement Rate and see if these posts have actually resulted in higher engagement. You may well be gaining likes, but check your unlikes too!
We personally find promoting on Instagram really easy. You can either direct people to your website/profile or call/visit your business. It then gives you a selection of action buttons to choose from, such as learn more, shop now or contact us. The beauty of promoting your Instagram posts is that as well as allowing you to target a specific audience by location, interests and behaviours, they also offer an ‘Automatic’ function, whereby they target an audience for you who they believe will be interested in your post. Easy!
Don’t forget Instagram Stories! Instagram now offer advertising on their stories, allowing you the opportunity to connect with the over 200 million people using Stories daily.
Twitter Ads are much more rigorous.
The following options are offered: Website Clicks or Conversions, Followers, Awareness and Tweet Engagement.
If growing your followers is a priority, they offer a service to primarily do so. Yet, you are advised to have less than 1000 followers in order for this function to be worthwhile. But if you’re just starting out, this will most probably apply to you. Your account will appear in Home Timelines, Who to Follow, and search results of those relevant to you.
As with Tweet Engagement, Promoted Trends and Promoted Tweets are labelled to distinguish it from other recommended accounts. Twitter suggest using this feature if you are launching a new product or opening in a new location.
Our favourite thing about Twitter Ads is that you are only charged per follower gained from the ad (not organically), per click through to your website, per engagement or impression. Therefore, each penny spent has been used effectively.
The social media advertisements mentioned above are affordable, so if it’s something you’re thinking about doing, go for it! It is, however, less credible than organic growth and engagement so please don’t over use this. This is because it is stated when the advertisement is paid for and social media is based on trust. Therefore, it is so important to create a balance between organic and paid advertising activities and keep your content engaging so your paid likes don’t unlike you.