5 Questions to Ask Before Running Ads on Social Media

Apr 10, 2017 | Digital Marketing

Advertising has long been an important part of running a successful business.

The difference in recent years is that social media has become one of the most important channels to consider when putting together your advertising campaign.

Social media platforms that allow paid advertising have grown enormously over the last five years. Back in 2005, Facebook got it all started by launching Beacon, but it really supercharged everything by allowing ads in its News Feed in 2012. Linkedin got in the ad game in 2008, and since that time, advertising has become available on Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat. (The social networks that don’t allow advertising are the ones struggling at this point.).

For the advertiser, social ads offer the opportunity to build brand awareness, boost website traffic, increase conversions, develop leads and draw people to your business location. These ads combine text and display and are targeted based on user demographics, interests, and location.

A successful social advertisement requires more than a good image and a catchy headline; it requires a plan. So before you begin placing social ads, make sure you can get the most out of your advertising by asking yourself these following five questions:

1. What do I want to achieve with this campaign?

Before creating or placing your ad, establish goals or outcomes that you want to achieve. Do you want to increase sales or expand brand awareness? Do you want to generate leads or send people to your website? Your goals will drive strategy and also provide a means to measure the success of the campaign.

2. Who do I want to reach?

Understanding your audience is one of the biggest factors in the campaign’s effectiveness. One of the main reasons a campaign is unsuccessful is because it didn’t reach the correct audience. Knowing who you want to reach will help you place your ads on the correct social platform and ensure that it is shown to the audience that would be most interested. To define your audience, ask yourself questions such as; “Who are my customers?”, “Who is my competition?” and “What problems does my company or product solve?” Answering these will give you an idea of the type of people you should be targeting with your content.

3. Which platform is best?

Once you’ve determined your target audience, which social platform(s) to choose will become clearer. As every social media platform is different, so are their audiences. If your target audience is 25 to 34 year olds, then Facebook may be the best platform to place your ads, whereas if your audience is 30 to 64 year old business professionals, Linkedin would fit that criteria best. According to an Emarketer survey, 95.8% of marketers report that Facebook provides the best ROI, with Twitter following at 63.5%. So taking those observations into consideration when starting your ad campaign could prove to be beneficial. Just keep in mind that there isn’t a single network that is best for every business.

4. How much will I need to spend?

One of the benefits of social media advertising is that it’s relatively low-cost compared to other advertising methods. You don’t need a large budget and can adjust your budget depending on how the ad is performing. Social ads offer a broad reach for a low cost. For example, promoted tweets on Twitter could cost you anywhere from 50 cents to $10 or more per engagement, depending on the type of ad and how targeted it is. The key here is to test your ads to see what objectives are right for your audience and budget.

5. How will I measure success?

Similar to most types of advertising it’s critical to measure performance to optimize ROI. Test content, imagery and audience targets to determine what’s working and what’s not. The great thing about social advertising is that you can track just about everything within their tools. Most platforms offer clear real-time metrics to measure performance allowing you to see immediate feedback on your ads. To aid in measurement of the entire view of customer interaction we suggest clients enlist Google Analytics and Google Analytics Link Builder when evaluating success of your social advertisements.

Once you answer these questions, paid social media can be successful for your business. Experiment by starting small to see where you’re finding the most success. If you’re ready to get started or need help in building a strategy, reach out to BlueSky Digital Marketing team today.

About The Author

Beth Duncan

Beth is the Digital Marketing Manager at BlueSky Technology Partners. Her background includes building and developing B2C and B2B digital marketing practices. With over 6 years of experience in many disciplines including social media advertising, brand messaging, community management, content creation, and analytics management. Beth has gained a reputation for being a versatile marketer.