Do you recall how social networks started and what they were in the early years? It was just an online space for dating and communication. Today, social networks are full-fledged marketing and eCommerce platforms that brands use to maintain their level of awareness among the customers, communicate with clients, and direct sales. That is why such a factor as paid advertising on social networks has become a source of widespread discussion.
There is an atom of truth in that discussion. Why spend money on paid advertising on social networks when you can spend the same money, say, on attracting limited traffic to your website? And even 6-8 years ago, a marketer asking such a question would have been absolutely right. But today’s reality is that social media sales have become so commonplace that customers consciously enter social platforms to make purchases. In addition to this crucial factor, statistics show that most marketers go to social media with advertising budgets in order to increase brand awareness among the target audience. And that’s another key factor: paid social media advertising will allow you to scale and target your product to an audience that will ultimately increase your ROI.
We created this material with the aim of deeper immersion in the question of the social networks’ paid promotion reasonableness. Let’s figure out what this is all about.
SMA: Concepts And Meaning
At its core, Social Media Advertising (SMA) or Social Media Marketing (SMM) is a series of measures that includes promoting goods or services on social networks. The main thing to keep in mind when talking about SMM is that the key factor here is that the marketer can advertise the product to the most accurate target audience. That is why you should approach the choice of social platforms for promotion depending on your TA. So, advertising for more professional services, such as software development, is well suited for LinkedIn. At the same time, a new model of the oven is better advertised on Facebook, and so on.
Business needs an SMM for the same reasons. The thing is that organic or free promotion is constantly under pressure from search engines and social media algorithms. You can find the opinion that organic promotion will soon die, and that dispute is old. And while this type of promotion is still beneficial, more and more marketers and entrepreneurs are leaning towards paid promotion on social networks, thanks to the widest possible audience, in-depth targeting, and a higher ROI ratio.
The initially wrong approach to SMA, choosing the wrong platform, and failed targeting are some of the most common mistakes that inexperienced marketers make all the time. Let’s take a look at them to understand how to avoid them.
Top Mistakes In Your SMA Strategy And How To Avoid It
Meeting an experienced marketer, you might stumble upon the notion that there are no surefire strategies. We will not refute or agree with this statement, but just try to figure out how to avoid the most common mistakes in paid promotion on social networks.
Working without a strategy
One of the biggest mistakes that both newbies and seasoned marketers make when they get big ad budgets. Many people may be of the opinion that all that is needed for successful promotion is a huge budget. Unfortunately, this isn’t so. Thoughtless spending won’t lead to a positive result and money will simply be wasted.
In order to achieve high-quality promotion, it is necessary to develop a comprehensive personal and tailored to your particular company plan for SMM promotion, which in turn will be based on the Content plan. We will talk about how to do this in more detail closer to the end of the article, but for now, we will continue.
Not relying on data
Numbers are important in any promotion: data, feedback, and statistics, which you can rely on in order to correctly assess the effectiveness of the campaign and make changes in time. The second most common mistake is when marketers forget to keep track of their results and new data.
How to avoid this mistake. Keep an eye on analytics – such a tool is in the marketing profile of any social network. Thanks to this, you can turn off backfired ads in time and skip ahead to new ones. After all, the very first commercial posts rarely bring the desired result, so the very principle of working with SMM is to track your results based on data, scale, and make changes in time.
Producing the same content for all platforms
One of the most common mistakes. Each social network is unique in its content, audience, habits, age, geography, and so on. And if the situation when serious and professional content appears on Facebook in the form of a large analytical article with a technical focus is not so bad. Then an entertaining post with humor and emoticons on LinkedIn will only cause a negative reaction and harm the brand.
How to avoid this mistake. Carefully study your target audience at the stage of choosing a social network for promotion. Perhaps your audience is focused on just one of them. If you have a need to promote on several platforms at once, concentrate on making the content on the platforms different, but serving a single purpose – for example, leading to a single landing page on your site.
Lack of interaction with subscribers
Many marketers forget that customers subscribe to brands on social media for the sake of engagement. Therefore, the lack of attention from the brand is an extremely negative signal, which suggests that the company, by and large, doesn’t care about the comments and questions of its subscribers. It can ruin any marketing campaign, even one case can lead to great harm to brand prestige.
How to avoid this mistake. Make sure you have empaths on your company pages who are always checking new posts and campaigns for comments and questions. Also, subscribers are unlikely to be satisfied with a response in a day, so you need to get the fastest possible response from the marketing team. Consider each comment as a new opportunity to improve the level of engagement with your customers.
How To Create A Robust Social Media Advertising Strategy: Guideline
As you can see, there are many pitfalls here. In order to maximize the effect of your marketing campaign and minimize the risks, you need to follow this guide.
Set goals that match your company’s business logic
The basis of any marketing strategy is clear and achievable goals that match the business logic of your company. These goals shouldn’t exist in prostration, but to have a clear and reasonable deadline, at least approximate, as well as clear KPIs to evaluate the success of the strategy.
The correct goal should sound like this: we use Facebook ads in order to improve the indicators of our customer care department and reduce the time of our response to 20 minutes during the next month.
Finally, the metrics that you will track must be logical. The number of likes and subscriptions doesn’t bring real value to the brand, you need to measure the level of interaction, conversion, and so on.
Study your audience
Your business should have a clear user persona. They will be your focus in terms of creating content for further promotion. It is also obligatory if you hope that your subscribers in social networks will turn into your customers someday. A clear user persona must contain data regarding age, gender, location, work, a middle income of a person, and so on.
The process of creating the correct user persona may not be simple, so don’t hesitate to check free guides on the web.
Explore your competitors and their strategies
No doubts: your competitors already use social networks for marketing promotion, unless your product is something absolutely unique. However, this isn’t always a bad signal. On the contrary, you can explore their pages and the methodology for their promotion in order to throw non-working strategies in advance.
In addition, such an analysis will allow you to find weak places of competitors. For example, a competitor company ranked most of the niche on Twitter, but at the same time, it is still weakly represented in Facebook. This is your chance, it’s time to make a massive promotion there, while Twitter promotion can be postponed till better days.
Set up strong profiles
Social networks aren’t about profiles only, but it is precisely about their quality and content. First, make sure that your profile is filled with all possible information that can be interesting or useful to users. Further, a good idea will be to explore and use keywords to make sure more people from search engines can land on your page.
Finally, pay great attention to the design and appearance of the profile. It is extremely important to observe a single color topic and a palette, which corresponds to the logo of your brand, on all your social profiles. The single color gamma helps visitors subconsciously recognize and associate your brand with these colors.
Look for inspiration
Of course, your advertisement, strategy, profile, and product should strive to differ as much as possible from the competitors. Nevertheless, there is nothing wrong to look for inspiration from successful competitors’ stories. This will inspire you, as you can see some interesting cases of the past, which can be re-imagined and run again.
There are a large number of different awards, contests, and nominations regarding the best social networks promotion strategies. Every year, such giants as Facebook or Twitter choose the most interesting, successful, or original cases that can be studied in more detail.
Create a posting schedule
The regularity of the new content’s emergence is equally important as its quality. In order to achieve regularity, you can use automated tools like PromoRepublic. But what you can’t automate is the creation of new content. Therefore, it is necessary to achieve coordinated work for the entire marketing team.
Another important factor is posting time. Although it may seem baloney, each social network has an ideal time for posting, based on the represented audience. For example, a 50+ age male is unlikely to enter Facebook at 3:00 PM, so it makes no sense to show advertising content at such a time.
Finally, it is extremely recommended to combine content types, depending on what goals you put yourself at the very beginning. So, if your goal is to increase traffic to the site, then it is worth leaving about 60% for this type of content. At the same time, the remaining 40% can be broken down into entertainment, engagement, and learning (story about your company’s internal life) content.
Measure, Learn, Repeat
Ultimately, the strategy doesn’t end at the moment when primary goals are achieved. Marketing Promotion on social networks is a permanent process that needs to be evaluated constantly. Collect feedback, process it, make the necessary changes and run the process again. Change your metrics and KPIs, test and validate various ideas to run new types of promotion.
Even applying all these tips in practice, the paid promotion won’t necessarily bring you success and new leads & sales. Like it or not, but it is always a risky game. What you can do is minimize and predict as many risks as possible to maximize your chances to make your brand rockstarish.
Constantly increasing competition and high manufacturability of the production of products allows new companies to appear on the market with a daily frequency. In such a situation, there is often an entertaining effect – product quality goes to the background, and users choose those products that are better advertised. That is why it is critically important to properly approach the process of paid promotion in social networks.