If you’re a business owner, one of the most efficient ways to market yourself and increase your business’s profits is through a social media advertising campaign. Sound confusing? Read on for clarification and tips.

WHAT IS A SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN?

The concept of advertising is pretty straightforward. While marketing can be organic, the theory of advertising usually refers to promoting a business via paid means. As such, most businesses know that in order to advertise effectively, they’ll have to spend some money. However, spending money that doesn’t yield a great ROI (return on investment) is futile.

Therefore, social media is a tool that can be extremely advantageous to boosting not only ROI, but all the things that marketing efforts hope to achieve – a larger customer base, more consumer engagement, an increased number of conversions, and loyal patrons. A social media advertising campaign, then, is strategically using social media as your advertising platform of choice.

Social Media Advertising Campaign

BEST PRACTICES FOR SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

Like all other advertising campaigns, a successful social media advertising campaign takes more than just good guesswork; instead, an effective campaign strategy employs tried-and-true tactics, plenty of planning, and idea innovation. Some of the best practices of social media advertising campaigns include:

Determining your budget: Before rushing into a social media advertising campaign, it’s important to establish a budget, and to do some research about how much your desired campaign approach is actually going to cost. Advertising is rarely free, so make sure you know how much you’re going to have to fork over.

Defining your audience: Just as important as determining your budget is defining your audience; without doing so, you have no jumping off platform from which you can launch the ad campaign. You probably already know a good amount about your audience – like their primary age or gender – but more specific demographics – such as ethnicity, income level, and education level – can help you create an ad campaign that’s even more precise, targeted, and effective.

Setting goals: You should never enter a marketing or advertising campaign without a specific set of goals. Goals should be achievable and realistic – such as increasing user engagement by 20 percent – rather than unlikely, such as increasing profits by 90 percent in two weeks. Additionally, goals should have a specific time frame and strategy attached to them. You may know that you want to increase engagement by 20 percent, but thinking about how you’re going to make it happen is the real key.

Being creative: Ad campaigns that aren’t creative tend to fall flat. So, if your ad campaign is commonplace, has already been done by someone else, or is too boring, chances are it won’t be successful. Great ad campaigns offer the audience something new and exciting, bold or out-of-the-box.

Measuring success: Once you’ve pulled the trigger on a social media advertising campaign, monitoring and measuring its success is crucial. By doing so, you can discover what is and what is not working well, and make adjustments as necessary.

HOW TO MEASURE THE SUCCESS OF A SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN

When measuring the success of a social media advertising campaign, or the campaign’s ROI, the first thing that you need to do is to refer back to your advertising goals. By determining your goals and then referring back to them, you’ll know what factors of success you need to be measuring.

There are five essential metrics that you should consider measuring when thinking about the success of a social media advertising campaign. They are:

  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Leads
  • Customers
  • Conversion Rate

Reach refers to the number of people that your campaign actually reached, i.e. the number of people who actually saw your ad. Usually, this number is the number of Facebook/Twitter/Google+/Instagram followers or friends that you have. Your ad campaign should aim to increase your reach, or your numbers of friends and followers.

Traffic, unlike reach, is the metric used to describe the number of people who visited your website or blog after viewing your ad. In other words, it describes the amount of traffic that was driven to your site because of the ad. Traffic is one of the most important metrics when thinking about the success of an advertising campaign.

While traffic is important, many advertising experts would propose that leads are the most essential metric that you should be measuring. Leads are the number of consumers who express interest in purchasing your products. While not actually sales, leads can be thought of as potential sales.

Customers is perhaps the most obvious metric, and refers to the number of people who become customers (make a purchase) as a result of your social media advertising campaign.

Finally, a conversion rate is the fifth most important metric that can be used to measure the success of a social media advertising campaign. Conversions refer to those consumers who are converted from site visitors to leads to customers.

SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS EXAMPLES

Remember, a social media advertising campaign doesn’t have to be brilliant – it just has to be creative and engaging enough to attract attention. Many companies have successfully executed some great social media advertising campaigns that appear to be relatively simple and straightforward. For example, a 2013 Lays (the potato chip company) social media ad campaign asked followers to “Do Us a Flavor.” The social media campaign let fans create a new flavor, vote on it, and then offered $1 million to the winner. User engagement was huge – more than 3.8 million people entered the contest! Not only that, but Lays saw a 12 percent increase in sales as a result.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to give away a million bucks to run a successful campaign. Another great social media advertising campaign example was that of Qdoba in 2014. The company, much like Lay’s, ran a contest where fans could vote to choose a new queso flavor. Promoted via Facebook, the contest generated 33,334 total votes.

Regardless of whether or not you have a fortune to spend, social media advertising campaigns that are visually appealing, are interesting, and that ask for user involvement tend to be more successful. To help you get started on your social media advertising campaign, remember to employ the best practices, measure the success of your campaign, and look to other successful companies for inspiration.