Social media has become a core channel for digital marketers. As mobile usage grows, marketers have a great opportunity to provide relevant and timely ads to their target market.
Before we get into some key optimizations for your social campaigns, let’s talk about the growth of social media advertising. It’s estimated that US social media ad spend will increase by 21% in 2021, reaching nearly $49 billion. Facebook will make up the lion’s share of this spend, with ad revenue estimated to reach $25 billion.
Now that we’ve identified the top social media channels for advertisers to allocate their marketing budget, let’s go over five best practices for launching and optimizing social media campaigns.
1. Define Your Target Audience
Social media rocks in terms of defining a target market. Put on your consumer hat for a few minutes and think about all the personal information you input into your Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook accounts. Now, think about how often you engage with other brands on these channels. Your profiles and engagements are all accessible to advertisers to build a custom audience off of.
As digital marketers we can develop creative based on a custom audience build, which can be defined by job titles, location, age, interests, gender, relationship status, and more. Marketers should take advantage of the custom audience tool – the targeting options are endless.
2. Launch at Least 4 Creative Variations
In reality, getting multiple images and messages out in the market when you’re trying to launch a campaign quickly can be hard. Best practices in social are to launch many ad variations and let the algorithm work its magic. Even if it’s a change in text or call to action, do your best to launch different ad variations to each of your custom audiences.
3. Change Up Your Creative, and Often
This tip is my favorite because I experience this first hand every week. I have never seen creative get stale quicker than in a social channel. The moment I launch new creative, my conversion rates will skyrocket back up to initial launch levels. Put together a calendar of creative rotation and have a stock of images, headlines, and descriptions that you can use to build out new creative.
4. Promote Content
In my experience with running social campaigns, content is king. My calls to action are focused on getting content vs. taking a conversion action. One of the best tools at our disposal for promoting content is the Facebook lead gen ad type. My conversion rates for content downloads are through the roof and very efficient. Again, ensure you promote relevant content to the custom audience you built. Don’t waste budget trying to reach an audience that doesn’t relate to your content.
5. Analyze Your Data — Including Call Conversions
I am bringing back my favorite graphic for this last optimization post. And, the process of assessing the data, reporting out, and implementing action plans is as true in social media campaigns as it is in PPC, SEO, and display campaigns.
Remember to track all conversions with your brand that social media achieves, including call conversions. You can use a call tracking solution to capture this data. Your reporting will only be as good as the data you track — and so will your optimizations. If you don’t factor in call conversions, you’ll be making changes to your social campaigns based on incomplete ROI numbers.
6. Build Lookalike Audiences Based on Your Best Customers
Once you’ve launched a high-performing campaign, how can you build on your success? One of the best ways to accomplish this is through lookalike audiences. By finding people with attributes similar to your best customers, you can keep the gravy train flowing.
Facebook and Instagram offer robust tools for finding lookalike audiences that mirror your best customers. You can also use your call tracking data to help you find customers who are likely to call from your social ads and convert over the phone. These customers are extremely valuable — according to Forrester, 84% of marketers report that phone calls have higher conversion rates with larger average order value (AOV) compared to other forms of engagement.