Social media advertising is a relatively low-cost way to reach a targeted audience of potential buyers — but there are definitely some pitfalls that can be costly. Depending on your product or service, you may be competing against big brands for share of eyeballs. There are hundreds of other businesses and non-profits targeting the same individuals. However, the ability to micro-target based on detailed demographics and localization is difficult to pass by. These tips will help you be sure you’re captivating your audience and getting the best possible return for your social advertising investment.
Create Consistent Budgets
Many small businesses make the mistake of just tossing any extra budget dollars to a social media manager to “test.” The problem with this strategy is that it’s tough to have a true idea of impact without a dedicated budget. Set a reasonable budget for this channel just as you would any other and you’ll have a better chance to judge overall efficacy of your advertising through social.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Granular
You may be used to creating a few different ads meant to target a different audience. However, social media requires a truly specialized approach. You may have upwards of 8-10 target audiences, each of which may engage with slightly different imagery and language. Create personas to get to know your customers at a deeper level, and see how you can dig into your metrics to find a nuance or detail that appeals to your audience. Play on specific words that resonate across channels, and you’ll find your ad costs dropping as relevancy ratings increase.
Use the KISS Principle
KISS = Keep It Simple, Stupid. (We prefer to say ‘Silly’ instead of ‘Stupid’, but you get the picture!). Keeping it simple means finding headlines that are short, snappy and grab attention. Don’t get overly clever with your headlines — stats show that a 5-word headline that clearly communicates the value proposition of your offer may be best. Even the post text and link descriptions are kept short, between 12-16 words. Edit relentlessly; you’re not trying to tell your life’s story, just make your prospect click.
Bright and Shiny Imagery
Images are the new click-bait, and you need to spend a fair amount of time finding pictures or graphics that are high-contrast from the platform. That doesn’t mean going with stark black and white, but do look for ways to incorporate some humor or an element of a tease. Your goal with imagery is to make someone stop scrolling for half a second, and then make your prospects interested enough to click. Stay far away from anything resembling stock photography, and instead look for ways to show your product or service in a more natural setting. Your audience will appreciate you taking the time to get creative with your graphics.
Using Great CTAs
Now that you’ve gotten your audience’s attention, you want them to actually DO something, right? Your call-to-action, or CTA, is arguably the most important part of your social media advertising. On platforms such as Facebook, you’re not able to define your own CTA button, but instead have to choose from a pre-programmed list. Fortunately, there’s some good options on the button list such as ‘Learn More’, ‘Shop Now’ and ‘Sign Up’. However, your CTA is more than simply a button. Every word and image in your ad should be building your value proposition, with the CTA being the final step in getting your prospects to take the next step.