By Amy Gray

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As we’ve stated in numerous posts and is listed in our website, BellTower believes social media is an important part of any marketing campaign.  It’s hard to escape the relevance of the medium, as platforms such as Facebook continue to report huge growth year to year and new platforms pop up regularly.  Because of this, it’s definitely important to make sure your social media dollars aren’t being wasted.  How do you do this?  After reading a recent industry article, we’ve listed some of best practices below.

  1.  Embrace The Data – Data is a large portion of any digital campaign. Unlike traditional media, where a radio or TV station had to wait weeks or months to report their audience metrics, digital media provides these numbers almost instantly.  Social media, specifically something like Facebook or Instagram, has a dashboard that gives you constant data nearly to the point that it can be a bit intimidating and overwhelm you.  But data is one of the main reasons digital and social media are currently the largest growing mediums.  The ability to instantly analyze your campaign and determine whether it was successful mere days after it’s over provides accountability that traditional media just does not.
  2. Getting Your Target Audience Right – You most likely already know who this is.  At a minimum, you need their age range, gender, and basic general information.  If you’re unsure of your audience, then it’s possible to serve ads to a wide range of people that may fit, and then after a few days, use that data to determine the persona of those engaged and taking action towards your company.  The better the audience insights, the better the campaign.
  3. The Right Platform – There are numerous platforms available to advertisers, and new ones seem to pop up regularly.  Which one is the right one for your advertising dollars?  Well, that depends on your business, your target, and your budget.  If you are going after business-to-business professionals, LinkedIn is an easy choice.  However, if you are going after a typical stay-at-home mom with small children, Facebook is probably your best bet.  For a lot of cases, Facebook and Instagram will be a good option.  Twitter could be a possibility, as well as Pinterest.  Honestly, they all can work if you chose the platform that best matches your ideal customer.
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  4. Creating The Right Message – Obviously, the message you are sharing on your social media is going to be very important in how your campaign performs.  However, in today’s ever-changing and over-visual world, your message needs to catch your audience and keep their attention. We always recommend starting with three creative concepts then optimize the budget to the best performing ones.
  5. Use An Agency Or Not – With social media, you may wonder if you should nix the agency and just take the position in-house.  If you go it alone, be sure you have someone who has the time and dedication to all aspects of the campaign.  It’s possible that doing so will end up great and could cost you less money.  But what if you the person you hire or assign doesn’t have the experience and doesn’t do the best job.  That can be exhausting and delays like that can hurt your social media campaigns, as they need regular maintenance and analysis.  Without it, the campaign will fail.  There really is method to the madness.  Choosing an agency with expertise will save you time and money as they have best practices in place.  Also, with most agencies, you are paying a small portion of your budget to the agency as their fee.  It’s typically much less than you would pay an actual employee by month.
  6. Focusing On The Wrong Objectives –   Social media campaigns can be used for a variety of objectives.  Be clear on your campaign’s goal.  Direct sales?  Brand awareness?  Follower engagement?   But what is the best way to achieve that objective?  You can pick tactics that drive traffic to your website, but there are also ones that can promote lead generation, online sales, and even in-store visits.  No matter your objective, there is a platform and delivery that will help your company achieve that goal on social media.

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  7. Bad Landing Page – To get the biggest results, social media campaigns require a well-designed landing page.  If your message is engaging but your audience goes to the home page or a page not relevant to the ad, then you’re going to lose them.  You have only seconds to keep them or they are gone.  Take the extra effort to make it consistent and relevant throughout, from creative to landing page to thank you page.

Succeeding in social media advertising doesn’t have to be hard. You need a good message, a good idea of your target audience, and someone who can help you navigate the social media waters so you choose the best platform, delivery, and tactic to help you achieve your goal.  If you use a qualified agency, then they will help you not waste dollars or time.  Contact us today if this is something you’d like us to handle for you.  Remember, not all social is equal.