5 social media advertising mistakes to avoid

Written on 03 September, 2015 by Karen Lam
Categories: Marketing, Social Media | Tags: facebook, marketing, online marketing, social media, twitter

As organic reach fails to deliver results on social media, more and more brands are turning to paid advertising to achieve cut-through on these platforms.

Social media behemoths such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are constantly rolling out new advertising solutions and targeting opportunities to help marketers get the best ROI from their platforms.

Before you start creating budgets and spending dollars on targeted ads, make sure to look out for these five common social media advertising mistakes.

1. Failing to test

For savvy marketers, testing is integral to optimising every advertising campaign. With social media, it’s no different. It’s important to test everything, from the type of image used on the campaign to the heading of your social media post, as these can all affect the results of your sponsored post or advert.

A good rule of thumb is to allocate around 5 to 10% of your total budget towards testing, and don’t stop after one test is completed – there is always room for improvement.

2. Getting your targeting right

When it comes to marketing, it’s all about reaching the right client, at the right time, in the right place. Social media advertising is no exception; targeting is critical to the success of your social advertising campaign. Platforms like Facebook offer a plethora of targeting options to help you achieve your marketing goals.

Need to gain brand awareness? It’s best to target the broadest relevant demographic, so target by age, gender, location and interests. Looking for people further ahead in the purchase funnel? Target by intention or life event – if you’re a wedding photographer, for example, you could target based on people’s relationship status on Facebook.

3. Speaking to followers the same way as non-followers

You wouldn’t speak to your best friend the same way as you would to a stranger, so why would you do the same with followers and non-followers on social media? When it comes to tone of voice, image choice and content, it’s important to tailor them to the audience you’re targeting.

Want to continue to build brand awareness with non-followers? Sponsor content around the latest developments in your products or share competitions or brand history to boost your profile. Want to engage new followers? Share content from current brand advocates through videos or create ads designed to introduce your product to new clients (such as a carousel ads).

4. Ignoring your dark posts

A dark post is a video, photo, status update or similar which appears organic but is never actually published on your page, just displayed to targeted audiences as an ad. These are a great way to test messaging, image choice and promotions across social media, but it’s important to nurture your dark posts to ensure success.

Make sure to monitor dark posts and respond to users who are engaging with your social media ad so you don’t lose out on potential clients. Check your dark posts daily via Facebook’s Power Editor to monitor your campaigns.

5. Not tracking your results or monitoring engagement

Not tracking results or monitoring engagement means you won’t know what’s working with your current followers, which targeting options are most effective at acquiring new clients, and which images and messages are generating the most engagement.

There are multiple KPIs you can set to measure the effectiveness of a social advert, based on your specific goals. For example, if your goal is brand awareness, it’s important to measure how many new followers you’ve acquired or how many views/clicks your posts have received. For a product promotion campaign, shares and clicks to your links are crucial measures of success, and for engagement it’s all about your engagement rate (found by dividing your reach by the total number of likes, comments, clicks and shares). Save your results in a spreadsheet and use them as a benchmark for future campaigns.

To find out more about how WebCentral’s managed social media plans could use social advertising to boost your business, click here and request a free, no-obligation consultation today.