General tips for paid social media advertising on all channels

Establishing some sort of presence on social media has become essential for almost all businesses. It used to be the case that having a profile and posting occasionally would be enough, but with billions of active users worldwide the competition for visibility has rapidly increased.

These days businesses posting regular unpaid messages on social media are going to be seen by almost no-one without running some sort of paid promotion to improve their visibility and if their social media pages aren’t set up properly they’re likely to lose potential customers to competitors.

The obvious solution for social media sites was to offer paid promotional options for business. Nowadays these have become impossible to avoid, with pop up notifications and promotional messages appearing on profiles and alongside posts. However you feel about this, the simple fact is that paid promotion on social media can be a really good tool to reach new and existing customers. Despite this, it’s also very, very easy to spend money on social media promotion and not achieve tangible results. In order to get the most out of any paid social media activity, it’s important to do it properly.

How do you go about this? There are a number of foundations that really need to be in place before promoting a business on social media. Without these, paid promotions may achieve a little boost in terms of brand awareness, but they’ll be unlikely to generate any new revenue. These general tips won’t mean instant success from every paid social media campaign, but they will ensure that businesses have the best possible chance of converting the customers they reach with their social advertising budget. Let’s take a look at some general tips for paid social media advertising on all channels.

Filling out social media profiles correctly

Showing off your business on social media is a little like going for a job interview. If paid promotion is going to drive people to your pages or website, everything needs to look smart and professional. Check all text on your pages and posts, check any biographical section and any links which point to your website or other pages. Mistakes here look really bad and create an impression of an inattentive business. Remember paid promotion can drive people to your page but it will not convince them to spend any money, so this stuff needs to be done, even if checking it all might feel a little tedious.

Use these sections wisely, Nando's tells customers when they can expect a response

Each social media platform has its own technical specification for profile images and header artwork. Since these are often the first things visitors to your page will see, they should look as good as possible. If they’re uploaded at the wrong resolution they’ll look pixelated and out of date. It’s really easy to find out what sizes these images should be with a Google search, so if something doesn’t look right then take a look. If you need help sorting it out a graphic designer should be able to help. If you already have a logo and/or branding for your business it shouldn’t be especially expensive to fix. Getting this right also makes it much easier for visitors to your sites to know they’re in the right place, mismatched colours and graphics can be disorientating, especially in competitive industries where there are many businesses with similar names or specialities.

Deliveroo use these sections to helpfully direct visitors

Improve conversions rates on social media profiles

What visitors need to do in order to convert into paying customers depends on the type of business. For some it would be a phone call, for others ordering a product or a visit to a website. Whatever it is, make sure it’s as easy as possible for people to do it. Some sites offer a call to action button, which can trigger a phone call or a link to a site, others even support listing products on profiles. For each site you want to promote your business through, make sure you’ve taken advantage of all these opportunities. The quicker a visitor can flow through to your sales channels, the less likely they are to get bored or lose interest. In the age of shorter and shorter attention spans this is vital.

Make sure you take full advantage of features like this

You can also be creative with this. If you’re tweaking your profile picture or header artwork anyway, why not include your website address or phone number there too? Yes, people may not be able to interact with it the way they would a link, but it may make it just a little easier for people to convert. Remember that links don’t need to simply go to your homepage, depending on what you’re paying to promote on social media it could make more sense to send people directly to a specific product or service page. You can carry on switching up these links whenever you like, so if it makes sense to update them for each new campaign you run, then go right ahead.

Setting up accurate targeting for PPC social media advertising campaigns

Although social media sites have made it as easy as possible for business to spend their money promoting themselves, it’s never a good idea to dive in and get things going as quickly as possible. With billions of users and tons of data about all of them, it’s really important that you take the time to set up the targeting of your paid campaigns properly. For most campaigns, contrary to what you might think, the smaller the number of people you target the better. Why? By targeting a small group you’ll be narrowing down your focus to just the people who are most likely to convert to customers.

An ad shown to 20 million people of whom only 20 are actually interested in what’s on offer would be a big waste of ad budget. The targeting options available are extensive and can be a bit intimidating at first, but don’t skip over them, take as long as it takes to get it done properly and you’ll dramatically increase how effective your ads are. Most businesses will have some sort of customer profile outlining the type of people they usually serve so start with this. If it’s all a bit much we can help you set up a campaign so that any subsequent ads can use the same targeting options.

Advertising campaigns on social media will generate data detailing which type of person responded most to the ads. This data is really useful because it can be used to target future ads even more precisely, making sure that more budget goes towards getting in front of the most profitable type of customer.

This data can help refine future campaigns

Ensure your social media advertising gets the best reach

Each site has its own guidelines and rules when it comes to advertising, follow these to get more from your campaigns. You don’t need to spend hours and hours reading all of the small print you can find, but make sure you’ll brushed up on the basics so you don’t waste ages setting up an ad that then fails to get approval. For example, some sites are particularly stringent about how much text can be included in an image that accompanies an advert, and did you know that Facebook ‘Like and share this post’ style competitions are against the site’s terms of service? Not everyone follows this guidance and the penalties vary. To make things more confusing, it’s not unheard of for some images to be mistakenly identified as text, in which case a business may need to submit an appeal to get their ad approved. In these situations it always helps to know exactly where you stand.

Stay active on social media to increase conversion rates

Not all business owners have time to post amazing content every day. Whilst there are plenty of options out there to help with this process, if social media isn’t the main focus of a business it may be tempting to adopt more of a set and forget approach; getting a few ads running and then turning attention elsewhere. Keep in mind that social media platforms are as much, if not more so, about communication with a business as they are about generating revenue.

One of the results of a paid campaign can be more interaction on pages and channels, people may begin to ask more questions about a business’s products or services. Most visitors will expect a prompt response and head elsewhere if they don’t get one. Keeping an eye out for any messages or interactions and giving a prompt and professional reply is one of the most effective ways to turn a visitor into a customer, it starts a meaningful relationship between the visitor and the business. You don’t have to spend all day scouring your profiles, but make a point of checking in a couple of times a day and switch on notifications on your phone to reduce the chances of missing anything.

People expect a responsive business on social media

How to get started with paid social media advertising campaigns

These are a few of the most important things businesses should do when they’re getting going with paid advertising on any social media platform. Following these steps will make sure that your ads are only seen by the most appropriate audience and that, when they see them, they will be far more likely to convert into customers or get in touch.

If any of these stages are confusing or you’d prefer the reassurance of having a trusted partner handle it all we’d be delighted to help. We offer a range of different organic social media marketing services and PPC social media options, have a chat with our friendly team today to find out what would be the best option for your business.

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