Pay to Play: What to consider before setting up a paid social media campaign

With anything you buy, you want good value for money. In marketing, it’s no different. 

When it comes to paid social media campaigns, as the age-old saying goes: “failing to prepare is preparing to fail”. But, with the right planning in place, you can make sure you get maximum bang for your buck. 

To offer a helping hand, here are our top tips on what to consider before running any paid social media campaign. 

Set some objectives 

Before embarking on any piece of marketing activity, it’s crucial you set objectives so you’re clear on exactly what it is you are trying to achieve.

What does ‘success’ look like? Is it generating new sales leads? Or capturing 100 new ‘likes’ on a particular channel? Depending on whether your objectives are sales or brand-led, you’ll need to use different social networks, ad formats, content and calls to action. 

Try using an established goal-setting framework such as S.M.A.R.T to make sure the goals you’re setting for your social media campaign support your overall business objectives. Here’s an example:

  • Specific: Rather than simply state “increased brand awareness”, put a number to it i.e. secure 100 new followers on Twitter
  • Measurable: Can your goal be quantified? “Better engagement” could instead become “500 post likes and 200 comments”
  • Attainable: Reaching for the stars is one thing, but would you still be happy if you reached the moon? Make your objectives stretch, but still doable
  • Relevant: Consider how your goal relates to your overall business objectives. Will 500 ‘likes’ on LinkedIn support a sales growth strategy? Or would 500 downloads of a whitepaper push more potential customers down your sales funnel?
  • Timely: Put a timeframe in place so you can schedule check-ins along the way. Social campaigns can be ‘trial and error’ in the beginning, requiring tweaks in ad copy or audience targeting to get the most from them. An end date is also necessary for assessing the campaign’s success and budgeting

Attract the right crowd 

On LinkedIn, it’s easy to under-utilise the audience targeting tools by focusing heavily (or solely) on job titles. In fact, targeting via job titles represents the highest rate of cost-per-clicks (CPC) on the platform. 

There are plenty of other demographics to search by, use these to complement job function:

  • Industry
  • Job seniority
  • Company
  • Company size
  • Location
  • Country

So, if your showroom, for example, is located in Clerkenwell, and your objective is to increase appointment bookings, then perhaps geo-targeting in London is a good place to start. This might be teamed with selecting only those with “specification manager” in their job title, in companies with between 20 and 50 employees.

Once an effective targeting segment has been created, you can then re-target as and when needed, often reducing the CPC in the process. Use your existing customer base to build a reliable audience profile. This is the best way to get more ‘lookalikes’ that you can convert and service more easily. 

Prepare to respond  

Regardless of your objective, with any paid social campaign your goal will always be to increase interest in your business. Before ‘putting yourself out there’, are you prepared to respond to incoming enquiries? This might require:

  • Having employees on hand to answer any questions, armed with all the details they need (i.e. product information, price lists, showroom appointments and opening times etc)
  • Putting an FAQs webpage in place / making sure it’s up to date
  • Making use of website chatbots for high volumes of interaction 
  • Having a CRM (customer relationship management) system in place to capture leads

Social media is a fantastic platform for getting in front of an active and engaged audience, but it’s a fickle one. Make sure you’ve got the basics in place before you part with your money. It’ll be worth it in the end and – the best bit – you’ll have a repeatable model for future paid media campaigns. 

Want to know how to put all of this into practice? Get in touch!

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