If you want to attract more traffic to your website and increase your brand awareness or sales, then you should be taking full advantage of social media advertising.

Advertising on social media is easy and accessible – but mastering and getting the most out of it is another ballgame…

This article will guide you through how to get started with social media marketing – and how to get the most bang for your buck.

The perks of social media advertising

Back in the day, small businesses struggled to get their name out there. Why? Because they didn’t have the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars that was needed to advertise on TV, radio or in newspapers.

Luckily, with the rise of the Internet and social media, advertising is no longer just for the lucky few. Today anyone with an internet connection can get their name or product out there for as little as a few bucks. Amazing, right?

You reach the masses

Social media gives you the opportunity to reach millions, even billions, of people on a daily basis. Just Facebook alone reported over two billion monthly active users in the first quarter of 2018. That’s a lot of potential customers!

Higher conversion rates

Not only is social media marketing super cost-effective and wide-reaching, it also has way better conversion rates than traditional marketing mediums. Studies from HubSpot have shown that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate (whaaat?!) than traditional outbound marketing.

Numbers from the same study also showed that a large number of social media followers tend to improve trust and credibility for your brand, which in turn can lead to even more conversion!

Choose one of the (many) social media options

Though this article mostly focuses on Facebook advertising and optimising your advertising on a day-to-day basis. I’d like to briefly touch on other social media platforms.

Once you’re ready to move forward with your social media marketing, it’s time to go over your different options. Because, let’s be honest – there are a lot of them!

There are new social media platforms emerging from the blue every week, which makes it hard to cover all of them - and many of them will never gain enough traction and will soon be long gone. For this reason, it’s better to focus on the most popular and well known platforms that have a track record of getting a good return on investment (ROI).

Below you can see the six different social media platforms that will give you the most bang for the buck in 2018:

Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Snapchat

But back to Facebook advertising…

Facebook is hands down the most popular social media platform for paid advertising, as well as the one with the highest ROI. It’s also the most universal solutions out of the six platforms, meaning it works for basically any company in any line of business.

Due to it’s two billion monthly users, Facebook advertising shines when you’re trying to sell something. Whether you’re trying to drive smoking hot leads to you e-commerce store or want people to download your latest Ebook – you’ll find your target group on Facebook.

Especially if you’re an advertising novice, Facebook is where I’d get started.

How to get started with Facebook advertising

Setting up your ad on Facebook is super easy and can be done in minutes!

The first step is to create an Facebook account (obviously). When that’s done you need to visit their Ads Manager where you can create new ads, view your present campaigns and see how they’re performing.

To get your first ad up and running you’ll need to:

  • Set up your campaign
  • Set up your ad set
  • Set up your ad

Set up your campaign

The first step towards getting your ad up and running is to set up your campaign – where you’ll need to choose your objective (what you want to accomplish with your marketing campaign). The three different objects to choose from are awareness, consideration and conversion.

Awareness suits you if you want to get your name out there and build some serious brand awareness.

If you want your target audience to find out more about your business or product, consideration is the right choice for you. Within the consideration objective you also have the ability to choose if you want to attract traffic, engagement, app installs, video views, lead generation or messages, depending on what suit your goals.

Last but not least, conversion speaks for itself. If you want to get your target group to purchase your product or service, conversion is the right objective for you.

Set up your ad set

Once your campaign objective is set, it’s time to set up your ad set, where you can select your target audience, ad placement and budget.

Select your audience

Now that you have a clear goal for your ad campaign, it’s time to narrow down those two billion users to the target group that’s most likely to fulfil these goals. This can be done through three options: core audiences, custom audiences and lookalike audiences.

A core audience can be set manually based on a few criteria – like demographics, location, interest, job title and behaviour, amongst others. This is great if you already have a very clear picture of who your target audience is.

Core audience example:
Target 25-year-old men who live in Los Angeles and have the job title ‘Marketing Communications Manager’.

Another option is to target custom audiences, which could be a contact or email-list that you upload. This is a great way to target people who have already visited and bought something from your store or have showed an interest in your company by signing up to your mailing list.

One more option is to target lookalike audiences, which are basically people who meet the criteria of your ideal customer. You can determine your ideal customer by looking at who signs up to your email list or a Facebook pixel that’s been installed on your website.

Did I say you only have three options? Oops, my bad. The bonus ‘fourth choice’ is to target people that have already visited or bought something from your website, also known as remarketing ads*. This is great if you want to target people that have visited your site but haven’t made the decision to buy something from you yet. If you want to sell a complementary product or service to someone that has already made a purchase on your website, remarketing ads might be the way to go.

*Note: It’s only possible to run remarketing ads if you have a Facebook pixel installed on your website.

Select your ad placement

Now that you have a clear campaign objective and a target audience, it’s time to decide where you want to run your ads. You can choose between Facebook feeds, instant articles, in-stream videos, right column and/or suggested videos.

One thing that’s great with Facebook advertising though, is that your ads aren’t confined to one platform. You also have the ability to feature on other platforms that the company owns, like Instagram and Messenger.

Select your budget

Last but not least, it’s time to select what budget you want to spend on your ad, which is completely up to you. You can choose between a daily or a lifetime budget, depending on how long you want to run that particular ad. 

There’s no right or wrong answer for choosing a budget for your ad, simply experiment and see what your return on investment (ROI) is.

Set up your ad

Now that you know what your objective is with your campaign, what audience you want to target, where you want to run your ad and how much money you want to spend, it’s time to finally design your ad!

The first thing you need to do is to select a format. On Facebook you’re offered a wide variety of ad formats, each with their own advantages.

Facebook formats:

Photo - let’s you capture your audience with a stunning image of your product, service or eye-catching message.

Video - where you let a beautiful video do the talking, so to speak. This is a short and super effective way to stand out amongst a messy feed.

Carousel - another effective way to get attention from you audience, as well as making them interact with your ad, is by creating a carousel using up to 10 pictures or videos.

Slideshow - where you create a beautiful video-like ad using pictures, sounds, text or videos. 

Collection - an immersive and engaging way for people to browse your products.

Canvas - a stunning full-screen ad that’s perfect for showcasing products.

Lead ads - this is Facebook’s answer to forms. Here you can create an eye-catching ad where users can sign up for more. In other words, an ad format that’s perfect for lead generation!

Dynamic ads - this clever little ad will seek out people who have already shown an interest in your website, on your app or elsewhere online.

Link ads - these are very similar to the lead ads. Meaning that they’re very eye-catching and perfect for directing traffic to your website, your e-commerce store and more.

How to optimise your Facebook advertising

Congrats for making it this far – because now we’re starting to get into the really fun part.

More specifically, here are some tips for optimising and get the most out of your social media advertising!

Tip 1: Don’t be afraid to exclude

Social media advertising is about targeting the right audience. When people think about advertising in new mediums, however, they tend think that the best strategy is to target everyone. Even though one of your goals could be to reach as many people as possible, it’s even more important that you reach out to those that are a part of your core audience and most likely to take action!

You shouldn’t be afraid of excluding people when you select your audience. For example, it tends to be a good idea to exclude people that already ‘like’ your Facebook page. If you run an e-commerce store and are planning to advertise a certain products, it could also be a good idea to exclude people that have already purchased that specific product.

This is one of the best ways to not overspend on social media advertising, as well as getting the most bang for your buck.

Tip 2: Keep an eye on ad frequency

Another way to not overspend on your Facebook ad is to keep an eye on the ad frequency.

Ad frequency can be added to your advertising report and it basically shows you how many times people see a specific ad.

And why is that important?

Even though it’s mostly a good idea to show people your ads more than once, they tend to loose interest if they see it five, six or seven times a day. In fact, it might even turn your audience against you, driving them into the arms of your competition.

If you show people your ads multiple times a day and they don’t take action, you’ll see your ad costs rise but if you add ad frequency to your advertising report, you can duplicate your ad set and select new targets once it reaches 1.7.

Tip 3: Test different ad formats

One of the key things to reaching success with Facebook and social media advertising overall, is to try new things. This basically goes for all aspects of your ad, but one of the key things to experiment with is ad formats.

Try some A/B testing with your ads. Create an ad set, duplicate it and put a frequency cap on just one on both of them. Within those ad sets you then set up ads with two different formats. In other words, you’ll only show people those ads as most once per day.

Then sit back and see which ad format delivers the best results - or you could use Facebook’s built-in split testing system. Great, right?!

Tip 4: Use data to select your audience

Like I’ve mentioned numerous times before, social media advertising is about targeting the right people. Something that could be quite tricky if you don’t have a clear picture of who your core audience is. Fortunately for you, data can come to your rescue!

If you don’t have a clear picture of who your audience is, you could use the data from your Facebook page to drill down to the age, gender – and much more – about the people who like and interact with your page. You could also use other tools such as Google analytics to find out more about the people who visits your site.

Tip 5: Test, test and test!

I can’t stress this enough – social media advertising is all about testing, testing and more testing!

The best way to learn is by doing – trying out new audiences, ad formats, ad placements and so on. This is the best and only way to get the most out of your social media advertising.

So there you have it, a full guide to get you started with social media marketing, as well as tips to get the most out it without breaking the bank.

Now get out there and try implementing some of these tactics and see what works for you. Try everything!