Unless you live under a rock, you’ll be aware of social media and have probably seen a variety of ads on your Facebook feed. We’ve all definitely been followed around by products that we nearly bought, but changed our mind. Especially in today’s situation, with lockdown looming and businesses having to adapt their strategy to stay afloat, you may have considered dabbling in the world of social media advertising. If you’re looking to start building up your social media presence and most importantly, increasing your revenue, here’s my five key tips to keep in mind.

1. Know Your Audience

Anyone that works in marketing will harp on about your target audience or buyer personas or customer avatars … there are a lot of variations, but there is a very good reason for this. You need to know your audience before you even consider touching any kind of marketing, whether that’s social media or SEO or PPC. To start social media marketing, you really need to know, even just roughly, who your target audience is.

How old are they? Are they mainly male or female? What other interests do they tend to have? Are they parents? Are they homeowners? Do they spend a lot of time online? There are so many questions that you need to ask yourself. You don’t have to get super granular with this if you are unable to, but the more information that you have, the better targeted your ads will be and the better engagement your posts will have.

Once you’ve answered these questions, you can then work out what platform to use, the tone of voice, the imagery that would work best etc. Remember, social media platforms are all about being social, so you need to know your audience before you can start to create a community.

2. Get Creative

When you know who your audience is, it’s time to get creative. The key to social media is to stand out from the crowd. If you are a fashion company, what makes your clothes different from all the other clothing brands on Instagram? You need to highlight your niche, in a creative way. The beauty of social is the visual aspect. You can use fast, eye catching video, or a carousel of images, or a collection ad to highlight a specific edit, or a gif, or a single image – pretty much anything you want. And the features are always evolving!

The main thing to focus on when creating your assets – are they engaging? If the answer is no, then you can’t expect to achieve many results. Get your brand colours and USPs across, and make people stop scrolling to find out more. Keep it relevant, keep it engaging, but have fun!

3. Be Strategic

Ok so I know I just said to be creative, but just as important is to be strategic. ‘Strategically creative’ is my own new personal motto for working in social media. It’s all well and good having designed some amazing graphics, taken the most beautiful flatlays or shot the best edited video, but if the strategy isn’t there, the results won’t be either. Once you’ve mastered the basics – who are your audience and what platforms can you reach them on – it really does get a bit more complicated. If you’re running adverts, you need to come up with a strategy.

Are you going to be using a funnelled approach? Is there retargeting involved? What events do you want to track? How much budget can you put behind campaigns, and how much return will they make? I always try and focus on the below as a very basic, starting strategy:

  • Run a campaign to get engagement – whether that’s post likes, video views or website traffic
  • Create a separate campaign to convert those people – a retargeting campaign
  • Create a campaign to feed new people into this funnel – a lookalike campaign

The last thing you want to do is skip one of these steps out of the funnel, if you can’t afford to run all three in one month, maybe do one month for each campaign. If you take out the retargeting campaign, you won’t convert. If you take out the lookalike campaign, you’ll exhaust your audience. If you take out the engagement campaign, you won’t have an audience to begin with.

Try and plan ahead, even if it’s only a month. Simply winging a campaign is not the way to go. You can, however, keep all strategies subject to change. You never know what might perform better and surprise you.

4. Don’t Get Left Behind

You could develop the most detailed strategy … and then Facebook reveals an algorithm change and removes some features you were banking on. Or maybe the add in a new feature that would be perfect for your product launch next week. Social media is always changing and developing, so when you feel like you’ve cracked it, don’t settle. You might understand it all today, and be way behind tomorrow. Keep an eye out for new features! If you see something new has been revealed, give it a google search and try and find out more. Try and think about how it could work for you. Most importantly, don’t get left behind because you can’t be bothered learning something new.

5. Analysis is Key

Test, test, test. Analyse, analyse, analyse. Then start all over again.

That is social media marketing in a nutshell. If your ads or posts are underperforming, find out why. Is your budget too low? Have you got the audience wrong? Are your audiences overlapping? Is your creative not working well? Have you exhausted your audience? Is it purely an industry wide trend? Don’t be a lazy social media marketer and just say ‘ah well it didn’t work’. Look at graphs, look at trends, analyse everything. Don’t forget though, that ads do take a while to get through the learning phase and settle in, so don’t make hasty decisions based on week 1 performance! Analysing your past mistakes is what makes your next campaign even better.

And that’s it!

Alright, there are so many more tips I could say, and I’m pretty sure I’d call them all ‘key’ or say they’re all essential, but I’ll stop now. Take a look at some more of my social blogs for more in depth information on some features or general advice. A lot of people underestimate the time that has to go into a profitable social media strategy, so if you want some help with your advertising, get in touch.