It’s almost 2018. If Facebook were a country, it would be the biggest one on the planet—by a lot. We’ve moved past the days when people wondered if social media was a phase. No one is disputing the power of social media, especially Facebook, especially for advertisers. After all, advertising is about getting the right message in front of the right people, and social media is where the people are.
That said, most brands still have a long way to go when it comes to advertising on Facebook. Without a solid plan in place, you can throw money at Facebook’s ad network all day long (they’re certainly not going to complain), but how will you know if you’re getting anything back? That’s why we developed our guide to social ROI—the Zipie method to converting customers and tracking your investment on Facebook. Let’s dive in.
- Set a goal. This is a non-negotiable—if you don’t have a goal, you’re just lining the inside of Mark Zuckerberg’s very padded pockets. And we’re not talking about some sort of nebulous “sell more stuff” type goal. We’re looking for something concrete, something measurable. “Sell more stuff” is not concrete. “Increase sales by 5% in the next three months” is.
- Know what type of ad to use. All Facebook ads are not created equal. If you’re looking for leads, you’ll be better served by a Lead Generation ad than an ad that clicks to a lead form on your website. If you’re looking to show off a bunch of different products, look into carousel ads, not a static single-image ad. If you’re looking to grow your Facebook following, there’s an ad type for that. It all depends on your goal, so if you haven’t set one by this point, go back to Step 1 and start again.
- Make your stuff interesting. Whether you’re doing an ad with a single image, producing a video ad, or just creating a post for your page, you’ve got to make it interesting. If it doesn’t grab people’s attention immediately, no one’s going to read, click, engage, or even slow down as they’re scrolling through their feed. And if you’re lucky enough to have someone pause and pay attention, make sure your content grabs them immediately—make your images and video thumbnails eye-catching and your videos instantly interesting. You’re investing your time, effort, and money into creating content and getting it in front of people—make sure it’s worth their time.
- Make it work on mobile. We’ve talked about this before, but it’s especially true when you’re dealing with social media: whatever you create has to be mobile-friendly. Make sure your copy is short enough to not get cropped by mobile devices and design your imagery to pop in a fast-moving mobile feed. With nearly 80% of social media usage happening on mobile devices, if you’re not creating content that works on mobile, you’re throwing money away. Don’t do it.
- Be smart about your targeting. The most valuable part of Facebook’s advertising platform is its targeting. With the amount of information Facebook has on each user, ads can be targeted by almost any possible demographic, interest, or location. It’s a little creepy, but it’s fantastic for advertisers. But, even with the depth of Facebook’s targeting, you still want to be smart about how you use it. Start with a wide audience, then narrow it down once you see who’s engaging with your ads. Avoid the temptation to hyper-target in the beginning—you need a big enough audience to make it worth your while.
- Let the algorithm work for you. Facebook’s engineers are constantly working to make a platform that makes your life easier. That means the platform can learn from how your ads are performing and use that information to build more targeted audiences in the future.
- Nurture the relationship. Advertising isn’t a hands-off activity. Even the best ad won’t magically translate into sales 100% of the time. But if you use your ads as a way to draw in an interested audience that you can build a relationship with, you’ll see more success than if you rely on your ads to do all the heavy lifting for you. When someone comments, asks a question, or has a complaint, respond to them! Use ads as a way to earn leads, then put those leads to work with a strategic email marketing Just like with any other relationship, building a relationship with your future customers takes time. Put in the work—your customers are worth it.
- Track everything. How are you going to know if those carefully-nurtured leads are the same people who are now buying everything you have in stock? Get your tracking software in place (before you start your campaign, please) so you know exactly what your audience is doing, where they’re going on your site, and what they’re doing when they get there.
- ABC—Always Be Checking back on your campaign to see how it’s doing. Social advertising is not a set-it-and-forget-it tool. If you’re doing it right, people will be clicking, commenting, asking questions, and interacting with you—those engagements need to be monitored and responded to. Trolls and spam need to be hidden, deleted, or blocked. If you’re running multiple ads (and you should be!), you need to be boosting what’s working best and not wasting money on what’s underperforming. Constant management and optimization is key to ensuring that your social marketing efforts pay off.
If it all sounds like a lot of work, we totally hear you. That’s why we’re here. This is what we do—create social marketing campaigns that make sense strategically, work well, and deliver results for our clients. If you don’t want to handle all those steps alone, give us a call. We’re here to help.