Using social media for your business can be an extremely effective way of reaching new customers and attracting oodles of traffic to your website.
As the major social media platforms gain more users and influence, however, opportunities for organic success on social media are becoming scarce.
On top of that, the algorithms of these platforms are being constantly tweaked to provide the best experience for users, which makes it easy to feel frustrated and intimidated by managing social media marketing for your business by yourself.
Lifted Logic, the premier digital agency in Kansas City, offers social media consulting and advertising services to help clients successfully navigate the world of paid social media marketing.
Keep reading for our guide on implementing highly effective paid social media marketing strategies:
How does paid social media marketing differ from organic social media marketing?
Organic social media marketing strategies revolve around utilizing what’s free to use in each social platform to build a following, such as posting updates, sharing posts and articles, and interacting with your customers and community through commenting and direct messaging.
Effective organic social media use for business looks like:
- Using #hashtags to join conversations
- Showing off your company’s personality and voice
- Responding to user comments and reviews, both positive AND negative
- Sharing staff highlights and anecdotes
- Consistently posting relevant, up-to-date content like images and links to fresh blog posts
Paid social media marketing, on the other hand, is done through paid advertisements which appear within a user’s feed.
These ads can be driven by various sales or targeting goals, and are dictated by how much you are willing to spend for impressions or clicks.
While organic posts are at the mercy of the algorithms and what content or behaviors they are willing to share with your followers, paid ads operate outside these constraints and allow you to essentially “beat” the algorithm. It’s basically #paytoplay.
Unlike Google AdWords search campaigns, which have specific sections for ads versus organic results, social media ads typically blend right into the surrounding posts (though some exist in banner ads, video ads, and story ads) giving many users the impression that they are seeing an organic image or video in their feed.
Facebook alone generates 8 billion video views per day, if you needed an idea of how many people actually watch organic and paid social media video content.
Which social media platform(s) are best for marketing my business?
Just because you can doesn’t always mean you should.
All the major social networks offer paid advertising options, but that doesn’t mean they’re all going to be a good fit for your marketing goals.
Generally, businesses that offer business to consumer (B2C) products or services are going to have more opportunities and see more success with paid social media marketing on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
It’s likely that just today you’ve seen a dozen ads on social media for products or services that relate to your interests or items you’ve been searching for lately.
Business to business (B2B) operations can certainly see success with paid social media marketing as well一they just have to be more strategic about targeting and determining which specific platform makes the most sense. Here is one scenario to consider:
If you are an electrician who gets jobs solely from government contracts, you are likely going to be wasting your time making paid posts on Facebook’s Ad Network (which encompasses Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger).
However, if you create a paid ad on LinkedIn that targets people in the specific governmental positions who could award contracts to your business, you may have more luck.
Put yourself in the shoes of a customer and think about how you personally use each social media network.
For example, would you want to see an ad for a plumber if you’re not even a homeowner?
The goal with paid social media marketing is to spend your money and effort where you can capture the most potential leads.
To help you further decide which platform(s) are worth more time and effort based on your target market, here’s a breakdown of U.S. social media use (up to date as of the end of 2018) from the PEW Research Center:
Note: Paid advertising on YouTube is managed through Google AdWords
Lifted Logic’s tips for implementing effective paid social media marketing strategies
Lifted Logic’s experienced social media marketing managers are skilled in determining which platforms, ad type, daily budget, and target audience will give you the most interested and qualified traffic to your website.
Here are our tips for crafting paid social media marketing strategies that provide big results:
Know your marketing objective
What are you hoping to get out of your social ads? Do you want to increase traffic to your website, promote brand visibility, engage with your audience, drive sales, or followers? Now, you probably answered, “yes,” to all of the above, and ideally your efforts will eventually help with all five. However, each specific ad campaign you create should focus on just one of these goals.
Defining your marketing goal will help you pick and choose which social media platforms will be most effective in meeting that particular goal.
Additionally, this is the part where you pick your platform. It’s important to consider a few things when picking an ad platform to ensure you are making a fully informed decision:
- How does this channel perform for you organically?
- Does the channel’s demographics match your brand? (Reference the above chart for some insight)
- What does your competition do on this channel?
- Does your target market actively use this network?
- Is your ad format (e.g. multi-photo, video, GIF) supported by the platform?
For example, if you are trying to promote a lunch & learn event you are hosting, you should first create a Facebook event. Then, run paid advertisements linking people to the event. Consider running an ad on your city’s subreddit on Reddit as well to spread the word. If you are trying to get traffic to visit your new website (created by your friends at Lifted Logic, of course), run a video ad with the website video loop we produced for you and on click, bring users to your gorgeous new homepage.
Know your audience
Social media ad targeting is almost more of an art than a science.
If you’re just beginning with paid social media marketing, expect some extent of trial and error before uncovering the ideal set of interests, behaviors, and demographics to target in order to find an audience with the highest ad engagement and conversions.
Nearly all the major social platforms allow you to target an audience by age, location, income, profession, education, interests, purchasing behaviors, and more.
It can quickly become overwhelming if you haven’t taken the time to do adequate audience research.
With paid social media ads, you can constantly tweak your strategy to learn what works and what doesn’t. Once you find your perfect audience, be sure to save it for future ads!
Furthermore, there are 3.26 billion active mobile social media users worldwide. Was your ad creative made with this in mind?
Assuming that you aren’t specifically choosing desktop placement for your ad, you must make sure that your ad content is easy-to-view on a pocket-sized screen.
Continue your organic efforts while running paid ads
The best paid social media marketing strategies blend seamlessly with your organic content.
Ideally, your paid efforts will be directing traffic back to your social media page, and you want your posts to look maintained, cohesive, and recognizable.
It’s also important to continue to use your social media page organically in order to establish and showcase your business’ personality, since it’s unlikely that you would run a paid ad campaign around staff highlights or other fun, offbeat content that keeps your current followers and customers coming back to your page.
Your organic posts can also help create more successful paid ad campaigns.
Look back at the last few months of organic posts and see what types of content got the most clicks, likes, shares, or comments. Those posts that performed better organically are going to be your best candidates for paid social ads.
Use attention-grabbing, well-designed imagery and video content
One big advantage of social media marketing over Google AdWords is the ability to create an extensive selection of ad formats.
Whether you want to utilize a photo, video, GIF, carousel of videos AND photos, promote an event, let people buy a product directly from the ad, or even just promote a text update or a link to content on your website, there is an option for you on social media.
Facebook and Instagram, the two most popular social networks in the world, emphasize using imagery over text in paid ads, meaning that you need to have professional, eye-catching content in order to compete.
Define your metrics, analyze the results, and optimize as necessary
You will never get to where you are going if you don’t look back on where you’ve been.
All successful social media marketing strategies involve constant monitoring, adjusting, and measuring. Even if you think your strategy is well-honed and solid, be sure to stay vigilant (or hire someone who can!).
Changes in the market, algorithms, and technology will constantly affect and shift your strategy.
All the major social networks offer analytical capabilities, and through your website’s Google Analytics, you should already have everything you need in place to track the success of your efforts.
Using (like, really using) your Analytics account will help you determine which types of ads perform well for you, which ones do not, and how you can keep moving forward successfully.
Does your site have Google Analytics successfully implemented? What about conversion tracking?
Maybe you still need help creating and understanding these reports and data sets. Come meet with Lifted Logic’s Paid Search team to learn how to start running more successful campaigns!
Need assistance in creating and managing effective paid social media marketing strategies? We are here to help!
We hope you find our suggestions for creating more effective paid social media strategies useful. If your digital marketing strategy is in need of an overhaul, we can help!
Come to our office for coffee and we’ll discuss everything we can do to help ensure your business grows and succeeds for years to come.
Get in touch with our team by calling 913.298.8212 or use our cost calculator tool today!