By Tori Dunlap, Social Media Marketing Manager
You’ve got to pay to play.
The age of free social media is over. Unless you’re producing absolutely mind-blowing posts that are generating conversation —and you’re probably not, even if you’re putting a ton of work into it—your content will not reach people organically. When social media took off over a decade ago, it was new and exciting. Not many people knew how to do it well, and those who did quickly capitalized by organically growing their audience. But social media marketing is no longer innovative, it’s expected. Every social platform has become saturated with too many voices saying the same thing, too many videos with common themes, and too many flat lays that look exactly the same. As a social media marketer, I struggle on a daily (well, hourly) basis of how to produce content that informs and engages, without paying a ton of money.
My position at SIS, Social Media Marketing Manager, did not exist prior to me joining the organization. A company of 5,000 would usually have a whole slew of teams to handle our public image. But with a streamlined executive team and an innovative management style, SIS does things differently. Quite the exciting challenge! It’s my goal to generate positive conversation on social media, attract potential employees, and develop the SIS brand. To do so, I need to be resourceful and keep a sharp eye on the ROI of our social media spend.
If you’re just diving into social media marketing for your business, brand, or for personal promotion, it’s overwhelming. How do you make your content relevant and seen? I promise that question gets easier to confront, but never easier to answer. If you’re a company that isn’t planning on spending millions on social alone (and let’s be honest, who is?!) you’re looking for any trick in the book to be frugal with your social spending for a higher reward. And guess what? It’s totally possible.
Facebook Ads are a marketer’s best friend. With as little or as much money as you want, you can promote a post, video, account, photo, link, and everything in between. The best part about it? You’ll see real, actionable results from just $5 a day.
1. Use a post you’ve already published (or create a campaign)
Facebook makes it easy to begin an ad campaign by either boosting a post you’ve already posted organically (super easy) or crafting a post specifically for your ad. To do the former, just go to your post and click the lovely blue “Boost Post” button. To craft a new ad, head to Facebook ads manager.
2. Targeting is important
The bread and butter of Facebook ads, ad targeting is how you get the most bang for your buck. This is the reason why just a bit of money goes a long way. With targeting, you can show your ads to specific audiences based on their location, gender, age, interests, occupation, religion, and more (I know, it gets a little creepy.) So if I wanted to sell eco-friendly makeup to 20-something women in Miami who were interested in environmental policy, I could target just those people. So instead of throwing your ad out there without knowing who’s going to see it, specifying your target audience will help your ad perform.
3. Pictures are worth a thousand words
Your picture is the first thing people will see, so your image needs to stand out. Facebook has a few regulations about your photo: it cannot be dominated by text and must be appropriate (obviously.) You want your image to be eyce-catching and engaging, but not too gaudy. Make sure it is related to what you’re selling, and use a photo that you own (or a high-quality stock photo.) Another cool feature with Facebook ads is a scrolling set of images for the same price as one photo, with a customizable caption for each.
4. Pricing is key
Another great thing about Facebook ads is that the pricing is truly customizable. You can decide you only want to spend $25 for the entirety of the campaign (whether that’s just a few hours or a few weeks) or can specify a dollar amount per day. Like the title of this article recommends, if your campaign is evergreen and run over a long period of time (like getting people to like your page,) starting with $5 a day is your best bet.
5. Be diligent
You need to be checking your ad on a daily basis. It’s tempting to post it and forget about it (rest assured, the ad set will run), but you need to make sure it’s performing and reaching the audience you want. If you check after 12-24 hours with little performance, it may be tempting to pull it. Don’t. If it’s still not doing well after 36-48 hours, consider altering it.
Like most social media marketing, experimenting with your brand on different platforms is necessary. Not every type of ad will be a home run. The important thing is analyzing and learning from every Facebook ad, and determining best practices for your business.