Ask Mandy Q&A: All About Social Advertising

Ask Mandy Q&A: All About Social Advertising

Ask Mandy is a weekly Q&A blog series. To ask your question about social media, please click here.

I love advertising. It was the one Maymester class I took in college, partly because if I was going to sit in a class for 3 hours everyday for one month, it had to be a fun, interesting one. I spent 5 years in print advertising before moving into more full-service marketing duties. I learned A LOT in those 5 years and to think, it was all before social media!

Now that I work with clients on their social accounts, I’ve dived into social advertising on every platform it’s available. I’ve found it’s not that much different than print advertising, other than the fact it’s online and you can actually measure it.

Recently, my friend Sara Nickelberry with Social with Sara interviewed me about social advertising. In this week’s Q&A post, I wanted to share some excerpts from that interview and hopefully answer some of the questions you’ve had.

Should social media advertising be part of your social media marketing strategy? Why?

Social advertising should definitely be a part of your strategy – in fact, it’s a ‘requirement’, more like extremely strongly suggested, for my clients. No other advertising option out there can tell you how many people clicked on your ad or how many conversions you received. Social advertising is the only form of advertising that can give you a true measurement of ROI. Broadcast media and print can guesstimate how many people saw it based on subscribers or Nielsen ratings. Social advertising can get you a specific number. Try asking your TV or newspaper sales rep for that on your traditional ad :)

How effective are ads on Facebook and Twitter?

If used and targeted correctly, they can be effective. If you do a Facebook ad for the heck of it and target all 1 billion+ users, it’s like throwing darts blindly at a target. If you put in your exact targeting and use the right message, you’ll be effective in your efforts. Crafting the right message is key – you want something that is going to hook them when they read it.

For example, “Sign up for our emails!” is not going to get as many clicks as “Want a FREE iPad? Sign Up and You Could Win!” It’s all about getting their attention. Another example would be instead of using “Social Media Help” as your headline or tweet, use “Can’t figure out why Facebook isn’t working?” or “Did you really just tweet that?” You get the idea…

Do you think promoted posts/boost posts are effective?

If used correctly, yes. The promoted posts cause the post to show up more in your fans’ newsfeeds. Promote posts too often and you’ll get unliked or hidden. I once saw a social media “expert” promote a post asking how everyone’s day was. Seriously. In my opinion, that was a waste of money and I unliked the page. As a rule of thumb I only use promoted posts for specials, events, important news or epic sales. I save these for something really special. If it’s the right message, they will be effective. Just don’t promote a post asking how someone’s day was. That post didn’t do so hot.

What are some best practices for ad creation?

I’ve mentioned a lot of them already – know who you want to target, have a catchy headline and use promoted posts on Facebook sparingly. Another best practice is to use multiple photos with your Facebook ads. Use this as a test to see what images get the best response. For example, an author client of mine ran the same ad in Canada and the US with the same 2 images – one of the book and the other of him talking with an elderly woman. In Canada, the book cover image was our winner… in the US it was the picture with the elderly woman. The targeting was the same for countries. Use this option to see what really resonates with the ones viewing your ad. A new option (and best practice) for Twitter is to use a Twitter card with your ad. They now allow you to attach a lead generation card to a tweet and people can click and enter their name and email and Twitter will send it to you. Talk about gold! This is an awesome new option that I’m seeing good results with.

To read the entire interview, please click here.

Do YOU have a question about social media for businesses? Simply click here to ask!

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