It’s no secret I love running paid social campaigns. Paid social provides me the opportunity to get creative writing copy and determining the right ad sets, and it also gives me a chance to geek out over mass amounts of data. It’s a worthwhile left and right brain project, and not just because I think it’s fun.
Paid social campaigns are immensely helpful to the modern PR and marketing pro and here are four reasons why:
1. Reach and re-engage your current audiences.
With Facebook throttling organic reach and the lifecycle of a tweet being only a few hours, putting some paid media behind your posts on social media sites can really help you reach your current audience more effectively.
Besides promoting to your social fans, Facebook and Twitter both have the ability to create custom and lookalike audiences, based on your email subscribers. It’s a great way to utilize the concepts of retargeting without diving straight into a large campaign.
2. Reach beyond your current audience.
While posting organically on social is great, you’re still only reaching the people who already follow you. Paid media helps you reach beyond those people, in a targeted way. You can reach new people based on various demographics, interest categories, or even life events.
3. Learn more about your target customer.
You can use social paid media to do A/B testing with your target customers - or even test to see if a particular demographic could be your target customer. For example, maybe you’re trying to figure out if men or women are more likely to interact with your message. By keeping everything the same about the imagery, copy, messaging and targeting except whether the person is male or female, you can start to determine through the results which is more likely to be a part of your target audience.
That being said, while small paid social spends are great for dipping your toe in and getting some engagement, you can only really make conclusions if the spend for each ad set is substantial. Think of it like doing a survey of a small amount of people: if you ask a question to 100 people are you getting results that you can draw conclusions from? Likely not.
4. Pay based on the ad’s objective.
Display ads might work for raising awareness of your product, but it’s hard to place value on their true effectiveness. With paid social, you pay only if people do the action you want - whether that’s liking your page, engaging with your content, or clicking through to your site. You don’t pay unless someone has taken a desired action.
Here at InkHouse we take the time to make sure we’re planning paid social campaigns correctly from the start. It isn’t a “set it and forget it” process, but one in which we we invest a lot of time. Once a client wants to do a paid social campaign, we sit down and look at our client’s goals and create a plan - including costs, flight times and targeting options. We also look at available creative options and draft content to use. Once the campaign is launched, we then check how each ad set is doing multiple times a week to ensure we’re spending our client’s money in the best way possible.
Want to learn more about paid social as part of your overall strategy? We just released an eBook last week on the Modern PR Media Mix. Give it a read to understand how paid social is just one piece of the puzzle.
While Sarah has extensive experience with social media strategy, community management, and sponsored content, she understands that second-guessing what worked in the past is the only way to be successful in the future. Prior to joining InkHouse, Sarah worked at Edelman San Francisco as the main community manager and digital content strategist for Adobe’s Digital Imaging brands: Photoshop and Lightroom. She has won numerous awards including Facebook’s Craft award, a PR News social media icon, and two Cannes Lions. She majored in Marketing and Management at the Villanova School of Business and remains an active member of the alumni community.