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Opinion: Social Media Advertising- When it works and when it doesn’t

Our Director Colin is back in the hot seat again ready for this week's Question Time and we're focusing on Paid Social- when it works and when it doesn't. So, brew poured and ready to Take 5? 

 

Hi there Colin, So why is paid social such an integral part of a social media plan?

The days of Social Media performance being measured solely on “Return on Effort” are over. The Platforms, for sound commercial reasons, simply wont deliver the benefits brands are looking for without some investment in them as an advertising tool. Its not rocket science – it was the classic “puppy dog” sales, and the free ride is over. In fact its been over for some time, and brands who fail to integrate Paid Social into their overall strategy are already experiencing rapidly diminishing returns well below the point of marketing viability.

 

Are there any occasions when it could go very wrong?

The platform Paid Social tools are pretty intuitive to use. The most important thing to remember is that whilst your using Social Media as a paid promotional medium, the content you use should still be designed to work in Social Media. Too many Paid Social Campaigns are repurposed from ad campaigns and offer no value in terms of engagement, chuck authenticity out of the window and just SELL. Social platforms find it harder to meet your Paid Social objectives the more branded and sales-orientated your content is which drives up the cost.

 

Are there best platforms for different types of paid social?

It depends entirely on a host of inter-related factors, such as your target audience, campaign objectives, content strategy and budget. Some brands will find their most cost-effective reach on Facebook, others on Twitter and so on. As a very broad rule of thumb we find that Instagram gives more bang for your buck if engagement is your objective and Facebook is great for driving, for example webclicks that lead to soft conversions (competition entries, pdf downloads etc). The key is to test, test and test again before you commit to a platform, a specific piece of content and a precise target audience definition.

 

Great, so final question is what are your top three tips to ensure a successful Paid Social Campaign?

  1. Be clear and ensure all other stakeholders are clear on your campaign objective before your start. If you want engagements, optimise for that and don’t judge (or allow anyone else to judge!) campaign performance based on another metric.
  2. Always AB test before roll out. You’ll learn a lot and get far better results
  3. Don’t just set a campaign running and forget about it. CPM’s escalate over time and refinements mid-campaign can re-invigorate your ROI

 

Thanks Colin, a really helpful insight! Go forth and advertise... We'd love to hear how Paid Social works best for you and your brand- get in touch!

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