If you’re advertising on social media, chances are your leads and sales generated by social media ads actually make up a significant percentage of your revenue.
So increasing your sales with social media just makes the biggest slice of your pie even bigger.
That’s awesome, right? We all want bigger slices of pie!
But social media advertising can be tricky. It’s easy to hit plateaus where we think we just can’t wring anymore out of our social media ad strategy.
The good news is that you can get more. A few strategic tweaks can help you power through those sales shelves and get back on the upward trend.
We’re here to help you stay on the path to growth.
The details of social media ads have been explained by more than a few experts. So we’ve got you covered with some strategic moves that will help you continue your growth.
1. Align your goals with the goals of social media platforms
The goal of any social media platform is to get people to engage and stay on the platform longer.
So, naturally, social media apps are going to favor content that drives engagement and keeps on-app time high.
Facebook and Instagram found that videos spurred more conversation on the platform and got people using the app more, so they optimized the platforms for video.
Snapchat used swipe-up ads to let users view ads without actually leaving the app.
This means that you’re going to get more help from the social media app design and algorithm if you produce ad content that encourages people to engage without leaving the app.
We understand that it might sound counterintuitive. But people are more likely to make a purchase or click-through on an ad after they’ve engaged with your brand on social media.
Building your ad campaigns to ask for engagement—likes, comments or direct messages—before asking for clicks keeps the social media apps happy and therefore helps you get more sales.
One more tip: most social platforms are prioritizing video now. Video drives better engagement and more conversations. So video ads have a very good ROI.
Related: 6 steps to creating a plan for social media advertising
2. Build a social media microfunnel
Most marketing funnels treat social media ads as top-of-funnel marketing. If you visualize the funnel, usually social media advertising is blocked into a big slab at the wide end of the funnel.
But, your social media ads should have a funnel of their own. Rarely do people convert after seeing just one ad.
Ideally, you’ll have at least three ad campaigns in your social media advertising: awareness, consideration and conversion campaigns.
These campaigns form a social media marketing funnel. It functions almost exactly like your macro marketing funnel. But the whole funnel is on social media.
Here’s a quick rundown of the keys to each ad type:
- Awareness ads should answer the “why” of your company or product. Why did you start your company? Why does your product matter?
- Consideration ads should demonstrate what makes your product or service superior to competitors. Be brief, but give the key info that people need to make a decision.
- Conversion ads are the ones that actually ask for a click to your landing page. This is where you throw your discounts and offers in, if you’ve got them.
Fortunately, the social media creators know that this funnel is the best way to go. You can configure your audiences to show consideration ads only to people who have seen or engaged with your awareness ads. Then you can set up your campaigns so that only people who have viewed your consideration ads see your conversion ads.
Building your ads in a funnel like this is an easy step to miss. It’s super tempting to focus just on driving people to your landing and sales pages, figuring that you’ll snare them once you can make your pitch.
But you’ll get much better results if you build your ads out as a marketing funnel of their own.
One more thing: metrics.
This is far from comprehensive, but these are the metrics that you should focus on for each stage of the funnel:
- Awareness ads: impressions. At this stage, you’re rarely asking for many actions. You just want people to gain some understanding of your product and business.
- Consideration ads: engagement. This can be comments or likes. Video completions or carousel scrolls are also good, since those help social media algorithms build a remarketing audience for your conversion ads.
- Conversion ads: click-through rate. This is where you’re actually asking for some real action, so clicks will tell you how well your funnel is prepping prospects to take action. Keep in mind that conversion rates typically measure the quality of the page that people land on once they’ve clicked an ad.
This might seem like a lot of steps to get people from a social media app into your larger sales funnel.
But if you use the custom audiences tool wisely, you can really narrow down your audience for your consideration and conversion ads. This way you’re only showing them to your most primed prospects—people who have already seen and showed a positive reaction to the ads that are at the wider end of your social media funnel.
Specific targeting will keep your ad spend down and your conversion rates up.
3. Incentivize engagement
One of the most underutilized strategies right now is incentivizing engagement.
The infrastructure for incentivizing engagement is still a little thin. But it can be done.
Offering incentives for engagement isn’t quite the same as offering a discount for clicking on an ad.
What you offer a reward for is commenting, leaving reviews, answering other customers’ questions and providing user generated content.
The rewards for participation can be as simple as featuring someone’s video or comment in a Facebook ad. Or you can go so far as to build a rewards program that rewards people who engage a lot with discounts or special items. Somewhere in between these two extremes is offering one-time discounts for reviews or user generated content and giving people who leave comments access to special sales.
Whatever method you use, offering incentives for engagement helps build a community around your brand that people enjoy being a part of, gives your business social credibility and can even help your customer service teams out if customers answer questions for each other.
So offer up a few bones and get people talking about your brand!
That’s a wrap for our social media strategy session.
Which of these strategies are you using? Which of them do you want to use?
Tag us on social media and let us know how you plan to improve your social media advertising!