It’s no secret that social media is an effective and engaging marketing channel for brands to reach and influence consumers. It’s used by 50% of the world’s population to access their daily dose of entertainment, socialization, and news consumption. Additionally, product research is a growing activity amongst 54% of social users, a trend which has likely increased over the past year during periods of lockdown and retail restrictions.
As brands want to be where their clients are, social media tactics continue to be included in brand marketing strategies as an important medium to reach, intercept and engage directly with consumers while they’re in a relaxed environment and mindset. It’s a key channel to reach Millennial (90.4%) and Gen X (77.5%) audiences, and almost half of all Baby Boomers are already active social media users (eMarketer, 2019).
In 2020, digital audiences continued to flock to social media. According to Hootsuite, more than 1.3 million new users joined social media every day, equating to roughly 15½ new users every single second.
Audiences are also staying on social for long periods. 2021 social media usage stats indicated that the typical social media user spends 145 minutes on social media each day, where the average American spends approximately 2 hours and 3 minutes on social media platforms daily.
Whether you’re planning on adding social media advertising to build awareness, piggy–backing on social Influencers to build brand trust, or promoting a post to build loyalty, consider these basics before committing budgets:
What are your goals?
The first step in creating a successful paid social campaign is figuring out what is your goal, what are you hoping this campaign will achieve? Are you looking to gain more followers, an increase in engagement, or sign ups?
Whatever your goal is, there’s a way to measure it. Having a metric in place to track the success of your campaign is essential not only for your current campaign’s success, but for benchmarking against future campaigns as well. With a goal in mind, you can then work through setting up your campaign, starting with your audience.
Who are you targeting?
Whether it’s a B2B or B2C campaign, understanding the mentality of your audiences will benefit you in building out specific targeting groups. Each social media platform is going to handle audience builds differently. However, each platform has their own strengths, and will allow you to reach the right set of eyes on your campaign, helping you achieve those campaign goals.
It’s important to remember that your customers are the same people (and demographic profile) whether you’re targeting them through e-mail, digital ads, or social media – they’re just doing different things on each channel which means they’re in a different mindset. Once you have an understanding of who your targeted audience is, you can then decide which platform is going to work best for you.
Which platforms are your targeted audience engaging with?
Every social platform has a different set of strengths and weaknesses when it comes to Paid Social. Are you looking to target individuals in a specific region, B2B or B2C, sounds like Facebook! Wanting to secure higher engagements rates in a B2B campaign, LinkedIn will help you achieve that goal!
I recommend Sprout Social’s breakdown of audience demographics by social platform so you can choose the right platform that engages your target audience. When you’ve locked on the key platforms to reach your desired audience and campaign goals, you’ll need to determine when to post or advertise.
When are the peak times to post or advertise on each platform?
Each social media platform will have a sweet spot peak period. Some recommend not to post before 8am or after 8pm Mon-Thurs, others say 9am – 12.a.m. EST Mon- Wed. But my experience has shown that it really depends on your brand, your audience, and which platforms you’re to be posting or advertising across.
Hootsuite have created the definitive guide to the best time to post on each platform, based on social results from 300 brands. I recommend starting your campaign within these peak periods, but to optimize vigorously to find your own brand’s social media sweet spot.
Going to “Level 11”
Social media can – but shouldn’t – work in a silo. I’ve seen brands take advantage of the fact that many people are also on social while watching TV. So, they use advertising on social as a way to extend the life of their expensive TV ad views and increase their brand recall by posting and/or advertising around the same time slots when their ads are shown on TV. That’s a mixed media strategy functioning at its best!
There are so many nuances when it comes to Paid Social, but having clear campaign goals, a thorough understanding of your audience, and understanding how each platform performs will help you build successful campaigns that get results. And if you need help planning or running your paid social campaign speak to us!
By Julie Haase, Manager, WorkReduce