Let’s be honest here – we don’t all have unlimited budget and resources to place towards our social media efforts. Yes, it is a priority, and we all want to succeed in the space, but when it comes to resources such as quality content creation, community management, and strategic paid media support, it can be a challenge to juggle it all. If this message hits home for you, you’re in luck. There are a few ways to help run your social media campaigns more efficiently all while maximizing your return on investment. Let’s use Facebook for example…
Facebook makes changes every day.
With many of those press releases announcing something new, comes a new shiny toy in the form of a new ad module or algorithm. It is no easy task to keep up with the latest news and trends, but the reality of it is that you do not always have to.
Some of those tools and ad products are going to work harder than others to meet the needs of you and your business. So, choose wisely, and choose smart. Do not try to do it all – choose only the ad modules that are right for you and your business needs today, and leave the rest for potentially trying something out later.
For example, you notice Facebook’s new carousel ad format is a great way to display a wide variety of product and messages all within one unit. However, you are only looking to promote one message and visual in the hopes of gaining more exposure and driving email subscriptions. In this case sticking to promoted page posts or testing out a new lead ad may be a better use of your working dollars than the carousel unit that looks aesthetically pleasing. So, you move forward with a choice that will work clearly toward your business objectives – boosted posts or a lead ad.
Quality over quantity
It is better to make your best effort in reaching your ideal target audience than throwing a bunch of fly balls hoping to get seen among the masses. With this in mind, when it comes to the content you are publishing, quality overrides quantity. Every month create a few pieces of high-quality content that truly speaks to, and will resonate with your audience. Keep in mind your audience’s demographics, interests and behaviors.
Once the content is out there, promote your highest quality content on your Facebook Page with a boosted post after you have let the page achieve natural organic reach. Organic post maximum reach is usually achieved within 90 minutes of posting. The posts with the best chance of garnering interactions should be used, and your post message is the key. Invite some interaction with a unique comment on the content. Keep in mind that for every like, share and comment your post or ad gets, it creates a micro-story in someone else’s newsfeed. These micro stories increase your organic reach which takes your initial spend even further.
Target, target, target
In addition to creating smart and engaging content, targeting your posts and ads to the appropriate audience is key. If you only want to reach men of a certain age because that is your primary consumer, then only spend money on reaching that age range of men on Facebook.
This is where the Boost option has limits, and the Ads Manager has more options. With Facebook’s targeting capabilities you can manually select your audience through business manager’s ad platform and/or while scheduling a Facebook post logged in through business manager on the news feed.
Not only should you consider targeting by demographics, likes and interests, but also take a look at the bigger picture of your business. If your product or services are only distributed in certain regions, then focus your spend on those key regions by geo-targeting.
When you target your posts and ads, you’re customizing your audience set which impacts the number of people you are reaching. In turn, this can have an impact on your spend per post/ad and help manage your cost per thousand people reached (CPM). However, be mindful your audience set is not too small, or you can end up at a standstill, or your CPM could increase. While your ads are running, keep an eye on that magic CPM number. The lower the number, the more efficiently you are spending.
Test and optimize
If you are already practicing most of the guidelines outlined above and still looking for ways to spend even more efficiently, try allocating more of your time to testing and optimizing.
Let’s take promoted posts for example. You publish four posts a week but only have the advertising budget to promote two of those four posts. In this case, it could benefit you to choose the two posts you see performing best organically first based on interactions and reach. The organic interactions which also increases the reach insinuate these posts are more likely have the better chance of taking off with the support of paid media.
If your audience and awareness is still small, and organic performance is hard to measure, try placing a small base budget against all your posts leaving some money aside. Those posts/ads that rise to the top with the small base budget get to share the rest of the budget you set aside.
Create a scaled Facebook Ad plan
Take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Identify your key seasons throughout the calendar year and plan to place most of your resources and budget towards those key seasons. A scaled plan will allow you the time you need to plan efficiently, and what feels like a larger paid media budget when you need it most.
When it all comes down to it, managing your Facebook advertising campaign is unique to each business. It all depends on the individual needs of you and your business. Identify your social media marketing objectives first and use them as a cross reference when it comes time to make decisions about the best use of your time and resources.