With social media marketing, it's all too easy to make seemingly small strategic errors, whose effects are magnified down the line.
Innocent little blunders could cost you a lot.
In this case, we're talking about paid advertising. Before you even get started, you need to do some legwork.
You need goals.
If you've chosen the wrong objective — or you don't have one at all, which is surprisingly common — you won't get very far at all.
Goals should be specific, measurable, and within your reach.
You've also got to take the platform into consideration.
Advertising on Twitter is totally different, in many ways, from running a paid advertising campaign on Facebook.
In a recent post, Hootsuite explains these two common mistakes in more detail, and offers some helpful tips for avoiding these missteps.
1. Not setting the right goals
“Before you even think about creating a single social ad,” says Maheux, “you need to know why you’re doing it.”
Are you trying to build brand awareness or are you solely focused on getting leads? Consider what exactly you are hoping to achieve with your social ad campaign.
We recommend setting S.M.A.R.T. goals—goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
Instead of a goal to “boost sales,” think about an actual percentage you (or your business) wants to increase sales by and what your timeline is.
Once you have set these business goals, it’s much easier to plan your campaign.
If you aren’t establishing tangible goals, you’re not setting your ads up for success.
To help figure out the kinds of goals you should be setting, think about what audience questions and pain points you need to address.
As Maheux explains, “An audience question could be “How do I measure the impact of our social efforts effectively?
Once you know what question you are trying to answer, you can better test different variations on the core message.”
2. Not tailoring your ads to the specific platform
Not all ads are created equal.
Every social network has different requirements and specs for the social ads they host and if you aren’t optimizing your ad content to adhere to these, you’re hurting your chances of success.
“You need to think about what platform [your ads] will be running on, as well as what kinds of devices,” Maheux explains. “Specs for different networks are important to pay attention to so you can make sure your ads look as good as possible.”
Our post, A Day in the Life of an Experienced Social Ads Manager, shares the following specs for quick reference:
- Facebook ad specs:
Recommended image size: 1,200 x 628 pixels
Headline: 25 characters
Text: 90 characters
- Instagram ad specs:
Caption: Text only, max 2,200 characters
Image size: 1080 x 1080 pixels
Limited support for landscape format
- Twitter ad specs:
Tweet copy: 116 characters are available (24 characters are used for the link)
Hashtag: 21 characters
Headline: 23 characters
- Snapchat ad specs:
Length: 3 to 10 seconds
File size maximum: 32GB
Canvas: 1080 by 1920 pixels
- LinkedIn ad specs:
Thumbnail image size: 1200 x 627 pixels (1.91:1 ratio) displayed on mobile
Company logo: The recommended minimum logo size is 100 x 100 pixels
Primary CTA (below images): Maximum 50 characters including spaces
3. Not knowing how to reach your target audience
To get the most out of your social media ads, you need to make sure that the content you’re sharing aligns with the audience you’re targeting.
“For example, if a piece of content relates to video content marketing, make sure you’re targeting people who have interests in those fields or whose job titles align with the topic you’re promoting,” Maheux says.
Be strategic with the information you have about your audiences.
If you are sharing a piece of content about the launch of your new butcher shop, you will want to make sure you aren’t targeting people who have only liked content related to vegan businesses and vegetarian living.
As Maheux says, “Being strategic with how your audience’s interests overlap can be really beneficial for targeting the right type of person.”
You can read about other mistakes people make with social media in the full post from Hootsuite.