There is no doubt that social media advertising is a fantastic tool and has enabled many businesses to advertise at a relatively cheap cost. Big players such as Facebook have incorporated advertising into their business model and made it especially easy to set up…just create an advert and go live! But with this simplicity, danger lurks around the corner as it is also easy to spend money very quickly on nothing if you do not get your planning right.  

We can’t stress enough the importance of a social media strategy. First you need to ascertain if social media advertising is the way forward for your business and right for your target audience. Once you have established that ‘yes’ this is the direction for you then it’s time to get planning and get a strategy in place. Make sure you have set out your end goals, what are you looking to achieve by advertising?

Once you have a clear direction and target, you need to make sure your digital footprint is set up correctly. Once you start advertising people will be drawn to your pages, websites and other online platforms, so it’s really important that these areas are working and linking correctly.

Next, set a realistic budget and the only way to do this is by looking at your target market and your end goals collectively. Do you have a wide enough audience to be able to reach the end goal? If you haven’t got a defined target audience you might as well take your money and pop it down the drain and give it a little wave as it leaves. Bad targeting for adverts eats at your budget and many people don’t even realise how much their money is dwindling until it is too late and the money has been spent for very little return. Which brings us to monitoring - whatever you do, don’t just create an advert and leave it for months on end without a daily budget and daily monitoring to know what is working and what isn’t.

Watch out for things such as ‘boost posts’, this is a one click process on Facebook where you don’t actually leave the page you are on. Targeting criteria is completely different and although you might think you are targeting the right audience once you start monitoring these ‘boost posts’ you might be in for a surprise.     

Here at Earl & Thompson we work on social media strategies for a variety of clients, not all companies have social media experts in-house nor have the time required to make this a success. A recent social media campaign we delivered resulted in an increased reach of 400%, increased engagement of 350%, average CTR on Google Adwords of 11% and increased social referrals to website by 600%, all for less than was previously being spent on advertising.

Don’t waste your budget on advertising that could be extremely cost effective if managed correctly - get the experts in!