Take your social media advertising strategy to the next level

Aidan and Casey presenting a social media advertising presentation

Over the last couple of years, Aidan and I have given a presentation on social media advertising – the ins, the outs– it’s truly a 101 primer on the subject. The meat of our presentation is the same, but our color and delivery changes based on what’s currently happening in the social world.

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Looking into our crystal ball, social media advertising isn’t going away any time soon, but a lot is going to change in the coming months – from Apple’s iOS 14 update to Facebook’s monopoly trouble with the Federal Trade Commission. We’ll probably need to update our presentation (especially the nitty gritty takeaway slide at the end), but in the meantime, here are some of our big picture takeaways as you plan your social media advertising strategy this year.

Make the case for social media advertising

Imagine you’re driving on I-64, heading west for a quiet weekend in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, and you see a billboard. That billboard gets thousands of impressions a day, but there is no control over who those impressions belong to. But through social media advertising, you can create dozens of billboards for a fraction of the cost, and you can dictate that only people between the ages of 25-45, with a college degree and an interest in dogs can see them. This is why you advertise on social media. Better control of your dollars, serving up your message to the people most likely to need your product or service.

Aidan and I presenting at the Hire Ed Conference in 2019, and judging by my facial expression, I’m sure I was thinking about people “boosting” posts without a strategy behind it…

Please, stop boosting.

I cringe when I hear clients say that they boost posts. Unless you have Facebook Business Manager set-up, boosting posts is about as effective as throwing a fifty in the air and hoping the right person finds it. Boosting a post means you take something you published organically and you add some ad dollars behind it to get it to a narrow audience. With Business Manager, you could do the same thing – pull an organic post into a pot of money – but you could also customize and tailor that post and serve it to custom audiences – for example, people who have interacted with a video you posted last week.

Social media advertising should align with the Buyer’s Journey.

It is marketing after all. When you go to create a campaign, you set a goal at the very beginning – whether its traffic, conversions or page likes. These goals fit in the Awareness, Consideration and Decision steps of the Buyer’s Journey, and once you select a goal, everything within that campaign should reflect where an individual is in the Buyer’s Journey – from the images you use, to the copy you write, to the call-to-action you pair with it all.

Images by Virginia’s Community Colleges from the 2019 Hire Ed Conference at The Homestead

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Casey Prentice

A self-proclaimed organizational junkie and data geek who confesses to a secret desire to be a professional organizer, Casey enjoys account management, writing, editing and digital content strategy. Her agency work has helped clients like Virginia’s Community Colleges, VCUarts and Swedish Match.

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