Tips For Planning Your First Social Media Ad Campaign

If you’re new to social media ads, getting started can feel daunting, with way more questions than answers. Which platforms should I invest in? How much should I be spending? How can I learn how to navigate ever-changing ad platforms? There is a ton of decisions to be made.  

Here are a few things you should consider before getting started.

Setting Expectations

When launching social media ads for the first time, you will be reaching out to a cold audience. It’s important to set realistic expectations and understand that your first ad campaigns should begin in the awareness stage.

It takes time and consistency to both build an engaged audience and get them to take action, like signing up for a newsletter, scheduling a consultation or making a purchase.

Targeting the Right Audience on the Right Channels

All social media advertising platforms have targeting capabilities to a certain degree. Meta (Facebook and Instagram), TikTok and Twitter allow you to target by location, interests, behavioral data, age, gender, occupation and other factors.

LinkedIn ads can be slightly more expensive, but they provide more niche targeting, allowing you to reach professionals by industry, company, job role, seniority and other criteria.

Consider where your audiences are organically and get familiar with ad platform targeting abilities to help you choose which platforms you’ll advertise on.

And before building audiences in the selected ad tool, it’s important to have established marketing personas to inform targeting criteria.

Build Time in Your Plan for Logistics and Asset Creation

Unlike “boosting,” which can be a quick way to amplify an organic post, setting up a campaign in the ads manager tool provided by Meta, LinkedIn and other platforms is much more sophisticated and takes time and strategy before you can launch.

Other technical pieces to set up (which may require the support of your web partner) include installing platform pixels on your website – so that you can track and retarget website visitors –  and creating conversion or event metrics.

The next items to prepare are the ads and assets including landing pages, copy, creatives (like videos, graphics and imagery) and other elements that support your call-to-action.

It takes collaboration and hard work to ensure the launch of a successful campaign. And once the campaign is launched, managing social media ads is an active job, requiring regular monitoring of ad performance and adjusting as needed throughout the duration of the campaign.  

And don’t forget – reporting post-campaign is key for making strategic decisions as you progress in your social media ad journey.

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Amanda Colocho

Amanda joined Hodges in 2015 after earning her undergraduate degree in mass communications and public relations from VCU. Since then, she’s been flexing her media relations, content strategy and social media muscles on accounts like Virginia Distillery Company, Motorcycle Law Group, Hilldrup, Kroger, Virginia Outdoors Foundation and Swedish Match’s Umgås Magazine.

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