Social media platforms have become one of the most effective ways for small businesses to reach their target audience. With over 4 billion active social media users worldwide, social media advertising has become a crucial component of any small business’s marketing strategy. We will discuss how small businesses can use social media ads in their marketing and how to begin the process.
Step 1: Set up pixels
Pixels are tiny pieces of code that tell a browser how, when and what they can track when someone clicks on a social media or website link. We discuss pixels and their importance in our post, Using Pixels for Small Business Promotion. Pixels are the best way to track your ads and will provide a tremendous amount of data for you to use in your marketing.
Step 2: Identify Your Target Audience
The first step in creating a successful social media advertising campaign is to identify your target audience. Who are you trying to reach with your advertising? What demographics are they? Where do they live? What are their interests and behaviors? By answering these questions, you can create targeted ads that are more likely to resonate with your audience.
Your target audience also allows you to create “lookalike audiences”. These are especially popular in ad platforms like facebook. Lookalike audiences allow you to find people who do not yet follow you, but share the same demographics that current fans have but on a larger scale. This data may include their “liked” pages, previous purchases from similar companies, age, sex, and geographic location.
For example, let’s assume your typical customer:
- lives in the southwest
- enjoys hiking and being outdoors
- is female
- between the ages of 35-42
- has one dog and one cat
- has a history of making online purchases
Your lookalike will use those same parameters to create a new audience of people who have the exact same characteristics. If your core audience was 1,500 people, your lookalike audience may be upwards of 1 million.
Step 3: Choose the Right Social Media Platforms
Not all social media platforms are created equal. Each platform has its own unique audience and advertising options. For example, if you’re targeting a younger demographic, platforms like Instagram and Snapchat may be more effective than Facebook. If your product(s) are highly visual, you may discover that Pinterest is a better platform.
Research which platforms your target audience is using and which advertising options are available on those platforms.
Step 4: Set Your Advertising Objectives and Budget
Before you begin creating your ads, you need to set your advertising objectives and budget. Are you looking to increase website traffic, generate leads, or boost sales? How much are you willing to spend on advertising? Once you have determined your objectives and budget, you can begin creating your ads.
Step 5: Create Your Social Media Ads
When creating your social media ads, you need to ensure that they are eye-catching, relevant, and concise. Use high-quality images or videos that grab your audience’s attention and a clear and compelling message that entices them to take action. You should also make sure that your ads comply with each platform’s advertising policies.
Step 6: Monitor and Optimize Your Social Media Ads
Once your ads are up and running, it’s important to monitor their performance regularly. Track key metrics like clicks, impressions, and conversions to see how your ads are performing. If your ads aren’t performing as well as you’d like, try adjusting your targeting, ad creative, or budget.
Social media advertising can be a highly effective marketing tool for small businesses. By following these five steps, you can create targeted ads that reach your ideal audience, generate leads, and boost sales.
Remember to identify your target audience, choose the right social media platforms, set your advertising objectives and budget, create eye-catching ads, and monitor and optimize your ads regularly. With the right approach, social media advertising can help your small business reach new heights.