How to Get Started with Paid Social Media Marketing [7 Tips]

Macy is a Content Writer at WebFX. With a Content Marketing Certification, she's an expert in crafting pieces filled with the facts about all things digital marketing. You'll find many of her pieces featured on UpCity's Top Digital Marketing Articles of the Week. When she isn't clacking her keys, she's wondering why her dog is so cute. Follow her on Twitter @iinfinitestorm.

Did you know that 74% of people rely on social media to help them make purchase decisions? If you’re not building up your social media presence, you’re missing a prime opportunity to get leads familiar with your business and boost engagement so that you can nudge them towards conversion. A critical component of that strategy is paid social media, which we’ll cover in-depth in this blog post.

Keep reading to get answers to questions like:

  1. What is paid social media?
  2. What’s the difference between organic and paid social media?
  3. How do I launch a successful paid social strategy?

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What is paid social media?

Paid social media is the practice of advertising your brand through social media platforms.

With this strategy, you pay to put your brand in front of people who follow your business. Paid social media targeting allows you to put your products or services in front of those who don’t follow your business but are interested in the products or services you offer.

Organic vs. paid social media: What’s the difference?

When you learn about paid social media, you may wonder how it differs from organic social media. While these two components have some similar functions, they are used differently. With organic social media, your posts only appear in someone’s feed if they follow you.

Organic social media focuses on:

  1. Increasing brand awareness
  2. Increasing engagement
  3. Providing customer service
  4. Building relationships

With paid social media, your ads appear in your target audience’s newsfeed, regardless of whether they follow you. Paid social media involves:

  1. Earning followers on your page
  2. Reaching a larger audience
  3. Building brand recognition
  4. Increasing sales and/or leads

While paid social media and organic social media can have similar goals, organic social media focuses more on building foundational relationships while paid social media focuses on pushing people to become leads and convert. Both are crucial to your social media strategy.

How to launch a successful paid social media advertising campaign

Want to get started with your paid social media strategy?

Here are seven tips for launching a social media advertising strategy.

1. Identifying your target audience

Before you start choosing platforms and launching campaigns, you must begin by identifying who’s in your target audience. To determine your target audience, look at a typical customer and define characteristics like:

  1. Demographics
  2. Occupation
  3. Buying habits
  4. Interests
  5. Hobbies
  6. Socioeconomic status

Identifying these characteristics will help you know who you’re trying to reach on social media. Once you identify who you’re targeting, you can figure out where to target them.

2. Find the right platform

Another critical part of creating a successful paid social media marketing strategy involves finding the right platform(s). When you advertise on social media, you don’t need to have a presence on every platform. Your audience may not be on every social media site — you want to connect with them on sites where they spend their time.

However, keep in mind that you’ll never know how successful you’ll be with any given social platform if you don’t post there. You can choose to advertise on multiple social media sites, including:

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. Pinterest
  4. LinkedIn
  5. Twitter

You’ll want to look at the demographics for each platform to see where your target audience spends their time. It will help you focus on platforms where your audience is most likely to engage with and respond to your ads.

3. Use high-quality visuals

When you do paid social media marketing, you want to ensure that you use high-quality visuals for your advertisements. You need to use high-quality visuals to catch your audience’s attention and get them interested in your ad. You can incorporate multiple types of multimedia in your ad, including:

  1. Photos
  2. Videos
  3. Infographics
  4. Custom graphics

Whatever format you use, make sure your visuals have high-resolution and are visually appealing to your audience.

Using the right visuals will ensure that your audience engages with ad content.

4. Create compelling ad content

When you do paid social media, your visuals aren’t the only important part of your ad. Visuals can drive people to take notice of your ad, but your ad content is what keeps them engaged and gets them to click. It’s paramount that you craft compelling and informative ad copy to ensure your audience continues to engage with your ads.

When you craft your ad content, focus on delivering essential information to your audience first. What do they want to know? What unique selling points will convince them to convert?

Your ad copy should always focus on your audience and how your product or service will benefit them. When you create your ad copy, you want to be direct and tell your audience exactly what to expect if they click on your ad. For example, with this Chewy ad, your audience can expect to click on the ad and be taken straight to a page about pajamas for your pet.

So, when you craft your ads, make sure you’re giving descriptive ad content with your high-quality visual to deliver the best ad experience.

5. Keep track of ad performance

With your paid social media marketing strategy, you’ll want to keep track of how your ads perform. Social media advertising isn’t a one-and-done type of task — you need to monitor consistently to ensure your ads drive the results you desire. When you track your ads, you’ll want to watch metrics like:

  1. Clicks
  2. Click through rate (CTR)
  3. Conversions
  4. Traffic source
  5. Cost per acquisition (CPA)

Keeping track of these metrics will help you understand your ad’s effectiveness and see if your ad enables you to grow your business.

If you don’t see great results, you may need to try using a different version of your ad, which brings us to the next tip.

6. Test your ads

When you do paid social marketing, there’s a lot of trial and error. You may launch an ad that drives results for your business, but you also might launch an ad that generates no buzz or interest. It doesn’t mean that paid social media isn’t working for you — it likely means you need to revamp your ad.

Testing your ads enables you to put out the best version of your ad content. You can test numerous components of your ad, including:

  1. Visual format of the ad
  2. Color scheme of ad visual (if a graphic)
  3. Call to action (CTA) choice
  4. Ad content information

You can conduct an A/B test to help you compare two versions of your ad to see how they impact engagement. When you conduct testing, make sure you only test one element at a time.

If you try to test too many elements, you won’t know which changes impact your ad’s performance.

7. Utilize retargeting

When you run advertising campaigns, you’re going to have people that engage with your business through your ads or pages on your site, but they don’t convert right away. Instead of chalking it up to a lost lead, you can use retargeting to bring those leads back. Retargeted ads enable you to specifically target people who interacted with your business prior but didn’t convert.

Many people will interact with your business or ads and get distracted. It doesn’t mean they’re not interested in your business, but rather, they forgot. To pull these leads back, you can set up your advertising campaigns to show ads to these people again later to remind them of your business and what you offer.

For example, if you’re advertising on Facebook, you would use dynamic retargeting to put your products or services back in front of these interested leads. So, by taking advantage of this feature on social media platforms, you can remarket your business to interested leads and turn them into conversions for your company.

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Launch your paid social media strategy today

Paid social marketing is an excellent way for you to boost leads and sales for your business.

Advertising through social is no small task, so if you’re feeling overwhelmed, WebFX can help. We have a team of over 450 social media marketing experts that can help you manage your campaign. We know how to craft social media campaigns that drive results.

In fact, we’ve driven over $3 billion in sales and over 7.8 million leads for our clients in the past five years alone. Ready to launch your paid social media strategy? Contact us online or call us today at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist about our social media advertising services!

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