We asked, you answered: Social Media Today readers wanted to learn more about paid social and audience targeting more than any other topic for 2020. So we planned this #SMTLive Twitter chat accordingly.
For some social media marketers, paid social is the most difficult and tedious part of the job. For others, it's their passion project. If you love paid social, we hope you came and dropped some knowledge. If you hate it, we hope you'll learn something from our recap, or at least find some solidarity among those who know the Facebook Ads struggle is real.
To gage our audience's comfort level with different aspects of paid social, we started with a poll:
As we wait for people to join, lets start with a poll.— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) January 28, 2020
Q1: What about paid social do you feel least comfortable with and want to learn more about?
It seems that most of you on our #SMTLive chat feel pretty comfortable with building an ad. But it's measuring that ad's success and audience targeting that proves a bit more complicated.
With that in mind, we asked about mistakes marketers can learn from next:
Moving on to the next question... Q2: (So that we can avoid mistakes in the future…) What are common mistakes that marketers make when running paid social campaigns? #SMTLive pic.twitter.com/3iAPfrwA79— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) January 28, 2020
The consensus? One of the most common mistakes in paid social is dropping the ball on monitoring ad campaigns.
A2: Not monitoring the campaigns and adjusting, if needed. The beauty of paid digital campaigns is that we can shift strategy and make edits in real time, as the campaign is running. Can't do that with print, TV, radio, etc. #SMTLive— Travis Joyal (@TJMO) January 28, 2020
A2: Not actively monitoring it and making adjustments as needed. So often campaigns are set and forgotten about rather than actively managed and adjusted as needed#SMTlive— Dakota Snow ???????? (@DaksAhoy) January 28, 2020
@JJFArmstrong pointed out that, additionally, there has to be some thought put into why you're using paid social rather than organic content in order for your paid efforts to work.
A2: Not doing organic social too. They have to work together. You can't expect a paid campaign, which is too often just broadcasting rather than engaging, to get you decent results without great organic content too ???? #SMTLive— James Armstrong (@JJFArmstrong) January 28, 2020
Moving on to question three, we wanted to know how you struggle or succeed with audience targeting.
A lot of you are saying audience targeting is an issue. Let's get more specific... Q3: What are your biggest challenges when building a target audience for your social ads? #SMTLive pic.twitter.com/hmWpzeZCrK— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) January 28, 2020
One issue that came up often was fine-tuning audience size within the parameters of the platforms.
A3: "Audience too small" is a real thorn in my side across all channels. I'd love to be able to target smaller groups who visit certain pages of a website. For some clients, who don't get a good number of web visitors, it could make all the difference #SMTLive— James Armstrong (@JJFArmstrong) January 28, 2020
A3: My biggest challenge is not knowing how specific to get when starting off. It's easy to start broad and narrow it down, but I hate to waste time and money getting there. #SMTLive— Mike Kelley (@MKel26) January 28, 2020
And, of course:
A3: Working with targeting options that seem to keep changing #SMTLive— Doni Perry (@DoniPerry) January 28, 2020
The worst part of our jobs is that we won't know how to do them for very long. But perhaps that's the best part of working in social too.
We felt your pain with audience targeting, but what about some solutions? A few users in the chat were able to offer tips on that audience size issue:
A4: Narrow down your audience. Exclude people who would be unlikely customers. Make sure your location targeting is accurate. Include, then exclude! #SMTlive— Jennifer Baker | Social Media Trainer (@JenniferBakerCo) January 28, 2020
@DaksAhoy pointed out that demographic data is a good place to start in audience targeting.
A4: utilizing any demographic data you have is a good start, but just having a good understanding of what your ideal customer looks like and where they spend their time (online or irl)— Dakota Snow ???????? (@DaksAhoy) January 28, 2020
Can help you nail down your target customer and target locations#SMTlive
Next, we wanted to get real about money. How much should you or your clients be spending on paid social?
Loving this chat so far! Next question... Q5: Where do you begin when creating a budget for paid social? How do you determine cost and where to allocate your spending? #SMTLive pic.twitter.com/BTGeRwUksA— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) January 28, 2020
This was a broad question and definitely depends on your industry and goals, as @DoniPerry pointed out.
A5: Start with the overall goal. An ecommerce campaign will have a different budget distribution than a branding campaign, for example. #SMTLive— Doni Perry (@DoniPerry) January 28, 2020
And @DanielMcCarter identified how much these campaigns can vary in scope but stay similar in size:
For FB and IG, the algorithms are pretty advance . These feeds can pinpoint who will engage. I've seen similar costs for targeting a 500K group vs 10M+. Focus on targeting the right users & be sure to have killer content that will drive the engagement/awareness you want. #SMTLive— Daniel McCarter (@DanielMcCarter) January 28, 2020
Our last question focused on platforms: Which ones did #SMTLive users love for paid social, and which ones did they hate?
Facebook and Instagram were very popular answers.
A6: It depends on the audience and what the client's KPI's are. I usually start with Facebook/Instagram to get a good idea of budget, audience insights, and engagement rate. I'll go to other platforms if my first tactics are sufficient enough. #SMTLive— Cadie Hancock Gamble (@Cadieeeee) January 28, 2020
A6: FB and Insta. My clients are all B2C and their most influential audiences live on FB and Insta. We lean toward FB for audiences ages 40+ and Insta for audience younger than 30. Crossover on both platforms for approx ages 30-45. #SMTLive— Travis Joyal (@TJMO) January 28, 2020
But it seems like there's a place for LinkedIn paid social too, especially in terms of the B2B space.
Facebook and LinkedIn. Why? Because I work in B2B, and those are the social platforms we've seen the most success from in terms of paid CPL. It all goes back to knowing where you can reach your target audience and what drives strong campaign performance.— meg (@meganvgavin) January 28, 2020
LinkedIn if we are targeting a B2B audience or Instagram for B2C!????????— Digital Ethos Ltd (@digitalethosuk) January 28, 2020
That's all for #SMTLive this week! We hope you learned something valuable that you can bring to your next paid social campaign.
If you want to be part of the next conversation, check out our #SMTLive Twitter chat calendar to see what we have planned for you.