Social media has become a core channel for digital marketers. Estimates show social media ad spend hitting $41 billion in 2017, with Facebook making up the a majority of this spend. As mobile usage grows, marketers have a great opportunity to provide relevant and timely ads to their target market.  

With Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn topping the list of comScore’s top properties for unique visitors/viewers, it’s likely that digital marketers will soon be allocating even greater percentages of their budgets to these channels.

The 5 Best Practices

As social media goes mainstream to become an extension of brands’ overall marketing efforts, here are five best practices that digital marketers and advertisers should follow to ensure the successful launch and optimization of their social media campaigns:

1. Always Define Your Target Market

Social media is excellent at helping identify and reach your core and long-tail target markets. Not only can advertisers track profile demographics and engagements on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, they can build custom audiences based off of them as well.  

Social media gives digital marketers the ability to create ads based on a custom audience build, which can be defined by job titles, location, age, interests, gender, relationship status and more – all at a very low CPM.

2. Test Different Creative Variations

When you’re trying to launch a campaign quickly, getting multiple images and messages out in the market can be hard but it shouldn’t be overlooked. With social, the best practice is to launch a handful of ad variations and let the algorithms work their magic. Even if you’re only able to make a slight change in text or the call to action, you should do your best to launch ad variations to each of the custom audiences you have built.

3. Change Up Your Creative Often

Put together a calendar for your creative content rotation and have a stock of images, headlines and descriptions ready to go to enable you to build new creative quickly. Because the creative on social channels becomes stale more rapidly, swapping in new creative weekly or even more frequently is the best way to keep conversion rates high and appeal to new custom audiences.

4. Promote, Promote, Promote

Content is king when running social campaigns. To maximize your content’s social media impact, make sure your calls to action focus on receiving or consuming content rather than taking conversion actions.

When the call to action is focused on content, conversion rates for content downloads accelerate and are very efficient. For example, Facebook’s lead generation ads are one of the best possible tools for promoting content because they ensure that you don’t squander budget dollars trying to reach audiences who don’t relate to the content you’re trying to share.

5. Analyze Your Data

Data should drive your social media advertising, just as it does for your PPC, SEO and display campaigns. Pay the same attention to the processes of assessing social media data, reporting results and implementing action plans that you would for any other campaign. 

Commit to tracking every conversion from every channel — including phone calls —that your social media campaign achieves because your analytics and attribution reporting will only be as good as the data you track.

Above all, as you work through these best practices, remember that while they might add to your to-do list in the short-term, the improvement to your final campaign results will be well worth it.