Paid social media promotions offer enormous opportunities for brands to expand reach, engage customers and sell in a meaningful way. But if it were easy, every brand would master it overnight by just throwing more money at the promotions. 

Brands can't succeed by just spending more. 

Even paid social media platforms give preferential treatment to high quality and relevant posts. The good news is, you can measure what strikes a chord or what falls flat with your audience and adjust accordingly.

Here are eight early warning signs to watch out for and tips on how to take action to ensure your posts perform well, while controlling cost.

1. Increased Engagement Metrics with No Conversions

Most companies monitor both engagement and conversion metrics. Start-ups in particular have limited marketing budgets and are under a lot of pressure to build their brands quickly in order to gain conversions. They have to do more with less. If you notice that your posts are getting "likes," "comments," etc., but the post doesn’t fulfill conversion needs, it's time to intervene.

Tip: While social media platforms are not a direct conversion tool, you can still drive conversion by creating attractive and competitive offers. Collect the credentials of people who have liked, shared or commented on your posts. Make a database of these leads. Reach out to them through a different marketing channel like email.  

2. Increasing Cost per Engagement Rates

Companies shouldn't pursue social media for conversions alone. Social media offers brands an opportunity to have valuable interactions with consumers, without a direct link to a conversion. A focus on engagement is vital to your social media initiatives. But when the cost per engagement pricetag goes higher and higher, you have to control it. 

Tip: To contain cost per engagement, narrow your target group and then narrow down the content that will offer the most value to that segment. Using the power words in your posts — Share, Like, Retweet — has shown time and again to be effective. It's reported that using these words increases your chances of engagement by more than three times. This also results in a rise of organic views and a lowering in cost per engagement. 

3. Decrease in Direct Visitors to Your Site

When you pay to expand reach and engagement in social media, you need to make sure that your posts act as stimuli for viewers to visit your site. Monitor direct visits to your site to assess the quality and efficacy of posts. And remember, the more direct visitors to your site, the better you rank in the eyes of search engines.

Tip: Provide an incentive for visitors to visit your site. A simple example could be a call to action like, “order online to get a discount using the coupon code mentioned in this post.”

4. Decrease in Unique Visitors to Your Site

Just like direct visitors, it is also important to measure unique visitors. Unique visitors are the foundation of future conversions and create new business avenues.

Tip: Similar to direct visitors, try an incentive for visitors to visit your site. Make incremental expansions to target groups in the “Setting Sections.” 

5. Repetitive Engagement Misrepresents the Number of Views

It's great to get a lot of engagement on your content, right? But you should beware of repeated “likes” and “shares” on your content. While it's a good sign that you have a loyal audience, it can also misrepresent the number of views generated per post and skew the numbers when trying to assess unique engagements.

Learning Opportunities

Tip: Focus on unique engagements and views. Exclude So, when you assess a new campaign’s effectiveness ensure you exclude these sets and focus on unique engagements and views. Initiating a dialogue with all engagements in the comment’s section is a good idea. 

6. Lower Frequency

Frequency is the number of times a person sees a post and directly impacts the “recall” value, an important component of brand awareness. It takes a while to create brand recall, making repetitive encounters with your content necessary. If your posts are receiving higher views with lower frequency, it's time to tweak the formula. 

Tip: Narrow your target group. Start with a specific target and ensure frequency is high (e.g., 10 to 12 times per post). This post gives a nice overview about the importance of frequency, "Silent but Deadly: The Frequency of Your Facebook Ads."

7. Claims without Follow Through on Purchase

When you create offers, you can see how many visitors claimed it. But when you check your sales report, it becomes clear that not everyone who claims the offer follows through with a purchase.

Tip: Sometimes this happens because the acknowledgement emails that follows the claim aren't clear. Make sure that the steps are clearly outlined and make it as simple as possible for the customer to follow through with the purchase. And remember, sometimes people just change their minds.

8. Less Organic Views

You're already following your paid views. The next and most important metric to follow is organic views. Every marketer dreams of having their content go viral. But going viral can't be planned, so look to see how you can increase the number of shares your post receives.

Tip: This is a hard ask. One of the simplest places to start we mentioned earlier — mention "share" in your posts. But before you can ask people to share the content, make sure that you are providing quality content in the first place. Are you providing value in every piece of content you put out? Is your content aligned to a broader business purpose? The Social Media Examiner also offered these methods to get more shares.

They Come, They Click, They Still Don’t Buy... Why?

The world of marketing online depends heavily on attribution-based funnels. So if you designed a campaign defining sales as conversion, chances are you might find it difficult to achieve that goal unless you are a renowned brand. I have seen visitors bouncing within a moment of arriving at a landing page to make a purchase time and again. This is where your content is crucial — it needs to convince people to put in those credit cards details without suspicion or a hitch. Provide an option to request a call back in order to avoid bounce. You can follow-up and convince them later. Have a follow up plan to take every engagement a step further to convert them into potential buyers. 

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