5 Tips for Running a Smart Paid Social Campaign

Get the most out of your ad budget with these five tips.

By Erica Newell

As organic social media continues to fight the ever-changing algorithm and competition, paid social media has become essential to any successful digital marketing strategy. Whether your business wants to reach more people, drive conversions or build brand awareness, paid social media can help move the needle and complement organic content and strategies. 

I’ve found that many businesses feel the need to run paid social campaigns to ensure they aren’t missing out or falling behind. However, many fail to take the necessary steps and time to develop a smart strategy and waste valuable time, money and resources. Below are a few tips and considerations before pressing “Boost” button.

Develop clear objectives 

It may seem obvious, but many businesses overlook the crucial first step of to pausing to clearly define their goals. Often, you'll find that you have multiple goals, each requiring different campaigns, KPIs, creative, audiences and more. A few common goals include increasing website traffic, promoting an event, increasing sales or generating leads.

Be realistic and patient

Speaking of goals…another common mistake I’ve seen is when businesses expect to jump into a campaign focused on increasing sales or generating leads. Yes, there are instances where you can be successful from the jump, but most of the time, you’ll want to start with a top-of-funnel campaign to raise baseline awareness of your business or product.

Digital Marketing Funnel: (Top to bottom) Attention, Interest, Decision, Action

Define your key audiences, and keep them separate

It’s important to avoid lumping your target audiences into one campaign. A one-size-fits-all approach can result in content or assets that are either too broad or, conversely, too narrowly targeted to just one small segment. Don’t shy away from developing multiple campaigns that are hyper-targeted to different parts of your audience—the results will be more impactful and well worth the extra effort.

Determine the right social platform(s)

Similar to developing a well-defined audience, you’ll want to examine your audience and goals closely to determine which social platform is best suited for your campaign. Each platform offers its own unique way to tap into audience demographics and behavior data. For instance, Facebook and Instagram have a broader consumer base and are typically better for B2C marketing, while LinkedIn offers more job-related data and is the go-to for B2B campaigns. The platforms also provide different ad formats. Facebook and Instagram are great for video ads aimed at conversions, while LinkedIn may be a better option for lead generation through its in-mail options.

Don’t rush through your creative and copy

It can be tempting to want to get your ads up and running as quickly as possible. However, it’s crucial to take your time to develop cohesive copy and creative. I recommend working closely with your team or creative department to collaborate throughout this process. Additionally, be sure to test out different creative and copy combinations and review analytics frequently to see what’s working and adjust accordingly.

Curious to see a paid campaign in action? Read more about how we used paid social campaigns to raise awareness for a non-profit organization in Columbus, Ohio.