How To Target Your Social Media Ads Effectively
One of the amazing perks to social advertising is being able to target the exact person or group you want to reach. To get the most bang for your buck and to be successful with your social advertising, you have to target a specific audience.
Businesses are often clueless about this part of the social advertising process. Most simply just click “Boost Post” on their Facebook update. Targeting a specific audience is how you will see success with your ad.
In this article, I will give you –
- Questions you need to consider before selecting your target audience.
- Your Twitter targeting options and how best to use them.
- Your Facebook targeting options and some targets you didn’t know you could select.
- Why the Facebook Power Editor is an important tool.
- What the ideal target audience size is for your ad.
Advertising with no targeting in mind (or as I call it, blindly advertising) is like throwing a whole bunch of balls in the air and hoping you’ll catch 1 or 2. Broadcasting an ad online with no strategy behind it is rarely successful. It doesn’t matter which platform you are advertising on, you can target your ad based on demographics, interests, geographic locations, etc.
Here are some things to consider before selecting your target audience:
- Where are they? Are you limited to a certain geographic location? Can you advertise worldwide?
- Who are they? Are they moms? Corporate executives? CEOs? Small business owners?
- What are they interested in? Technology? Shopping? Travel? Sports?
- Do you want to target a particular business or two? With Facebook ads, you can target those who work at certain businesses; with Twitter, you can target your competitor’s followers.
Of course, you can get VERY detailed with some of these but you need to identify your ideal client/customer.
If you advertise with no targeting, you are just wasting money. Social advertising is the first type of advertising that gives you the option to focus precisely on your ideal client/customer and has the real-time analytics to monitor your campaign. It’s the one advertising option that gives you the hard facts you need to judge your campaign’s success.
Twitter Targeting Options
Twitter’s targeting options are very similar to what you’ll find on other platforms. They offer targeting by keyword, interests & followers, television and tailored audiences. The followers and television options are specific to Twitter – and can provide a lot of potential to your campaign.
- Keyword Targeting. This option is best used when you enter a phrase or specific words you want mentioned by potential targets. It’s a great way to pop up in someone’s Twitterfeed based on a conversation.
- Example: John’s Steakhouse. They are promoting a tweet for their steak special. They can enter keywords such as ‘hungry’, ‘starving’, ‘I love steak’ or even ‘Business A has a bad steak’.
- Interests & Followers. You can target based on what people are interested in, which is great and works. What I like most is the Followers part. Here you can target your competitor’s followers. You can select Twitter accounts to have your Promoted Tweet show up to their followers.
- Example: Coca-Cola. We all know the popular feuds Coca-Cola has with Pepsi. If they wanted to promote a tweet about Coke Zero being hip and a best-seller, they could target that tweet to the followers of Pepsi or Dr. Pepper or 7-Up.
- Television. This is a new one. It’s only available in a handful of countries, but works very well. When entering your targeting, you add television shows and your promoted tweet will show up in the Twitterfeeds of those talking about that show.
- Example: Bass Pro Shop. Duck Dynasty is huge on Twitter. Every show has hashtags for people to follow or use when tweeting. Say Bass Pro is having a massive sale on duck blinds. They would promote their tweet to show up in the feeds of those talking about Duck Dynasty, or really any other hunting show.
- Tailored Audiences. This is a custom audience that you have uploaded to Twitter. It can be an email list from an event, your overall email list or it can be data on your website visitors. It will match Twitter accounts to your list and create you a tailored list to target.
Facebook Targeting Options
Facebook advertising is the hottest advertising topic out there. Scores of webinars are available to help you master Facebook advertising. For some businesses, this is THE only advertising they use. With Facebook advertising, you can literally come up with thousands of targeting combinations. All of the combinations have these key factors –
- Demographics. We think of demographics as age, gender and income. Facebook demographics go beyond that. Here is a sample of what you can choose from that you probably didn’t know you could – Home Value, Net Worth, Moms (green moms, trendy moms, soccer moms, etc.)
- Interests. The interests to pick from are more like categories such as your business interests (advertising, accounting), hobbies, what you like to drink, etc. They get pretty detailed so you can zero in on your audience.
- Behaviors. These behaviors give you insight into what your audience is doing. Are they in the market for a new car? Do they shop online at high-end retailers with a credit card? Do they like casino vacations? You get the idea. You can select (or add to) an audience based on what they do online.
Why You Need Facebook’s Power Editor
Facebook’s Power Editor is a free browser plug-in created to help you get more from your Facebook ads. Initially created for the Chrome browser, it occasionally works with other browsers. To check yours, click HERE.
The Power Editor gives you more advertising options than regular Facebook ad creation:
- Even more detailed targeting. The partner categories pair Facebook with three data-mining companies (Axciom, Datalogix and Epsilon) that collect user data related to purchase history and lifestyle. This allows you to engage in powerful ad targeting with more than 500 categories.
- Custom Audiences. With the Power Editor, you can upload your customers’ email addresses and Facebook will match these with profiles online, allowing you to create a custom audience you can save and target with ads. You can also use this data to create lookalike audiences.
- Budget Control. The Power Editor allows you to set your pricing for a maximum price per click, per 1000 people reached, per 1000 impressions or per action. You now have more control over how Facebook spends your money.
What is the Ideal Audience Size?
Ideal audience size is one part of targeting that really has no finite answer. I’ve always heard to keep it under 200,000, but there is no data to back up if that is a good number. Facebook will tell you if your audience is too broad and Twitter will tell you if you are not reaching enough accounts. This is something you have to decide for yourself. The larger the audience, the larger the reach and potential. The smaller the audience, the higher the conversion rate (since the ratio of people seeing and clicking is smaller). Trust your judgement on this one. If you need to test two ads, each with a different audience size to see what works, then go for it. Trust me however, no 2 ads will ever get the same response each time.
Social advertising is the best advertising option available to businesses. No other form of advertising will allow you the specific targeting options I mentioned above or give you an accurate reporting of how your ad performed. My background is print advertising sales – I worked in that industry for years prior to opening my business. I’ve seen the reporting you get with traditional advertising – approximations (guesstimates, really) of how many people will see your ad, subscription numbers, general demographics, etc. Social advertising will tell you how many people saw your ad and clicked on it. Ask your TV or newspaper advertising rep if they can top that. Add targeting to that and there is no question which direction you need to direct your advertising dollars.
With 74% of adults using social networking sites, utilizing social advertising and its targeting options is the smart decision.
Are taking advantage of the targeting options listed above? If so, which one(s) do you find work best?