How To Target Your Social Media Ads Effectively

Sep 8 2015

by Mandy Edwards

How To Target Your Social Media Ads Effectively - southern c

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 –

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:

  1. Where are they? Are you limited to a certain geographic location? Can you advertise worldwide?
  2. Who are they? Are they moms? Corporate executives? CEOs? Small business owners?
  3. What are they interested in? Technology? Shopping? Travel? Sports?
  4. 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.

Twitter Keyword Targeting

Twitter Follower & Interest Targeting

Twitter TV Targeting

Tailored Twitter Targeting

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 –

Facebook Advertising Targeting Demographics

Facebook Advertising Targeting Interests

Facebook Advertising Targeting Behaviors

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:

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?


Mandy Edwards View More Blog Posts from this Author

Midwest Transplant. Wife. Mom to 2 redheaded daughters. Owner of ME Marketing Services, a social media marketing company. Proud University of Georgia alum and Bulldog football season ticket holder. Honored as one of UGA's 40 Under 40 Alumni for 2016. British Royal History Fanatic. Love all things Southern.

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