Read this post before you pay to advertise on social media

Mar 1 2015

by Mandy Edwards

Read this post before you pay to advertise on social media.

I’m going to lay some truth on you… in order for your content to be seen on social media you are going to have to pony up some money and use social media ads.

Ah yes, pay to play. That’s what I’m talking about. Calm down, it’s not that bad – trust me. It’s actually a wonderful thing. You have the ability to reach the EXACT person/group you want to. Isn’t that awesome? Seriously, it is.

In this day and age of digital marketing, the options are nearly endless of what you can do for your business in terms of social media ads. Most businesses have taken advantage of social media, using Facebook and Twitter to get their message out to the masses. Now that requires using social media ads.

Yes, businesses can pay to play on social media and the ones that do it have gotten quite good at it.

Paying to play is pretty much the norm on Facebook. Everyone and their brother knows about Facebook’s upcoming decline in the amount of people who see your posts. Because of that simple truth & what to expect this coming year, businesses are devoting advertising dollars to that platform to make sure their content reaches their market.  Let me say though, you can do this on Twitter and LinkedIn as well – it’s not just limited to Facebook. Instagram and Pinterest advertising options coming to an account near you.

If you are going to use social media ads, here are some basic best practices to make sure you getting the most bang for your buck…

Know why you are doing it.

Simple enough, right?  Not really. I see businesses promoting Facebook posts and tweets that are honestly a waste of money and it’s obvious they did it just to do it. Like in using social media, you have to have intent in every.single.thing you do. It’s your money (or your boss’). Play it wise.

Know who you are targeting.

You may be having an event that interests only a portion of your market, so when you pay to advertise it, target only that group. That’s the sheer beauty of social advertising – targeting. You can target so specifically that you know your market is going to see it. Want to target people who live in multi-million dollar homes? Now you can. Stay-at-home moms? You betcha!

Have a budget.

I know this seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to lose track of your money on social advertising. Yes, you may only be spending $2 per day, but if you have that plus $15 on a promoted post plus $10 per day on Twitter, it adds up quick. Keep a spreadsheet of what you are advertising, how long it’s running and how much you are planning to spend and stick to that.  Trust me, it will save you many accounting headaches later.

Don’t promote every post on Facebook.

This is a hard truth, but not everything you post is worth paying to promote. I’m not saying your content isn’t awesome (because I’m sure it is), but when you promote a post it shows up more in your fans’ news feeds and the more they see it, the more likely they are to hide/unlike/report your page for spam. A good rule of thumb is that unless it’s a contest, event or sale/special, don’t promote it. Blog posts are sometimes okay to post, but only if it’s one that is getting a ton of response or it’s something you really want people to read. I saw a social media “professional” promote a post asking people is they were ‘making their day great’. Seriously. You can’t make some of this stuff up. Talk about a waste of money and one less fan – me.

Those seem easy enough, right? These are just some basic things to keep in mind when using social media ads this year.

Do you have any best practices you use when you advertise online?


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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2 responses on “Read this post before you pay to advertise on social media

  1. Jill Judd Kornegay

    Thanks Mandy. Good tips. We just started using Facebook Ads and the margins are still pretty terrible, but we do see at least a few additional likes and more engagement each time.

  2. Mandy Wooley Edwards Post author

    You’re welcome Jill! A lot of the successful ads I’ve seen have their targeting down to who they want to reach. Ads do get your page and content more views, so that is always a plus 🙂

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