The Biggest Challenge of Social Media Advertising and How to Overcome It

According to Zenith’s new Advertising Expenditure Forecasts, global ad spend on social media is set to grow from $29 billion to $50 billion between this year and 2019. But even with all those advertising dollars, Facebook is still not a place people go with shopping in mind.

Despite rapidly growing budgets, social media advertisers today still face the challenge of making people pay attention to their ads and go through with a purchase when shopping isn’t on their radar. These tips will help take your social media ads to the next level and leverage all those witty captions into actual sales.

Install the Facebook Pixel

Not to be a broken record, (I’ve discussed the Facebook Pixel at length) but it is crucial to install the Facebook Pixel on your site for successful ad campaigns. While it’s not a silver bullet for results, it is the first step any brand should take when starting Facebook and Instagram ads. Use it to retarget your website visitors and take all of the guesswork out of finding relevant audiences.

Build Strong Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike audiences are a feature on Facebook that allow you to input an existing audience, whether it is website visitors, page followers, an email list or other custom audience, and Facebook will find other users with similar demographics and interests.

To make a lookalike audience as strong as possible, use a base audience made of people who have shown significant interest in your business or product. For example, an audience of people who have completed a purchase on your site will create a stronger lookalike than an audience of everyone who visited the site.

Use Page Engagement Audiences

Another audience hack is to use Facebook’s new page engagement audience option. It takes the people who have engaged with content on your brand page by liking, commenting or sharing and puts them all together into one convenient audience. Target these engaged fans and turn them into loyal shoppers too.

Use Beautiful Images

Even if your ads reach the most effective audience, no one will take any actions if your copywriting and creative aren’t up to snuff. Use professional images that will catch a customer’s eye in their busy newsfeed and a caption that reflects your brand voice. However, you never want your caption and image to take away from your message, so sometimes simple is best. No matter what, the overall effect needs to be compelling enough to pull them away from the super cute picture of their nephew and click on your ad.

Track, test and try again

These tricks will make it easier than ever to demonstrate a real ROI from your social media presence. As you experiment with audiences, images and goals, it’s important to always keep an open mind and test to see what your customers respond to the most. Social media advertising is always a little bit of a guessing game, but that’s what keeps it interesting!

New research from loyalty analytics company Aimia shows that consumers are starting to turn to social for shopping research and inspiration, with 31% of online shoppers saying they use social media channels to browse for new items to buy. It’s clear the social media shopping trend is only going to grow. Make sure your brand isn’t falling behind; let’s schedule a time to chat.

Story by: Kelsey Thompson