With 97 percent of digital consumers on some form of social media, you can’t afford not to invest in social ads. And with the latest forecasts predicting a 20 percent rise in social ad spending (up to $4.3 billion) in 2020, you also can’t afford to make mistakes on your social ad strategy. Just because everyone is jumping on the opportunity to advertise socially doesn’t mean it should be done hastily. First, acquaint yourself with strategies that will ensure your ad spend is successful.
One of the best ways to make sure your strategy is sound is to know what not to do. The following are the most common mistakes that companies make with their social ad strategy. Avoid them and you’ll see the ROI you’re looking for.
1. Investing the bulk of the ad spend upfront without audience testing
Once a company has decided to invest in social ads, they usually create their audience targeting based on what they already know about their consumers. They may have data about age range, geographical location, gender and interests. But even if they’ve done extensive market research, audience testing is still imperative for social ads. Many companies believe they already know how to target their audience for the highest ROI, and invest the bulk of their ad spend budget upfront, hungry for quick results.
Thankfully, Facebook makes finding your ideal audience easy with a split testing feature that enables you to split test up to five advertisements at once. If you’re building ads on Twitter, TikTok or Pinterest and can’t use a split test feature, start a small test budget on an educated guess, then adjust accordingly. Keep the ad consistent, but change key factors in the audience and see what happens.
2. Loss of sales and potential customers from negative ad comments
Social ads, especially backed by a large ad spend, are exposed to thousands, if not millions of people and are therefore also exposed to chances for negative comments. It could be a disgruntled former client or someone who just doesn’t like your ad, but negative comments do lead to a loss of sales.
Think about it: if you saw an ad for a product you were potentially interested in and a comment on the ad said that the product didn’t work or that they had a horrible experience, you likely wouldn’t follow that first instinct to purchase.
Joseph Lazukin, founder of Facebook ad campaign manager Pixelsmarter, explained that one of the common ways companies seek to fix this is by hiring a virtual assistant. “Even with a virtual assistant watching for them, there’s human error,” Lazukin says. “Missing negative comments is a costly mistake, and it should ideally be managed by software.”
3. Not having a clear call to action
Finally, the ultimate goal of a social ad is to spur action. This won’t be easily done if it’s unclear to the viewer how to take action. Simply educating them that your product or service exists might lead them to click on your link, but be crystal clear on what you want them to do. Is it buy? Subscribe to your newsletter? Follow your account?
Global Web Index reported that 13 percent of social media users say that a “buy” button increases their likelihood of buying something they see in a social ad. It’s about making the call to action as easy as possible for your target consumer — that one easy button saves them the trouble of searching for your website online, and the ease of purchasing guides them through the sales cycle on the impulse your ad initiated. Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be.
Although these are three of the most common mistakes, others can include changing brand feel and strategy frequently, forgetting strong visuals and bold language and not making tweaks as the initial performance data comes in. Make sure to assign someone on your team to manage ads: They can be a full-time job, but they also have a significant ROI.