8 tips for jump-starting your social ads in 2017

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social-media-mobile-icons-snapchat-facebook-instagram-ss-1920Would you like to level up your social advertising in 2017? The first few weeks of January are a crucial time to hit the ground running and gain valuable insights to carry your strategy throughout the year.

This post will walk you through some tips and tricks on how to make the most of your social ads in 2017.

1. Capitalize on reduced advertising costs

Q4 is notoriously the most expensive time to advertise on social platforms. The reason is fairly obvious: Large retailers and e-commerce stores all battle for a limited amount of inventory to push holiday sales. Be prepared to take advantage of less competition in the form of more favorable costs per impression and costs per click in Q1.

2. Refresh your creative and copy

Start the year out right with some new images, video and copy for your social ads. Evaluate the creative that you ran in 2016, and iterate upon your controls.

Also, try some seasonally relevant copy around resolutions and the New Year. Compelling creative and copy increase your delivery on social platforms and reduce the cost to reach your target audience — truly an investment worth making in 2017.

3. Test a new platform

Did you know that you can run mobile app install campaigns in Pinterest? Or that you can now send users off Snapchat to your site or app store? Resolve to try at least one new social platform in 2017 — you may be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Keep in mind that testing new platforms allows you to reach new users, but more importantly, allows you to reach the same users in a different way. The same user may be more or less receptive to your ads depending on the platform you reach them on.

4. Update your audiences

Who you target (and don’t target) in your social ads is critical to the success of your campaigns. For prospecting, make sure you update your customer exclusion lists so that you are not targeting current customers. You likely had a large volume of traffic to your site in Q4, so also make sure to refresh your custom audiences for retargeting efforts.

Lastly, you’ll want to update the seed audiences you are using for Lookalike/Actalike audiences to incorporate any high-quality customers you acquired in Q4.

5. Stoke repurchase rates

Marketers know that a customer is infinitely more valuable if they make their second purchase right away. Use your social ads as an additional touch point (alongside email, for example) to convert the customers you acquired in Q4. This tactic will boost the retention rate of these customers throughout 2017 and beyond.

6. Audit your tracking

The new year is a perfect time to ensure you have the proper tracking and attribution set up for accurate reporting in 2017. For all of your social platforms, perform a deep-dive audit of your pixels and custom conversion events to confirm they are firing correctly.

Marry the metrics being reported in social ad platforms to your internal point of truth, and fix any problem areas. While this may not be the most exciting thing to tackle in the new year, it is essential for assigning true value to your social efforts.

7. Document the highs and lows of Q4

If you’re like me, you may find it hard to remember what you had for dinner, let alone what happened a year ago. While it is fresh in your mind, document everything you can remember about what worked and what didn’t with your social ads in Q4.

Evaluate whether you were prepared for the large spend days, whether you had creative ready when you needed it, and more. Your Q4 efforts in 2017 will be that much stronger when you have this documentation to refer to.

8. Build your 2017 road map

Spend time early on in 2017 creating a strategic road map for your social advertising program. Lay out the tests you want to run, the platforms you’ll expand into and other initiatives. A road map will allow you to focus on the bigger picture, rather than shifting from one tactic to another with your social ads.

Will 2017 be the year you jump-start your social advertising? If you have any of your own tips for the new year, please share!

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Brad O’Brien joined 3Q Digital as Director of Social after spending several years on the brand side at Provide Commerce & FTD companies. Brad has a strong background in Social, SEO, e-commerce, landing page and test optimizations, analytics, as well as production and promotion of digital content. Originally from New Jersey, Brad went to college in Virginia at James Madison University and received a degree in Marketing. He has called San Diego home for the last seven years, and also works out of San Diego. Brad enjoys surfing, being outdoors, music festivals, traveling, cooking, and spending time with his dog Duke.


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