If you’ve been following our series, you should have a good understanding of how to create valuable content that aligns with your brand, as well as how to start interpreting performance metrics. Now it’s time to kick things up a notch as we break down paid tools, advanced reporting, and investing in paid ads on social media.

This is the third and final installment in our Social Media 101 series for your small business! If you missed our other articles in this series, go back and review how to make sure your accounts are set-up for success and how to manage your social media content

Investing In Paid Social Media Tools

If you’re ready to take the next step in your social media journey, consider upgrading to paid tools. They will not only improve your creative capabilities, but also your scheduling and analytical reporting options. 

Scheduling Tools

Utilizing social media tools are necessary and beneficial, especially if you are just starting out. As your brand expands into other platforms, it will become necessary to expand your scheduling and reporting capabilities. 

Many free tools are limited in the number of platforms you can schedule to, as well as the level of insights they provide into content performance. Here are a few paid tools for you to consider:

  • Loomly: This is our top choice for affordability and ease of use! Even with their most basic plan you can add up to 10 social accounts for scheduling. This platform also allows you to schedule to Google My Business. A rare feature among popular paid tool options. Analytics are detailed and easy to understand in order to make informed content decisions.
  • Tailwind: This platform specializes in scheduling for Pinterest and Instagram, and also has a Facebook option. Some of our favorite features include hashtag exploring, pinterest templates, auto-loop scheduling, and a smart.bio link to add to your Instagram profile. 
  • Linktree: If you don’t use Tailwind, this is a great link alternative to smart.bio. It’s not for scheduling. However, it is a must-have tool to get around restrictions from platforms that make it difficult to share links (ex: Instagram and TikTok). Linktree offers a free plan and a paid plan that gives you more customization options and detailed analytics. Label and add your links to your Linktree page, once you are ready, use your unique as the “link in your bio” to include all your relevant links in one place.

Creative Tools

Take your content design to the next level. Check out these fun and easy tools to create video, design templates, and brand your content. 

  • Canva Pro: This tool really helps get your creative juices flowing! It is very easy to use, and even has a free version. From creating graphics and searching for images, to staying organized with files, you’ll want to constantly learn more about graphic design. You can even do that for free through Canva’s Design School. Try investing in the pro version to unlock an endless amount of additional design elements to enhance and brand your content.
  • Wave Video: If you are creating content for social media, you MUST create video. There is a free version of this tool, but we’d recommend the paid version to unlock the full potential of what this tool has to offer. Create from scratch or choose from a wide variety of templates and video sizes.
  • iStock: Sometimes you just don’t have the right video or the right kind of image to make your piece of content POP! If the available stock options through Canva aren’t quite doing it, try investing in a monthly subscription to a stock image site. Popular sources include Adobe Stock and Shutterstock, but this one is our favorite for the variety and price. 

Understanding Advanced Metrics

In our previous article, we covered some of the basic and relevant metrics that you should look at when reviewing the performance of your social media content. Yes, follower growth, reach/impressions, and engagement are key metrics to be reviewing, but it doesn’t stop there. There are several more that can give you valuable insights into your audience and how content might resonate with them.

Demographics

Demographic information from your audience and followers is crucial for creating brand personas, market research, and understanding where your audience is on each platform. You may discover that your target audience is not as engaged on Facebook as they are on Instagram. As such, curating content for that platform might not be worth the time and investment. 

Engagement Rate

What is engagement rate and how can you use it to make informed content decisions? Engagement rate is a metric used to assess the average number of engagements your social media content receives per person reached. To find your rate of engagement, divide the number of engagements on the post by the total number of reach. That will give you a decimal number. Multiply that number by 100 in order to get your percent engagement rate for that post. 

If you want to find your average engagement rate for a set period, like for the month or for the year, you will need to complete that formula for each post. However, don’t convert it to a percent just yet! Add all the decimal numbers together and total them for all of your posts. From that number, divide it by the total number of posts during the set period you are looking at. This should give you your final number. Multiply this by 100 to get your average rate of engagement as a percentage.

This metric is a great one to look at because it gives you insight to how well your content is resonating with the audience it is reaching. If a post has a particularly high engagement rate, you may consider trying to replicate the effectiveness of that post by doing another post that has a similar look or covers a similar topic. Check out this article for insights on what is considered a “good” engagement rate by platform. 

Running Paid Ads On Social Media

As a business owner on social media, you have probably asked yourself many times: should I invest in paid social advertising? Is it really worth the money?

Let us put it into perspective…Did you know that Facebook shows business page posts to only about 1-2% of people who actually like those pages? That means that on a page that has 1,000 fans, only about 20 people may actually see the post.

The answer is yes, but make sure you are doing it correctly. Be sure to determine which platforms are worth the investment. You can pinpoint the profile with the highest average rate of engagement or the largest concentration of your target audience. 

Setting up a Basic Ad in Facebook Ads Manager

Facebook may not be the right platform for everyone, but it is definitely one of the most-common. Your first step in getting started is to make sure you have an Ad Account in Business Manager. Facebook lays out those steps for you HERE

  • Boost a Post: One of the simplest ways to create an ad is to boost a post that already exists on your page. If you are new to paid advertising on social media, this is a great place to start. Facebook walks you through the whole process. 
  • Build An Audience: Before you create your first ad, you’ll need to set up your target audience. Facebook will make it easy on you and will automatically generate a suggested target audience to use. Easily edit this audience to better suit your needs by adding or removing the pre-selected interests. If you want to create your boosted audience from scratch, you can create and save it within your Facebook Ads Manager. Learn more about creating custom audiences HERE

Setting Up a Custom Paid Ad

Beyond boosting posts that already exist on your page, you have another option. Try creating promotional content by utilizing a custom ad. These are posts that you create specifically for the purpose of advertising. They will not live on your native profile. 

Depending on the type of media being used for your ad (ex: image, video, etc.) there will be specific design requirements that you will need to follow. Check out this guide from Facebook that will save you time and help you get it right the first time. If you don’t want to create anything new, you can still use an organic post that has already been published, but any reach or engagement acquired from your ad will not be applied to the original post. 

Selecting Campaign Objectives

Before creating your ad, consider what your business goals are. What do you want your ad to accomplish? Understand your own goals and allow them to inform how you select your campaign objectives. For small businesses who are venturing into the world of paid social media advertising, we typically recommend these objectives:

  • Reach: Show your ad to as many people as possible in your target audience.
  • Engagement: Reach people more likely to engage with your post. 

Ads with these objectives help you break through the noise and reach more people who might be interested in your content. After running a few of these, be sure to review your ad performance and make adjustments to your audiences accordingly. If your cost per action is too high, you may need to make some adjustments to the saved audience that you used. 

Site Tags and Pixels…What Are They?

A Tag or a Pixel is a code that is installed on your website.  Once installed, it can be used to track a variety of actions. These include but are not limited to: conversions from ads, retarget customers who have already engaged with your brand (such as watching a video, visiting a website or engaging on a company’s page) and helping to build audiences to target with future ads. 

This code collects data from the people who engage with your website. This data can be pretty powerful. It can help you determine ad targeting and help measure performance results as well. Here are some common website tags that you’ll need to install on your website before running ads on their platforms:

  • Facebook Pixel – This pixel is crucial if you plan to run any kind of paid advertising on Facebook or Instagram. Capture the data of users that already engage with your site, or create Lookalike audiences to help increase your reach. 
  • Google Analytics Global Site Tag – Even if you don’t plan to run any ads on google just yet, setting up the global site tag on your website can provide invaluable information about what kind of traffic is coming to your site from your paid social media ads and regular site traffic in general.
  • Twitter Website Tag – If you choose to run ads on Twitter, you will have the option of a universal site tag or an event site tag. Opt for the universal option since it will collect information for multiple different actions versus capturing a single event conversion. 
  • Pinterest Tag – if engagement is booming on this platform, it may be time to consider advertising. This site tag will allow you to track and optimize conversions, measure campaign performance, build audiences for targeting and more.

These tags are extremely beneficial to your ad performance and reporting. However, they have become more challenging as of late with the new Apple iOS 15 ad changes. These recent updates now allow users to opt-out of tracking when accessing certain apps and features. 

Build Your Brand with Social

And just like that, you’re all set to start running your first campaign! When it comes to social media, we’re always learning. We hope you found this series helpful to stay organized, manage your content and as you grow, utilize your insights to create dynamic campaigns to build your brand. 

Need a little extra help? The Social Ginger is here to be your partner as you continue to dive into and learn more about social media. Set up a FREE discovery call today. 

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