Learn Social Media Advertising and Make Conversions Faster

Learn Social Media Advertising and Make Conversions Faster

7 mins read307 Views Comment
Syed Aquib Ur
Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager
Updated on Feb 14, 2024 18:06 IST

Discover why should your business focus on paid social media more than organic engagement on social platforms. But it isn't a magic bullet. It requires strategy, planning, and ongoing optimisation for success. Different platforms cater to different audiences and goals.

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Social media advertising is one of the core pillars of SMM, where you pay Facebook, Instagram or similar platforms to gain more interested customers quickly. 

If you are not setting aside a budget for social media, it is already hurting your business. It would be a mistake to put all focus on ranking organically and driving engagement on social media.  

How is Paid Social More Effective than Organic?

If you are new to digital marketing concepts, know that organic traffic takes (too much) time – be it social or search engine. 

Even more sadly, in social media, organic traffic is not enough to increase sales and gain new customers. Bitly even mentions, “A Facebook page with over a million likes only averages around a 2.27% organic engagement rate”. It better be left for engaging existing customers. Give them deals, post memes, reply to queries, etc.  

Facebook infamously stalled its organic reach in 2014 and the News Feed algorithm changed, while the 2022 Instagram algorithm makes a brand visible to 10% of its followers. 

And it’s no secret that social media platforms, including Instagram and Facebook, show users content based on their past interactions through machine learning algorithms. 

They decide which type of social content will appear on the user’s feed at what time and in what order. 

Naturally, chances are slim that your organic post will lead to conversions. It will look like you wasted efforts. And no social media manager will want to show that while reporting. 

So, why even risk missing out on attracting those who will pay for your products or services and not just be your millionth follower who never buys? 

Social media advertising’s main benefit is improving conversions, from the moment you set up an ad, as the communication is highly targeted. It drives your audience to purchase or respond to your CTAs because you can personalise them. A full-proof social media strategy today should be a blend of both organic and paid methods. This combo is a more viable path. 

Social Media Advertising versus Other Types of Advertising and Marketing Efforts?

Advertising Format Targeting Content Reach & Measurement Cost & ROI
Social Media Hyper-focused, dynamic Visual, interactive, native Global, scalable, real-time insights Flexible budgets, measurable ROI
Traditional (TV, Radio, Print) Broad reach, limited targeting Limited interactivity Limited measurement Difficult to measure ROI
Search (e.g., Google Ads) Highly targeted based on search intent Text-based Targeted reach, good measurement Measurable ROI
Content Marketing Organic reach, limited targeting options Informative, valuable content Organic reach can be slow, requires effort Long-term ROI, difficult to measure directly

How to Set a Budget for Social Media Advertising?

Before choosing the social media platform, decide on the budget for social media advertising. You can choose a bidding model found in search engine marketing, including the most common – CPC (Cost-per-Click). But explore other bidding options too and see which works best for your resources. 

Facebook Ads cost with a CPC model is roughly around USD 0.94 per click, according to WebFX. While Instagram Ads for apparel or high-competition sectors can go up to USD 3.00 per click. 

When deciding on a budget for Facebook/Instagram, the ad spending should be the least amount of money you will spend to sell one item. If the item costs, let’s say, INR 1000, you can spend at least INR 300 for ads. 

The budget can also vary if your business is B2B or B2C. For instance, B2B firms spend up to 5% of the total marketing revenue on paid social, while B2C companies go up to 10% or more. There is no such rule, but these should be your primary considerations. 

Likewise, LinkedIn is a great opportunity for B2B firms. But the CPC rates are comparatively higher than Facebook and Instagram. But where LinkedIn lacks is data points compared to what Facebook provides. For instance, segmentation tools like Lookalike audiences are available in both Facebook and LinkedIn but marketers may prefer Facebook as it has a larger base of users. 

You also cannot forget to use this amount for social media marketing tools. Then there is social media analytics to consider if you want a more in-depth analysis of your campaigns. These costs should be included in the overall social media advertising budget. 

Based on the budget, you can set important to-do lists for your social media plan. You can set up the number of paid and organic posts per week. Measure how they perform and which type of paid social ads are helping you meet the business objectives. 

Benefits of Paid Social to Customers

Cut Through the Noise

Sponsored content on social feeds is one way to take advantage of the algorithm updates. Users will see the content only based on their interests and previous interactions. 

Social media algorithms give more importance to paid social ads than organic posts, meaning there is a higher chance the paid ad will show up. 

Customers Easily Reach the Bottom of the Funnel

A not-so-old survey from Collective Bias revealed that 1/3rd of millennials made a purchase from a brand after seeing a sponsored post. 

As a practice, businesses target specific audience groups to run paid ads. 

Like on Facebook, you can use Custom Audiences. You can then categorise people who interacted and responded to any CTA on your social media posts or emails and ones who did not. 

Then you can create sponsored content to retarget those who previously did not buy but showed interest. They are more likely to buy when they see the retargeted communication aligning with their interests and behaviours. 

While retargeting is in place, focus on strategic messaging strategies, such as

  • Creating FOMO (fear of missing out) through limited-time offers but with highlighting the unique benefits of the product to the targeted consumer
  • Using clear but compelling language on CTAs. They should be specific. There also can be multiple CTAs on an ad that directs the consumer to perform one action at a time. CTAs such as ‘Sign Up Now’ can get generic. Experiment with them and be bold. For instance, “Sign Up To Get 15% Off” could highlight more urgency and more incentivised than the previous example. 

Example of Social Media Advertising Done Right

One of the most popular examples of paid social is KFC India. 

KFC’s Marketing Objectives 

  • Increase sales 
  • Drive store traffic across all stores in India
  • Establish itself as a budget brand for consumers

Action Taken Between February 2019 to March 2020

  • Wednesday Offer Campaign on television and social media
  • Introducing a massive discount on Big Bucket Campaign between August 9–18, 2019, during Independence Day weekend, leading to in-store traffic

Behind the Scenes with Facebook Ads

  • Location-based targeting for Facebook ads for consumers within a two-mile radius.
  • The brand focused on Lookalike Audiences from those who previously visited the store or website.
  • KFC also retargeted ads to those who interacted with its Facebook page in the last six months.

The Results from Two Campaigns

  • 57000 store visits 
  • 120 million reach 
  • Return on Ad Spend from Wednesday Offer increased by 89% from the previous year
  • Return on Ad Spend from Big Bucket Campaign increased by 37% from the previous week of the campaign

Mistakes You Must Avoid in Paid Social

Strike#1 – Not Having Measurable Marketing Objectives

This pitfall is obvious. It is important to have clear marketing objectives. You don’t want to have multiple, unrealistic, or vague ones. Focus on measurable KPIs and, most importantly, conversions. 

Strike#2 – Not Prioritising Conversions

To repeat, you are using paid social to boost conversions. Metrics such as engagement rate from likes and comments are fine, but those are not the priority. Cost per click (or your preferred bidding model), post reach, and conversion rate are. 

Strike#3 – Not Conducting an A/B Test

A/B testing can help you estimate how much the ad will improve the conversion rate. Here you run an experiment of two variants of the same ad. Try adding different backgrounds on the visuals, changing the ad format from image to video, or moving the placements of text and image.

Learning Social Media Advertising with More Hands-On Guidance

Social media advertising can help your business achieve more than just conversions. It can add value to your customers, which is perhaps the most important yet underlying digital marketing trend today

If you are a small business owner planning to manage your paid social campaigns, go for courses such as Social Media Advertising from Coursera. The instructor on this one offers a 360-view of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with best practices. 

Like it or not, social platforms are focusing on improving the user experience and any ad that the consumer feels is too spammy, they end up reporting it, and this costs your business more. The instructor takes you through such insights and helps you focus on creating paid ads that your customers and the platforms are going to trust and eventually convert. 

By the end of the 5-week course, you will be able to strategise an effective paid campaign. 

Look for more social media marketing courses to learn more in this field. 

About the Author
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Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager

Aquib is a seasoned wordsmith, having penned countless blogs for Indian and international brands. These days, he's all about digital marketing and core management subjects - not to mention his unwavering commitment ... Read Full Bio