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  • Writer's pictureBob Freas

Social Media Advertising

Deliver Results and Stay on Budget!

One thing that most people in the social and digital advertising world learn is to be prepared for constant change. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or TikTok, most social media platforms make several changes each year. They change things like their algorithms, where you can show ads, how you can target users, and the format in which content is posted.

As someone who spends a good portion of their week posting content on these platforms, as well as running ad campaigns for A3 Media and our clients, it’s important to stay up on the latest news when it comes to social sites. One thing I have noticed over the past year is how much things can fluctuate when it comes to estimated results compared to actual results when advertising. What I mean by that is what you get in return for your money: impressions, conversions, results.

When planning for a social campaign for your business or for a client you want to be able to present an estimate of how successful the campaign will be and what type of ROI can be expected. This is an area that is often debated. Let’s take Facebook for example. Facebook offers what’s called “estimated daily results” or reach, which are numbers based on you loading in all of the parameters before the campaign even goes live. In return, the estimated numbers are provided to you in a “draft” setting. This raises some important questions, how accurate are those estimates? Are the estimates being oversold?

I have observed campaigns in 2021 that have come in over the estimated impression numbers while staying on budget. I’ve also noticed more recently, in 2022, campaigns that are coming in under the estimated impression numbers and slightly over on budget. So, the answer is we may never know exactly how accurate these estimates are unless Facebook decides to share the intricate details of their algorithms, which is not likely. I do find it telling that Facebook includes the following disclaimer under their estimated daily results, “The accuracy of estimates is based on factors like past campaign data, the budget you entered, market data, targeting criteria and ad placements. Numbers are provided to give you an idea of performance for your budget but are only estimates and don’t guarantee results.”

So, How Can We Deliver Results and Stay on Budget?

Developing a proper strategy can help. Build in a fair buffer when presenting numbers and then closely monitor ad performance to be able to make changes if necessary. Depending on the circumstances, the buffer should be 20 – 50%. Creating a step-by-step plan will help organize and prepare your campaign. Here are four key areas to consider in any social media ad campaign:

  • Research – Do your research whether it’s for your business or a client. Data is available everywhere, so you need to determine which pieces are the most relevant for your campaign. Look at different markets, identify your audience, and then choose your social platforms.

  • Planning – Clearly identify your goals. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, drive sales, generate leads, web traffic, video views? Next, structure your campaign creative and plan your budget. Remember to plan accordingly when it comes those estimated numbers.

  • Launch – Time to review your audience parameters and make sure your targeting is correct. I like to take time to double check my creative, messaging and CTA. Then one last look at the budget and schedule before things get published. If a mistake is made you can always update your campaign but putting in the work with steps 1 and 2 will help you avoid mistakes altogether.

  • Tracking – Tracking and measuring the results is how you will figure out what works and what doesn’t. Monitoring things on a daily basis will be more valuable to you than relying on any ad estimates. Analyzing the ad spend and results over the first 7-10 days will give you a pretty good picture of what you can expect throughout your campaign. Whether it’s impressions, views, or clicks you will be able to review the numbers and optimize to improve your results.

As of June 2022, the US has a population of 334 million of which 84% are social media users. Statista also reports that Ad spending in the Social Media Advertising segment is projected to reach $229 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow to $358 billion by 2026. As long as that opportunity is there, brands and businesses, including us at A3 Media, will continue to try connecting with prospective customers.

Putting together a step-by-step social media plan will help you be more effective in achieving the goals of your clients or business. Just remember estimates don’t always mean actual results. When it comes to social it’s definitely not a “set it and forget it” scenario. So, keep an eye on your campaigns and optimize accordingly so that you can maximize results and stay on budget!

About A3 Media

A3 transforms media from an expense into a smart investment. Since 1997, we have successfully helped regional businesses launch new products, expand into new markets and increase sales through media plans that make every dollar spent do more. Our clients include brands such as Yuengling and Ashley Furniture. For more information about how A3 Media can help your digital marketing efforts, please call A3 Media at (610) 631-5500.

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