Social media is definitely the most affordable advertising channel. Even the small business entrepreneurs, who don’t have big campaign budgets can use it to improve their sales and make their customers more loyal. In this article, we’ve shared tips that will help you decrease your social media advertising costs and make your campaigns more effective.

General tips

Test your ad’s content first

Before boosting your posts, you should run them organically and inspect their popularity. Post several types of content at a same time, during few weeks to check which one is going to receive the most engagements. You should only boost the posts that achieved the best results on the test. This way, you’ll save a lot of money, because the most engaging posts usually perform much better as ads and they come with much lower cost-per-click.

Test your advertising strategy

Posts are not the only thing you should be testing. Unlike posts, testing your strategy requires you to invest some funds. This is definitely worth it and it will save you a lot of money in the long run. When testing your advertising strategy, you should pay special attention to these parameters:

  • Goals – You should check whether your campaigns are optimized for your business goals;
  • Audience – Are you using the right targeting criteria?
  • Pricing – Check whether the pricing model you’re using is the most affordable one for your campaigns;
  • Placement – Check which ad placements have the best ROI.

Quit campaigns that aren’t working

Social media advertising is a very dynamic field. Most advertisers don’t have the time to stick to inefficient and unsuccessful campaigns. As a marketer, you need to be vigilant and you need to monitor your campaigns on a regular basis and track their success. Even if you’d invested a lot of time in creating your ads, you shouldn’t feel attached to them. If they don’t work, replace them with the more engaging ones. Their only purpose is to drive your traffic and improve your sales.

Platforms

Facebook

Facebook is the biggest social network and it has one of the best developed advertising platforms. Facebook ads offer great targeting options and their extensive use helps advertisers save money.

  • The use of conversion pixel – Recently, Facebook has introduced several advanced features that can be used for ad’s conversion analysis. Conversion pixel is one of those features that tell you whether your ads are generating sales. It helps advertisers customize their ads and target the best audience.
  • Time of day – In one of the latest changes of the Ads Manager platform, Facebook introduced a metric that can double your ads’ ROI. ‘Time of day’ metric can be used by the page owners who run social media campaigns from Ads Manager and Power Editor. It can be used for limiting ad placement to certain periods of time. For example, if you’re targeting corporate employees, you can run your ads during their morning commute or right after the end of the work day.
  • Share your content in groups – Although most of the traffic shifted towards Facebook pages, there are groups that are still alive and kicking. Sharing posts from your page in groups with a lot of members can attract hundreds of new followers and improve the popularity of your page, website and brand. Just make sure that you share relevant content that’s compliant with the group’s rules.  

Twitter

One of the reasons for Twitter’s continuous growth is its real-time nature. The platform uses a very specific algorithm that is very convenient for creating a highly viral content. The general rule for saving money on Twitter advertising is to ‘post the right content at a right time’. Apart from that, there are tricks that can help you increase the number of followers and make your Tweets more viral.

  • Use third-party tools – Unlike Facebook, Twitter doesn’t allow you to schedule posts. Since time is one of the most important parameters of Twitter campaigns you should use third-party tools to schedule your Tweets. These tools will also help you manage several Twitter accounts from one dashboard.
  • Find (and follow) your audience – Your competitors can’t hide their lists of followers from you, so you should use them to find people who’d be interested in your services. Start following your rival’s followers and wait for them to follow you back. This way you can acquire thousands of new followers and build strong relationships.
  • Your tweets shouldn’t be too commercial – Although you can use sleazy ways to acquire more followers, you shouldn’t use direct approach and hard sell tactics when advertising your products or services on Twitter. This social network has a very active audience and overly-promotional tweets can gain large negative following, which can result in a PR disaster.

In this article we’ve shared tips for optimizing your Facebook and Twitter marketing campaigns, but social media marketing goes far beyond Facebook and Twitter. There are dozens of other popular networks that can help you attract more customers. I’m not only talking about Instagram or Snapchat, but also about specialized platforms like Yelp or huge online forums like Quora or Reddit. Many of these social media platforms still don’t have a paid advertising scheme and they are a great environment for launching affordable and highly effective campaigns. This also means that the road to a successful online exposure consists of tracking the right platforms, watching their growth and knowing how to use each one in the best possible way.

Emma Miller is a marketer and a writer from Sydney. Her focus are digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at Bizzmark blog and a mother of two.