Apr 25, 2013

The LittleLottaBittas of Social Media Ad Buying

Uber-hip first cousin of more traditional digital media ad buys such as banner ads, social media ad buying is still a new territory that, for most, can seem like a shot in the dark. But with a little insight, a lot of creativity, and a bit of testing, it’s easy to navigate your first Facebook ad buy.

All you have to remember is A Little + A Lotta’ + A Bitta’.

A Little Insight…

Much like other forms of ad buying (social or not), there are ad options aplenty on Facebook. Before you buy, though, it’s key to know not only how each ad will be displayed, but what each type of ad can do for your page.

Display Ads: The most seasoned veteran ad type, display ads are the small image-and-text ads displayed on the right hand site of the user’s screen.

Display ads are the most targetable of all ad types, as they require no user action (i.e. liking a page, friend actions, etc.) to be seen. You fit the target demographic, you get served the ad.

Sponsored Stories: It’s a fact. We like our friends. So when your friend comments, likes, or engages with a brand page, we’d want to know that, right?

Sponsored stories are messages that come about from your Facebook friends engaging with a page, app or even that a brand has paid to highlight. Sponsored stories can be found on the right hand side or the page (like display ads) as well as in newsfeeds.

Promoted Posts: When it comes to prime real estate on Facebook, the top of the newsfeed is king. Advertisers: you can pay to be there with Promoted Posts. These highly engaging ads take the form of a Facebook wall update that is shared with page fans and their friends. They appear as natural stories in the newsfeed, and are an affordable way to drive traffic to your page.

A Lotta’ Creativity….

Deciding which type of ad will best help you achieve your goals is half the equation. The other half? Developing the creative that will get the click. Facebook does set a few parameters, though.

Facebook’s ad policy states that images and image thumbnails in promoted posts and sponsored stories must not contain more than 20% text. Whether you’re linking to your site or to a specific Facebook page or app, be sure that the visual you have with the ad is just that: visual.

What is the best driver for ad engagement? Quality images, especially in promoted page posts. Here’s a general rule of thumb: whatever would work well as a page post (and see the most engagement) would be a good contender for your next Facebook ad.

A Bitta’ testing….

Sometimes, finding your Facebook advertising sweet spot can be tricky. You may pick the right creative or ad type at first, but use every spend as an opportunity to test. What may work for one page may not work for another, and that’s ok. Continue to fine-tune your messaging, medium, and spend with every campaign, moving closer to your fans every step of the way.

So go ahead and maximize your social media ad buying spend. You can thank us for the math lesson later.