Social engagement for your brand is declining and you’re left wondering what happened to your steady, upward-trending numbers. Posts that used to reach sky-high results are suddenly receiving just so-so traction.
You’re not alone.
BuzzSumo found that since January 2017, Facebook posts from brand pages saw a 20% decline in engagement. Brands now on average only reach 6% of their followers organically on Facebook and Instagram. Let’s assume your brand has 20,000 followers. You post the perfect pic with killer copy. At best, 1,200 of your followers saw that post.
The reality is if you’re not incorporating ads into your social strategy, then you’re already behind. The solution for brand awareness and generating traffic and trial is there, and many companies are seizing the moment.
According to eMarketer’s US Social Trends for 2019, top marketers plan to increase social ad spending by 19% in 2019. This trend is the direct result of businesses counteracting declining organic reach. The money you spend on social ads may feel like an extravagance in the moment but will ultimately help you see and be seen.
The bottom line: pushing “free” content in front of random users is not going to work anymore. Tactics like ad spend, engaging content, and targeting will.
Turning Dollars Into Eyeballs
You may not be on Facebook, but when it comes to who’s on social media, Facebook still dominates the action. Facebook currently comprises 84% of social ad spend. A common question to this ad spend in an already spend-heavy restaurant industry is “how much is this going to cost me vs. the results I see?” The answer is less about dollars and more about eyeballs – that eventually turn into dollars.
Currently on Facebook & Instagram, if a user doesn’t already interact with your brand, they won’t see your content.
Targeted ads give you impactful tools that a “free” post can’t achieve:
- Data-driven algorithm to hit more users
- Targeted reach of people who (based on click usage) will click
- Ability to retarget if current target not driving results
- Run for longer periods of time than a post
- Testing two different images and see what performs best, then run with that best performing image
- Testing different groups with the same ad for better audience understanding
Perhaps the most significant service of targeted ads is nailing down your audience. According to Norton Creative Senior Digital Manager, Lindsay Loudermilk, “Knowing your audience means you’re hitting the right people every time you post. Norton’s social experts find out which audience (age, gender, profession) is going to be the best audience so your ad spend is being used effectively. We also conduct a lot of trial and error that you don’t have time to do. Strategy drives every single decision we make.”
Advertise your brand on a digital billboard where everyone on the road is your target audience.
Traditional marketing started with this scenario: “If” people looked at your billboard you had no ability to see how long they looked, force them to look again, or know anything about them. Think “Mad Men” where Don Draper constantly struggles to figure out who is buying a certain product. But in 2019 with geo-targeting, you can throw a net around your store location and only speak to people who truly have the chance of going to your restaurant. If you’re going to spend money on that “billboard,” you want it to be used effectively.
Know Thy Social Self
In order to be truly effective, social ads must blend in with organic content so users don’t feel like they’re being pitched to. They will unfollow you if they feel like you’re promoting to them too often.
That said, hold your ads to the same standards as your organic content: engaging and shareable. Shares are incredibly important to audience building – turning likes into future followers and future followers into an additional visit! When you get a message from a friend, that layer of trust is already there.
Here are a few tactics to take your ads (and other posts) to the next level:
- Shoot content it in an organic way that focuses on your brand message but looks like user-generated content
- Create a signature brand voice and design
- Ensure all content is mobile-friendly
- Create and stick to a solid ad budget but be open to change
The Ask. The Tactics. The Results.
Norton Creative used a layered approach in an engagement campaign for Corner Bakery, in an attempt to drive brand awareness and eClub membership at the same time. Users were seeing the post and then retargeted based on who would most likely hit the link. Paired with social strategy on Instagram, these ads yielded some amazing results.
CEO Robin Blanchette noted, “This was the highest performing engagement program to date and lowest CPA yielding the highest number of new eClub numbers Corner Bakery has ever seen. It proves that the successful social decisions we make for our clients are always based on data-driven strategy and drive impactful results.”
Link Clicks: 36,612
The campaign resulted in 29,808 eClub sign-ups. All from the decision to promote through Facebook ads.
The Return You Want Today
Social can feel daunting, especially on top of everything else you’ve got going on, like running a company or managing people. That’s why it’s important to partner with someone who knows what they’re doing and can lift that burden. With an effective creative partner, it is possible to go lightweight on social and still make an impact. Utilizing targeted, low CPC (cost per click) campaigns, you can reach a large number of who you want with very little spend. When it comes to moderation, it’s all about being authentic and leaving an impression – which doesn’t take more spend but a strong understanding of brand voice.
The payoff is (literally) waiting when you have the ability and desire to constantly engage with your audience. Staying on top of social trends, addressing concerns and questions faster than anticipated and constantly supplying content that is worth their time. When you only have three seconds to get someone’s attention, every second has the potential to bring about impactful change to get you out of social hell.
Norton Creative builds out paid ads with hyper-targeted audiences and objectives to strategically get more reach and impressions for your buck. We focus on targeting and messaging the people you want, when you want and where you want. We build custom audiences so Facebook ads are delivered to the right people; tailored based on target market, demographics, interests, location, and engagement with the brand. Norton also strategically allocates paid media dollars between boosting posts and custom-built Facebook ads.