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Jul 04 How to Get the Most Out of Your Social Ad Buy

The rise in social usage makes implementing a social ad buy essential.

Now more than ever, online users are connected socially. According to GlobalWebIndex, the average digital consumer spends about 1 hour 50 minutes social networking (or 1 in every 3 online minutes) and has an average of 7 (yep 7) social media accounts. It’s no surprise that this volume of consumption has made social media channels an extremely attractive avenue for marketers seeking to communicate more effectively with their target audiences.

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Advantage of using a social ad buy over other media types

  1. Scalability: A local mom and pop can run ads with a small budget as can big CPGs with deep pockets.
  2. Creative efficiencies: Creative for social doesn’t need to take up a huge piece of the marketing budget. In comparison, it can cost several thousand dollars to produce a radio spot and tens of thousands to develop a television ad. Costs to create ads for social can be extremely low compared to more traditional media. In some cases, the creative is already published, organic social material that just needs money behind it to promote it.
  3. Real-time testing: That’s right – you can test and learn in real-time. You don’t need to wait until a campaign is over to see the results of your A/B testing. Through your buying tool, you can see right away which creative is performing better and optimize on the fly.
  4. Audience targeting: The fourth advantage to using social is perhaps most promising to marketers and what this post focuses on. Social media campaigns offer significant flexibility with audience targeting – at times the piece of the puzzle that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

Typically, marketers spend a good deal of time on creative direction and little to no time really thinking out the audience targeting strategy. If you get it right, the combination of excellent creative and well-thought out targeting can result in serious marketing efficiencies.

In fact, the better the combination, the less you will pay in most auction models. The systems in place reward advertisers when they use creative that resonates with the right audience. Facebook, for instance, offers up a “relevance score” which tells you how well your ad relates to the intended audience based on a ratings scale.

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Audience Targeting Tips

Go beyond age, location, and gender

Those are just the basics. They’re great if you’re buying radio but social gives you so many more opportunities to target beyond those three criteria. Think about how different types of demographics play into what you are promoting or even consider how different demographics play into your creative – yes, LEAD with media! For instance, consider targeting based on “anniversary within 30 days” or “parents of teenagers” and see how you can creatively message to these groups.

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Keep up-to-speed on targeting options

They change frequently. By that, I mean weekly. Most social networks put out email updates listing their new offerings or write about them on their blogs. Subscribe and read these often. For instance, Facebook announced recently new forms of audience matching beyond email addresses. Pinterest now offers retargeting. Twitter just introduced emoji targeting. Here are some blogs you should follow to keep up-to-date:

  1. Pinterest Blog:
  2. Facebook Blog (covers Instagram as well):
  3. Twitter Blog:


Test and learn audience types

Each platform has strengths and weaknesses associated with their targeting types. For instance, and as you can imagine, targeting by employer works really well on LinkedIn as does targeting by job type or organizational size. Facebook does offer similar targeting but it probably isn’t as accurate as LinkedIn. Also, you’ll find that behavior data works well on some channels while interests work better on others. By testing the different targeting options, you’ll see which ones perform better than others on each network and if a particular audience is more important than another, you can build your media strategy from these insights.

In summary, one of the key benefits of a social ad buy is the ability to utilize all that the data users provide (sometimes unknowingly) to social platforms. This data allows superior audience targeting which leads to a more efficient marketing spend. Be sure to pay close attention to this element of social media marketing and remember that it needs constant attention because it’s always changing, usually for the better from a marketer’s point of view.

And if you’re having trouble keeping up with the constant changes in social media algorithms and targeting options, by all means, we’d love to do it for you! Contact us today to see how Carusele can help you target your buys in order to get your content everywhere it matters.