Paid Social Advertising: Q&A by Meghan Kramer | Friday Chatter

We’re back with Friday Chatter this week, and y’all, it is all about a topic that I get asked about a lot (that I know absolutely nothing about)… Paid Social Advertising. I am SO excited about it because I’m learning right along with you guys! How’s that?! Today’s post was actually written by my SISTER! If you’ve been looking for a different way to reach potential audience members, I think you really may find today’s post helpful!

Meghan is a social media marketing account manager near Baltimore, MD. She has been doing it full time for almost two years but has been (but has been dabbling in it for about three years!). She loves learning about a business and their needs while using her expertise to drive results that a client will be excited about. She got her degree in Public Relations from Penn State (We Are!), and a class on Google Paid Search Marketing that she took her senior year helped her get her first job at a digital marketing agency doing pay per click search advertising. This soon gave way to the opportunity of working on some paid social projects that she realized she liked better than what she was doing at the time.

Y’all… she won’t brag, but she’s really good at what she does! She’s great at targeting audiences, tailoring ad campaigns reach and creating a focus for a particular set of ads that yields results. She also has a really fun food-stagram and a brand new lifestyle and food blog that I couldn’t help but to plug! (Here are the links to Basic in Baltimore’s Instagram and Blog!)

Before we get started… a little disclaimer from me: If you are interested in running ads and have never done so before, I personally recommend hiring someone that knows what they are doing to do them for you, especially if you will be investing quite any kind of money into the ads. I don’t personally run social media ads all that often and am not running anything now at the time of pressing publish on this post. I truly believe transparency is key here. I have run a few in the past for a few things… a few were total flops that I did myself, but when I had my sister run them for me, I saw the results I had hoped for! I recommend taking the information in this post as a portion of your own research to familiarize yourself with the paid advertising options that are available to you as you work to decide if paid advertising is right for you and your business, what options are available, and what some of the lingo means as you dive into these back end platforms. Now… onto the good stuff!!!

What are the different kinds of ads that you can run through Facebook? Other social media/online platforms? Are there any that you would recommend over another?

There are three main objectives that you can run ads around on Facebook and Instagram depending on your goals:
  • Awareness
    • These ads will drive interest and awareness to your brand— think of this as the first step or your very first introduction to a brand new audience
  • Considerations
    • These ads are good if you are interested in encouraging people to learn more about your business— this is a step beyond awareness. This is when you start to form the foundation for future conversions.
  • Conversation.
    • These ads are what you’ll want to use if you want to direct the audience to action (Think: Purchase or sign-up)

You can pair creative such as carousels, static, video or collection (which is a combo of options) with your overall objective/goal to create the perfect campaign. I also like Pinterest and Linkedin. Pinterest offers promoted pins which you can attach to keywords and Linkedin offers sponsored posts that can be targeted by job role.

Can you give me a basic walkthrough of how you set up an ad? What do I need to do to get started? Programs needed?

Let’s talk about Facebook/Instagram here (Note from Cait: These platforms are both owned by Facebook… keep that in mind!):

  • Take some time to set your goals for this campaign. Go to ads manager and select the objective that matches your goals for this particular campaign.
  • You’ll begin setting up your campaign from there in the ad set level.
      • Set up your budget (this can also be done at the campaign level)
    • Select targeting and flight details for your campaign
      • Decide and indicate the placement of your ad (Do you want just want Instagram or Facebook placements?)
  • In the ad level, you’ll set up:
    • The creative (AKA the visuals & pretty stuff!)
    • Where any tracking links should go

Pro tip: you can have multiple creative variations within an ad set!

How do you track the success of an ad?

If you want to drive a direct conversion- a sign-up, a purchase, etc., you would track the result of the campaign, your return on investment and conversion rate (conversions/clicks). If you want to reach as many people as possible you would look at the reach metric. If you want to get people to go to your site you can look at link clicks and click-through rate (clicks/impressions)… Basically, this will just depend on your objective!

What are your top tips for targeting ads to a specific audience?

You should place the Facebook pixel on your webpage. This will allow you to target off of direct site traffic, sign-ups, add to carts etc. Facebook also uses CRM list information like name, email, phone number, etc. and interest/behavior information to target ads. You can target by keyword on Pinterest— I like to type in my topic in the search bar and start with the first five terms that come up underneath. If you are running ads on Google you can also try this or there is a keyword planning tool in the Google interface that works well and gives you cost estimates.

Do you have any tips for selecting images/writing text for a paid social ad?

Follow the 20% text rule or you can be penalized and not be shown as much. Basically… less text is better on your image. On Facebook/Instagram, the image should feel native in the interface and not stick out as an ad while the copy can play up the business.

Make sure to utilize the call to action button to get people to take the action you want (shop now, learn more, etc.) Don’t be afraid to play around with different asset formats. Static ads are actually typically the weakest performing. Test out the carousel, slideshow or video. Video converts very well on Facebook and you can get view metrics as well.

Anything else you think people should keep in mind?

  • If you don’t have good creative, you won’t have a successful campaign.
  • Don’t be afraid to try different types of targeting.
  • Keep in mind: boosted posts are different than paid social ads
    • Boosted posts are simply posts that you can put money behind, and you also can choose the targeting for these!
Now… if you remember from a REALLY long time ago over on Instagram, I asked YOU about what questions you may have for Meg. Good news, friends! Your answers are HERE! I’m also considering doing another FAQ or ask and answer post in a few weeks/months as a follow up to this post if it sparked any questions for you. If this is something that you are interested in, please post a comment below with your question!


How did you get started in pay per click marketing? / How did you break into the field?

I took a class in college… it was terrible, and I hated it. (Edited to add: The Google class mentioned in her intro!) Then, I ended up interviewing at a digital marketing company. They hired me because of the experience that I had from that class. This job taught me everything I needed to know, and I ended up becoming super interested in the field!

What advice do you have for someone just starting to use ads for their blog/business?

Try starting out with boosted posts if you don’t have a concrete goal in mind.

If you only have $50, one time, to invest in social ads, what would you do with it?

I would recommend first figuring out what your goal would be for the specific campaign. Do you want more followers? People to sign up for something? Site traffic? You can run a social campaign or a boosted post with $50, but you would want the campaign to be tailored to your goals.

What kinds of ads have you found to be most successful?

Ads with more rich content are typically more successful— video, carousel, slideshow

What kind of ad would you recommend for a wedding photographer, hoping to connect with and/or book new clients?

I would run two separate campaigns… one geared towards connecting with new potential clients and another geared towards getting them to convert or email you. You would want different objectives, targeting and creative for each of the campaigns.

A HUGE thank you to Meghan for taking so much time & care on today’s post! I loved learning right alongside y’all and hope that this helped to demystify some things for you. Like I said above, I’m considering doing a followup post on this one with additional answers to your questions! Is this something you’re interested in? Let me know by adding a comment on this post with your questions!

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