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Paid social media advertising

Unfortunately, organic reach has been in decline for several years now, so the era when it only took posting to social media to reach the majority of your audience is long gone. In light of this, paid social media advertising is a must if you’re looking to reach a new, targeted audience in the most efficient and fastest way possible.

ASU paid social media campaigns 

Lavidge is ASU’s agency of record. As such, major advertising campaigns must be channeled through them. For more information on when you should contact Lavidge for a paid social media campaign, contact Carolyn.Wood@asu.edu. Request an advertising campaign.

For smaller campaigns, or to do a paid boost, we recommend using the built-in tools from the major platforms to create your own campaigns. 

Paid social media advertising tips

  • Know what business objective you’re trying to achieve. Just like with your organic strategy, you must have a clear idea of the business objectives and goals you are trying to achieve with a paid social media campaign. Knowing your objectives will help you know who to target, what your call to action should be, even to decide how you should be charged (are you paying per impression, or engagement?) and even what platform you should use for this campaign.

  • Know your target audience. Once you decide on what your business goals are, you will be able to decide who your audience for your campaign will be. Most of the platforms allow you to either target based on key demographics, or upload custom lists of current customers (remember to abide by the ASU privacy guidelines when managing personal information).

  • Guide your paid strategy with your organic content. Your organic content is the best way to measure what content is already performing with your audience. If you are looking to increase your reach and engagement, look into your top performing posts, and select those for boosting, or as inspiration for paid ads.

  • Select the metrics that you should be paying for: engagement, or reach? This will depend on your business goals, but as a general rule, if you are mostly interested in awareness, pay for impressions, which will help you cast a wider net. Otherwise, if you are interested in engagement (click-throughs, video views, etc), pay for engagement, since the platforms will show your ad to those that are more likely to interact with your ad. 

  • Design your ads for mobile-first. Social media platforms are mostly consumed on a mobile device, typically during breaks or when the audience has some free time. As such, make sure that when you are designing your ads, you take into consideration how your ads will be consumed in a tablet or cellphone. For example, are you asking your users to go to a website that can only be used on a desktop? Then that ad will probably not be successful, since you are making your target audience have a less-than-ideal user experience. 

  • Use A/B testing to optimize your ads’ performance. One of the benefits of social media is the instant feedback you receive from your target audience. Make sure you keep an eye on the performance of your ads, and if the campaign is more than a week long, make sure to have several variations of your copy and graphic assets so that you can rotate the ads, and test them against each other. The most successful ads will typically lead to a lower acquisition cost, so if you use A/B testing, you can optimize your paid ads by selecting the ads that perform the best, thus making sure that you are reducing your cost per click or impression. 

  • Measure reports. Make sure to measure your results while the campaign is running, as well as the end of the campaign. 

    • By measuring the campaign while it is running, you can keep an eye out for red flags, or ads that are overperforming, thus optimizing your campaign. 

    • By measuring the campaign after it ends, you can see patterns and trends that will allow you to inform your next campaign, thus continuing to optimize your paid social media strategy.

For more information

Hootsuite Blog: social media Advertising 101: How to Get the Most Out of Your Ad Budget