If you’re among the millions of people who got laid back during the ongoing pandemic and had to come up with a new way to make ends meet, you may have just started a new business. Or maybe you just started that business you’ve been thinking about for years. In any case, if you’re a new business owner and are feeling ready to scale up and get to the next level, you’re probably thinking about advertising on social media. After all, if you’ve been using social media for any amount of time, even if you just started today, you’ve seen ads. Lots and lots of ads. Social media marketing is, after all, one of the major strategies that companies and individuals are using to generate more business.
You might be wondering how you can get your ads on social media. Of course, the simplest answer would be to hire a social media marketing agency to do the work for you. But, depending on the agency and what you ask them to do, that would mean investing up to 25,000 dollars a month and maybe your budget isn’t anywhere near that yet. But you can do it yourself, especially if you’re just starting out. Here we’re going to show you what you need to do to get that ball rolling. Read on to find out how to run your first social media campaign.
Step 1: Figure out what you want
It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about marketing or the military. A campaign means strategy. You have to know your objectives; what it is you’re trying to accomplish. Is it just selling more of a product? Maybe you’re just trying to spread the word about your brand. Are you trying to sell an online course? Generally speaking, you want to run a social media campaign because you want to:
- Increase brand awareness: in most cases that means you want to build and grow a community with your followers. You want more people to “like” your page, or to follow your channel, etc.
- Increase interactions: this means you want your followers to engage more with the content you post. Meaning you want more shares, comments, etc.
- Lead generation: this is what you do if what you want is more email addresses collected from your website or landing page.
- Sell more of your product or service.
Of course, your campaign doesn’t have to do just one of those. It can combine two, three or even all four of them. But the more goals you have, the more complex your campaign is going to have to be. If you’re just starting out, you want to keep it simple. You certainly don’t want to spend so much time running the campaign that you don’t have enough time to actually run your business. So stick to one or two goals for now. Awareness and interactions go well together. As do leads and sales.
Step 2: Define your goals
Even if “increase my brand awareness” or “sell more frozen pizzas” may sound like solid goals, they really aren’t. We need to give these objectives some structure. We need to get some numbers in there. If we say “Get 2,000 new followers in my YouTube channel within three months” or “Increase my frozen pizza sales by 60% by the end of this quarter”, now you have a goal! This really says where you want to go and how you’re going to know when you get there. So sit back, think really hard and set up some attainable goals for you and your business. After all, setting a goal of “getting one million subscribers in the next 24 hours” isn’t going to do anybody any good. You have to get real, here.
Step 3: Do your homework
Now that you have your goals clearly set, you know where you want to go. You have your destination firmly locked in. Now you want a general picture of the different ways you can get there. You want to know what the latest trends and strategies for social media marketing are. For this, you could always Google it and read articles, but that can be very time-consuming. The best strategy for this is to have this information precompiled and delivered regularly straight to your inbox. We’re talking about subscribing to specialized newsletters that deal with social media marketing campaigns. There are several good ones out there.
Step 4: Choose your vehicle
Even if you’ve never done any social media marketing and have little experience with social media itself, you’re probably aware there are different social media platforms out there. And they don’t target the same crowd. Users on Facebook and LinkedIn, for example, are very different in several ways. Putting your ads on LinkedIn will mean that they will be seen by a whole different audience than the one you would get on Facebook. And we’re not saying this is a bad thing. You just have to figure out who your ideal audience is and which social media platforms you can find them on. So this is another step where you have to stop and think. Think about your product or service and visualize your ideal client. What is their age group? Are they students? Professionals? Stay-at-home parents? Remote workers? Once you know who they are, find out what social media platforms they prefer and that’s where you want your campaign to be as well.
Step 5: Get ready to look and feel the part
Take a moment to think about your favorite brands. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a fast-food chain, soft drink, store or whichever brand you want. Surely they have a logo and a distinctive color pattern. They also probably have a slogan and use a certain language in their ads. All of that is part of a brand and you need to do the same. Before you can even think about making your first ad, you have to give your brand a consistent look and feel. Colors, logos and language are a part of that, but not all. You have to decide how and how often you want to interact with your customers. What about customer service? Q&As?. And we can’t say this enough: you have to be consistent through all of this. So start building your brand.
Step 6: Get your content planned and start executing
We’re not just talking about planning and designing your ads here. Your clients will expect you to engage with them in more ways than just seeing your ads on their favorite social media platform. And a simple, static webpage that never gets updated won’t do well either. They’ll want to interact with you: comment on your social media posts, tell you which of your posts are their favorites, give feedback on your products or services, share your information with their friends and family, etc. So you want your brand to have a social media presence: a Twitter feed, YouTube channel, Instagram account, etc. And you will have to post regularly on social media to grow your following. Choose whether you want to post once a week, once a month, twice a month, whatever you can manage. But choose a schedule and stick to it. Not doing so might make people not want to engage with your brand. So make a content calendar and plan what content gets posted on which platform and when. After you have your content planned, then get ready to start creating it.
Step 7: Load up on tools
Creating your ads and content is going to require a specific set of tools. You can use just about any computer to write content using any word processor, so that’s not much of an issue. But you will need to get images and video for your social media posts. That means a camera and photo, video and audio manipulation software. Regarding the camera, you might be able to get away with shooting on your smartphone if it takes good enough stills and videos but be sure to test your hardware and decide if it gets you what you want. As for the software, there are plenty of well-known options. And you won’t need to spend a huge amount of money here as there are some excellent open-source alternatives. And you’ll want to save some money for the next step.
Step 8: Decide how much to spend
So now that you have your goals in mind, have chosen your social media advertising platforms, your brand identity is all set to go and have created your website, social media channels and created some posts and ads, it’s time to start the actual campaign. The first step now is deciding how much you want to spend. The amount you spend will, of course, depend on how much you have and are willing to pay. You could start out for a couple of dollars a day. Some big companies spend tens of thousands of dollars per day on social media advertising.
Some social media ads platforms make the process very easy for beginners. Facebook Ads, for example, can give you an average of how many page likes you can get per day with the budget you specify. And Instagram Ads work in pretty much the same way (they’re both owned by Facebook, after all).
So now you have everything you need and know how much you want to spend. All you need to do now is sign up for the social media advertising platform of your choice, follow their steps and you will then be running your first-ever social media campaign.
Remember that this campaign could be an important factor in your succeeding in taking your business to the next level, so take your time and go through all those steps carefully and thoroughly.
So, is that it?
Not quite. You’ve managed to set up your social media campaign and have it running. You maybe even have a couple campaigns running at the same time. But you shouldn’t just leave those campaigns running blindly without even knowing how well they’re performing or if they’re working at all. So what you need to be doing regularly is monitoring your campaigns. Each platform has its own way of reporting campaign performance (in their lingo, these are called your campaign analytics). So you have to learn how to understand these analytics. See which posts have been more effective and which ones less so. Boost the ones that work and get rid of the ones that don’t. Create new campaigns around new trends or new information that your campaign platforms provide you. And you want to monitor your campaigns at least once a day. As revenue comes in, you’ll want to create more complex campaigns using newer methods. But for now, you know how to start.
Running your first social media campaign can be scary. We know that. And while you don’t need genius-level intellect to create and run one, we won’t lie and say that it’s all easy-peachy either. Social media marketing companies exist and can charge what they do for a reason. But you can do it on your own. Tons of small businesses are doing it and so can you. Use the steps we’ve provided you as a customizable template. Study those steps and see how you can make them work for you. Be thorough, keep it all real and surely you’ll succeed. I really hope to be seeing your ads on my social media in the near future.