Best Practices for Social Media Buying in 2016

We are well into the year now and you may have some looming questions as to how best utilize your social media buys for the remainder of the year. Here are some quick tips and reminders to keep in mind.

Invest in Instagram

Open to all advertisers as of last year, Instagram is turning out to be what marketers hoped for and more. Not only does it leverage Facebook’s robust media buying platform, it also is quickly adding products and showing efficient CPM, CPCs and CTRs. Some benchmarks from eMarketer are below, and note, we are seeing CPEs at a very low $.05. Buy while the going is good!

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Avoid Q4 (if possible)

The last quarter of 2015 for paid social buying proved what is typical for most traditional buying, this quarter is the most expensive. Black Friday and Cyber Monday drove up bids on most buying platforms, and November and December all up were relatively pricey. This time frame might be a necessity for some but if not, run your campaigns around this progressively expensive time period by moving into the summer months or the first quarter of 2017.

Utilize New Ad Offerings

There’s rarely a dull moment when it comes to the products offered in the social media ad buying space. Most recently, Facebook rolled out Canvas while Pinterest officially launched interest-based targeting. Be sure to carve out some budget to test new options as they are typically built on trends in the space as well as market demands.

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Don’t Forget to Customize

By this, we are referring mainly to custom audiences. If you have a list of email addresses or phone numbers, you can match it against social media profiles and target accordingly. If your CRM database is segmented, you can create separate custom audiences and serve different creative to different segments. For instance, you can target different groups based on their phase in the customer journey or you can target different groups based on the last time they interacted with the brand (e.g., reengage).

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Make New Metrics but Keep the Old

While it’s important to look at standard media metrics such as CPC, CTR, CPV and CPM, it’s also a good time to look at new metrics or work on developing your own using ratios or percentages. For instance, Facebook uses ad recall as a metric for brand awareness objectives ads and view time for Canvas ads. It’s important to benchmark both current and new metrics. Twitter is great at providing benchmarks while Facebooks offers none. Be sure and collect your data so you have benchmarks to refer to when comparing and optimizing campaigns.

So, there it is. To sum it up, take a close look at Instagram, test new offerings in the space, pay attention to your target groups and measure measure measure for optimized buys and key learnings! Good luck out there and happy buying.

Ignite Social Media