How to Optimize Your Social Media Ad Campaigns for Better Results

Mackenzie | July 06, 2021 | PPC & Advertising

For many industries, social media advertising can feel a bit like the wild west. Sure, your marketing manager understands and is constantly touting the importance of a solid social media presence, and posting a few times a week is manageable — but when it comes to building and launching Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn ads? 


It's a lot. 


And it's something that many companies struggle with. 


But, your marketing manager is right; social media ad campaigns serve a significant purpose, and they're an important part of your paid media strategy


When used properly, social media advertising can do a lot to boost your brand awareness, meet your audience where they live, and deliver more of the targeted leads you want right to your website. 


If you've been running social media ad campaigns, but just aren't seeing the results you'd hoped for, this is the blog for you. Let's look at 6 ways you can optimize your social media ad campaigns today. 

For more tips social media ad campaign optimization tips from our experts, listen to this podcast episode with Evenbound's Paid Media Manager, Kaelyn!



6 Ways to Optimize Your Social Media Ad Campaigns

Social media ads work a little differently than PPC and search ads. They require a bit more effort in the creative and targeting, but they can also seriously pay off once you have your strategy dialed in. 


Each of these social media ad optimization tactics will work to help you create cleaner, tighter social media ad campaigns that work to deliver better, more targeted leads in a way that maximizes your budget.

01. Make sure you're clear on your goals for your social media ad campaigns

Not to sound like a broken record, but if you don't know what your goals are, it's pretty hard to achieve them. 


If your social media ad campaigns have been running for a while, and you're just feeling a little "meh" about the results, it's worth it to think back to what your goals were for setting up the campaign. 


Have those goals changed? Have your company goals changed? 


Maybe you started your ad campaigns a while ago before your brand had much credibility in your industry. So, you ran some brand awareness ads. While these ads did an amazing job of getting your name out there, they're probably not doing much for you in terms of lead generation. 


If you're feeling confident with your brand's awareness level on your social media platforms, then maybe it's time to switch up your goals to deliver more of the results you're actually looking for. 


Not sure where to start? 


  • What are your business goals for the quarter? Drive a certain number of sales leads? Grow market share in a particular service area? Figure out what your company is trying to do in the next three to four months from a sales and revenue perspective. 
  • Now, develop campaign goals that align. If you want to drive more leads, then an awareness campaign isn't going to do it. Instead, optimize your social campaigns to include traffic ads, click-to-website campaigns, or offer claims ads. (Haven't heard of any of these? Check our Guide to the Types of Facebook Ads)
  • Make sure your measuring social media ad campaigns appropriately. Once you've optimized your social media ad campaigns to realign with those new goals, make sure you're looking at the right metrics. Following the example above, you should be tracking clicks and conversions, not views or impressions. That way, you're measuring the metrics most relevant to your goals. 


02. Take another look at your audiences

For many companies, it's easy to set and forget your social media audiences. You launch your campaigns, you get busy, and they just keep running. If you're looking to optimize your social media ad campaigns for better results, though, your audience is a great place to start. 


If your ads have been running for a while, you probably have a lot of great data on how your existing audience is performing. Are there age groups that are performing well? A certain lookalike audience? 


If your ads don't seem to be performing well with your existing audiences, maybe it's time for some updates. Pull up your buyer personas and take a closer look.

What does your ideal audience look like? How old are they? What are their interests or hobbies? How much education do they have? What social media platforms do they use most often? 


As you analyze your personas, be sure to verify the inferences you're making with data you have from past social media campaigns.


For example, if one of your buyer personas is a young professional woman in her mid to late 20s, and you're assuming she's interested in wine subscriptions, books, and is most likely found on Instagram, check your previous social media ad campaigns. 

If you advertised to her, using those interests, age ranges, and education level or job title, how did those ads perform with her on Instagram? If they didn't do particularly well, maybe there's something you're missing. If they did really well, it might be worth expanding and optimizing that social media campaign for even greater results. 

03. Use high-quality creative

If you're optimizing your social media ad campaigns, one of the first places to start is your creative. Creative — videos, images, and even copy — is the crux of successful social media advertising. 


Stasherbag Instagram Photo Ad


Think about all the ads you see on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more, every day. Which ones made you stop and think? Which ones did you click on? 


My bet is you clicked on the ones that were eye-catching, well designed, and looked most relevant to you. Strive to achieve that when optimizing your social media ad campaigns. 




A few best practices to test out if you're not sure where to start: 

  • Choose originality. If your ads look like everyone else's, they'll get skipped like everyone else's. Bring what makes you unique to your ad creative. 


  • Use video. Nothing makes a social media user stop like video. Video ads play as users scroll, which goes a long way to catch their attention. Even if you don't have the budget for a full video production, there are plenty of free video tools like Lumen5 and Vidyard that can help you get some creative movement going. 


  • Invest in your photography. It doesn't matter what your industry is, high-quality imagery that is not stock goes a long way. If you're not using video, hire a professional photographer to get a few snaps of your product and your people to use in your ads. Trust me, the small upfront cost will pay off in dividends when your ads and your site look that good. 




Still stuck? These three posts have some great examples of Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin Ad types done right:

04. Rethink your copy

You didn't think you were going to get out of this without some lecture on content, did you? 


As a writer, I couldn't let that happen. It's also pretty important for your budget — you're running social media ads to drive some sort of revenue, aren't you? 


Alrighty then, copy is important. 


Revamping your ad messaging is also one of the easiest ways to optimize our social media ad campaigns.


Take a look at the copy you have. 


Does it: 


  • Maintain consistent brand identity across platforms (style, voice, tone)?
  • Tell a story, or speak to your audience's story? 
  • What pain point or challenge is it solving for your audience? 
  • Does your ad copy invite action? 
  • What is it telling viewers to do? Click, subscribe, download, contact? Is that a compelling action you would take? 


If you said no to any of those questions, your copy could use a little work. 


Remember, ad copy should be short and to the point. You only have a few seconds to grab your audience's attention, so don't overload your social media ads with a ton of copy. 


Use bright, bold copy that invites action and speaks directly to what you're trying to achieve. Here are a few examples we love:


Facebook-Ad-Example_Social Media Advertising CampaignEvenbound-PPC-Ads-Social Media-Ad-Campaign

05. Maximize your social media ad campaign budgets

There are so many ways to budget social media ad campaigns, it's enough to make your head spin. But, it's a good idea to do your research, and really take the time to understand where your money is going, and when, so you know you're making the most of it. 


There are tons of amazing social media ad budgeting guides out there, so I'll let them explain the nitty-gritty: 


WordStream's 9 Ways to Lower Your Facebook Ad Costs 

Hootsuite's Social Media Advertising 101: How to Get the Most Out of Your Ad Budget


Not ready to get into it right now? No worries, here's the CliffsNotes version: 


  • Don't be afraid to spend. The more competitive your industry is on those social media platforms (real estate, eCommerce, I'm lookin at you) the more expensive it's likely to be to get a solid campaign going. That said,
  • Spend smartly. Don't just spend money to spend money. If you're planning out your budget, make sure you know exactly where it's going. A few ways to make sure you're keeping an eye on your budgets: 
    • Set your ads on daily spend. This means you get a certain amount of money each day, and your ads will run until you're out of that daily spend. 
    • If you opt for lifetime ads over daily spend, make sure you select your times. When you run lifetime ads on Facebook, the platform allows you to choose when you run your ads. With a bit of research, you can use this tool to only display your ads when your ideal audience is online. 
  • Choose the right audience. Having your social media ad campaign audience dialed in is one of the best ways to save on social media ad campaigns. If you've noticed you're spending a lot, and not getting a ton of results, consider narrowing your focus to just those audiences who are most likely to convert. 
  • Keep an eye on analytics. The most important thing to remember when optimizing a social media ad campaign? Don't forget about it! While you want to let your ads run for a while to see how they perform, make sure you're checking in regularly to see how your budget is spent, how quickly, and what results it's delivering. The more you optimize as you go, the better results you'll see over time. 

06. Always keep an eye on analytics!

The best way to optimize your social media ad campaigns? Never stop improving them. 

It sounds cheesy, but it's true. As your ads continue to run, you'll gather more and more data that you can use to optimize them. You'll learn more about when those campaigns perform best.  You'll learn who responds best to those ads. 


And you can continue to refine those social media ad campaigns over and over until you have tight, well-performing social media ad campaigns across platforms. 


Set yourself a monthly or bi-weekly schedule to: 


  • See what's performing well
  • See what's not performing well
  • And analyze the 'why'


When you know why your ads are doing what they're doing, you'll have the information you need to tighten them up for optimized social media ad campaigns that deliver the results you want. 


Social media ad campaigns are a useful tool for a huge range of industries, but they can be pretty overwhelming to get started on. With so many options for budgeting, audience targeting, copy, and creative, there's a lot to consider. If you're just not sure where to start, or you'd like a bit of expert guidance, the Evenbound team is here to help


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