When social media began, it would seem crazy to think that it would be a part of every marketer’s media mix in a few short years. Yet, here we are, with social media advertising being arguable the most important ad campaign component available. This is thanks to its ability to micro-target demographics, easily swap messaging, and work with nearly any size budget. If you’re new to advertising on social, here are some tips and best practices to help you get started.

Set Clear Goals and Define Your Audience

Just as you would with any other ad buy, start your social media advertising plan by setting a few clear goals. First, determine your total budget over the course of the buy, and divide it up into a daily amount for each day included in the buy. Next, define what results you’re seeking (click-throughs, foot traffic, online sales, etc.). After that, clearly determine your target audience for your campaign, and get specific by gender, age, income, geographical location, or all the above.

Best Practices for Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In

Facebook and Twitter are still the big guns of social media, partially because they have refined their ad buying experience so well over the years. The Facebook business platform has an easy-to-use ad manager interface that gives you lots of options to zero in on the social media advertising demographics you seek. It uses an auction system to place your ads, so the best way to ensure your ads run is to be very specific about the demos and schedule. It’s often best to create a separate campaign for each day of the buy, even if the creative doesn’t change. Video is king on Facebook.

Twitter is set up in a similar way but offers a few different ad options, including Twitter Cards, which will allow you to go beyond its character limit by integrating media. Video is still ideal, but photos work as well.

LinkedIn prides itself on being optimized for business-to-business advertising to reach its professional audience. You can choose how you bid for ad space, by setting budgets, cost per click, or cost per thousand goals. LinkedIn serves photo ads with rich information and hyperlinks.

Track Your Results

The other incredible aspect of social media advertising is its ability to provide you with detailed analytics to track how well your strategy is working. Always monitor them and use them to tweak your tactics if necessary.

This information will help you come out of the gate swinging with your new social advertising savvy!