Advertising on Social Media: What to Keep in Mind
There’s a reason why so many businesses are pouring money into social media advertising these days: It works.
Of course, the definition of “works” matters. Statista reminds us that “increased exposure” is the biggest benefit of social media marketing. In many ways, this makes perfect sense, right? Because increasing people’s awareness about a brand is what advertising is all about.
But like anything else, you need to be smart in your approach to social media advertising. Below, we’ll discuss several important tips to guide you on your journey.
Understand your goals—and know that they will (and should) change.
The more specific you can be about what you want to accomplish with your social media advertising, the better.
For example . . .
- Do you want to see a 5% increase in referral traffic to your website?
- Do you want to drive people to register for a webinar?
- Do you want to increase the number of followers by 10%?
Those are all specific, measurable goals.
Keep in mind that you’ll have different goals for different social media platforms—and possibly different goals for different campaigns within the same platform. For example, maybe you’re advertising on Facebook about a special in-person event for adult children to learn about your assisted living community. And maybe you’re also advertising your assisted living community to older adults with a spouse who could benefit from this level of care. Separate campaigns, separate goals, same platform.
Don’t pick the most popular social media platform. Pick the most popular platforms for your target audience.
Hopefully, you have solid buyer personas. If you do, you should have a sense of what social media platforms your buyers frequent. Remember, you want to focus on where they hang out rather than what’s popular.
For example, TikTok is wildly popular right now, but it also skews young. Oberlo reports that 92.39% of all TikTok users are aged 13 to 34. This doesn’t mean you won’t find some hip and savvy older adults on there. But by and large—right now, as we write this in early 2023—you’d likely be wasting dollars pouring ad spend into TikTok since it’s unlikely any of your potential buyers frequent that platform.
We understand that you might WANT to advertise on TikTok because it’s fun and the hot new thing, but it’s not going to give you the return on your investment that other platforms will.
Measure, measure, measure. (But be willing to experiment, too.)
Social media advertising is part art and part science. You could have a specific goal, a clear offer, and the right platform for your personas, but what ends up “working” and engaging people can sometimes be a surprise. That ad you spent a ton of time creating might not get the results you were expecting. And yet that video ad you posted on the fly delivers big time.
That’s OK! Because that, right there, is useful intel. See if you can spot trends or themes in the ads that deliver the results you’re looking for. For example, do you get better engagement when your video ads are under 30 seconds? Or do people like the ones that last a full minute?
Another important point: Social media advertising “success” is a moving target. What works this year might not work next year—or even six months from now.
Keep in mind that even though social media is all about immediacy, social media advertising is all about the long game.
Given how immediate social media is, it’s easy to think social media advertising will “work” just as quickly. And it’s true that you could run an ad that gets a ton of engagement all at once.
But that one-off bit of activity is not going to suddenly flood you with move-ins. It probably won’t even help you stay on people’s radars for very long since people’s attention spans are notoriously short. The adage about people needing to see or hear a brand’s message seven times (at least) still holds true, even when the message appears in an ad on social media.
Bottom line: Approach social media advertising with a long-term mindset, and plan for it like you do any other digital marketing tactic.
Get comfortable making videos. Lots of videos.
We can’t stress the importance of video creation enough—for all of your senior living marketing efforts. We’re not the only ones making this claim, either. HubSpot says that “consumers increasingly expect to see video content from brands.”
So what should you be doing? Well, everyone on your marketing and sales teams needs to get comfortable with producing videos from start to finish using their smartphones.
If that feels like a big ask, start by getting everyone to record short, raw footage—a quick hello from a resident, what’s on the lunch menu, etc. They can dump the footage into a shared Dropbox. Then, you can have someone on the team with video expertise (or hire an outside video pro) edit and post the videos. From there, you can use some of the more popular videos in your social media advertising.
Why video ads? Some studies suggest video ads perform better than image-based static ads. In fact, even studies that suggest the opposite still note that video ads work better in some cases, like with middle- and bottom-of-the-funnel folks who are already familiar with your brand.
If you’re going to do social media advertising right, you’ll want to have a good mix of static ads and video ads. And, of course, you’ll want to test everything while monitoring engagement and conversions.
Don’t go it alone! We can help.
We have paid search and social media specialists on staff who can help you take your digital advertising to the next level. Get in touch and let’s chat!