Aug 23, 2018

The explosion of social media on the marketing landscape has irrevocably changed the way advertising dollars are spent. There are now 1.5 billion monthly users on Facebook and 400 million on Instagram, an unparalleled number of eyeballs with purchasing power that can be harnessed effectively with best advertising practices. While these marketing channels are dynamic and user friendly, there are mistakes beginners should avoid when putting together a social media ad
campaign for Facebook and Instagram.

A fundamental rookie mistake in Facebook/Instagram advertising is not spending enough time on understanding the target audience of the campaign. What type of content drives the target audience to act? Furthermore, what are the important messages of the ad campaign? Research has found that 60% of Instagram users reported discovering new products on the channel. Furthermore, 75% of Instagram users said that a post motivated them to act. However, are the right users taking the right action at the right time on the ad?

A misunderstanding of the target audience may lead to a negative brand impression. The negative impact on the brand is an unwelcome side effect of a lack of defined goals and metrics for the ad campaign. Alongside with a defined target audience, the campaign objectives should be selected such as brand awareness, engagement, or product sales. The beginner social media advertiser should strive for a synergy between a carefully selected target audience and a well-defined brand campaign.

Another newbie mistakes that Facebook and Instagram advertisers make is overlooking the way the ad campaign will look and be delivered to the audience. The prevalence of smart phones has changed the way people hang out on social media. Research has found that more people now visit Facebook on mobile devices vs. desktop computers. Instagram was made for scrolling on a mobile device. Are the ad campaigns mobile optimized? There is nothing more frustrating to a user than to not be able to open a post because it is not formatted correctly. The rookie advertiser should consider the delivery method of the ad message for a seamless user experience.

Furthermore, the name of the game in social media is image curation. An ad launched into the Facebook or Instagram virtual space is competing with a tsunami of baby pictures, wedding announcements, and viral memes on Facebook and a wealth of fabulous fashion, travel, and dinner posts on Instagram. For a marketer to compete in this visual environment, the images for the ads must be highly aesthetically pleasing and eye catching.

The dominance of visual social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have changed the rules of online advertising. Those new to advertising on social media should learn to identify the target audience, set goals for the brand campaign, optimize for mobile, and curate compelling images. These few albeit important guidelines will make the best use of the newbie advertising dollars on Facebook and Instagram.

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