What Can Brands Do With Facebook & Instagram’s Advertising Platforms?

Set your goal

How a brand advertises on Facebook and Instagram is really dependent on the goal. Is the aim to sell a particular product; to advertise a promotion; or is it simply to build brand awareness and grow a loyal social community? With each goal comes a different social advertising strategy.

One thing to note is that since Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 both platforms are very much integrated. Zuckerberg has transformed Instagram into a place where brands have space to market themselves, introducing the capability to advertise and also see topline analytics insights. We predict this offering will only become more sophisticated in 2017. Instagram and Facebook’s advertising sit under the same roof (or domain) which is why we have chosen to look at these platforms together.

social media calendar

That being said, a clever marketer will remember that Instagram and Facebook are distinct. People use each platform differently, the content is digested differently and hence the content needs to be tailored accordingly. Instagram is more visual whilst Facebook prioritises video. People are more likely to like something on Instagram. Content is more shareable on Facebook, something that is increasingly changing. We could go on about the platform differences and content strategy optimisation but we will save that for another time.

Set the right social strategy

Facebook and Instagram advertising can be set up in multiple ways to achieve different goals, 15 to be precise. That means 15 separate strategies that Facebook and Instagram offer. These are collated into three main strategy groups; raising awareness, increasing conversions and activating considerations.

Raising awareness is simple in that it tries to generate interest in your brand, product or service. Increasing conversions encourages people to purchase or complete an action that you want them to do. Activating considerations is getting your target audience to start thinking about your business and researching more information about it, in effect considerations are the touch points for your brand just before a conversion, making them a lead generation tool.

After these strategies, we have reputation management and community management which, if you aren’t doing naturally, you should be doing if there is chatter about you on social media or more importantly, on your pages or groups. When people are talking about your brand in a positive or negative way, you need to manage this by responding to the chatter on that same channel. When you respond to people, be it good or bad comments from them, you are likely to improve that relationship and improve your brand’s reputation within your community. People love the attention a brand gives them if they weren’t asking for it directly and again, this can massively improve the relationship with this audience member and your wider community who see the interaction.

All of the above strategy focuses on “visible social”. But, what is visible social? Visible social is the social media everyone can see on their news feeds and pages within their various social channels. Visible social is what every social media marketer focuses on since it is what others can see and yet it only makes up 20% – 30% of the social market. This ensures impressions (and hopefully social engagement) from new audiences.  So, where is the rest of the social market and what is it called? This is where “dark social” comes in and it is something that marketers have recently started to focus on. Dark social is the messaging between friends or in closed groups on Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, WeChat, Twitter PMs and any private groups. It is in these groups where you get the majority of people talking about your brand, 70% – 80% of sharing and discussion is done in here. Humans are social creatures but only to a point, which is why many people are reluctant to share and talk openly with their entire connections’ list. Marketers are now trying to work out how to get people to talk about their brand, product or service within the dark social market, and more importantly, how to track this and any conversions resulting from this.

It is crucial to note that, as a brand, you should start with visible social media which should help you establish your brand and therefore, lead into people naturally talking about you every day. Once this is well established, dark social is the next strategy to focus on.

Reach the right audience

What makes Facebook and Instagram ads so effective is the platform’s ability to intelligently target content to the chosen audience. Facebook is continually monitoring your online and offline behaviour. They know you went to the pub on Saturday, that you browsed Mr Porter for 24 minutes, 52 seconds on Tuesday evening, that you know a man called Martin from Godalming who went to school with you in 1976. The intelligence or ‘big data’ that Facebook accrues about you and your online friends means marketers can effectively target particular demographics. Aside from the more standard targeting such as gender, age and location, Facebook and Instagram can also target based on whether you’re a luxury buyer, or if you have an interest in travel. Instagram and Facebook are effective platforms to target potential consumers for this reason. By combining your customer persona data with the audience targeting on Facebook you can accurately target each of your persona groupings within your target audience. So rather than creating one advert to go on TV or in a newspaper that will appeal to your whole audience slightly, you can create multiple adverts that appeal to each persona in your audience perfectly. Adverts that are better targeted to each grouping within your audience will result in higher conversions; be it sales, lead generation or any KPI.

social media audience

Stay within budget & track ROI

Facebook and Instagram pride themselves on being affordable and effective. You can set daily budgets and monthly budgets which allow you to spend more on specific days and at certain times and yet spend the set budget over the month. This flexibility means you can target your audience when they are most likely to be online in large numbers and when they’re most inclined to convert.

In addition, you can track the ROI of your spend. There is a number of tracking features and both platforms work with analytics tools like Omniture and Google Analytics. Tracking the ROI of a newspaper advert or TV advert can be very tricky to do. However, a Facebook advert can have all variables recorded and you can gather accurate data about your audience whilst the advert is running, which helps you improve your targeting for your next advert.

social media coffeeSix Top Tips

With all of the above in mind, here are six tips when advertising on Facebook and Instagram:

  1. Be clear on the goal of your advertisement. A clear vision makes for a clear strategy to deliver results.
  2. Remember each platform has a different purpose. Tailor your campaign to fit each platform.
  3. Understand your audience. If you know exactly the type of person you want to target, you can effectively direct your message to those people only.
  4. Play around with the targeting advertising facets to ensure you are effectively reaching the right people.
  5. Test and learn. Small social campaigns are a great way to do this. Learn and build from each campaign whatever the setup.
  6. Ensure the content you are promoting is in-keeping with your overall brand message during the period of promotion. There is no point on targeting without context for the consumer to consult further along the social journey or at a later date.

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Verb

We take a holistic approach to social, something we think is different to the traditional digital marketing and social media agencies. We are a digital creative agency specialising in the luxury market. We believe the social journey doesn’t stop at likes, comments, shares and clicks. It is important to build social communications into the overall digital strategy which is why we offer bespoke digital strategies, from the design and development of customer-centric websites and mobile applications to SEO, PPC, display advertising, influencer marketing, social media management and strategy. Discover more with our case studies or get in touch.