Businesses spend billions of dollars every year on Facebook and Instagram advertising. This year, social media spending is expected to increase to $17.34 billion in the United States alone. The main reason why social media is getting so much attention is because of it’s targeting capabilities. Better targeting allows businesses to control exactly who sees their ads. This drives more engagement with content, more relevant website visits and ultimately, better ROI. Here are four tips on how to use advanced social media targeting.

How To Reach Your Ideal Audience:

1) Create Personas: As with any marketing effort, the first step is understanding who your various ideal customers are. Categorize groups of customers into those who share distinct attributes. How are they different by demographics, lifestyle and/or location? What benefits appeal to them uniquely? Which products or services of yours do they tend to buy? With personas in place, you can now figure out where they spend time online, what they are likely to be searching for and what they care about when making a purchase decision. By targeting each persona with marketing messages that appeal specifically to them, lead and sales conversions increase. Social networks allow you to target your ads based on location, demographics and lifestyles.

2) Understand How Each Social Network Is Different: Each social network offers some level of unique targeting capabilities and you’ll want to think about what types of targeting are going to deliver the best performance. A business owner searching for prospective employees on LinkedIn is in a very different mindset than an individual who is scrolling through cool videos on Instagram so make sure you are advertising on the right platform to the right audience with the right message. Instagram and Facebook offer targeting by birthday and anniversary while LinkedIn and Twitter can be targeted by hashtags and keywords. There are dozens of other targeting options on these platforms. The deeper you dig, the more likely you are to appeal to the perfect audience.

3) Excluding Audiences: Finding the right audience is extremely important for the success of your social media ad campaign, and excluding audiences can impact on your campaign as well. Assuming you don’t want to waste PPC dollars sending deadbeats to your site, use analytics to identify non-performing groups. Use your social media ad accounts to exclude these audiences. Reducing costs is just as important in maximizing ROI as increasing revenues so make sure to consider both. Audiences can be identified and excluded by location, gender, age, income, and several other attributes.

4) Use Existing Data For Future Campaigns: Once you’ve seen success (or failure) with various campaigns, groups, ads and other campaign attributes, save or delete specific target audiences. Keep the winners alive and dump the losers in an ongoing effort such that performance continues to improve over time. Another way to use data from existing campaigns is re-marketing or re-targeting. Re-targeting serves ads to prospects who have interacted with your website recently and it performs great when run in conjunction with other paid advertising. Use paid search, banner advertising or social media advertising to get them to your site once, then serve re-targeting ads (in an appropriate volume) to the same audience for the next 30 days. Re-marketing works especially well for products and services that have a long sales cycle. In addition to re-marketing, Look-alike audiences are a great way to generate more engagement on social networks from (you guessed it) prospects who share many of the same attributes of your targeted groups. You can build Lookalike audiences based on conversion data, customer/prospect lists, social media fans, engagement activity and/or pixel (cookie) data. Using lookalike audiences has two main benefits. First, it allows you to reach new people beyond your current customer list and fan base, and second, it ensures your ad is shown to people who are likely to engage with your brand.

We are recognized as a top social media marketing company on DesignRush. As we continue to grow it’s vital for us to continue utilizing the most effective marketing channels for our clients that will bring them results. Social media targeting has come a long way, and it’s just going to keep getting better. If you have any questions about social media marketing, or any other digital marketing tactics, visit AdEdge Digital Marketing or reach out to one of our experts directly.