11 min read

Paid social media is an essential channel for brands to communicate to customers and prospects throughout the customer journey. Done right, it can be one of your most effective channels in terms of return on investment for B2B and B2C businesses.A social media marketing strategy will help guide your decisions and make sure you are coming into the channel with clear objectives.

We will give you tips on how to ensure your strategy is as effective as possible, including a range of tools and templates you can implement to improve your paid social presence in our full media planning kit.

tl;dr?

Skip the content and download the media planning kit.

The Facebook algorithm is a powerful machine learning tool for marketers. Consider the amount of data points Facebook has on a particular user. By now, most marketers know that the behavioural, demographic and interest-based targeting on social platforms can be very effective. But Facebook’s optimisation algorithm has come a long way. We’ve done studies into our Facebook advertising that suggest having a media buyer optimise bids, budgets and ads is LESS effective than letting Facebook’s algorithm optimise the campaigns itself.

I recently attended Affiliate World Asia and there was a great talk on this:

In the test, it was found that set-and-forget campaign budget optimisation was more effective by producing a higher return on ad spend. The main benefit, however, is that trusting in the algorithm allows the media buyer to focus on implementing new creatives and testing new angles and formats. Spending time analysing budget spend and returns used to be the most effective method of optimisation when you take into account time spent vs. effectiveness. Now putting trust in the algorithm frees up time for the more important activities like creative testing.

This also opens up another interesting hypothesis that we’ve tested:

From our experience, yes. Giving Facebook a larger pool of potentially interested buyers is currently working out better for us than hyper-targeted interest or even LAL audiences.

Test it out. Next time you set up a Facebook campaign the old way (with audiences, lookalikes and optimising bids and budgets daily), duplicate the campaign, remove all audiences apart from targeting a broad demographic (like males between 18-35) and leave it to run. See which one provides better results.

The next step to this would be creative testing. Naturally, we don’t just set and forget our client campaigns and do no optimisation. We are now free as media buyers to spend time testing different creative angles, copy and content.

At IMWT we’ve built a framework for testing Facebook campaigns.

10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit

The idea is simple.

We want to give our campaigns the best chance of scaling by themselves, continuing to optimise and provide greater ROAS (Return on Ad Spend). The way we do that is by supplying the campaigns with the best creative and best-performing audiences. This is done in stages with different goals at each stage:

What this looks like in terms of campaign structure can be seen in this screenshot of our framework here:

It is an iterative process. Meaning you can continue to test and fill your scaling campaign with proven winners by adding more creative variations to each Sandbox campaign.

Want the framework? Get it here.

We have a full training deck describing in detail the creative testing process, the rules that dictate moving from stage to stage and the scaling strategies we use to scale campaigns to beyond $10k per day in profitable spending.

What are you doing for your customer? How does this ad help them realise their goals? These are the questions you should ask yourself to start to pin down your messaging angle. Once you know your angle, you can centre your advertising around it by keeping it in the headline, and linking the images and copy to this theme.

You also need to consider what creative type you’re using in this process. For example, think about what each social platform can achieve. Is it for attracting new customers with the benefits you provide or is it about giving greater detail to those already interested in your product? Make sure you have a clear idea of this before you start any campaign.

An example of this could be for a credit card advertiser. Say you’re AMEX and you want to advertise the benefits of a particular card. There are many angles you could take to advertise these benefits. Let’s have a look at some examples:

Each of these features could be a potential angle to advertise. By breaking the features into different angles it allows the ads to appeal to different audiences and improves the chances of identifying a winning angle/ad combo.

The next thing to test would be format and placement. Perhaps one angle is working well as a static 1:1 image on Instagram. Perhaps another isn’t performing well in this format but coupled with a slideshow video demonstrating the angle in more detail it would perform better.

We also like to test the length of the copy, whether a short succinct message performs better than a longer one will again depend on what resonates with a particular audience. There are always more creative variations you could be doing.

For most Facebook advertising accounts, Campaign Budget Optimisation (CBO) is now mandatory. It’s a feature that lets Ads Manager make more decisions about how to best divide your advertising budget.

Previously, you gave a budget that would be evenly distributed between each ad set, whereas now you set a budget for the whole campaign. This allows Ads Manager to decide which ads in your campaign are the most effective, and distribute your budget accordingly, thus giving you better returns on your paid social.

10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit

CBO (Campaign Budget Optimisation) coupled with our testing framework and wide open audiences is our real secret Facebook Ad sauce right now for our clients. We’re achieving excellent results using CBO and only use ad set level budgets at the start of a campaign to make sure each ad set is getting enough reach for good testing.

One thing that you could get wrong even when things are as simple as: “no targeting and no optimisation” is choosing the wrong bidding model. That is to say, the model with which you are bidding for your ad to show to a user. Each social media platform has a slightly different bidding model. Facebook gives you the most control, while Twitter and Linkedin take not only your bid, but the quality of your ad into account, and video formats like YouTube function on a relatively basic cost-per-view basis.

Depending on what your goal is you’ll want to choose a different model. Here’s a basic breakdown

Generally, you should make sure your social media marketing strategy is leading what you’re bidding on, i.e. in Awareness, you’re going for reach, in Consideration you’re going for clicks and in conversions… yep, you guessed it, you’re going for conversions.

This year, Facebook has been paying close attention to the amount of text in an image. Even the text in your logo counts, so you’ll need to be careful, and keep text in images to a minimum. Ads that Facebook decides have too much text can be removed or disadvantaged in auctions, getting lower reach for the same budget.

Luckily, Facebookhas a toolwhich can give you an idea of how your text overlay will be viewed. Certain photos can also be exempt from this, namely product shots where the item itself has text on the packaging. This can really impact campaigns so best to get this sorted in the creative briefing stage so that you aren’t having to rework images you’ve paid a creative agency thousands to develop.

When you create your ads directly inside the platform, your social media marketing can suffer for it. It’s a lot easier to make mistakes, and harder to find them. At In Marketing We Trust, many of our clients have stringent approval processes for ads. One particular client needs copy and image approval to go through 5 different departments from brand, to risk, to compliance, to comms and finally marketing. Just to get a Facebook ad approved to go live.

If you’re anything like this, even if you just want an easier way to review ads yourself; it is great to set up ads outside the platform. It doesn’t have to be fancy, we have a templatethat we use to build our ads and get client approval. This removes a lot of back-and-forth with client approval/edits and can streamline your entire paid social campaign set up.

Having an idea of what to expect is invaluable to your business as a whole, particularly your paid social media marketing strategy. Stakeholders often require this in order to sign-off budget and approve campaigns to go ahead.

We have a templatethat will help you to understand what a particular budget for your paid social will get you. An example can show you how invaluable this can be. Say you have:

All of this can be invaluable in determining not only the potential success of a campaign but the budget you should give to various platforms going forward.

Planning is always a must, but your team requirements and technological needs can often be pushed to the side. Consider what you need a particular paid social media campaign to accomplish. What groups of people will you need in order to create the campaign? Can certain steps of the process be automated? Automation can be invaluable, especially when it comes to ad optimisation. Tools likesmartly.iofor Facebook marketing can help you manage your social media marketing strategy, whilst optimising your performance through its algorithm.

10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit

No matter how carefully you have proofread an ad, something will escape your notice. As humans, we tend to gloss over information we’ve seen a million times before, allowing small issues like typos and broken links to fall through the gaps. Having a second person to check your work on each ad may seem like a simple idea, but avoiding those common little mistakes can save a lot of trouble down the track.

There are many things you can do to ensure your social media marketing strategy is as effective as possible, and that you are getting the most out of your paid social. Following the tips outlined above, in conjunction with our helpful tools, can streamline your entire process and optimise your social presence, ultimately improving many facets of your online business.


10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit
10 Social Media Marketing Strategy Tips + Full Media Planning Kit