Everything You Wanted to Know About Setting Up a Paid Social Campaign (But Were Too Afraid To Ask)

Everything You Wanted to Know About Setting Up a Paid Social Campaign (But Were Too Afraid To Ask)

If you’re here to get an exact dollar amount for your social promotion budget, turn around. There are several key factors that go into a budget and you’ll need to do some work on your end before determining that dollar amount. If you’re willing to roll up your sleeves to create a successful recruitment marketing campaign, keep reading.

Before getting started with any dollar amount, you must first know two things: the goal of your campaign and your price classification.

The goal of your campaign is the bottom-line of what you want users to do: like your page or follow your account, click through to a website or simply comment on your post. Both Facebook and Twitter provide options for you to choose your goal. Based on the goal you choose, you’ll know the underlying need of your campaign. Do you just need eyes on the content to get the word out or do you need very specific action to be taken? Answers to these questions will help you determine your ideal budget for your goals.

You’ll then need to determine your price classification – this is irrespective of your available budget and you should choose a classification based on your needs before determining dollar amounts. Note: Even if you are working with a small budget, there is still the opportunity to grow your employer brand. Use this table to determine where your content will perform the best.

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The larger your audience base, the less money you’ll need. That may sound counterintuitive, but spending more amounts of money is ideal for targeting very specific individuals who are harder to locate.

For example, let’s say you want to target retail workers. The great news is that there are lots of retail workers out there, so they won’t be hard to find. On the other hand, it will be harder to find people on social media that list their career in biopharmaceutical engineering. They’re out there, just not as easy to find as retail workers.

Now, you can begin looking at your targeting information, which will often decrease your reach with each addition.

Targeting Parameters

These parameters include location, age, gender, interests, behaviors, job titles, languages and more. Those options allow you to be very general or very specific, and all platforms will display your potential reach as you add, edit and subtract your targeting parameters. Hone in on your target candidate based on the information you have about them.

Potential Reach

There are two very important details to note about your potential reach. First, it’s just a range. No platform guarantees that you will meet or exceed that range, and you shouldn’t expect to see the maximum results. Second, each added parameter is likely to reduce your reach. For Mid-to-High-Level price classifications, this is great news. Specific audiences can be more accurately targeted with larger budgets.

See the charts below for range-of-reach possibilities on Facebook. You’ll notice that larger budgets begin to take off pretty readily after certain ranges.

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Determining Reach for Your Price Classification

When it comes to users reached, how many is too many? This is a very difficult question to answer when it comes to social media promotion because of different campaign needs. Generally, though, you should aim for 5x your organic reach or more with a paid campaign. After all, you’re paying to reach more people, so be certain you’re getting your money’s worth.

At the same time, you shouldn’t set your potential reach so high that you’ll burn through your budget without getting any true value. Facebook will serve your ads to those who you’ve identified you’d like to target, while specifically choosing individuals identified by its algorithm who are inclined to engage.

Fixed Price versus Auction Pricing

You’ll have to decide on how your ads will be priced: fixed or auction. Fixed pricing establishes an exact amount you’d like to pay for each result (clicks, likes, shares, etc.). You might choose something like $0.80 per click, for example. Your social network will only show your ad to those who are likely to click for about that price (i.e. Facebook will work only as hard as an $0.80 click requires in this example).

Auction pricing is more dynamic: it allows the social network to adjust the price of the action based on demand. For example, Twitter will lower the cost per action for an ad that’s not getting a lot of engagement to drive results, and then increase the price when engagement is very high to balance out the low clicks. Essentially, this option is ideal for promoting ads that are dynamic with the needs of the business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a campaign have more than one ad? Target more than one location/group?

Yes, campaigns can contain multiple ads (dozens, if you want). Although, each social network will handle it differently. For example, Facebook provides three tiers of information to create an ad, and you can create one campaign and hold as many ads as you want; Twitter goes by funding sources – you can serve multiple ads under a single funding source or have individual funding sources per ad.

Are there minimums for these platforms?

Twitter has a minimum of a $15,000 over three months or more, to set you up with an account (and you’d be invoiced, as noted above). If you’re unwilling or unable to meet that minimum, you can pay per ad/per day with a credit card, as noted above. Low-level promotion is certainly possible and effective on Twitter.

LinkedIn requires a minimum of $10,000 for a promotional account and provides no option to pay promote with a credit card. On LinkedIn, you’d be assigned an account representative from the company who would set you up with everything you need. Early in 2015, LinkedIn changed its minimum increase to increments of $5,000. So you can allocate $10K, $15K, $20K, and so on, but you can’t promote for $11k or $17K, for example.

Do I need an image?

While you may not need an image, posts with images in them can garner up to 150% more retweets than tweets without images. We recommend adding a visual if possible (including videos), but be careful on Facebook.

Facebook will reject any images or snippets with text taking up more than 20% of the total surface area. You can check your images here.

The bottom line is this: social media is the new television. People no longer flock to primetime TV once a night each week; rather, they check their social channels at all hours of the day. Paid promotion is affordable and provides the opportunity for all companies or individuals to be heard by people who want to hear them.

What questions do you have about paid promotion to grow your employer brand? Leave them in the comment section below or tweet them to me @bragg_mike.

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Mike Bragg
Written by Mike Bragg

Mike is a Content Marketing Manager at TMP Worldwide with a passion for social media strategy, the latest technology and apps, and sports writing. Find him on Twitter: @Bragg_Mike


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