Paid social – is it working?


So, you’ve set up your paid social media campaign – you’ve identified the right platforms for your audience and goals, revised several rounds of ad copy, designed ad images, and you’ve successfully uploaded all your ads. You may think it’s smooth sailing from here, but the work is just beginning. In order to successfully run a social media ad campaign, you need to be continuously monitoring and adjusting your ads, to really get the most out of your spend. But how do you know if your ad is performing well? Well, keep on reading!

What should you be tracking?

Once your ads are live, there are several metrics you should be tracking to evaluate the success of your campaign, including CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions), CPC (cost per click), and CTR (click through rate). CPM is a good indication of the reach of your ads and is an important metric for organizations looking to drive awareness. CPC is the cost for every time a user clicks on your ad, which is a great way to see how competitive the space or specific keywords are. The higher the CPC, the higher the competition for your chosen keywords or target audience set. The CTR is the total number of users who click on an ad divided by the total number of times the ad was served. Higher CTRs signal your ads are compelling and are resonating with your target audiences.

While what qualifies as “good” for these metrics varies greatly across industries, AdStage provided the following general benchmarks for each social media platform in the Q4 Paid Search and Paid Social ads Benchmark report.

Facebook Ads Benchmarks

  • Average Facebook CPM: $12.45
  • Average Facebook CPC: $0.54
  • Average Facebook CTR: 2.34%

Twitter Ads Benchmarks

  • Average Twitter CPM: $5.92
  • Average Twitter CPC: $0.36
  • Average Twitter CTR: 1.76%

LinkedIn Ads Benchmarks

  • Average LinkedIn CPM: $8.39
  • Average LinkedIn CPC: $6.50
  • Average LinkedIn CTR: 0.13%

Aside from these metrics, there are several other factors you should be paying attention to throughout your campaign. If you are blowing through your budget spend faster than anticipated, there is likely room for further ad optimization. It is always better to start with a low budget and increase the spend, rather than starting big and running out before you have reached your goals. Boosted engagement and quality conversions also signal campaign success. If you are seeing an abundance of conversions, but the conversions are not high-quality, what’s the point? A few high-quality leads are more valuable than several low-quality conversions.

Test, test, and test again.

A/B testing your ads is a must, in order to identify what’s working and what’s not. It’s important to evaluate your ads at least twice daily and, if necessary, make changes. There’s always room to improve your ads by switching up the headlines, graphics, call to actions, copy text, etc. You should also be sure to check for comments and questions on your ads, which can provide insight into how your ads are coming across and help you to adjust accordingly. For example, if you are seeing a high CTR on an ad with the goal of generating report downloads, but are not seeing actual downloads, you may need to update your landing page to be more compelling or to better match your ad copy. If your ad isn’t generating the amount of impressions or clicks you’d hoped, this is a good sign the ad copy or image is not resonating with the audience. In this case, you should look into revising your ad copy.

When’s the time to call it quits?

If you’ve edited your ads and still find they are underperforming, turn them off. There’s no use in spending money on an ad that is not working towards your goals. On the contrary, if your ads are exceeding performance expectations, put more money behind them.

There’s a lot that goes into a paid social media campaign and the most important work comes after you’ve begun a campaign. Don’t just set and forget! Monitoring your ads and adjusting as necessary is crucial in order to execute a successful ad campaign.

Contact us to find out how Corporate Ink can help your brand implement a successful paid social media strategy.