How to Stop Wasting Money on Social Ads

How to stop wasting money on social adsAre you like me and wonder why we had to take science in school?  It was one of my least favorite courses.

Yet in social advertising, science crucial to reaching the right people.

So let’s dive right in and break down social advertising into a science.

My hypothesis is that social advertising DOES work… but only under the right circumstances.

Looking at our own social analytics, we can discover what’s working and where our social ads may be failing.  And why they succeed!

Like all scientists, we need the right lingo.  You may already be familiar with the term, but when we talk about your ‘avatar’, we’re simply referring to a detailed profile of your ideal customer.   When we talk about ‘analytics’ we’re looking at the data of your unique fan base and advertising account.

Now, let’s delve a little deeper into the method behind successful social advertising.


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Science Matters –  Ad Testing and Analytics Matter

Let’s say you really don’t know much about your avatar or perfect client.  This is where it gets interesting!  This is where the science of advertising comes into play and will help you stop wasting money on your ads.

You can test you ads using these tactics:

  1. Create a couple of different ads with different copy and graphics, then split test
    1. Split testing, also called A/B testing, is available on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter with some manual analytics, LinkedIn and Google (it’s built right in). Here’s how to test what will stop your fans from scrolling.
    2. If you’re already familiar with split-testing, these advanced testing and placement strategies will help boost your social ad success so you reach the right people.
  2. Don’t be fooled by Dynamic ads. Check out these reasons that I DON’T use Dynamic Ads on Facebook.

3. Optimize delivery of your ads with these tactics. The delivery platform and placement of your ads really do make a difference. Don’t forget to test these options as well as those shown above.

Don’t Make this Advertising Mistake!

Here’s what I learned when I dug into the science of my own analytics.  This slip-up cost me money and I hope to save you from making the same mistake.

Save these Social Ad Analytics Now

Facebook Analytics within your Ads Manager account are disappearing soon.

Before June 30, 2021 you’ll want to dive into your own social analytic sites to understand and download the reports and measurement metrics. You may be surprised at the granular details available.  For example, many marketers simply look only at the reach and engagement numbers.  But hiding in plain site are details that tell you:

  1. Details about your existing audiences; job titles, interests as well as other pages they follow. This is relevant when updating an audience for a specific campaign. Details and navigation here.
  2. What time viewers are most likely to click a link in your ad. This will help you schedule your ads to maximize your link clicks thereby boosting your SEO.
  3. What time your viewers typically engage by liking, commenting and sharing. Filter by hour, day, week or month.  Additional filtering by action; post shares, post comments, unique new users as well as a variety of other metrics.  This will help you maximize your brand awareness.
  4. One of the most useful tools in your Facebook Analytics account may be the heat map of the hours your fans are active.
Navigation ads manager

Figure 1 – Navigation:  Ads Manager < Analytics < active users


Facebook Analytics Overview

Figure 2 – Facebook Analytics Overview

Armed with this data you can then assess which ads are helping or hurting your strategy.

How to Tweak your Social Ads for Greater Success

The next step is to tweak your ads to improve your results.

While there are many moving pieces in a social ad, start by tweaking just 1 feature at a time so that you can see your results more easily.  Never think that the advertising platform doesn’t work—simply change and test to find what works best for your unique audience.

Here’s some common tweaks.

Common ad tweaks

Scientific conclusion:  YES, social advertising does work when the right strategy is in place and the science is understood.

So be sure to always test, analyze and tweak as you go.  Science for the win!

Related Articles

How to Reach Your Email List with Social Ads

How to Optimize Delivery of Your Social Ads

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Social Marketing Strategies for Travel and Tourism

About Catherine Heeg

Catherine Heeg is a recognized social media trail blazer passionate about social media and marketing in the tourism and hospitality industry. She takes the mystery out of marketing!

She creates and delivers meaningful, dynamic workshops that meet your unique needs in the Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Industry.

Catherine and her team help travel, tourism and hospitality pros design and implement social media marketing strategies and tactics that drive traffic to their social and web sites. Learn more…

Do you need a roadmap for your social strategy? Let’s chat and see if there’s a fit to work together to strategize your social marketing.

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