[Case Study]: GoWireless Partners with Mindstream, Boosts In-store Sales with Facebook Offers

Mindstream Media Group used Facebook Offer Ads to drive in-store sales over the holiday season for one of the top national wireless retailers, resulting in a 65 percent lower cost per in-store sale compared to link ads.


With more than 700 stores across the U.S., our client, GoWireless, is a Verizon Wireless authorized retailer, selling smartphones and other mobile devices, like tablet computers and wireless headphones, as well as pay-as-you-go and monthly service plans from the leading wireless network.

For its holiday campaign, GoWireless partnered with our team of experts to develop two campaigns: one that encouraged people to download a coupon from a branded landing page, and another to encourage people to purchase a new phone or wireless service plan using offer ads.


2.4 billion people use Facebook every month

Related article: 3 Sure-Fire Reasons Why Multi-Unit Brands Need Facebook Advertising


  • Generate new leads at an improved CPA
  • Multiply in-store wireless sales
  • Increase sales for leading national network provider devices and service plans
  • Encourage people to claim a Facebook offer from the retailer over the holiday season


We worked diligently to create a connected experience across platforms and social networks. In addition to recommending platforms that had a strong brand presence, we also identified which platforms the audience cared about and was already active on to inform our strategies. Refined audience awareness and dynamic audience engagement were used to tap into existing conversations and shape new ones.

Facebook Offers for GoWireless

Facebook offer ads reach audiences through multiple touchpoints and create a more seamless mobile experience for the user, allowing them to claim promotions with the click of a button to:

  • Bookmark the offer on Facebook
  • Receive an email copy of the offer
  • Get notified when they’re near a GoWireless store or when the offer is about to expire

Analyzing and delivering against measurable KPIs allowed us to leverage audience insights to increase campaign efficiency and performance. Best-in-class specifications and methods to boost the potential for awareness and retention were also implemented to deliver ads in the most advantageous format possible.


The dynamic retargeting capabilities of the social platform allowed us to capitalize on audiences who were already engaged and willing to take action. Focusing on the real metrics that make a difference, we expanded our client’s audience to include like-minded users while certifying viewability of ads across all devices. This resulted in ads that connected with consumers in a meaningful way and made a real impact for the client. 

The advanced targeting capabilities and engagement features of Facebook Offer Ads proved to be a great way to drive in-store traffic during the holiday season and promote mobile deals.

“We saw tremendous improvements this holiday quarter, especially for our Black Friday, Christmas, and New Year’s initiatives. The quality of traffic from holiday in-store sales proved to be much higher than any other digital media partner’s performance that we’ve worked with before, and as a result, we saw our holiday Q4 efforts producing significant ROI.”

The campaign was a huge success – more than 45,000 offers were claimed during the two-month campaign and our client reduced their cost per in-store sale by 65 percent compared to link ads.

45000 offers claimed; 10x more offer claims


Want to learn more about how paid social media advertising can help boost sales for your business? Contact us today.


How To Make Sure Your Agency Is Running Your Facebook Ad Campaigns For Success

It’s never been easier for brands to pay to get advertising messages out on Facebook (or any other online platform). Facebook ad campaigns are simple to set up, relatively inexpensive and increasingly user-friendly.

The good news here is that pretty much anyone can manage a Facebook ad campaign. The bad news is that pretty much every marketing agency will say they can manage your brand’s Facebook campaigns. But just because someone can launch a campaign on Facebook, doesn’t mean they can run it well.

I’ve seen this play out plenty of times. At Mindstream Media Group, we’ve had multiple brand partners come to us with concerns about their Facebook campaigns run by other agencies. One of the common issues we run into is that brands aren’t sure of exactly what to look for to find out if their campaigns are set up correctly.

To help you make sure your Facebook ad campaigns are set up for success, we put together the questions below for you to consider as you audit your account. Ideally, the answer to each question will be a resounding “yes.” If you find yourself answering “no” too often, it may be time to change up your strategy (or the people running it).

Related content – Three Sure-fire Reasons Why Multi-unit Brands Need Facebook Advertising

Facebook ad campaign strategy

Does your agency have a clearly-defined strategy?

Think about the results you want your Facebook campaigns to achieve. Do you want to build awareness, drive consideration, generate leads? Whatever you’re looking to accomplish, make sure your ads align with your business goals and advertising objectives.

To illustrate this point, here are a few advertising objectives matched with Facebook ad types or settings that help accomplish them.

Facebook ad campaign strategy

Whatever you have in mind, make sure your agency understands your goals and has a clearly defined strategy to achieve the right results.

Are you using ad scheduling?

With Facebook ad campaigns, you can optimize the timing of your ads based on your audience’s behavior or business operations. Optimizing your schedule will help prevent you from wasting money by serving ads when your target audiences won’t see them or when you’re closed.

Facebook ad scheduling

Have you optimized for ad frequency?

Finding the right ad frequency (i.e., the number of times a Facebook user sees your ad) is a delicate balancing act. You want users to see your ads enough times to become aware of your brand and interact with the message, but not so much that ad fatigue sets in. This is critical because if engagement goes down, so can your ad relevancy score which means your costs will increase.

Facebook ad campaigns – targeting settings

Are you using location targeting?

This is an especially important targeting setting for multi-location brands and small businesses. If your brand mainly serves consumers near one of your locations, you don’t want to waste money serving ads outside your target markets.

Also, make sure your agency appreciates the difference between “People who live in this location” vs. “People recently in this location.” If you’re trying to only reach homeowners, using the latter setting might be a waste of money.

Targeting different users by geo-location with Facebook ads

Are your Facebook ad campaigns segmented by audience type?

Within your account, you can run different Facebook ad campaigns targeted towards different audiences and based on different goals. Make sure your agency is segmenting these campaigns properly so your different audiences only receive ads with messaging geared for them.

For example, here are two audiences you’ll want to segment into different campaigns:

Are you using Custom Audiences from customer lists?

One type of audience we didn’t mention above is existing customers. If you’re looking to use Facebook ad campaigns to drive repeat sales, make sure your agency is uploading your existing customer lists. Creating segmented campaigns and ad sets that target these customers is important because you want to make sure they’re seeing ads geared for them.

These Custom Audience lists will also help you build lookalike audiences, which brings us to our next question…

Are you using Lookalike Audiences?

Lookalike Audiences are an effective way to reach users who are likely interested in your business because they are similar to your existing customers. And, if you’re already using Custom Audiences, Lookalike Audiences are easy to set up. Simply upload your Custom Audience list and select the Lookalike audience setting in Facebook’s ad center.

An important setting on Lookalike Audiences is the audience size range (see graphic below). For lead generation campaigns, you typically want this setting to be very low; for prospecting campaigns, you may want to open it up a little bit.

Facebook Lookalike Audiences – Audience Size Setting

Are you using audience suppression?

Audience suppression allows you to exclude specific Facebook users from seeing your ads. When used correctly and ethically, this tactic is an effective way to make sure you’re only serving ads to the most relevant users. Here are just a few ways you should be using audience suppression in your Facebook ad campaigns:

  • Suppressing existing customers in new customer acquisition campaigns
  • Suppressing prospecting audiences in retargeting campaigns and vice-versa
  • Suppressing Facebook users that aren’t likely to take profitable actions on your ads (e.g., your employees or consumers outside your target markets)

Facebook ad creative

Are your campaigns using the right ad formats for your business goals?

Facebook offers a variety of different ad formats you can use. You just need to choose the right formats for your business goals and advertising objectives. Here’s a quick overview of a few of the more popular Facebook ad formats to help you decide if you’re running the right ads:

Facebook ad campaigns – choosing the right ad creative - v2

Also, make sure your ads display properly on all devices, especially if they’re running on Instagram! Ads built for the Facebook News Feed can show very differently on Instagram and may improperly represent your brand or the substance and intent of your original ad creative.

Are you running video ads?

On Facebook and all over the internet, consumers are watching more video every year. Cisco predicts that by 2020, more than 75 percent of mobile data traffic will be from video.

According to Facebook’s research, users are drawn to mobile video on Facebook and Instagram because it connects them to a community, offers relevant content and makes them feel excited and engaged. If your brand is advertising on Facebook, give consumers the content they want by creating video ads featuring your products and services.

Do you regularly rotate out your ad creative?

While it may take multiple instances of seeing your ad for a consumer to take action, seeing the same message too many times can be offputting. To make sure you’re exposing audiences to fresh messaging, find out if your agency is rotating your ad creative on a regular basis. Also, find out how many ads you have in your rotation.

Do your ads have high relevancy scores?

Facebook grades the relevancy of your ads on a 1-10 scale based on how audiences respond to your ads. When audiences take positive actions like watching a video or completing a conversion, your score increases. The higher your score, the less you have to pay to serve ads.

On the flip side of that coin, lower scores could mean higher costs. If your campaigns are running ads with scores under five, you may be losing out on inventory and paying too much to deliver your ads.

Facebook Ad Campaigns – Relevancy Scores

Do you have a creative testing strategy?

Finding the best messages to engage your target audience can be demanding. You need to test various images and video, ad copy and calls-to-action to find the right combination of components that inspire people to take action.

Find out what strategy your agency uses to test your creative. If they haven’t come up with a plan, it may be time to find a partner who can.

Measuring performance

Is your agency able to match revenue and actual sales data to your campaigns?

Vanity metrics like clicks and video views can be insightful for brand awareness campaigns. But, if your goal is to generate leads and drive sales, your agency needs to be able to track bottom-of-the-funnel conversions properly.

At the most basic level, this means being able to track post conversion activity and actual sales data. Going a step further, it means being able to track which campaigns, ads and tactics drove the most profitable conversions to optimize your efforts in the future. Make sure to ask your agency if they have a process in place to match back this data.

Have you set up appropriate conversion windows?

Facebook’s Ad Manager is able to attribute actions that users take away from one of your ads (e.g., making a purchase on your website), even if that action didn’t happen right away. This is a valuable way to track your ads’ impact on future and indirect sales.

By default, Facebook attributes these actions to an ad for one day after it’s viewed and 28 days after an ad is clicked. To find out which settings work best for your campaigns and advertising objectives, answer a few questions like:

  • Is this consistent with the conversion windows from other channels in your overall marketing strategy?
  • Does it make sense to count a view-based conversion for your business goals or campaign objectives?

So, how did you do? If you found yourself answering “No” to too many of the questions above, call in the pros at Mindstream Media Group. One of our social media advertising specialists would be happy to look under the hood and provide recommendations to amplify your Facebook ad campaigns.

3 Sure-fire Reasons Why Multi-unit Brands Need Facebook Advertising

The takeaway: Facebook advertising campaigns offer multi-location brands plenty of opportunities to reach the right local customers. If you’re not currently advertising on Facebook, read this post to find out what you’re missing.

According to the company’s internal data, Facebook has more than 2.3 billion monthly active users. I think we can all agree, that’s a lot of people. But if you’re a multi-location brand marketer who is decidedly underwhelmed by that figure, then this article is for you.

Multi-location businesses like restaurants, retail stores and healthcare brands don’t need massive audiences. Your marketing efforts (and dollars) are best spent on campaigns geared toward hyper-targeted audiences – i.e., consumers who are both interested in your products and near one of your locations.

But that doesn’t mean Facebook advertising campaigns aren’t right for multi-location brands. As globally popular as Facebook is, it’s still very effective at reaching specific audiences and driving conversions at the local level – when it’s done right. To prove this point, here are three reasons why advertising on Facebook is an excellent choice for multi-location brands.

No. 1: Facebook advertising offers sophisticated location targeting

Facebook advertising campaigns make it easy for multi-location brands to target local audiences for hundreds or thousands of different markets. With Facebook’s location targeting, you can hone in on users by country, state, city, ZIP code and more. You can also upload locations to target in bulk, which is especially handy for multi-location brands.

Facebook advertising – location targeting options

On top of that location targeting, you can also target different types of local consumers based on their behavior (e.g., whether they live in your designated areas or are just visiting). Here are the settings available in Facebook advertising campaigns to target different users based on their location.

Targeting different users by geo-location with Facebook ads

No. 2: Facebook advertising drives local leads

It’s not just the targeting options that make Facebook advertising campaigns a valuable tool for multi-location brands. Facebook offers several ad types and objectives designed to reach nearby consumers and drive local leads.

Here’s an example of an ad type you can use to drive local leads for your multi-location brand:

Facebook Offer Ads

Facebook Offer Ads help multi-location brands and local businesses drive both online and offline sales by promoting special offers to target audiences. Consumers can claim these promotions with a click of a button and redeem the offer in a variety of ways:

  • Bookmark the offer on Facebook
  • Receive an email copy of the offer
  • Get notified when they’re near one of your locations or when the offer is about to expire

Here’s an example of this ad type at work for a multi-location brand we work with. Recently, we implemented Facebook offer ads for GoWireless – a Verizon Wireless authorized retailer with more than 700 stores across the United States.

The results were impressive. During the two-month campaign, the campaign led to more than 45,000 offers claimed and reduced cost per in-store sale (CPIS) figures by 65 percent compared to standard Facebook link ads.

Using Facebook offer ads to drive in-store sales

Related Case Study – How Mindstream Used Facebook Offer Ads to Boost In-store Sales for GoWireless

No. 3: A decline in organic reach is driving brands to Facebook advertising

In 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a major update to the platform’s mandate.

“The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook Post. “As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands and media.”

Translation: More posts from friends and families (because who doesn’t want to know more about your uncle’s thoughts on politics, right?) and less content from businesses and publishers.

We wrote about this update to Facebook’s News Feed at the time and the trend continues. This drop in organic reach means brands and publishers need to go beyond organic social posts to reach Facebook users – i.e., paying to promote content (almost makes you wonder if there was an ulterior motive behind Facebook’s decision).

While ad spending on the platform has plateaued, brands are still dishing out plenty of dollars to reach Facebook users. Which means that even if you’re not currently advertising on Facebook, chances are your competitors are.

Facebook advertising revenue in the United States

Facebook advertising revenue in the United States

So, if you don’t have any Facebook advertising campaigns running, you have some catching up to do. If you’re interested in bridging that gap, contact Mindstream Media Group and we can help you put together a Facebook advertising strategy that will drive local leads for your brand.

If you’re already advertising on Facebook, we can also help you improve your existing campaigns. Contact us today to find out more, or check out our next post on how to audit your Facebook ad campaigns.

What Happened? Everything You Need to Know About the Facebook Cambridge Analytica Data Scandal

What going on?

The New York Times and The Observer of London made waves on both sides of the Atlantic this month with reports that Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm, illegitimately accessed the profiles of 50 million Facebook users to influence political advertising during the 2016 presidential campaign. The reports claimed that Cambridge Analytica also influenced the 2016 Brexit vote.

Cambridge Analytica claimed to have tools that could identify the personalities of American voters and influence behavior. The firm used the data from Facebook profiles to develop the “techniques that underpinned its work on President Trump’s campaign in 2016,” according to the New York Times.

How did Cambridge manage to access Facebook profiles?

According to a report from The Guardian:

The data was collected through an app called “thisisyourdigitallife,” built by academic Aleksandr Kogan, separately from his work at Cambridge University. Through his company Global Science Research (GSR), in collaboration with Cambridge Analytica, hundreds of thousands of users were paid to take a personality test and agreed to have their data collected for academic use.

Cambridge Analytica was then able to access the data of the friends of the 270,000 users who took the personality test, yielding information from 50 million profiles. That data was then used to build psychographic profiles to inform political advertising campaigns. Facebook’s platform policy at the time only allowed apps to collect data from users’ friends to improve the user experience, they were not allowed to sell data or use it for advertising. The report said Cambridge Analytica obtained the data under the guise of academic research by Kogan.

What did Facebook do when they found out?

Facebook eventually became aware of the data leak and asked that it be deleted. But it was too late and Cambridge Analytica reportedly still has much of the user data.

In a recent Facebook post, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained how the company responded when they first learned about the issue:

In 2015, we learned from journalists at The Guardian that Kogan had shared data from his app with Cambridge Analytica. It is against our policies for developers to share data without people’s consent, so we immediately banned Kogan’s app from our platform, and demanded that Kogan and Cambridge Analytica formally certify that they had deleted all improperly acquired data. They provided these certifications.

What is Facebook going to do about it?

Facebook is under a lot of pressure to provide more detail on a variety of questions: How did they allow this to happen? How much user data does Cambridge Analytica still have? How are they going to prevent third parties from further abusing their data? How are they going secure data going forward?

Beyond providing further information, Facebook needs to act. They need to implement the kind of changes to stop this from happening again and regain their users’ trust.

The company has taken a number of steps to address the issue. Facebook’s biggest move has been the removal of third-party data integrations with partners like Oracle, Experian and Acxiom that supplement Facebook’s data and allow for more precise ad targeting. Once the integrations are gone, advertisers will only be able to use Facebook’s data or their own customer lists. This means advertisers will no longer be able to tie in users’ offline behavior and social lifestyle traits (i.e., specific household income data, shopping intent, etc.).

Facebook has also paused their app review process, effectively blocking new apps from joining the platform. Here’s a snippet from a piece from The Verge on the move:

Facebook appears to be reevaluating how it approves apps due to how easily the third-party survey app, called “thisisyourdigitallife,” was able to mine data and sell it with little to no oversight from Facebook, and for Cambridge Analytica to retain that data even after claiming to the company that it had deleted it. “To maintain the trust people place in Facebook when they share information, we are making some updates to the way our platform works,” writes Ime Archibong, Facebook’s vice president of partnerships. “We know these changes are not easy, but we believe these updates will help mitigate any breach of trust with the broader developer ecosystem.”

Earlier this week, Facebook also announced a series of updates designed to give users more control over their privacy and the data they share on the platform. Facebook laid out the following updates in a blog post.

Controls that are easier to find and use

We’ve redesigned our entire settings menu on mobile devices from top to bottom to make things easier to find. Instead of having settings spread across nearly 20 different screens, they’re now accessible from a single place. We’ve also cleaned up outdated settings so it’s clear what information can and can’t be shared with apps.

New Privacy Shortcuts menu

People have also told us that information about privacy, security, and ads should be much easier to find. The new Privacy Shortcuts is a menu where you can control your data in just a few taps, with clearer explanations of how our controls work. The experience is now clearer, more visual, and easy-to-find. From here you can: make your account more secure, control your personal information, control the ads you see and manage who sees your posts and profile information.

Tools to find, download and delete your Facebook data

It’s one thing to have a policy explaining what data we collect and use, but it’s even more useful when people see and manage their own information. Some people want to delete things they’ve shared in the past, while others are just curious about the information Facebook has. So we’re introducing Access Your Information – a secure way for people to access and manage their information, such as posts, reactions, comments, and things you’ve searched for.

What ripple effects will this have?

It’ll be interesting to see how platforms like Google and Amazon capitalize on Facebook removing the third-party data integrations. My prediction: Amazon will capitalize on their knowledge of consumer behavior and shopping trends to heavily go after CPG brands. For their part, Google will rely heavier on their Oracle data integrations.

This could present a significant opportunity for Amazon at a time when the company has already been taking a larger slice of digital advertising revenue from Facebook and Google.

Share of U.S. digital ad revenue (% of total)

Share of U.S. digital ad revenue-Google Facebook Amazon and Snapchat

Source: eMarketer

Related – Sleeping Advertisers Wake to Amazon’s Giant Opportunities

Overall, I don’t think that Facebook will take an immediate hit from the move to drop third-party integrations specifically because most people probably didn’t know all this extra data was being pulled in. However, with the Cambridge Analytica fallout combined with less data for targeting, the second quarter of 2018 might not be the best investor reporting Mark Zuckerberg delivers.

The story does highlight the importance of protecting personal data. It’s a responsibility shared by everyone – users, platforms and advertisers. At Mindstream Media Group, we have strict processes in place to protect the data we get from our partners and our clients. The Facebook/Cambridge situation coupled with the pending implementation of the European Union’s new uniform data privacy laws only reinforces the importance of these processes.

Subscribe to our blog to get digital marketing updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Midwest Digital Marketing Conference – Day One Recap

Mindstream Media Group’s Maggie Durnien and Chelsea Weidauer are checking out the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference (MDMC) in St. Louis this week. The two-day event will cover all things digital marketing and feature speakers from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Microsoft, Salesforce, Pinterest, Adobe, Pandora and more! Our digital marketing product specialists will be providing daily recaps of the most interesting sessions they attend. Their Day One recaps are below. Be sure to check out Day Two coverage as well. 

Session: Exclusive Chat with Facebook and Instagram


John Patton | Client Partner | Facebook

Derek Scott | Creative Strategist | Instagram

Recap by:

Maggie Durnien | Associate Product Specialist | Mindstream Media Group

During this session, attendees were given the valuable opportunity to ask questions on all things Facebook and Instagram to company insiders. With a majority of the audience coming from the agency side, the conversation and questions posed provided great insights into how to best use these platforms in an agency environment.

The conversation became fixated on the recent rollouts of Instagram Live and Facebook Live, along with Instagram Stories. When asked how to best use these features, Patton and Scott discussed how they are seeing these features play out successfully within the platforms.

According to the company representatives, here are some tips on how agencies can best use Instagram/Facebook Live and Instagram Stories:

  • First, define your brand’s purpose. To do this, decide what makes your brand different from your competition, then celebrate that element on social.
  • Make posts to Stories relevant and local to your audience.
  • Be candid and show what’s going on behind the scenes. This helps viewers understand your culture.
  • Focus on quality over quantity and avoid spamming users’ feeds.
  • Use creative animations that encourage viewers to swipe up for more information.
  • Promote a sense of community that urges viewers to engage with your brand and come back for more.

As brands continue to experiment with these features, it has been interesting to see all the creative ways they are used. From the immediate popularity of “going live” and posting stories, it is evident that the Millennial language is a visual one and Facebook and Instagram have definitely taken notice.


Session: LinkedIn – A Journey from Technology to Reality


Ben Zuckerman | Financial Advisor | Edward Jones

Recap by:

Chelsea Weidauer | Associate Product Specialist | Mindstream Media Group

Even though LinkedIn just underwent a full-on Beverly Hills makeover, the professional social media platform has always been more about function than appearance. This session focused on one of LinkedIn’s most useful functions: creating and fostering relationships to turn social connections into actual clients.

Here are four steps from Zuckerman, a financial advisor at Edward Jones, to help you do just that:

#1) Build a foundation
  • Starting from the base, the best practice to creating a LinkedIn page is to start connecting with those people you already know. This includes current clients, coworkers and potential prospects.
  • The goal for LinkedIn users should be to get over 500 connections. Therefore, the best place to start is with the people you know.
#2) Create your brand
  • Once you have started to acquire connections, the next phase is to focus your message and show your knowledge. Figure out what you want to educate the LinkedIn community about and become the expert on that topic to develop your brand identity.
  • Content is the most important aspect of creating a brand. Post different content throughout the day at different times to see when your targeted community is most influenced by it. This will help find the ideal connections.
#3) Identify ideal connections
  • To find connections in your targeted community, use the search bar at the top of the LinkedIn page starting with who you know. From there, search by occupation, location and unique queries (such as hobbies) to find prospects within the community.
#4) Technology to reality
  • Once your LinkedIn page is seamless and you have your ideal connections in mind, the final step is to reach into reality. Start by reaching out to the prospective client and asking them to connect.
  • Once the prospect accepts, reach back out and explain why you want to connect with the person.
  • After reaching out, write and mail a physical thank you letter to the prospect. This ensures he or she receives the thank you while grasping their attention.
  • Call the client later and talk about their interests based on their LinkedIn profile. This builds a relationship with the client and increases the potential for a business appointment.

Reaching out to prospective clients happens frequently in the digital world. LinkedIn is a great tool to reach out and connect with other business professionals. However, using the influence of technology and bringing it into reality will help you familiarize with a client and garner more customers.

Tips For Building Social Media Campaigns That Actually Work

It seems, at times, that everyone is on social media every free moment they have. While that may be a bit of an exaggeration, it’s not far off. Nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults now use at least one social media site, according to the Pew Internet 2016 Media Fact Sheet. Plus, 76 percent of Facebook users, 51 percent of Instagram users and 42 percent of Twitter users visit their respective platforms daily. Snapchat wasn’t included in the Pew study, but they reported 161 million daily users in the fourth quarter of 2016.

As a business manager or a marketer, are you taking advantage of this vast audience?

If you are, great! If not, we have a few tips to get you started and make sure you’re investing your time and money in the right places.

No. 1: Selecting a platform

To select a social media site or sites, you’ll need to look at who your target audience is, and what you want from them.

A bit of research can tell you which platforms your primary audience uses most and when they’re likely to be online. Facebook has high user numbers in all age ranges. LinkedIn skews a bit older, with some of the highest usage rates from those aged 50 to 60 years outside of Facebook. (Hint: Facebook dominates pretty much all numbers outside of brand engagement. The social network has the largest number of users of any social media platform with more than 200 million in the U.S. alone, according to Pew.)

Beyond looking at flat user numbers, you need to decide if you’re looking for people to learn more about your company or if your primary goal is to generate leads.

  • Instagram has the greatest level of engagement between users and companies, according to Track Maven. So, Instagram might be your platform if you’re looking to build brand recognition.
  • LinkedIn is listed as the primary platform for those looking for employment according to the same study, so it’s your place to be for recruitment campaigns.
  • Snapchat is doing great things with sponsored filters and story formats. You’ll want to consider this if you’re putting on a large event or plan to attend an event put on by someone else.

No. 2: Determine your target audience

Once you’ve got a platform selected, you’ll need to identify your target audience(s). Social media platforms are able to collect vast amounts of information on users, which makes it relatively simple to target by gender, income, location or interest. Remember to target those who already follow you and retarget those who have been to your site but haven’t converted yet. These are two audience groups that have already shown interest and are more likely to convert.

No. 3: Set a line in the sand

Based on past campaigns and industry averages, create some KPIs so you can decide if your campaign is going well and providing the outcomes you need. Your goals need to be realistic, but if you don’t have any set you won’t know if your returns are stellar or stagnant.

Some things you’ll want to consider when setting your KPIs:

  • Market size
  • Geographical location
  • Historical sales
  • Sites used
  • Competitors in the same market
  • Additional local marketing efforts

No. 4: Test your choices

Once you’ve decided on a platform and identified your target audience, it’s time to create your ads, filters or stories. Each of those can then be implemented and tested. Social media is fast-paced, but that means you have a greater ability to test your placements.

Action items to keep in mind when testing:

  • Use multiple images in your ads. Run more than one at a time to see which one garners the most clicks or conversions.
  • Write a variety of ad copy options to see which ones deliver the best returns.
  • Change up the time of day you post your ads to test what works best for your vertical and audience. People probably aren’t going to search for a plumber at the same time of day they search for a restaurant for lunch.
  • If you’re running thought leadership or brand building campaigns, try different calls-to-action to see what verbiage delivers the highest engagement levels. 

Just remember that you should only test one variable at a time to ensure you know what the deciding factor was for your potential consumers.

Once you’ve researched, targeted, implemented and tested, keep repeating the process. It will help you refine your campaigns while staying on top of the ever-changing medium that is social media.

Related content: [Webinar Recording] How Social Ads Can Transform Your Brand.