As a patient advocacy group, you are probably using social media channels for all sorts of reasons, such as for supporting patients and care givers, fundraising, community building and increasing disease awareness. However, sadly, being on these platforms and creating great content isn’t always enough to ensure you reach the people you want to reach.
Whatever your goal, paid social media promotion can make a big difference – and your budget doesn’t have to be huge to achieve success. Even with a small amount of money to back social media promotion, you can reap rewards. So here are our five top tips for getting the most from social media promotion on a budget.
1. Identify the best channel for your needs
Using multiple social media platforms at once often results in wasted time, money and effort. Therefore, the first task is to identify the best channel for your needs – where you will get the most bang for your buck.
One of the original social media platforms, Facebook is a staple channel for groups wanting to connect with patients. It offers a number of ways to advertise, including:
- Remarketing – Targeting visitors who have visited your organization’s website with a follow-up ad on their Facebook page.
- Custom audience targeting – Identifying the audience for your promotional ads using existing data, such as email addresses.
- Lookalike audience targeting – Here you can target people who resemble your existing site visitors.
- Highly specific targeting – It’s possible to run ads targeted to a narrow geographic area. This can be helpful for organizations with only a local reach.
As a professional network, LinkedIn is ideal for targeting people based on their profession, as advertisers can identify users based on a wide range of demographic details, including industry, company, company name, company size and job title.
Twitter’s structure rewards topics that are trending in different sections, meaning a smaller group can use the success of larger organizations to boost its own presence. For example, you may see an article published by a much larger organization with thousands of followers that talks about the importance of advocacy work. You can then run a related Twitter ad that piggybacks on the trending article to increase the exposure of your message.
2. Set out goals and optimize
Once you have determined your channels of choice, goals need to be set and social media strategies need to be optimized.
This includes taking note of:
- Target audience and audience segments
- Type of messaging based on target audience(s)
- Estimated existing audience size per network
- Current non-paid post frequency, engagement rate and growth rate (in the case of an existing social media presence)
- Biggest opportunities, based on company goals
- Content topics (for original and curated content) by type.
3. Get creative!
Once a strategy has been outlined, it’s time to put that budget to work!
The best approach is to be creative. Even with little funding, you can make visually attractive posts using free and low-cost graphic design tools like Piktochart and Canva. When planning to share specific content, think about what’s going to engage and resonate with your audience.
4. Track and report results
With your social media campaign underway, you’ll need to track the success of your efforts to see what works best.
Metrics related to engagement and brand awareness are important, but keep in mind what your main goal is, whether that’s increased donations, sign-ups or something else.
Performance metrics to be aware of include:
- Click-through rate – The percentage of clicks a link to your site has received, based on total number of post views.
- Conversion rate – The percentage of social media viewers who have completed a defined goal, such as filling out a form.
- Conversions by campaign – The conversion rate for specific campaigns/ads.
- Return on investment – Even if you do not have a monetary outcome, it is always worth putting a value on your goals, whether it is a sign-up, download, etc.
- Referral traffic – The amount of traffic to your website from your social networks.
5. The final piece of the puzzle: persistence
Being successful on a limited social media marketing budget relies on persistence. Running and tracking social ads is an ongoing process, and you’ll need to keep analyzing what gets the best response from your audience to help optimize the overall strategy. As you collect more and more data, you’ll be able to better hone your social media ads and maximize your success.