Actionable tips, community conversations, and marketing inspiration.

4 To-Do’s Before Launching Your First Social Media Ad

Shae Henrie

Sr. Content Marketing Manager @ AdRoll

The social media landscape is full of opportunities for your brand — but you probably already know that. The real question is how to best leverage the various platforms, ad types, and tools to help your brand get ahead.

Luckily, we’re here to help with this checklist of four steps to take before launching your first ad campaign, whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, or TikTok. Let’s jump right in!

1. Create Comprehensive Brand Guidelines

Brand guidelines are living documents that can help you — and your team! — create consistent content across your social media platforms.

When creating brand guidelines, try to answer these questions:

  • What’s our color palette?

  • What fonts should we use?

  • How should our logo be presented? Should it be used at all times or just occasionally? If so, what’s an example of when it might not be appropriate to include our logo?

  • Are we witty, friendly, bold, professional, or helpful?

  • What types of images should we use? Stock or original photos? Lifestyle or product shots?

Learn more about creating a brand guideline here!

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing who your target audience is, where they hang out online, and what type of content they engage with is one of the most important steps before launching your first social media ad. To get started, check out this step-by-step guide to building audience personas — going through this process is the ultimate way to ensure that each post you create is relevant and engaging. From there, you’ll be able to better leverage each platforms’ targeting tools when it comes to filtering your audience according to age, gender, geography, and other demographics. (After all, you don’t want to simply shout into the void and cross your fingers that someone will be there to receive it!)

3. Optimize Your Profile Pages

You’ve probably already set up your profile pages on the platforms where you’re launching your ads, but are they optimized?

When considering what to include in your profiles, think about what information will help encourage shoppers to take an action. This means asking questions such as

  • Is it better to link to our homepage, a collection page, or a landing page?

  • Should we use the same cover photo across platforms or different ones to build a narrative?

  • How can we best adapt our logo for different platforms?

  • Are there hashtags we should include in our profile?

4. Research Your Competitors

In marketing, you rarely need to reinvent the wheel. In fact, it’s often better to see what others are doing and apply their successes to find your own wins.

That said, take the time to conduct competitor research. Thanks to resources like Facebook’s Ad Library, it’s never been easier to see what other brands are doing and how they’re doing it. In particular, try to pay attention to these factors:

  • Their ad formats (e.g., video vs. carousel)

  • Their CTAs (e.g., “learn more” vs. “shop now”)

  • Their ad content (e.g., influencer-driven content vs. brand story content vs. product-led promotions)

  • Their image types (e.g., flat-lays vs. lifestyle shots)

You can also see how your competitors test different copy options while keeping the rest of the elements (e.g., CTA and image) the same.

The World of Social Media Awaits

Beyond these four to-dos, we’ve got one more pro tip: Use an ad management platform. Rather than managing your ads across Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok — where you constantly shuffle between dashboards and attempt to piece together disparate data — an all-in-one platform like AdRoll can save you countless hours and, ultimately, money. Not only will we provide you with insights into how well your campaigns are performing, but you’ll also unlock access to other features such as easy campaign setup, better audience targeting, and real-time optimization recommendations. Learn more about our Connected Social Ads today!

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