Compared with more established marketing channels, social advertising is still in its infancy; which explains why brand managers and marketers can still feel challenged when it comes to proving the value of a social media advertising campaign.

In fact, there is often a tendency amongst many in branding to believe that social advertising will not cover costs. This belief dilutes social advertising’s value and impact, and it is high time to address this common misconception and raise expectations.

There is no reason why social advertising shouldn’t cover costs while also generating profit.

However, accurately measuring social advertising requires going beyond the current reliance on clicks and engagements.

Proving value for traditional performance marketing is much easier as good results and high returns are evident in the key metrics associated with each objective.

In the case of a conversion campaign, however, it can be more difficult to prove as cost per conversion is the most important metric, and presents more of a challenge to attribute value.

Reaching an effective cost per conversion rate includes many different channels such as tv, outdoor, digital, etc. Attributing a value to each channel for a conversion is a complex challenge for any brand, and marketers need to familiarise themselves with their brand’s unique conversion paths in order to effectively measure social conversions.

They now have the tools to do so. Certainly, with the advancing speed of social technology, they can now implement native and third party tracking to accurately define the entire consumer journey, from awareness all the way to key business metrics such as sales and ROI.

This comprehensive exploration is leading to bigger and better analyses, insights and effective campaign adjustments, and is a huge step beyond traditional social media metrics, and, as a consequence, it offers brand managers unprecedented control in tailoring their campaigns.

Let’s look at three key elements to successful social advertising;

1. Know What Success Looks Like

Brand managers need to ensure they have clear measurements for the outcomes they expect. These need to be well defined as they will be the benchmark by which they will drive the entire campaign. Understanding the most important ad formats and key metrics is vital to analysing what success looks like.

Online advertising delivers accurate ROI, something that is more guesswork in traditional advertising.

With new products, platforms and capabilities constantly emerging, it can be difficult for brands to remain focused on their core social media strategy. Keeping main business objectives front of mind, will help brands avoid distractions that new platforms might cause.

2. Focus On Key Metrics Associated With Each Objective

Google AdWords and Facebook re-targeting enable marketers to get in front of those who are actively in the buying cycle. However, it is vital to understand the difference between the two.

When set up and managed properly, AdWords is one of the best sources for new customers who are already searching for a defined product or service, as it targets users actively looking for specific information.

Social advertising complements this by targeting new customers who don’t yet know what they specifically want but are the right demographic group to become interested customers.

From there, marketers can start exploring other suitable channels. Obviously, the ones chosen will depend on the particular brand product or service.

3. Hyper-Target

When it comes to the target audience, less is more. A hyper-targeted audience enables marketers to gauge exactly who their most lucrative audience segments are. 

Once they have this information, they can scale up. This is where Facebook ads come into their own as it targets people based primarily on their interests. It is a highly cost-effective acquisition marketing channel that will enable brand managers to build their audience pipeline.

A recent survey of advertising professionals worldwide showed that 61% of respondents expected an increase in social ad spending for Facebook and 40% of respondents expected an increase for LinkedIn and Instagram.

Some of the core benefits include fine-tuned targeting, a large mobile audience, extensive analytics, improved scalability, and upward trending click-through rates.


Defining how established and known a brand is, or how much the audience likes the advertised products is key. Generally speaking, well established brands produce more cost effective results due to an already existing high level of brand awareness. However, that doesn’t mean that smaller brands can’t achieve impressive results; rather, building awareness needs to be worked into the campaign.

Social advertising certainly offers organisations of all sizes great returns on investment. However, without the expertise to navigate, what still appears like a relatively new advertising landscape to those outside the sector, it is easy for companies’ to rapidly become frustrated as the returns are scarce and their budgets get sucked dry.

And, one final word of advice, it is key to remember that the focus should not be on brand awareness but rather on getting your target audience to experience your brand. Only positive brand interaction will have a transformational effect on your bottom line.