Paid social media is a growing medium. According to Hootsuite, more than two billion people use Facebook and more than 800 million people engage with a post every day. And Sprout Social reports that one-third (32 percent) of Facebook users engage with brands regularly. That means there is a lot of potential to reach your organization’s audiences.

But if you invest in paid social posts, how do you ensure that your posts are reaching the right people? Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you plan your next campaign.

First, Know Your Audience

Who does your organization serve or who is it trying to reach? All social media content should be directed at these people and use messaging and visuals that appeal to them. If you’re trying to reach people aged 60-65 in rural Oregon, your approach will be different than when trying to reach Millennials in the Portland metro area.

If you’re not sure of these details, check out our tips on how to do your own audience research on any budget.



Next, Create An Audience in Facebook

Facebook provides an easy step-by-step guide to help you narrow down your audience to be as specific as possible. You can manually select gender, age, location, political party, occupation, interests, behaviors and more. Or if you already have customer contact information, you can create a customized list of people.

After you’ve selected your preferences, Facebook will give you an estimate of how many people you will reach. For example, I created a sample audience of men, aged 25-60 in Lincoln City, Oregon whose interests include football and soccer. Facebook estimated that there are 2,100 individuals who fit into that profile.

Finally, How Do You Want Your Audience to React?

Every social post should include a call to action. Do you want your audience to visit your website, sign up for your newsletter or purchase tickets to an event? Clarify what you are asking, such as with this post by Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East which asks for volunteers:

Still not sure how to start your campaign? There’s an annual Facebook Ad Awards that honors the most moving, profound and successful ad campaigns of the year. Check out last year’s winners for inspiration for your own campaign. And contact Prichard if you’d like to talk more about how to reach your target audiences with Facebook.