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Social marketing mistakes smackdown!

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postedSeptember 27, 2021

Sure, mistakes happen all the time.

  • An email languishes unnoticed in the “Drafts” folder. Oops!
  • You have a tongue-tied moment during a video shoot. Thank goodness for the editing tool.
  • You run out of ink as you’re printing. Hello, Staples!

Social marketing changes constantly, and with all the moving pieces it’s easy, even for savvy marketers, to slip up. Here are three doozies to avoid so that your social marketing soars as we move into a busier travel year.

Blunder No. 1: Your social ads weren’t split-tested

How is a marketer to know exactly what text, graphics, tone, or style appeals to their ad audience? Many marketers make the mistake of going with their gut, which can be a great idea … until audience sentiment changes.

Relying on the science of split-testing is a more accurate way to test the effectiveness of your ad. Split-testing can be set up easily within the Facebook Business Suite or Ads Manager. When you set up your original ad, choose the split test option (A-B Test) available at the Campaign level. You’ll want to test campaigns, ad sets, and ads against each other to understand which strategies yield the best results.

Take advantage of the Facebook algorithm to test ad copy:

  • Does long form work better than short amounts of text?
  • Does your ad perform better with multiple links?
  • Which emojis work best?

Tap into the power of science to understand which style of visuals performs best:

  • still images
  • still images with text
  • animated video
  • video slideshows
  • personal video

These are the two main areas that marketers test, but don’t stop there. You can also test the ad headline, link preview, and ad audience. Stop wasting money on your social ads.

Facebook has recently announced a new ad option; you can opt to have Facebook dynamically exchange ad headline, primary text, and description placements as the algorithm sees fit, based on what’s known about each user. You’ll find this feature to optimize text per person at the Ads level of a campaign.

By creating multiple versions of an ad, you’ll be able to better understand what works for your unique marketing campaign and get the most value for your ad budget.



Blunder No. 2: Ad audiences don’t yield results

No matter which ad objective is selected, which video is chosen, and which text sparks engagement, the failure of an ad may come down to this: You’re talking to the wrong people.

Marketers sometimes fall into the trap of using the same audience for all campaigns. The blunder happens when an audience isn’t customized—or relevant—for the tour being offered. Find more tips to target travel audiences here.

The fix is to create multiple ad audiences and customize them for campaigns. There’s no limit on the number of ad audiences allowed by Facebook. Go wild! Create as many audiences as you need.

Blunder No. 3: Your posts aren’t gaining engagement with your social fans

As travel ramps up and fans become busier with life again, their engagement with posts may drop. Some marketers simply give up, but don’t make that mistake! Simply tweak your process to include the three quick, proven work-arounds explained in this video:

Bottom line

Staying on top of social marketing and advertising may sometimes feel like a slip-up just waiting to happen. Change your game plan with these battle-tested tweaks so that your ads get seen by the right people, who become inspired to react. And here’s my bonus advice for you:

  • As for the ink in your printer, Staples is only a click away.
  • As for editing the video, here are a couple of my favorite tools.
  • And as for the emails in your drafts folder, fire one my way if you have social marketing questions!

Catherine Heeg, president of NTA associate member Customized Management Solutions, focuses on social media marketing strategies for the tourism and hospitality industry. Connect with her at and socially.

Top photo: ©Good Studio/Adobe Stock