Victory 2020: Win the Social Airwaves with Modern Tools and Tactics

Victory 2020: Win the Social Airwaves with Modern Tools and Tactics

April 4, 2019

Key Takeaways

Look at social media as an acquisition channel. Social will help you get more volunteers, more donations and more visibility. You can also use social to shape opinions and move forward agenda items. However, with the rise of algorithm defined feed, organic engagement is much harder to accrue.  You can surmount the machine by combining smarter paid social promotion, organic social scheduling, and social analytics.

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Recommended Resources & Guides:

Paid Social Promotion

Organic Social Scheduling

Social Media Analytics

Recap of Key points:

State of Social:

  • When Social Media was young, you could get results on social without sophisticated strategies
  • Organic engagement has declined and is unlikely to recover to earlier levels
  • Overall user growth has slowed, while content being shared and produced has increased at an exponential rate
  • Social is increasingly competitive
  • Social News Feeds are still a critical acquisition channel
  • Facebook and Instagram are the areas that you should concentrate on
  • Don’t get caught up on vanity metrics like Page Likes or Followers, focus on engagement and conversions

How do you reach the right people? Promote Smarter

  • Always test the creative packaging of your content; test Your Thumbnail, Post Text and Headline to see what resonates well with your audience
  • The creative packaging that works best varies by channel (social, email, website)
  • A/B Testing Emails/Websites will not replace A/B Testing Social Content - they’re complimentary
  • Focus on selectively boosting only your most important posts. You’ll typically get more yield from putting the same budget behind a paid Facebook A/B test
  • Identify your most valuable KPIs and maintain a tight focus.
  • Target complementary KPIs. E.g. pair top of funnel visibility campaigns with down funnel conversion campaigns
  • Start using Facebook Campaign Budget Optimization. It will be the de facto way to run Facebook and Instagram ads starting fall 2019
  • Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use Facebook Campaign Budget Optimization

Schedule Posts Intelligently

  • Manage expectations around your organic content performance. Organic performance today is lower than it was a few years ago.
  • There’s no best time to post, most channels are algorithmic
  • There’s no sentence formula that will get you higher engagement
  • Posting through vetted partners will not negatively affect your reach
  • If you put paid spend behind your content, your organic content will not suffer
  • Focus on creating quality content and space our your posts
  • Recirculate top pieces of content (2x-4x over some weeks)
  • Plan posts out in advance, but leave room for trending content

Focus on the Right Social Analytics

  • Get social analytics tracking in place so you can understand how your content is performing and improve upon it.
  • Pick a few core action KPIs, like impressions, traffic, clickthrough rate, donor acquisition rate, donor acquisition cost, and average donation. Gauge time and cost efficacy
  • Use Facebook’s tracking pixel -- install it on any web property you own or manage
  • Also use Google Analytics. It will give you a broader picture than Facebook
  • Some tools will help you get metrics on just organic performance, while others give you just paid performance. Use Naytev to get a full picture of everything that's happening across organic and paid social.


Q: How should I go about building the best target audiences for social ads?

A: There are a variety of ways, but first let’s cover the 3 audiences that Instagram and Facebook support.

  • Lookalike Audience: A lookalike audience looks like a base audience that you pick. The base audience could be people on your donor list, are subscribed to your email newsletter, individuals that have visited your site, etc.
  • Custom Audience: A custom audience builds off custom data (i.e. a csv of emails that Facebook matches to users)
  • Saved Audience: People who fall into certain demographics that you care about chosen fromFacebook’s demographics selector. (i.e age, demographics, area, interests, income, even zipcode)

Focus on 3-5 audiences to start and then expand. Some people create dozens of audiences and they reap very little return.

Pick Audiences according to your goals:

Engagement and Traffic Goals: Broad Audience of 1-10 million individuals

  • 1% Lookalike Audience based on page fans
  • Custom Audience Comprised of Website Visitors in the Last 30 Days
  • Saved Audiences

State Level Campaigns/Pointed Policy Issue Goals

  • Totally fine to user smaller audiences of 1,000-100,000
  • However, because you’re targeting a smaller number of people the more expensive it can be and the longer it can take for ads to run

Custom Objective (need someone to fill out an email capture form)

  • Use a Custom Audience Based on People who have visited your website or are “known” to you to improve conversion rates.

Q: How much money do I need to spend to run a test?

A: It depends on the type of test that you want to run.

Smaller Test, Aimed at Impressions or Engagement:

  • $20/Day - which message is working best?
  • Best practice - use 6-9 message iterations, $40 budget, over 2 days

Higher Value Events (Complete A Donation, Email Signup, Volunteer Signup)

  • More expensive
  • You’ll want to pick a budget based on the formulas below.
  • $50 x total campaign days
  • Event Value x 100 (ex. You want to spend $2 per newsletter signup and you want 100 signups - $200)
  • Pick whichever value is greater.
  • Why x100? Facebook takes 50 conversion events to learn how to optimize for the event. You have a decent baseline of how something is performing and how to make that successful.

Q: How do I build a fanbase on social?

A: Building out your fanbase is not as high yield as what you’ve gotten in the past. We have found campaigns optimizing for Page Fans lead to lower quality “fans” vs. running a campaign for engagement.

Q: Which social network should I focus on?

A: On the paid side, focus on Facebook and Instagram. It’s the highest yield place to spend money. On the Organic side we recommend focusing your attention on Organic Posting on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.