How Thinking Like a Ballpark Vendor Gets You Great Social Media Ads

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By Noah Jarosh

Imagine it’s Sunday in mid-July and you’re a concessions vendor for a Major League Baseball team charged with patrolling the aisles and selling soda.

It’s a day-game, and the summer heat wages a full-on assault. In section A, you see a sweaty group of people suffering beneath unforgiving sunlight. In section B, the crowd looks sickly, shirts wet with perspiration and somehow already defeated. Perhaps a crowded bus-ride to the game giving them a sense of nausea. Over in section C, one of your vendor buddies just sold a boatload of salty peanuts.

You venture over to each section using your trademarked, ultra-clever, never-fails call of "SODA! Get your soda here!" You’ll probably generate a few sales from those already planning to purchase a soda, however you’re not quite maximizing your full potential.

Instead, you try a new tactic.

In section A, you approach with, "Suffer no more! Ice cold soda here to save the day!"

In section B, you amble in to this apparently carsick group with a quick note about how the ginger in cola helps beat back those nauseous feelings.

In section C, you look at the shell-littered ground and roar out "Salt got you feeling thirsty? Wash down those peanuts with a refreshing soda!"

This is an example of maximizing your potential. Rather than tell people you have a product, you’re quickly and efficiently looking at your audience and telling them why they need your product. If you have an idea of the audience on which you’re focusing, why wouldn’t you use copy specifically targeting those people if you can?

Change baseball stadium to Facebook. Change your job to social advertiser. With Facebook, this strategy is going to be even easier – you get to choose the audiences you’re targeting rather than wait for them to come to you.

Choosing your targets is important when creating ads. Even more important, however, is what those targets are going to see. A good, eye-catching, relevant image is a must—with copy to match. Social Media advertising is unique in that you truly have freedom to more specifically hone in on specific audiences.

More traditional advertising platforms don’t afford that kind of flexibility. You can take an educated guess about who reads Seventeen Magazine, or who watches Better Call Saul, but you won’t know for sure. Facebook and other social media platforms provide a more precise targeting system.

However, you’re not unlocking the full potential of those audiences if you’re using more generic copycopy as if you’re reaching a general, not highly-targeted group of peoplerather than specifically calling to each of your targets.

In some cases, it’s necessary to test general copy. Sometimes, audiences are still too broad or there isn’t necessarily a strong call-out you can use specific to the audience. If you can, however, it’s a fantastic idea to tailor your copy to your audience. Otherwise you’re just hoping you’re reaching people who were already craving a soda.