Using Social Media Advertising to Promote Products

The original scope of work for Heads or Tails planned to have our print materials primarily distributed in bulk via CBOs, clinics, and libraries, with a secondary distribution at community health fairs, pride events, and other outreach opportunities. As the health and safety precautions required by COVID-19 made these plans impossible to carry out, we shifted to direct-to-consumer promotion of our print and digital comic books to supplement the organic posts on our social media accounts.

In May and June, we ran three campaigns on Instagram and Facebook, two of which were boosts of previous posts and one which was designed specifically for the ad run. Across the three campaigns, which each ran for a week or less, we reached over 34,000 people with over 48,000 views of the ads (i.e., some people saw the ad twice). Two ads had campaign goals of driving traffic to our website, and resulted in 449 clicks on the ad. The final ad sought user engagement (e.g. likes, comments, shares) and that post had engagement from 1,079 users.

With ad targeting, we were able to have our ads shown only to men who had expressed an interest in LGBTQ+/Pride related content on social media. We chose not to target by age, but had the greatest campaign success with ages 25-34, a group that accounted for 25% of our total ad clicks. We spent a total of $500 on all three ads combined, for an average of $0.75 per click and $0.20 per engagement. In the two months the ads were running, we saw a 337% increase in website traffic over the same period in the previous year. During that time, we also had 183 orders placed for over 2,000 print books, 660 digital downloads, and 300 requests for “postcard grab bags” featuring a minimum of 10 original pieces of artwork (i.e., over 3,000 postcards distributed). This was a satisfactory return on our investment, and we will continue to explore the use and further targeting of social media advertising in the future.

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