Auction for Eyeballs: How Much Should You Bid In A Social Media Advertising Campaign?

by Chloe Jung March 13, 2016
March 13, 2016

You’ve spent a lot of time crafting the perfect social media advertising campaign. With beautiful creative, clever messaging, and a hyper-targeted audience, now it’s time to launch and get some eyeballs on your ads.

For many advertisers, choosing a bid is an afterthought. The ad platform suggests a range for your bid, and many advertisers arbitrarily choose a dollar amount somewhere in that range. But did you know that your bid is an important piece of your campaign’s success? Your clever, beautiful ads can’t reach the optimal amount of that hyper-targeted audience without a strategic bid.

Today we’re going to explore the concept of bidding as well as how much you should bid—a sneak peek to some of the content that will be available in our new eBook in just a few weeks (Want to be notified when it comes out? We can make sure you’re the first to know).

Bidding: What’s in a name?

We’ll use Twitter as an example. The term bidding is used because your campaign is actually just one bidder in a massive, Twitter-wide auction. Twitter has an inventory of real estate on their platform to sell, and as an advertiser, you want to buy those impressions.

While Twitter wants to fulfil as many requests for this space as possible, real estate is limited. There are only so many users that meet a certain target audience and only so much ad space on those feeds. So the most impressions go to the highest bidders.

How much should you bid?

You want to be able to buy as many eyeballs on your ads as your budget allows. This means setting a bid that allows you to win the auction every time there is an opportunity to have a member of your target audience see your ad.

While the top end of the suggested range can sometimes appear quite high, rest assured Twitter will only charge you the lowest amount required to win the bid, so don’t be afraid to go high.

We have a campaign running right now with a bid of $ 5 per click. The average cost per click is only $ 1.77, but thanks to our high bid, we are reaching thousands of sets of eyeballs allowing us to max out our daily budget.

Key takeaways:

  • Social ad platforms are one big auction selling impressions. If your bid is too low, you won’t “win” as many impressions over other advertisers competing for the same audience.
  • Don’t be afraid to bid high to win these auctions. Unlike a traditional auction, you won’t actually pay that price. You will only pay the minimum amount required to win.
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