How to use naming conventions for social media advertising
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How to use naming conventions for social media advertising

by Eric Kramer, Senior Paid Strategist at Khoros | Feb 10, 2020

In this blog series, a member of the Khoros Strategic Services team dives into a topic they have helped many enterprise brands with, sharing their insights and best practices. Khoros Strategic Services has deep expertise in community management, paid social, analytics, content, and they're ready to help your brand.


Whether you’re in-house or on the agency side, everyone on your extended team should speak a common language when labeling your social advertising campaigns. Most advertisers are pretty organized but fail to consistently use a standardized naming convention. Even when a detailed process has been established, the entire system can break down whenever any of the stakeholders lack discipline to use it.

Without a methodical naming convention framework in place that is tailored to your business objectives and available resources, your teams may struggle to get aligned. Instead of moving seamlessly between campaign planning, execution, optimization, and reporting, there will be unnecessary confusion and inefficiencies. Simply put, there will be no easy way to make sense of your campaigns.

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This guide will outline a few initial steps you can take to help mitigate these risks and allow your social advertising efforts to scale with your growing teams.

1. Attention to Detail

When using your naming convention, be sure to avoid any shortcuts that may apply only to a single campaign. Instead, go with a thoughtful design that will meet the long-term needs of your team and consider every detail. For example, consistently separating each element of the naming with underscores can help provide additional clarity. It also can save a significant amount of time when cleaning up exported campaign performance data, allowing for a seamless separation of delimited naming text.

    Spend the extra time needed to create formalized documentation along with a process to ensure that any changes are immediately updated accordingly. Make this documentation readily accessible for all stakeholders involved and hold them accountable. Without complete compliance, this system is no longer effective.

    2. Think Cross-platform and Multi-level

      When constructing your naming convention, remember that it will need to extend across all social platforms where you are running paid campaigns. Typically this tends to include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Additionally, this process should not be limited to only the Campaign Name.

      Each social platform will have slight nuances, but there are generally three levels to consider:

      1. Campaign level: Campaign Name (all platforms)
      2. Ad Set / Group level: Ad Set Name (Facebook / Instagram), Ad Group Name (Twitter), N/A (LinkedIn)
      3. Ad level: Ad Name (Facebook / Instagram, LinkedIn), N/A (Twitter)

      3. An Example to Reference

      Naming conventions must be customized to the needs of your extended team. Below is a recommended blueprint to consider as a starting point. Keep in mind that this example has been designed for an in-house social team that receives support from several external agencies running global campaigns that are localized at a regional level and reporting is conducted on a quarterly cadence.

      Facebook / Instagram:

      • Campaign Name:
        • Owner: Who created this campaign? Consider using initials as part of this name to easily identify the owner (such as an external agency) so all questions about the campaign can be routed accordingly.
        • Region: Where in the world is this campaign focused on reaching? Identify the most high-level regions such as AMER, EMEA, and APAC.
        • Quarter: Assigning a quarter to each campaign will make it easy to breakdown the data and measure performance across quarterly benchmarks.
        • Year: Providing more context to the quarter.
        • Marketing Objective / Pillar / Initiative: What terminology is used internally to measure your specific marketing efforts? This language should align seamlessly with how your organic content is categorized.
        • Campaign Description: This will provide more clarity on exactly what this campaign is supporting such as an event activation.
        • Example Campaign Name:
          • [KR]_APAC_Q1_2020_Brand_EventXYZ
      • Ad Set Name(s)
        • Owner: Same as above.
        • Region: Same as above. Consider that campaigns often have multiple ad sets and the regions may differ.
        • Campaign Description: Same as above.
        • Country: This will provide more granular detail about the specific country (or cluster of countries) that are being targeted.
        • Targeting Specifics: What else is unique about the audience targeting criteria being leveraged with this ad set? Use consistent language to bucket these approaches such as Prospecting, Retargeting, Lookalikes, 30D Engagers, 10D Abandoned Cart, etc.
        • Placement Specifics: Are you using automated placements or is this ad set only using one or two of them? Use consistent language to call this out such as FB/IG Feeds, IG Stories, etc.
        • Example Ad Set Name:
          • [KR]_APAC_EventXYZ_Japan_30D Engagers_IG Stories
      • Ad Name(s)
        • Owner: Same as above.
        • Campaign: Same as above
        • Content Type: What type of ad creative is being used with this ad (video, image, carousel, etc.)? Providing more granular detail here will make it easier to analyze performance across creative assets.
        • Language: Is the content English-only or has it been localized?
        • Creative Version: Assuming that there are multiple ads in the ad set, make sure to assign a name or number to each ad variation to make it easier to analyze performance.
        • Example Ad Name:
          • [KR]_EventXYZ_Video_Japanese_V1

      Twitter:

      • Campaign Name
        • Owner
        • Region
        • Quarter
        • Year
        • Marketing Objective / Pillar / Initiative
        • Campaign Description
        • Example Campaign Name:
          • [KR]_APAC_Q1_2020_Brand_EventXYZ
      • Ad Group Name(s)
        • Owner
        • Region
        • Campaign
        • Country
        • Language
        • Targeting Specifics
        • Example Ad Group Name:
          • [KR]_APAC_EventXYZ_Japan_Japanese_Prospecting

      LinkedIn:

      • Campaign Name
        • Owner
        • Region
        • Quarter
        • Year
        • Marketing Objective / Pillar / Initiative
        • Campaign Description
        • Country
        • Language
        • Content Type
        • Targeting Specifics
        • Example Campaign Name:
          • [KR]_APAC_Q1_2020_Brand_EventXYZ_Japan_Japanese_Video_Prospecting
      • Ad Name(s)
        • Owner
        • Campaign
        • Content Type
        • Language
        • Creative Version
        • Example Ad Name:
          • [KR]_EventXYZ_Video_Japanese_V1


      What other tips or best practices do you have for developing a naming convention that scales with your extended team? Please let us know in the comments. As always, feel free to reach out to our Khoros Strategic Services team for more insight and support with all of your organic and paid social needs.


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