Wise Up to Social Advertising
A wise man once said that some of the best things in life are free. Between library cards, sunshine, and 30 day Netflix trials, this guy had a good point. However, another (and presumably equally wise) man once said that you get what you pay for. Who’s right here? Well, in the world of social media, they both are. Starting up free accounts on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn and filling them with great content is crucial to gaining and sustaining a loyal follower base for your business. But what if you find this isn’t enough for you? Or what if you just want to boost interest in an upcoming sale or event? Social media advertising can be a great, cost effective way to put a little extra oomph behind your social media marketing efforts.
Facebook advertising campaigns are a very popular choice among businesses and for good reason. With over a billion users (no, seriously, over a billion) actively posting and browsing their newsfeeds, you’re sure to find the perfect target market for your ad.
When creating an ad, the first thing Facebook will prompt you to do is select what type of results you’re looking to achieve. Are you looking for more engagements for a specific post? Do you want more page likes? Or are you just wanting to direct more Facebookers to your actual website? There are options for all of these and more. Basically if there’s something you want to promote online, there’s an audience for it on Facebook.
As far as demographics are concerned, you’re really only limited by your imagination. Geography, age, gender, and interests. They’re all there. Facebook even lets you drill down to exact behaviors of users, which is equal parts “awesome” and “how is this even possible?” If you sell cameras, you may want to target users who upload tons of photos. Luckily, there’s an option for that. If you sell travel accessories, you probably need to get in front of users who are getting ready to go on vacation. You can do that, too.
Unsurprisingly, you’re just as limitless when it comes to budgeting your ads. You can spend as much or as little as you like, with larger budgets achieving better impression and engagement rates, natch. All you do is set a daily or lifetime budget and Facebook takes care of the rest.
Twitter also has a budding ad platform, allowing you to promote your account, a specific tweet, or a trending topic. While not as fully featured as Facebook ads, Twitter ads are great for boosting brand awareness, bringing attention to a promotion or event, and of course, building your brand’s follower base. If those end goals sound good to you, then putting a bit of money behind your Twitter profile might be a good idea.
First you should consider how much a new Twitter follower or a retweet is worth to you. Now is a good time to put a price tag on your followers, because promoted accounts are charged using a cost-per-follower pricing method, while promoted tweets use a price-per-engagement system. There’s no right or wrong answer here kids! Take a look at your budget and how important building your army of Twitter followers is to you and start promoting.
Do you wish to reach a more business-minded audience with your social media ad campaign? Well then focus your efforts on everyone’s favorite digital networking mixer, LinkedIn. While, again, the targeting options are not as robust as the almighty Facebook’s, you are able to drill down and segment your ad’s audience by employer, job title, and skills, making it ideal for sharing and promoting job openings, white papers, and other professional tidbits.
LinkedIn offers both cost-per-click and cost-per 1,000 impressions pricing models, with a minimum CPC of $2. This makes it one of the pricier options, so be sure to promote content that will secure you some healthy leads. In other words, if you’re looking to supplement your brand awareness campaign, we advise you to steer clear of LinkedIn ads.
Parting Words of Wisdom
This way of advertising is one of the many benefits of social media and a great springboard to help you dive into and secure your social media strategy. The ads are easy to launch and just as easy to discontinue at any time. Some say “you have to spend money to make money” (another wise person, perhaps) but we think Coco Chanel put it best, “The best things in life are free. The second best things are very, very expensive.” The more risk you are willing to take, the higher chances for a better return you’ll have. Skeptical? We don’t blame you! Start small, realize results, and work your way up. We’ll look for our thank you card in the mail!