HOW EFFECTIVE ARE SOCIAL MEDIA ADS?
Social media is one of the largest digital advertising platforms in the world today. The social media scene has grown over the years, currently registering a whooping 3.8 Billion users all over the world, from the 4.5 billion internet users. These figures are shy of half the world’s total population! If this still doesn’t convince you, you would be happy to know that people spend an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes of their day on social media messaging apps. Social networks have transformed marketing and their popularity is ever-growing. Social media networks vary in their popularity depending on different demographics. Knowing how to effectively use social media is one of the most powerful digital skills that you can acquire for your company.
Also called online marketing, it is the use of social media platforms to connect with your audience to build your brand, increase sales, and drive traffic to your website. It involves publishing great content on all your social media platforms, listening to your followers’ needs or pain points about your product or service, and engaging with your followers through interactive posts that encourage comments or likes. It also involves analyzing the results and running social media advertisements.
Social media advertisements are a form of digital advertising that directs paid ads to your target audience using several social media channels.
There are many social media channels that marketers all over the world are using, the largest currently being Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, and Snapchat.
The terms social media marketing and social media advertising have often been used interchangeably. They however do not mean the same thing. While social media is essentially free, social media marketing is any action that you take on social media that is not paid. It encompasses posting about your blogs, sharing information with your followers, commenting on social media posts by others. Marketers discovered that competing with other brands and letting your company to stand out is becoming increasingly difficult, hence the need for social media advertising, which is the action that you would take to pay for your social media content for it to be shared with your target audience.
Types of social media advertising
There are several types of social media advertising tactics however, we shall focus on these three main types. We shall drive our focus to their numbers, what makes them most successful, how their pricing is done, and how to best succeed in each of these three types of advertising.
- Facebook advertising
- Instagram advertising
- LinkedIn advertising
Facebook boasts of over 2 Billion users, and is considered the largest social media channel. The large Facebook numbers have proved a lucrative advertising platform for marketers. Facebook is also known for its large conversion rate and marketers have reported large profits from the same.
The price of Facebook ads varies based on the audience you are trying to target as well as the budget you have set for the advertising. The Facebook algorithm however works in a way that the more money you spend, the more your ad will be shared with people.
To succeed in Facebook advertising, ensure that you don’t send out the same ad to all your audiences. It is important to know the demographics of who you are targeting and craft messages that will suit them. When setting ads, also use the opportunity to teach people about your brands and only use retargeting ads to seal the deal with people who have already interacted with your brand. The use of emojis has also spread like wildfire, and is considered the most effective when driving call to actions.
While Facebook’s large numbers make it the largest social media platform, Instagram has the highest engagement rate. Instagram boasts of 500 Million active monthly users and commands 58% higher engagement rate than Facebook.
Instagram is heavy on images and sellers of products that are visually appealing are able to incorporate visual media into their campaigns and they tend to perform best on this social media channel.
The cost of Instagram advertising is similar to that of Facebook and is based on who you are targeting as well as your budget.
To succeed in Instagram advertising, ensure that you use pictures of real people on your campaigns, do not use stock photos for Instagram. Ensure that you use appropriate hashtags for people to be able to find your content easily. In addition to this, offer irresistible offers. Instagram’s visual nature takes impulse buying to the next level, but you won’t tap into that if you aren’t offering something compelling.
LinkedIn is another unique social platform that revolves primarily around the B2B market. LinkedIn has an estimated 227 million monthly active users.
Unlike most social platforms, which excel at B2C advertising, LinkedIn is uniquely suited for B2B ads and social media marketing campaigns.
LinkedIn ads are priced on pay per click (PPC) and are charged using the same as Facebook algorithm.
To succeed on LinkedIn, you need to craft your messages to fit professional needs and how you can solve them. LinkedIn users also prefer shorter, pithier messages as opposed to their Facebook counterparts.
5 Core pillars of Social media marketing
Now that we understand what social media marketing is and the types of social media advertising, we want to implement all these into our marketing strategies to establish the best results. However, before we dive right in and start publishing ads and content to our social media pages, it is important to take a step back and rethink your social media strategy.
You must understand what your goals are and how this kind of marketing will help propel you towards them. Do you want to increase brand awareness or generate sales? You must clearly stipulate this in your strategy.
It is at this stage where you must decide the social media channels that you think will bring you the most conversions and help you achieve your marketing goals. The kind of messages that you wish to propagate are also decided while creating your strategy. It is important to conduct market research and know who you would like your target audience to be, therefore craft messages that will best suit them. Whether you wish to go with educative posts or entertaining posts, include it in your strategy.
When it comes to publishing your content, ensure you are consistent. This will allow anyone who views your ad and visits your pages or website to see that you are a company that is consistent. This builds trust in the business, and also helps your followers engage with your content regularly.
Publishing is the easy part though, you must create your content in advance to ensure that you never lack content to post. There are several third-party apps that help you plan and schedule your content to be published at the time that you wish.
As your business and social media following grows, you will notice people are getting more active on your page and people are having conversations about your brand. You also need to be very keen and ensure that you do social media monitoring because people may talk about your brand without necessarily mentioning you. Keep an eye out for compliments and complaints and assist accordingly.
Ensure that you respond to your messages and comments regularly. Also, include call to actions to help drive engagements on your posts.
Analytics is arguably the most important part of social media marketing and advertising. It helps us evaluate what is performing best and helps us focus our marketing efforts towards that. Without conducting analytics regularly, we would merely be posting and advertising on social media channels without being effective.
You need to know how your social media marketing or advertising is performing. Are you reaching more people on social media than last month? How many positive mentions do you get a month? How many people used your brand’s hashtag on their social media posts?
The social media platforms themselves provide a basic level of such information. To get more in-depth analytics information or to easily compare across social media platforms, you can use the wide range of social media analytics tools available
When you have more funds to grow your social media marketing, an area that you can consider is social media advertising. Social media ads allow you to reach a wider audience than those who are following you.
Social media advertising platforms are so powerful nowadays that you can specify exactly who to display your ads to. You can create target audiences based on their demographics, interests, behaviors, and more.
Advantages of social media advertising
Social media marketing requires both strategy and creativity. While it may seem overwhelming, its importance cannot be overstated. It’s benefits extend far beyond increasing sales. However, not all businesses are aware of the benefits of social media marketing. There are numerous points to be considered for social media advertising including:
- Increased brand recognition
Regular posting on social media platforms allows companies to interact with the clientele on familiar grounds. This constant interaction creates a picture of credibility. Once customers are familiar with your brand, they are more likely to recommend your brand to friends and family thereby, increasing your brand reach.
- Increased customer loyalty Advertising on social media creates an open service platform where customers can express their views and feelings about services and products offered. By listening to consumer opinions, customer satisfaction levels rise exponentially, and along with the loyalty to your brand is forged.
- Increased conversion rates With the large numbers that we currently have on social media, conversion is expected. Increased brand visibility that comes with advertising in social media, more leads will visit your website, and the chance of conversion also increases. With a well-articulated media advertising plan, a company can improve its sales and profits.
- Cost-saving Compared to conventional marketing, social media marketing does not require a lot of monetary resources. With an internet connection and computers, a company can minimize its marketing costs by a significant margin. Therefore, using social media to market products and services is an efficient way of reducing companies’ operational costs.
- Better Search Engine ranking Having a social media page alone does not exactly improve search rankings. More people use Google, Bing or other search engines to find products or services online. If your business has a social media listing, chances are, it will appear among the top search results of a related product or service, leading to a wider visibility. Search Engine Optimization tools are another attractive option due to their ability to drive more traffic to company websites and achieving higher search rankings on the same.
Social media advertising has grown to be a favorite marketing option for many business start-ups and organizations globally. This is due to the ease of using social networking sites to sell products and services. The results are almost always immediate, which allows companies to gauge the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. Social media marketing and advertising has become an integral part of any marketing program regardless of the size or nature. It is a great opportunity to increase sales while minimizing costs; one that no company or organization should let pass.