Most businesses understand the importance of an active social media presence. With so many users on social, their audience is there, ready to become aware, engage, visit the website, get great customer service and, (ideally), become loyal customers.
While organic social media can be an effective marketing tool (with the right strategy and content), the reality is that organic social media is no longer enough. With changes to the algorithms the social platforms use to display content, organic reach—the number of unique individuals who see your post in their news feeds—is much lower than your actual number of fans.
This is where social advertising becomes a critical piece of your marketing plan. Social advertising, aka “paid social,” guarantees that your content will reach your target audience. With paid social you not only specify who should see your content, but also ensure that those potential customers see your content in their news feed while they are active on the platform.
BENEFITS OF SOCIAL ADVERTISING
Beyond location, gender and other demographic parameters, the social platforms let you target people with everything from their job title and industry to their favorite sports team. You can target your website visitors, your fans, or even an email list of potential clients. LinkedIn offers the ability to target members of LinkedIn Groups—a great way for B2B clients to reach potential customers in their industry.
FLEXIBILITY IN CREATIVE AND MESSAGING
Unlike traditional media, social ads can be tweaked, changed, or swapped out quickly and easily. This gives you the opportunity to optimize your campaigns and continue to build on what is working while dropping what is not working. The platforms will even do a lot of the “A/B testing” work for you by more frequently serving up the ads that are getting the best response.
Additionally, the platforms offer many types of ads—beyond just static images, text and links, most platforms offer many ad variations, including video ads, carousel ads (multiple image panels) and lead ads—which make it very easy to collect pre-populated customer information without even making them leave the social network.
ADS APPEAR NATIVE IN-FEED
One of the biggest benefits of social advertising, the “ads” appear right in the users’ feed, alongside organic content. Many of the best-performing ads contain helpful, informative content (vs. sales-y content), that “feels” to the user like other content they respond to on social media.
With costs often ranging from $.10 to $4 per click (varies by platform and audience), social advertising can be a very cost-effective way to drive awareness, consideration and sales. M
RESULTS ARE MEASURABLE
Beyond the impressions, clicks and engagement data the platforms provide, links in ads can be tagged with UTM codes, allowing you to track user behavior in Google Analytics. From this data, you can understand how your social advertising drives traffic, actions on the website, and conversion.
So when developing a full social media strategy—and defining content that will engage and inform your users—be sure to supplement organic reach with social media advertising to ensure your content reaches your specific audience and you achieve marketing success.