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What is Social Media Advertising?


dreamstime_s_29872041If you’ve experienced success with paid search, you may have given thought to social media advertising. Increasing numbers of small businesses are bringing paid social into their social media strategy, and the diversification of online advertising into social media channels can be seen everywhere.

 

If you run a small business, you might be wondering whether social media advertising is a good fit, especially if your current advertising budget is stretched thin. What ad types will be most effective for your business? Which network has the greatest potential reach? Which platform has the most competitive CPA? These are all important questions for people who are thinking about paid social media advertising, so in this post, we’re going to dive deep into the data and examine the pros and cons of each social media platform from an advertising perspective.

 

  1. LinkedIn

The Good: One major benefit to using LinkedIn is its user base, which consists mainly of business professionals. Over LinkedIn, your ads are almost always seen by business-minded individuals, like yourself. This makes it a social media platform with high conversion rates. Like Facebook, you can also target niche groups in categories like demographics, employee title and location.

 

The Bad: Don’t expect a high click-through-rate for your ad here. However, while you’ll rack in less overall clicks on LinkedIn, the users behind the clicks are much more qualified than they are on the other social media channels.  On Facebook, you may get as many as 1 in 200 impressions; on LinkedIn, it’s common to receive 1 in 500.

 

Another downside in using LinkedIn is the cost of running an ad campaign. It’s normal to pay up to four or five dollars a click. The extra cost may be worth it you, however, because you’re reaching a higher-quality audience for your business and bypassing those who aren’t interested.

 

This company garnered significant results by utilizing this method: the ad received a .10% click through rate, which was double the number market share expected. They also reported seeing more qualified leads coming in through from different verticals.

 

  1. Twitter

The Good: Twitter allows you to target people based on their current interests. Every time someone sends out a tweet with a hashtag, you have the ability to target them via social media advertising; this is just like keyword targeting on Google AdWords.

 

Another way you can effectively target a particular audience on Twitter is by honing in on a particular user. Find someone, like an influencing industry, and target their set of followers to extend your ad’s reach.

 

The Bad: Even though Twitter has a great ability to target users through keywords and hashtags, targeting by interest isn’t as easy. The selection of interests to choose from, are extremely limited. The closest interest category for a B2B inbound marketing agency to choose from is “Marketing.”

 

Choosing this category will not prove to be very effective, since it includes such a vast industry. Twitter has the potential to be a great channel to advertise on, once they expand their categories for advertising.

 

The outcome of this ad campaign was a victory for Girl Scouts. Over 19,500 viewers downloaded the app; which was much more than expected. The key takeaway from this: use photos of your products to supplement tweets and entice visitors. Just like with tweets, an advertisement with an image is multitudes more effective.

 

  1. Facebook

The Good: Facebook has the largest audience, at over 1.19 billion registered users. The major plus with advertising here is the visibility it could give to your company. This makes Facebook a great choice for a small business. With the option to advertise based on location, you can easily increase your reach. Unlike LinkedIn, it’s a very cost-effective option. You can spend as little as a dollar a day per ad.

 

Another pro with Facebook ads are their advanced targeting options. When advertising on Facebook, you can target viewers based on six different categories: location, gender, likes/interests, relationship status, workplace and education.

 

They also do their own form of A/B testing for you. Facebook lets you create multiple ad variations and uses the best performing ad set from those variations. This gives you very valuable information into the effectiveness of each ad your company is producing.

 

The Bad: Facebook as an advertising only has one crucial drawback you should keep in mind: the metrics that Facebook provides regarding ad performance are pretty miniscule compared to other sites.

 

They did this by targeting dog lovers with Facebook’s custom audiences option. Using targeted keywords of people who “liked” different dog breeds, they expanded their business and grew their subscribers to 5,000 per month from Facebook alone.