Social Advertising: Beyond Facebook
By Audra Balsley | Published March 15, 2018
Although social media is on its way to the forefront of digital marketing, many small business owners are still unaware of how to properly implement this tool into their online campaigns. Businesses often post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. in attempts to draw more attention to their brand and bring in organic leads. Unfortunately, posting on social media very rarely brings about the results we desire. No matter how often you post, or how engaging your content is, your social media reach will remain relatively dormant. A majority of social media posts are only viewed by a handful of people who already follow you, and 50% of social content gets zero shares online. On their own, your social posting efforts are doing little to nothing to grow your business. Now you’re probably wondering how to start using social media the right way. The answer is simple: rather than focusing on social media posts, turn your attention to social media advertising!
So, you want to start using social media ads, but what does that entail exactly? A “social media advertisement” refers to any kind of paid content on a social media platform, which actually gives you a lot of freedom when it comes to what you want to post. Your options could range from a simple promoted tweet or boosted Facebook post to an intricate advertising campaign. Each social network offers different things, so it’s important to explore the advertising capabilities of each platform you want to use before you decide where to invest your time and money.
- Facebook is the most popular social media advertising platform available, and for good reason! The site offers a wide array of advertisement formats, plus the option to simply boost your regular posts. You can also take advantage of Facebook’s advanced retargeting options, which can help you identify and target the audience that will bring you the most business. Target your advertisements based on age, gender, location and more! Facebook’s targeting features allow you to filter your content through a number of detailed options so that you can maximize the value of your ads and boosted posts. Speaking of value, Facebook offers ad campaigns to fit any budget, and pricing is extremely straightforward. The site even offers a detailed guide to advertisements that explains everything from ad format, to content upload!
- Twitter is another great place to advertise, but be warned that your options here are pretty limited compared to Facebook. The site offers three different types of ads: promoted tweets, promoted accounts and promoted trends. While these formats are pretty basic, your ads are categorized by campaign objective to ensure that your advertising efforts do their job effectively. Targeting Twitter ads is extremely detailed and filtered by factors like location, language, device and more. Furthermore, the platform allows you to upload specific lists (such as email lists) so that your ads target specific Twitter users. Pricing and uploading procedures are outlined on the Twitter ads platform.
- Instagram is actually owned by Facebook, so the platform’s three types of ads mirror some of the most popular Facebook formats: photo, video and carousel. Similar to Twitter, Instagram ads can also be be categorized by your campaign objectives, while targeting options are nearly identical to those available on Facebook. Just like on Facebook, advertisers can choose pay per engagement or impression, depending on the type of ad they set up. If you’re already using Facebook, it’s pretty simple to set up Instagram ads. You can use the Facebook purchasing and upload guide, just be sure you choose Instagram as your platform of choice when posting.
- Pinterest keeps it simple with only one kind of paid advertisement. Your ads will appear as “Promoted Pins” that function just like any other pin, except you pay to send your content to a wider audience. On Pinterest, you can run any of three main types of campaigns: awareness, engagement or traffic. There are also three main targeting categories so you can choose to filter your audience by their interests, keyword search terms or business data. Pricing varies based on which type of campaign you choose to run. Once you create a Pinterest business account, you’ll be able to find campaigns priced to fit your business’ budget.
- LinkedIn offers three main types of advertisements, outlined in their business guide. After you choose what type(s) of ads you’d like to run, you have the option to target your content based on users’ position, industry and more, making LinkedIn ideal for B2B marketing and advertising. Just like Facebook, advertisers can pay based on the cost-per-click model or number of impressions, but the site requires a minimum budget of $10/day per campaign.
Starting Out Small
So you’ve decided to start advertising on social media, but where should you begin? Don’t get overwhelmed with an intricate long-term ad campaign; start small instead! Creating a sponsored social media ad from scratch can be a daunting task, especially if you aren’t already a social media mogul. On Facebook, you can start out by simply boosting your existing posts, just choose a budget and click the “Boost” button below the post you wish to advertise. Then you have the option to choose a price point and filter your target audience through either mutual friends/followers or specific demographic filters. You can even decide how many days you’d like your budget to last or change the Facebook account you want to charge. After you boost a post, you can monitor its performance with the Ads Manager.
Whenever you’re ready to begin creating online advertisements, don’t invest heavily in your very first ad or campaign. Instead beta-test a few options and track their performance to see which advertisement is bringing in the most clicks or engagements. It will soon become obvious that some variations of an ad perform better than others. Once you’ve identified the more successful ad(s), you can adjust your budget and campaign to focus on the content that will benefit your business the most.
Keeping Up With The Times
- Be diligent about retargeting! You can adjust your content and audience based on popular culture or industry trends, just make sure you are keeping up with keyword research so that your targeted reach is always up to date.
- Rotate your ads on a regular basis. Just like TV viewers get annoyed when they see the same commercial over and over, social media users get tired of ads quickly. Be sure to switch up your content often and keep a sense of variety between the different ads you run.
- Keep mobile users in mind. In 2016, over 80% of social media users accessed their accounts on a mobile device. It’s important to design mobile ads that are compatible with small screens, so be sure your images can be viewed easily on handheld devices. Mobile advertisements also allow you to take advantage of geofencing, which lets you target mobile users based on their current zip code.
We hope that all of the information above has given you a peek into the world of social media advertising. Now you’re equipped with the basics, but it’s nearly impossible to learn all there is to know about social ads in one day. If you’re ready to begin or update social campaigns for your business, remember that you don’t have to do everything yourself! At Osky Blue, we can put your dreams into action with our paid social marketing services. We handle campaign management across a variety of social platforms to deliver detailed performance results to you. You can either choose your own topics and audience, or let us to the work for you! Our expert digital marketing team tracks keywords and SEO best practices to keep your advertisements effective and up to date. To learn more about our social media marketing services, give us a call today (866) 675-9411.