Do you frown at the mention of paid social media?
Do you think “It’s Facebook and its free, why should I pay? You just want my money.”
Worried about the cost? This isn’t 2013; paid social media is within reach of everyone with a marketing budget these days. Paid social media is the fastest way to build a social following. I bet your business is not on the level of Coca Cola or BMW, and THEY use paid ads.
Paid Social Media Ads
Now, I’m not talking bout £5 Likes on Fiverr (the quickest path to a Google slap, if you ask me); but paying the top social media platforms for more exposure. The beauty of this is that you can channel the exposure anywhere you like. New blog post? New product launch? Opt-in form? Anywhere.
While all these platforms have free options, as a business owner, you must realize your reach is limited if you use free channels. For example, on Facebook, only those who have liked your page will see your latest updates (recent reports show that even this reach is dwindling).
There is nothing wrong with going the organic route and leveraging customers reviews and asking them to tell their friends, in order to get likes. But that is a painfully slow path to the success you want.
On every platform, there is the paid option, where for a small fee (with precise targeting), you can reach more people with your offer. This is especially useful if you are new to marketing online.
Options available on the big three Social Media sites
FACEBOOK – It’s the largest social network, so it shouldn’t be hard to reach people, right? However on Facebook, users take the concept of social a bit far and get really click-happy. While a post can get 300 likes, it may also lead to zero sales or sign ups. People ‘like’ a lot of posts on FB. This ends up skewing metrics for businesses that need to track clicks.
To stand out among Facebook’s 18 million business pages and the sheer mass of content that gets posted, you need to use paid posts.
Got a one-day deal for mums in Preston with a background in teaching? Easy peasy when you use Facebook’s Insights tool for better targeting. The platform allows you get your ads in front of the people that are most likely to be interested in your offer.
Using multiple ad types, you can further drill down. Some ads you can run are:
- Page Post Ads – This ad can be a post on your page and you can set your ad spend on a per impression basis. It can also be set to target users who aren’t fans of your page yet.
- Promoted Content – Got a post you want people to see? Maybe an offer that your fans will like, for a flat fee, use this option to direct them there.
Be sure to track and test your ads. Marketers advise you swap out headlines then images then content, in that order, when testing.
TWITTER – The brevity of Twitter messages leads many to doubt its efficacy for marketing, but it also has its place in your arsenal. If your product serves a younger demographic, Twitter is your go-to platform. On Twitter, you can also target by location, language, gender, interests etc. You can run these ads:
- Twitter Cards: By embedding a button in your tweets, you give customers the chance to sign up to your email list.
- A Promoted Account – New to Twitter? You can quickly amass followers with a promoted account. Targeting them by location and even tapping into your competitors followers, you can quickly gain targeted followers.
- Promoted Tweets: Twitter’s cheapest advertising option allows you to ‘boost’ the views of your old tweets or promote new ones. You are only charged if a visitor clicks, retweets, favourites or starts following you. You can also stop the ads being shown to your existing followers.
Like on Facebook, occasionally test your ads. You’ll find that you can always tweak it a little.
LINKEDIN – We discussed the network for professionals last week and how consistent posting here can help your brand grow. Like the other platforms, they have paid options such a standard ad, sponsored updates that allow you promote a post to a much wider audience than those in your groups.
These three cut a broad swathe across all available demographics. Yes, Pinterest, instagram and YouTube also offer excellent opportunities to find new customers. But mastering paid ads on these three will allow you learn the ropes while also attracting customers.
With the cost of running ads and paying staff to create ads, tracking your ad spend and ROI is a no-brainer. Determine that with these steps:
- What is your measure of success across each platform? What are your goals? Twitter followers? More LinkedIn Group members? Facebook Likes?
- How are you tracking engagement? All platforms have dashboards where you can track the spread of your posts and see how many people are engaging and taking action.
- Track and see if there is a marked increase according to your set goals.
- Finally, determine how much it is costing you to acquire customers.
At this point, you should have an idea of which platform is working for you and if the leads from there are profitable. With this data in hand, your next marketing campaign will be profitable from the onset.
So, are paid social media ads worth it? Yes. For the customers acquired and the data generated.
Whatever your business model, there’s at least one social platform that is ideal for you. Be sure to boost your reach on the platform with paid ads. Don’t know where to start? Contact Search and More for an audit and a bespoke marketing plan fr your business today.