Whether or not you interact with them, these ads are dispersed throughout the rest of the non-paid content on your social media newsfeed. Ads on Facebook and Twitter have been around for awhile, and recently Pinterest and Instagram have started experimenting with paid advertising. Although your business is already active online, investing in these advertising opportunities could help you stand out from the rest.
The first thing to keep in mind is your audience. Some social media platforms let you target a specific group of people, while others have a broader range. Determining your objectives ahead of time is key to having a successful social media campaign. A few examples of objectives include: sales, brand recognition, and brand reputation. Once you have determined your audience and your objectives, the next step is deciding which social media platform to use.
Recently, Facebook made changes to its advertising program. Business owners can now choose how they would like their potential buyer to interact with their ad. This can range from app engagement, page “Likes,” post-page engagement, app installs, clicks to a website, or in-store offers. After they choose, Facebook then suggests different ad types such as domain ads, offer ads, promoted posts, or sponsored stories. Business owners can even decide where their ad is displayed; whether it be on the desktop, the mobile news feed, or the right sidebar. Facebook’s new Custom Audience feature allows you to upload your email contact list to your dashboard and target your paid Facebook advertisements to your current and prospective customers!
Last month, Pinterest’s first ads went live. Businesses can pay for their advertisement or “promoted pin” to appear at the top of search results and category feeds. For example, if someone searches for “makeup,” a beauty supply store’s promoted pin of mascara might be at the top of the results. The promoted pins are similar to Instagram’s sponsored posts. They are unobtrusive and blend in quite well with the other non-paid posts on the page.
Twitter offers promoted trends, accounts, and tweets. Promoted trends appear in search results and in the user’s timeline. Promoted accounts and tweets show up in search results and in the left sidebar of Twitter. Targeting can be done through keywords. If you decide to advertise through Twitter, you will only be charged when people follow your promoted account or reply, retweet, or favorite, or click on your promoted tweet.
After you have created a few advertisements, make sure to check the performance of your ads. Most social media platforms offer some form of analytics to allow you to track your progress. Starting small allows you to compare and contrast what works and what does not. Measure your results and make changes to your campaign. Find out what works best for your company, audience, and objectives. With 71% of U.S. adults being on a social network, the audience is too large to not take advantage of social media advertising!