To some, social media is their method of choice for communicating mundane events, thoughts and meme’s throughout their day; to others it can be a tool used to inspire, share and create (after all they did manage to get the Wispa back on shelves in the UK) and then there’s the rest of us who spend the majority of our daily commutes glued to our handheld devices, providing we aren’t driving in.
For businesses however, it presents an opportunity to create highly targeted campaigns to Improve Brand Loyalty, Recognition, Convert, Increase Traffic and Improve Customer Service at a relatively low cost.
Simply put, Social Media Advertising is a monstrous business worth in excess of $23.68 Billion or in £15187275744 (feel free to put the commas and work out what it is in your own time) come the end of 2015, according to Emarketer. And is set to increase year on year, with an expected spend of $29.91 Billion in 2016 and $35.98 Billion in 2017.
There are too many people using Social Media to ignore it. Facebook alone, if considered a county, would be the most populous nation in the world, which is quite frankly mind boggling.
It allows you to be responsive to real time situations, both positive and negative whilst being able to measure ROI and engagement. Tom Pick goes into a little more depth on those points in this article, with some fascinating facts too.
When creating a social media strategy, like TV & Radio channels, they have differing audiences along with different characteristics and behaviours. You need to make sure you choose the correct platform to convey your message. Fingers cross this guide should help.
Still the daddy of social media, Facebook has a fairly even split between genders 49% men 51% women.
The age demographic is a little older than some others, with 22% of users being in the 25-34 age group. Whilst the younger generations cannot be ignored as 11% of users are aged 13-17.
Using Facebook for your advertising gives you a couple of options.
On average, pages and posts organically reach 16% of their fans according to Facebook, as users may miss content if they aren’t online at the time of posting. Sponsored posts basically increase the reach and allow you to target audiences based on their likes, location, age, gender, or their interests; whilst appearing to be relatively organic on a user’s newsfeed. In the past marketers have been a little hesitant about using boosted posts, as it was a little sloppy. However Facebook have improved over the past year or so, developing a far more useful and targeted tool.
Costs vary depending on budget. Obviously the more you spend, the bigger the reach. Be wary of the estimated reach as the bigger the budget, the wider the range, as can be seen in the image below.
The Paid Adverts on Facebook are something people will be a little more familiar with. They’re a lot like banner ads you see on websites. However, they offer a much more targeted approach, similar to the sponsored post.
You’re also able to edit, pause and set timelines for these adverts, allowing you to have full control over the campaign.
One of the slightly more unorthodox techniques that can be used for Social media is the use of Influencers.
If you have a particular thought leader in a niche you’re trying to reach, offering products to giveaway in competition or paying for a sponsorship with the person can also be done. Be wary however, depending on how much they like your product or service, some of the bigger names will charge a hefty fee. Kevin Cain has written a superb article regarding influencers, which is certainly worth a read.
If you’re keen to further your reading the following sites have some superb tips:
As of the first quarter of 2015, Twitter had 236 million Monthly users. Looking at the use by various genders, there aren’t any hard figures, however over 24% of Adult Men use Twitter, in comparison to 21% of Adult Women using twitter.
Two thirds of the Twitter users are aged 34 or under, with 40% them below the age of 25. The popularity of this young target market has led many businesses in the UK to invest heavily in their Twitter presence.
Promoted tweets are paid for tweets that appears relatively naturally on the timeline and on the Search Results, apart from the promoted label as show below.
Twitter decide how to show the promoted tweet to depending on whether they deem the content to be relevant or interesting to that user, depending on a variety of signals. These include what a user “chooses to follow, how they interact with a Tweet, what they retweet”. The fact that signals are used rather than certain criteria of a user, means this isn’t as targeted as Facebook. However, using the signals means Twitter is finding people who are more likely to be interested in your offering. For more information on the promoted tweets, check out the twitter page about it.
Similar to Facebook, Twitter can be used to increase brand recognition across particular niches using Influencers in a particular field. Unlike Facebook, the permanency of a tweet is far less than that of other social media forms, so a collaboration which spans a number of days or week, is likely to be the most effective. Again see the article alluded to in the Facebook influencers section to find out a little more.
This is a little different compared to Facebook and Twitter. This is of a far more professional environment, which is perhaps why Linkedin is also one of the most underused social networks in-terms of advertising. This professional niche should be relayed in the messages and adverts used. With over 300 million users and over half being in the ages between 30-64, this is a considerably older demographic.
Another point worth making is that over 60% of Linkedin users make over 75,000 a year, which means it could be a potentially very fruitful hunting ground, providing the right message is relayed to the right people.
So far my experience with these ads have been surprisingly enjoyable. Which is astonishing bearing in mind how intrusive I find them over email. They’ve been very relevant and insightful, so props to the “finding the people who ‘matter most’ algorithm” guys and girls. In part I think this is because almost all of the messages I have received have been personalised with a genuine sound to the message. So bare this in mind if using it.
Similar to sponsored posts and tweets on Facebook and Twitter, these are viewed as more native advertising which appear more “organic” and “natural” in the LinkedIn Feed. This can be used to build awareness and relationships whilst driving leads.
Due to their natural appearance, interactions and engagement are generally are higher than other forms of advertising.
These ads are found on the right hand side of the LinkedIn Feed. I attempted numerous times to best explain what these are without sounding incredibly repetitive. So I thought who better to explain what they are than LinkedIn, who state that Display Ads allow you to “Reach a high-value audience of business professionals on and off LinkedIn. LinkedIn Display Advertising allows you to target the right professionals to keep your brand top of mind, wherever they travel online. Track the impact of your display ads through built-in campaign and website analytics.”
For a little more information about advertising on LinkedIn have a read of their advertising and marketing solutions.
So there you go, the ‘Relatively Brief Introductory Guide to Advertising on Social Media’, if you have any questions, or think I’ve missed any key nuggets of information, let me know in the comments below.