Social Media Advertising—There’s More to It Than You Think

It is no secret that social media advertising has come a long way since its induction—and even in the past few years. With such quick and exponential growth, social platforms have gone from a place used solely for personal sharing to a place where every brand can benefit from being present and speaking to their audience. With nearly 80% of the United States population active on social media, it’s a mistake to ignore such an accessible audience (especially given the very reasonable price point compared to other advertising mediums)!

Despite the clear benefits, there are some misconceptions about how advertising on social media actually works. We’re here to clear the air— let’s get real about what social advertising really entails.

5 Things to Know About Social Media Ads

  1. There is more to it than meets the eye. Social media advertising is different than other types of ads. Before jumping into this space, it’s important to understand that there are many different pieces that go into a successful social ad. Are you looking to increase engagement, grow your community, or drive traffic to your website (or do you perhaps prioritize all equally)? All these objectives require unique set-up in your ads manager (spoiler alert: and each platform has a very different approach to ads!). Additionally, each has to be treated and analyzed accordingly—not to mention the importance of finding the right copy and visuals to go along with them.
    Learn more about the basics of social media analytics
  2. It can take some trial and error to figure out what works for your brand on each social outlet. Know this ahead of time: there most likely will not be one approach that is the best fit for each of your goals. First, as mentioned above, due to the many different elements involved, there’s a bit of a learning curve: it takes time (and familiarity with your audience) to understand what kind of content resonates and what kind of ads work best. If your first attempt at an advertisement isn’t as successful as you hoped, make sure to analyze what went well (and what may not have) and continue making tweaks until you see the desired results.
  3. Social media advertising is constantly changing. In the world of social media, nothing stays the same for long. Frequently, we see new updates, new targeting parameters and even updates to the ad manager layouts and capabilities themselves. Without some background knowledge, a lot of dexterity, and a little experience with such updates, all those changes can seem paralyzing. That’s why it’s so important to keep a close eye on what’s changing—you want to be able to evolve with the platforms and not be left behind with the old way of doing things. And if all else fails? You can always reach out to us for a little help!
  4. All platforms are a little different. We cannot reiterate this enough: advertising is not the same across platforms! Just as different content may perform better on one platform than another, certain ads and ad types may be best suited for a particular social outlet. Your objective (e.g. website visits, conversions, engagement, etc.) is also important when choosing a platform.
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  5. In a similar vein: there are a number of different types of ads to choose from, and each should be handled differently. Whether geared toward community growth, engagement, website traffic, or leads, each social ad objective requires a specialized approach. For example, if you are trying to generate leads for a blog, using a promoted Instagram post is often not the most cost-effective choice to achieve this goal.
    However, if the goal is to increase engagement on a post that is only applicable to certain regions, you probably want to set some geographic parameters. For community growth ads, on the other hand, you want to widen your targeting parameters—even if your product isn’t widely available in every city across the country (yet, anyway). Why? This can help spark an awareness of and desire for your brand—which can lead to people requesting it by name in-store.

Overall, it’s important to understand that while social advertising may sound like a simple, turnkey solution to get your brand name out there, you first have to take a hard look at your goals and create specific strategies that will help you achieve them. Use trial and error to find out what works for your brand—and once you determine what does, stick with it for your general approach (and as new updates are released, don’t be afraid to try new things!).

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