Paid social media has become a day-to-day activity for many advertisers – no longer is it a feared advertising medium amongst agencies and merchants. It’s interesting, then, that many in the advertising industry and even advertisers themselves have little nice to say about this medium.
In my opinion, paid social media has its place and will continue to be an important tool in any fully-integrated online strategy. Neglect your social media presence, and you’re effectively turning your back on your customer base.
As with all forms of advertising, a paid social strategy needs to be carefully considered and optimised. Failure to understand your target audience (it’s not uncommon for advertisers to have absolutely no idea of whom their customer base really are) and failure to decide upon a solid goal often leads many businesses to simply give up on paid social advertising altogether. High CPAs and unobtainable cost-per-likes/shares are often the reason many give up on paid social too soon.
So, here is my list of benefits of paid social advertising – these should give you food for thought if you’re not already promoting your social pages/posts.
Extending Your Social Following
- This nearly goes without saying, but you’ll be surprised how many people still see paid social media as a purely acquisition-based medium. If your product speaks for itself and already commands a relatively strong social following, then you’ll almost definitely see a strong increase in followers through promoted posts and pages. Effectively, paid social advertising allows you to cut through the noise, as it were. Before long, you’ll be able to work out an effective cost-per-like or follow, thus, your social growth can become scalable as per your available budget. And as your social following increases, so too do your chances of obtaining new leads or sales. It’s all well and good relying on organic social growth, but if your competitors are promoting their social pages and you’re not, then you’ll never compete with them in social media.
- New Acquisition Social media can be perfect for reaching customers who haven’t heard of you, but are ready to spend money on your awesome product. If your product offering is strong, and you can easily narrow down your customer base, then you may succeed in acquiring sales or leads at a low CPA. Ultimately, social advertising is still a form of display advertising, in which users are targeted earlier on in the buying cycle, where buying intent is low or minimal. Consider, plan and execute a well-oiled social advertising campaign, and you’ll be more likely to succeed. Broaden your audience too far and neglect your target market, and you’ll inevitably make a loss.
- Re-Engagement Social media is all about engagement – reaching out to your customers, old, new and prospective. If you command a large audience, then social media can also act as an effective alternative to email marketing. But even advertisers with a modest social following can benefit from promoting their messaging through a paid model. If your audience of 1,000 followers mostly comprise previous customers, then of course they’re going to want to know about that fantastic promotion you’re running. Create a post, promote it through paid social channels, and make sure your followers see it on their timeline when they log in! You’ll be able to see the impact this has on your online sales or leads through your online analytics tools – if your promotion is strong and relevant, you’ll almost certainly see an increase in return purchases.
- B2B marketing LinkedIn is perfect for business-to-business marketing. If your product/service is in demand in particular industries, then you can narrow down your targeting to the key decision makers (directors, managers, purchasers, etc.), and then ensure your advert appears prominently to your target industries when they’re browsing LinkedIn. You can even target specific businesses, which is perfect if you have a list of prime companies that you feel just couldn’t say no to your product. This form of advertising is perfect for companies that struggle to advertise on Google Search because their product is vague and hard to narrow down by descriptive search terms – so, don’t wait for the business to look for you – simply show the advert to them in LinkedIn!
- Paid social is an important element for any business looking to bolster its online presence. Avoiding paid social media is like saying “I don’t want my customers to hear what I have to say” which, in the 21st Century, is like pulling the plug on your business from the word go.