Social Media is the section of Advertising that we get the most questions about. There are really three ways to use Social Media: Posting Content, Buying Ads, and Influencer Marketing.
Twelve years ago, businesses started building great audiences, getting fans and great exposure for growth on their Facebook business pages, but the reach of those audiences has decreased ever since by Facebooks own admission.
Content posting is designed to give your audience things to read, view, listen to or learn from that are entertaining, educational, motivational or informative.
The whole point of posting content is to get engagement: likes, shares, comments and other reactions. This is what fuels the viral nature of social…the engagement provides your content the opportunity to reach way more people than you have as fans/followers. Personally, I’m over Facebook and have been sick of it for years. I don’t want to see what people had for dinner and I don’t need a hundred random motivational quotes in my feed…but that’s just me.
In fact, Facebook has become a ‘pay-to-play’ for business pages. The content you post to your business page is reaching 20% of your fans if you are lucky. For most, it’s more like 6%. Facebook has reduced the amount of people you can reach organically because they want you to pay for that audience.
Now, you can still get great viral reach, create buzz and build your business using content and there is an entire industry that just builds social content, because there are Platforms other than Facebook that still provide great organic reach. There are tons of tools available to help you in this area. You can schedule content posting across your social channels with tools like Hootsuite or Buffer, you can create fast videos with Promo or Wave or you can pay someone to create content for you. Our best performance for a Facebook page was taking a business page from 500 likes to over 6,000 in one year. Even if the posts today aren’t reaching as many people, we can still use all those people to target them for ads.
Last year, Facebook made more of a push toward Groups and Community. If you start or run a Group, you’re more likely to reach the audience that has signed up for that than if you post on your business page.
Over this same 12 years, Facebook has had an ad platform to ‘buy’ ads for reaching targeted audiences. The objectives and formats have changed over the years but since Facebook bought Instagram, you can use the one ad interface for placing ads on both. Except for these two, each platform has its own ad interface, best practices and analytics.
You can buy ads on each platform individually or use can use a tool called programmatic advertising that places ads across multiple platforms through a trading desk.
Here’s the funny thing, and it surprises me that people don’t understand this…just because you place an ad on these platforms, doesn’t mean you are going to get business. These tools are simply that…tools. You need to have a strong strategy in place with excellent creative, used over time with testing to get results. The tips and tricks from those of us that have placed hundreds or thousands of ads can help you get more for your money. Our running tally currently sits at over 1,200 ad campaigns we’ve created and managed. There is an entire industry of marketing companies that just do Facebook Ads so you have lots of options!
Influencer marketing uses social media influencers to promote your products and services. Individuals that have audiences in your target category can show your products in their feeds, show their audience using your product or give a review or testimonial from having tried your product. Some influencers have blog followers, some have YouTube video followers and others have social media followers on one or multiple channels.
Use Social Media to grow your business
To sum up the social media category, each platform has its own unique advantages, audiences and purpose. Which one is right for you depends on your industry, your target market and your brand.