Here’s why social media advertising is so effective
Practically every business has one or more social media sites. And why not? Unlike a traditional website, social media sites are free to set up, easy to build, fit seamlessly within any content marketing strategy and, when used effectively, can be quite successful at communicating with your target audience. Some businesses, such as local restaurants and arts & crafts retailers, have even decided to forgo developing a traditional website and simply use a social media account as their one and only online communication medium.
Naturally, every social media channel or platform has its own niche. Some favour a B2C relationship and are ideal at communicating with customers in-the-minute, while others lean toward the B2B crowd and have proven effective at lead generation and recruitment. Let’s take a moment to highlight some of the top social media channels and their ideal uses:
Facebook is the biggest social network in the world, boasting nearly 3 billion active users. Users tend to be an older demographic, which certainly makes it an appropriate platform for most businesses. Facebook is an excellent platform for building relationships and turning leads into followers, and followers into loyal customers. Many different content types work, and Facebook is especially useful at showing a different, more human side of your business. Facebook advertising is also extremely effective; the platform allows you to target customers by location, occupation, interests, past activity and other useful data points.
Instagram has been picking up steam within the business community and it’s easy to see why. It’s a very visually driven platform and, as we all know, people tend to look at pictures first and read only if you’ve captured their attention. If your business’ brand positioning can be communicated visually, an Instagram account is a wise choice. And if you don’t think your brand positioning can be communicated visually? Think again, get creative or consult with us to develop a strategic approach you would never have thought of yourself. Instagram also recently introduced Instagram Shops, making it easier for brands to sell their wares online. While organic posts and stories are great ways to increase traffic to your website, you can also use targeted Instagram ads to link to your product page and create automatic interest in your products or services.
Twitter seems to have found its comfort zone by being the ultimate social media platform for breaking news, and engaging with influencers and subject matter experts. In this vein, Twitter is an excellent platform for posting company announcements, promoting your latest blog post, even providing customer service and support. Just like Facebook, Twitter ads can be highly targeted: Quick Promote ads let you choose a promotable Tweet from your timeline and specify your target audience while Twitter Ads let you choose your preferred business objective and Twitter will only invoice you for the actions that align with your goal.
TikTok is one of the newer social media platforms to ascend in popularity and has now become a household name. The platform holds a huge amount of potential for reaching new customers, especially in the younger demographics. While you can post videos on any of the platforms mentioned above, TikTok is exclusively a video platform that utilizes short, bite-sized clips. Now registering over 1 billion users, the allure of TikTok for businesses starts with the sheer number of people on the platform, and videos don’t need to be professional-grade quality to attract shares and user engagement. TikTok also offers a wide range of advertising options including “For You” video feeds, Brand Takeovers and the creative Branded Hashtag Challenge which encourages user-generated content through trending hashtags and fun video challenges.
Linkedin is today’s largest professional network in the world. Unlike the platforms listed above, Linkedin is decidedly a B2B connector and offers many potential business applications such as recruiting and hiring talent, growing B2B relationships and connecting with fellow professionals in your business niche. In addition to being the world’s foremost business social platform, Linkedin offers a variety of ingenious advertising services that have a proven track record of success. You can purchase Sponsored Content that is displayed in Linkedin’s newsfeed to reach a larger audience, Sponsored Messaging which is Linkedin’s version of email marketing, Text and Dynamic ads that are small ads at the top of the screen above the user’s newsfeed, and Lead Gen Forms that utilize pre-filled forms in your Linkedin ads that enable you to collect quality leads at scale. Like all the platforms listed above, Linkedin also gives you the tools to target your advertising initiatives to your preferred demographics with pinpoint accuracy.
Whatever platform or platforms you use to showcase and promote your business, it’s of vital importance that your visuals and messaging strike the right balance between remaining true to your brand voice and appealing to the users on that platform. If you’re a serious and professional B2B brand, posting an entertaining and edgy video clip on TikTok could end up going viral for all the wrong reasons. That being said, there are always creative ways to make the platform fit your message, you just need to go about it strategically while keeping an open mind.
While all these platforms make it easy to publish targeted ads, there’s more than meets the eye to social media advertising. It’s important to continuously check and interpret your analytics dashboard to ensure you’re actually getting value for your money. One of the greatest benefits of any digital marketing endeavour is the ability to recalibrate your campaign messaging, and keeping a close eye on your results is the best way to guarantee you’re getting the best return.
Social media has been a real game-changer in the way people connect digitally with the brands they love, and discover new products and services. While most of us likely have personal Facebook and Linkedin pages, there’s a nuance involved in maintaining a social media presence for your business. From posting content to interacting with your customers, everything must harmonize with your overall brand image. Professionalism is key. If you don’t have the internal resources to ensure your social media channels are performing up to your business’ standards, it only makes sense to outsource your social media activities to the professionals at MHz.
Angelo Perri is the founder and CEO of MHZ Design Communications, a customer engagement agency located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Connect on Linkedin.