What is Social Media Advertising?

Almost half of the world’s population uses social media. This makes social media platforms one of the biggest marketing and advertising sources. Marketers can use social networking sites to connect and engage with their target audience organically and via social ads. What is social media advertising and how can you run a social media ad campaign?

You can rely on organic reach on social media or you can use social media ads to instantly engage with your target audience via ads. If you are new to social media advertising, this article is for you.

What is Social Media Advertising?

Social media advertising is a type of digital advertising where you run online ads on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Any online ad that appears on a social media networking site refers to social media advertising.

Here is an example of social media advertising:

Facebook Business Manager photo ads

Social ads are mostly visual and help you drive traffic, boost engagement, and generate sales. You can choose your campaign objective and get started immediately. This is the top reason why social media advertising spending increases every year. And it is expected to cross $50.86 billion in the US:

US Social Network Ad Revenues, 2017-2021 (billions and % change)

Types of Social Media Advertising Platforms

There are several types of social media platforms out there. It isn’t easy to pick the right social ad network for your business. In fact, it gets extremely challenging to identify the most suitable social media ad platform for your business as all of them offer social ads and are equally good.

Generally, social media platforms are divided into four types based on the type of ads they serve. This helps you pick the most appropriate social media app for ad campaigns:

  1. Socializing networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
  2. Photo sharing platforms (Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc.)
  3. Video sharing apps (YouTube, Facebook, etc.)
  4. Microblogging social sites (Twitter, Tumblr, etc.).

You have a lot of options to choose from when it comes to deciding what social media network to choose for advertising. Check out this list of the top 10 social media apps.

When selecting a network for social media advertising, there are a few things that you must consider:

  1. Buyer persona: Pick the platform where your ideal customers spend time. You can find this info in buyer personas. So, if your buyer persona loves spending time on Facebook, go with Facebook ads. 
  2. Advertisement content and format: Do you want to promote an infographic, a video, or an image? The content and format of the ad will help you pick the most appropriate social media site. For example, if you have an amazing image you want to promote, photo-sharing apps like Instagram and Snapchat will work best.
  3. Ad objectives: This is obvious. If your key objective is to increase Facebook page likes, run a Facebook page like ad campaign on Facebook. Simple. 
  4. Budget: Not all social media advertising platforms have the same CPC. If you are on a budget, look for cheap social media networks with low CPC.

Why Use Social Media Advertising?

When you have the option to reach and connect with your target audience organically at no cost, then why spend money on social ads?

What’s the motivation?

Well, social media ads have several benefits that make them a great option for marketers and businesses:

1. Instant Traffic and Leads

Perhaps the best thing about social media ads is that it helps you drive instant traffic. You don’t have to wait.

Organic growth and reach need time. Think of a Facebook page. It grows at its own pace. Your followers will grow gradually. But if you run a Facebook page like campaign, you’ll be able to gain new followers and page likes in a few hours.

You can see the massive result in just a few days with social ads. This makes it ideal for businesses. You can bypass organic reach with social ads.

Here is how page like campaign looks like on Facebook:

How to get likes on facebook page likes ad

This isn’t just limited to engagement on the social media sites, rather this works for sending traffic to your website. Social ads can help you generate heaps of traffic to your website in no time.

And this is one reason why you should use social media advertising.

2. Targeting

Social media websites collect a lot of data from their users. This includes personal details, demographics, interests, and much more. A social media platform has more data about users than search engines like Google.

It makes your social ads extremely targeted. You can reach the exact person you want to target with social ads. Such precise targeting isn’t possible on search engines and other ad networks.

Here is an example of how you can identify an audience on Facebook:

facebook targeting options

Here are Twitter targeting options:

twitter targeting options

And these are the LinkedIn targeting options:

How to Use LinkedIn Targeting Options

The same goes for all social networking platforms. Users create their profiles and this data is used for ad targeting.

3. Easy to Use

You don’t have to be a marketing or advertising expert to run a social media advertising campaign on your favorite platform. You don’t need any training or guides to get started.

Facebook, for instance, will show a big button with your posts labeled “Boost Post” that lets you create a boost post ad immediately with a single click:

The Facebook Boost Post Button

This isn’t hard, right?

The interface and ad dashboard of all the leading social media platforms are extremely user-friendly. They do their best to simplify creating an ad campaign to reduce churn. Social media platforms know marketers have a lot of options to choose from so they try to ensure running ads is a piece of cake.

Don’t Ignore Social Media Ads

Social media advertising isn’t necessary. You can do pretty well on social platforms without spending a single penny on ads (like social media influencers). As the competition is increasing, running ads has now become a need.

It gets really tough to reach and connect with your target audience organically on social platforms that have more than a billion monthly users. Your profile might get lost.

If you want to stand out from the crowd and get things done quickly, go for social media ads. You will not be disappointed. Trust me.

Featured Image: Pexels

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