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Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. When Facebook advertising started in May 2005, no one could have predicted that social media advertising revenue would reach $8.4 billion in 2015, just ten years later.

Paid advertising is a great way for driving new visitors to your website based on a users search keywords. But what do you do if there are no identifiable, or affordable, keywords you can use? Also what about businesses whose advertising purpose is to create brand awareness?

Social media advertising finds new clients by using shared information. Rather than targeting users with keywords, social media advertising targets prospects before they even begin their search.

Advanced Targeting Options

Social networks now gather a huge amount of user information enabling social media advertising to target prospects in more ways than previously possible. Rather than general demographic and geographic data, social media advertising can target users interests, and behaviour patterns.

These advanced targeting options can be used to provide a level of personalisation that is not achievable by other advertising methods. There are basically four types of advanced targeting options:

  • Interest targeting: Offered by: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (under “Skill”), Pinterest.
    Targeted by using users profile interests, activities, skills, and even the pages and other users they have engaged with. Interests can be as general as the industry they work in or as specific as a product they use.
  • Behavioural/Connection targeting: Offered by: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.
    Targeting users based on their purchase behaviours or intents and even their device usage. With connection targeting, you can reach people who have a specific kind of connection to your page, app, group, or event.
  • Custom targeting: Offered by: Facebook, Twitter.
    Target users directly by uploading a list of email addresses, phone numbers, IDs, or usernames. Facebook calls this Custom Audiences, while Twitter calls it Tailored Audiences. The only provision is that the social media platform can match the data you’ve uploaded.
  • Lookalike targeting: Offered by: Facebook, LinkedIn.
    Reach new people who are similar to an audience you care about.Lookalike targeting helps businesses reach new, but similar users to their best customers. For those businesses looking to acquire new customers through social media advertising, lookalike targeting can be a great tool.

Conversion Tracking

With all the options available for targeting users, tracking the performance of your social media advertising campaign is even more important.  You can use pay-per-click or other metrics to measure the success of your ad, as most social networks offer website conversion tracking.

The user is targeted to take some measurable action, e.g. buying your product or registering for an event. Conversion tracking is done by adding a code snippet into your websites target page. Although this requires some technical ability and effort, you’ll be able to optimise your ad and improve your ad targeting. Its wasted time and money if you’re receiving lots of clicks, but no conversions.

Use Of Mobiles

With the activity on smartphones and tablets accounting for 60% of digital media time spent in the U.S., its obvious that targeting prospects on mobile devices is going to be huge.  With mobile users checking their social media accounts many times a day social media advertising is the way to go.

Two-thirds of social media ad spend forecasted to be on mobiles in 2018, creating a mobile market worth $9.1 billion. Coupled with that over half of mobile phone users globally will have smartphones in 2018, means that social media advertising on mobile is a huge growth market in the next two years.

When deciding which channels to use to grow your business in 2016 and beyond, try social media advertising as a supplement to your existing growth strategies.

FREE Social Media Training

  1. Facebook Marketing Excellence
  2. Instagram Marketing Excellence
  3. LinkedIn Marketing Excellence