Social media is a relatively fresh newcomer to the marketing scene, so it’s entirely natural for you to doubt if it has tangible benefits for business use. However, for a number of reasons, social media marketing is fast becoming one of the most effective advertising channels for businesses. Below I have put together some social media advertising benefits to help you gain greater online success:
A Growing Market
The amount of people you can reach through social media marketing is huge – and continues to grow at a very fast rate.
Since June 2017, there are two billion monthly active Facebook users, with one billion logging in daily. According to statistics portal Statista, as of January 2019, 45% of women and 55% of men actively use Facebook globally. That suggests no matter who you’re targeting, you’ll likely be able to reach them through this channel and retain an enormous online presence.
According to available analytics, the most prevalent Facebook users are 18-29-year-olds, at 88%, followed by
• 84% of those 30-49
• 72% for those 50-64
• 62% for those 65+
If your target audience is 65+ that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use Facebook ads, as they’re still more likely to be on there than Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.
It all comes down to where your target audience spends most of their time online. Instagram has 800+ million users; Twitter has 330 million monthly active users, while LinkedIn has more than 546 million users. The opportunity is huge and growing fast, but you need to be clear on your target audience first.
Social media platforms offer business owners and marketers demographic and psychographic data so you can target users based on their age, sex, personality, values, attitudes, lifestyle and more. This means you can completely control who sees your paid adverts and free adverts and create your own custom audience, making the most of your budget and time, guiding the right traffic to your website. So, even if you’re operating in a very niche market, there’s a strong possibility you can still target customers via social adverts.
Paid social media follows a pay per click (PPC) format (similar to Google AdWords), meaning you have complete ad budgeting control and only pay when users complete your desired action e.g. clicking through to your website. This is one digital marketing advantage. So don’t worry about advertising cost, it’s not something that can escalate – you set the goalposts. Setting a ‘lifetime budget’ will outline the amount you’re willing to spend for the duration of your ads, so you’re in complete control.
Helps Build Your Brand
Social media adverts can align well with any existing type of social media activity you’re doing and vice versa. It’s all about ensuring a clear brand message shines through. If a new customer discovers you via an ad, they may want to review your organic social activity before forming a final opinion. Make sure everything you post on social media reflects your brand – whether it’s organic or paid activity.
Saves You Time
Once your ads are finely tuned, you can set them up and let them run and tick over. This means you can spend less time and effort on online marketing and focus elsewhere across the business. However, it’s important you continue to monitor and refine them to continue making them a success.
Track Your Success
Each social media channel offers helpful built-in analytics to show you what’s working best and areas for improvement. You can then correlate your ads against your site traffic and sales figures. Don’t forget to keep an eye on your competition – are they running ads? Where? Are they using Twitter advertising? Instagram advertising? Maybe they’re using LinkedIn Advertising? Are they getting much visible engagement? Research as much as you can so you can give your first set of ads the best possible opportunity to achieve your goal.
Better Than Paid Search?
Paid search such as Google Adwords helps potential customers find you, while paid social adverts are more pro-active – it helps your business find new customers. You go to them. If the budget is available, it’s worth investing in both. If a choice has to be made, social advertising makes a strong case due to the scale and targeting options.
Social media is a land of new opportunity. A social media presence has become an expectation for brands rather than an exception to the rule.
But I do feel that businesses shouldn’t just latch onto social media “just because.” Instead, businesses should assess the potential benefits of social media themselves based on specific, actionable goals. Although the impact of the benefits above varies from brand to brand, there’s no denying the business implications of using social media marketing.