Social media is a great way to reach new customers and promote your business.
If you’ve been managing your business’s social media, you’ve probably noticed significant changes in recent years or even in the past few months. What worked for marketers before, doesn’t work the same way now. Social media networks are constantly evolving to limit the amount of business messaging seen by consumers.
Why? There’s simply too much content being created for users to see it all.
STAT: Organic reach for Facebook Pages fell 52 percent in 2016.
I know what you’re thinking – but social media is free. Why should I spend money? By spending money, you’ll make it through the weeds and talk directly to your fans, customers, and prospects.
Let’s see how paid social can help your business and how you should get started.
The Benefits of Paid Social
1- Higher Engagement
Engagement includes any action your audience has taken once seeing your social content. This could be liking your post on Facebook, retweeting on Twitter, or clicking on your link. All engagements are not created equal. Unless your goal is to increase brand awareness, impressions, likes, and shares shouldn't matter too much. Clicks and click-through rate (CTR) are the metrics that will help you drive traffic to your website and generate business.
By sponsoring your content on Facebook or another social network, you can optimize for clicks or conversions (form fill on your website or other specific actions).
2- Better Targeting
When posting organically, you will only reach out to the people who liked your page on their own. It can be hard to make sure those visitors or fans are actually potential customers, and not just family and friends.
Let’s say you own a small wedding catering business that only serves people in Florida, but you realize only 60% of your fans are from this specific state. Boosting a post will allow you to control who sees your content and extend your reach beyond existing fans.
3- Increased ROI
All major social networks allow you to see what specific demographics liked your post, how many filled a form on your website, and so on. Facebook even offers a “pixel” that could place on your website to serve ads to past web visitors.
With all this data, you’ll have enough insights to refine your creatives and talk directly to your core audience, leading to a higher return on investment on your marketing effort.
Paid Ads by Social Network
Many small businesses and larger, well-known brands already know about the power of Facebook ads. Even the Golden State Warriors rely on Facebook to sell out their games.
If you want to start with something easy, we recommend boosting an existing post, first. Facebook makes it easy by notifying you when one of your posts does better than others.
If you’re already comfortable with the platform, it might be time to create actual ads from Ads Manager. You’ll have better control over your creative, and better targeting options. Pro Tip: Test multiple ads to see which ad performs the best, then use your best ad to run in your campaign.
Twitter is a great tool for influencer marketing. Influencer marketing (also influence marketing) is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on influential people rather than the target market as a whole.
There’s also less competition for SMBs on Twitter. According to an eMarketer survey, 41% of people on Twitter purchased products after exposure to an ad in the last 30 days.
Advertising options on Twitter are similar to what Facebook offers, but with additional targeting criteria. You can narrow down who you’re targeting by profile, keyword, hashtag, or even by followers of a competitor account. Paid Twitter campaigns are a quick way to gain market shares, however local they might be.
Pinterest is a very visual social network where users browse and collect pins of their favorite pictures. This platform has 70 million users in the US, and according to a Millward Brown Study, 87 percent of those users have purchased something they’ve seen on Pinterest.
Promoted Pins are Pins that businesses pay to appear where you're more likely to notice them. The Promoted Pins you see are based on your interests and things you do on Pinterest, or because you visited an advertiser's site or app. By promoting your pins and displaying your product in a visual way you can reach more users and achieve a higher ROI.
Pro Tip: Create colorful and visually pleasant images for best results with promoted pins. Check out the Social Media Examiner guide on how to use Pinterest promoted pins.
Paid social media ads are a must if you want to increase visibility and grow your audience. If you’re just getting started, test your ads with a small budget first. Once you find out what works best, extend your campaign and increase your spend for the best results.
About the Author
Romu Gaboriau is a Digital Marketing Manager at Worldpay US. In addition to working with successful startups, Romu has been using Inbound Marketing expertise with clients of all size in diverse industries to deliver long-term. Passionate about user experience, social media, and marketing innovation, Romu has been able to use my international background to create unique marketing visions. French is his native language and dedicated is his state of mind.