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‘Trep On: Using Social Media to Advertise

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The trend of social media advertising is not going away anytime soon, and the world of Facebook and Instagram advertising can seem like a foreign one to those that have never really immersed themselves in it. According to Zenith OptiMedia, an ROI agency, dollars put into social media advertising overtook all other forms of traditional advertising in 2013. That being said, the importance of learning how to utilize and optimize advertising on social media is only becoming increasingly important every day. According to data and research company, eMarketer, “the numbers are huge: an anticipated $72.09 billion spent on digital ads in the United States alone in 2016, a number expected to rise to more than $82 billion next year and more than $113 billion by 2020.”

Here are some basic bits of information you will need to know to get started on your advertising efforts.

What are Social Media Ads?

Before you begin to delve into the world of social media ads, it is essential to have an understanding of what they are. Simply put, social media ads are content promoted by payment on a social media platform. There are several ways to go about doing this- from a single boosted Facebook post to a full-fledged ad campaign running large dollar amounts every day. The options are endless, but in short, it’s paying to have your content pushed under a social media algorithm.

Understanding the Power of Facebook 

When it comes to advertising, no platform has mastered the art quite like Facebook. In case you were not aware, Facebook acquired the Instagram photo sharing platform back in 2012, which means any advertising dollars you spend on Facebook ads will do double duty on the Instagram platform. According to the official Facebook Investor Relations page, in Q3 alone, Facebook’s total social ads revenue was more than $6.8 billion, and that number is increasing.

Facebook mines data from each of its users to use in its efforts to market to target audiences. In the same sense, this is the “cost” of being a Facebook user. It may be a free platform to use, but you pay for it with data- your name, your occupation, your relationships, your check-in locations, your search history- all of which they sell to bigger advertising agencies.

With so much collected data, Facebook is able to use this to help ad dollars go towards very specific audiences. For example, if you are running a campaign to book out a venue for business party purposes, you can identify- to the mile- the kinds of people you want to see your ad. You can select your location of choice, occupation of choice, among other demographics that single out your ideal customer.

Twitter Advertising

Twitter is a different animal than Facebook, but extremely advantagous in its own right.

Twitter works in “promotions” meaning you can either pay to promote a twitter page, pay to appear on a promoted trend or pay to promote a single tweet.

  • Promoted Tweets are messages that will appear directly in the timelines of the Twitter users you target at a specific time.
  • A Promoted Account is an ad that invites targeted Twitter users to follow your brand.
  • Trending topics on Twitter are the most talked about subjects on the social network, appearing on the left side of the page. Promoted Trends allow you to put your story at the top of that list.

You can use these promotions in various ways with various objects ranging from lead generation to clicks, and gaining more followers to ad campaign awareness. It is important to analyze your strategy and desired outcome, but choosing the correct method can give big return on your ad campaign.

The biggest piece of advice we can give to those just getting started in the social media campaign world is: start small and test several markets first at a low budget. Test different demographics and time spans, then come back with and disect your data. How many impressions did your ad get? What was the cost per click? Who was most likely to answer a call to action? From there, you can easily identify what changes, if any, need to be made before you invest more time and money into launching large, long-duration campaigns.

For more step-by-step instruction on how to initiate and maintain social media ad campaigns, you can visit https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-advertising/

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