The Hidden Benefits of Paid Social
Why NOT advertising on Social Media is a Mistake that is costing you money!
While half of the world is still struggling to decide if Social Media is right for them, the other half has embarked on an altogether different adventure – supplementing or even replacing their traditional media spend with Social Media Advertising.
If you are still in the undecided camp, as you watch some competitors fail and others fly on the digital stage, we’re not going to blame you for taking your time. Social Media Advertising is new and complicated. There is no friendly sales executive who is going to call up and tell you what campaigns you should be running and what has worked for other advertisers in the past. You’re on your own!
We run a number Social Media for Business Training Courses and provide specialist support and social media coaching services to help entrepreneurs make the most of the opportunities provided by these new channels. We talk to business leaders all the time about why they haven’t adopted social media advertising as part of their strategy.
These are the 5 most common objections (and by the way also the 5 most popular myths) about Social Media Advertising:
- “I don’t have the budget for it”
- “I already have a Facebook account, Social Media is free isn’t it”
- “It doesn’t work for me or my business”
- “No-one likes Ads”
- “I can’t measure my ROI (return on investment)”
Do any of these sound familiar? If you are using any of these reasons as excuses not to use Social Media Advertising, it might be time to think again.
1. “NO BUDGET”
So you’re already spending thousands of pounds on traditional ‘tried and tested’ advertising, but you’re reluctant to risk even a penny more on some new gimmick? You won’t go chasing unicorns!
Well these unicorns are very much alive and kicking. The UK was the first country where more than 50% of advertising budgets are now spent online, and much of that spend is allocated to social media. In Q1 of 2015, 46% of Facebook and 72% of Twitter revenue came from advertising (and of those revenues 73% and 89% respectively came from mobile!).
When your competitors are embracing it, and with advertising campaigns available from just a few pounds, is social media advertising something you can afford to ignore?
2. “SOCIAL MEDIA IS FREE”
After the endless moaning from your employees, you finally gave in and delegated to them the task of joining Instagram, Pinterest and even Periscope. But a big part of the reason you agreed was that social media was free. This is an easy way for you to share information with your customers. They are your ‘fans’ anyway – so you don’t need to advertise, right?
Wrong! Since the latest changes to Facebook’s algorithm, the organic reach of your posts has dropped to just 2.6%. What does that mean? It means only 2.6% of your customers get to see any individual post that you publish. (By the way, this trend is being seen on other social media platforms too).
What’s that you say? It’s not fair! Did you really think some kids in hoodies in California were going to create an amazing resource that allows you to communicate with your customers and the whole wide world and then let you use it for free, forever? The party’s over – Facebook is getting down to business.
So how do you reach the other 97.8%? Advertising.
When you advertise on social media more of your fans and followers get to see what you have to say. You can even choose to promote your message to the friends of your existing fans, and you can target your advertising by location, gender, age and interest. So instead of posting your photos of the office cat to a couple of hundred fans, you can now share it with an audience of tens of thousands!
Social Media is a valuable resource and just because you can register a free account for your business and post random images of birthday cakes and cats, it doesn’t mean that you should. Social media is one of the most important channels for any SME to reach existing and new customers. But if you want to play, you have to pay.
3. “IT DOESN’T WORK FOR ME”
Social Media Advertising works – but you need to spend some time and effort to know how to make the most of it. If you spend hundreds of pounds on Social Media advertising and don’t get results, it can only mean one thing – you’re doing it wrong.
Before planning a successful Facebook Advertising campaign, have you looked into the Insights for your Facebook Page? Have you thought who you are trying to target your ad to? Have you decided what goal you want to achieve with your ad? Do you want to drive traffic to your website, promote your brand online or spread the word about your latest promotion? (Here’s a quick tip, an advert that tries to accomplish everything will end up achieving nothing). Have you set up proper conversion tracking for your ad?
If your answer to most of these questions was “No”, then don’t blame Facebook or Twitter for your poor results.
4. “NO ONE LIKES ADS”
No one likes ads, right? We switch channels when they appear on TV, skip pages of magazines, ignore them online… That is true, but it’s not the whole story.
In fact, a lot of studies show that users don’t mind ads at all. What users don’t like is ads that are badly designed and completely irrelevant. If you want your ad be successful, be visual and make it pertinent.
Think about your audience, be thoughtful with the language you are using and don’t be over-promotional. Show your potential customers something in which they are likely to be interested and they will reward you in return.
5. “ROI CAN’T BE MEASURED”
This myth probably surpasses all the previous ones by far and usually comes from old-fashioned traditional marketers (usually those who have been too complacent or scared to learn about digital marketing).
It’s true that your campaign might be quite complex and assigning a direct value to one marketing channel or another can be hard. But unlike with printed advertising, when you have the right plan in hand, and a couple of social media analytics tools, you will be able to know exactly where your money was spent wisely and where it was wasted. You will know how many leads each advert generated and how much each cost.
All in all, social media advertising is a no brainer, but it takes time and at least a little bit of effort to get decent results. Before you start pouring your entire marketing budget into a paid social campaign, stop and think:
- Who is your target audience?
- What do you want to achieve with your ad?
- Can you benchmark your performance to your main competitors?
- Do you have the necessary skills in-house to run Facebook or Twitter ad campaigns effectively
- Are you able to monitor and analyse the success your social advertising efforts?
Social Media Advertising works. And you don’t need to a big budget to make it happen – you just need a plan and the discipline to implement it.
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If you want to know more about how you could grow your business with Social Media Advertising, follow our blog for more information or drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org