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How-Tu Tuesday: Social Media Advertising

Picture for Rene Looper Rene Looper

June 23rd 2015

Social media advertising is a form of paid media that involves buying ads from various social media sources (i.e. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn). This form of advertising can be an effective targeted promotional tool. As users share their personal information (i.e. age, location and interests) on social media, advertisers are able to reach specific people by targeting content to custom criteria.

Internet advertising is now the world’s second-largest advertising medium, behind TV. For the first time, internet advertising beat newspaper advertising last year with a spending of $8.5 billion. And that is expected to reach nearly $14 billion in 2018.

This is why paid social media should not be ignored. It can help grow your business, further brand awareness, spread specifically targeted messages, make valuable connection and ultimately drive more sales. Even though paid content has become a staple of most social media marketing efforts, it is still very important to maintain organic activity across the different social media channels. Each marketing approach, paid and organic, require different strategies and content to be successful. This is why it is best for a business to align both paid and organic strategies in parallel to get the most out of social media marketing.

Organic content
Organic reach is more competitive because the market is over-saturated with high volumes of content. Earning a place in the user’s newsfeed has become very difficult organically as social media platforms are actively limiting the content visible on user’s newsfeed. This is mainly to enhance the user-experience and keep the newsfeed stream relevant. The key to achieving organic success is by understanding your customer’s persona and producing creative content that your audience will love.

Paid content
Paid ads are more about interrupting people with a message to attract their attention and encourage them to take action (i.e. follow a link, purchase a product or sign up to a newsletter). Paying for certain campaigns on social media will push content to a specific target audience. A business will immediately notice an increase in the reach when boosting a tweet or a Facebook post. That is why paid social ads are best used for social acquisition i.e. new fans, followers, customers. But in order for paid content to succeed, it is crucial to think about the the objective of the campaign, to identify the target audience and use a call-to-action.

How much to spend?
It is important not to spend too much on social advertising when a business is just starting. A great way to start is to send out test ads, trailing different target markets using different messages. Once the data from the feedback and analytics reports are evaluated, a bigger budget can be allocated to various campaigns to ensure effectiveness.


The various social media platforms have good guides that provide more information and tips about creating social ads:

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