The Current State of Social Media
Being able to spread information and post our opinions almost instantly has revolutionized the “word-of-mouth” marketing strategy. It has allowed businesses small and large to expand their reach to surprising levels. Businesses do face a major challenge when deciding to post content; they will inevitably be faced with tough competition.
Here’s what we know for sure: there is increasing saturation of businesses engaging with users on social media and this is partially responsible for the decline in organic visibility. Does this mean that paid advertisements are worth the investment or can a business still compete with a zero-budget marketing plan?
About Organic Visibility
Platforms like Facebook use an algorithm to filter out posts that are poor in quality and low in relevance to its users. Even if a page has content that they deem to be of value it is all up to the level of “meaningful engagement” that determines how many followers will see the post. What Facebook classifies as “meaningful engagement” is always changing, but users sharing content with family and friends through messenger and tagging is one of the most popular actions that will boost the exposure.
Having quality and engaging content sounds easy, right? Unfortunately, one of the only ways for a post to be relevant to Facebook is if it already sees that engagement, and that engagement must come from somewhere. Customers need to be able to easily discover a business, and that exposure is difficult to get if paid advertising is not in the mix. Advertising with no ads has been done successfully before, but with algorithms changing rapidly, it is making it nearly impossible for businesses to reach people organically. Learn more: Is The New Facebook Algorithm Hurting Your Business?
How To Begin Advertising on Social Media
Like any business decision, there needs to be clear and measurable goals associated with the investment into social media. Do you want users to share, like, subscribe, etc.? Or is simply getting the name of your business out into the world enough? Information like this is crucial to making the best decision on which platform to use and how many resources to allocate to the efforts.
Invest the most money into the platforms that have performed well organically in the past. Track the activity before and after you utilize paid advertising to make sure your money is spent wisely.
Do research on your target market to see what they participate in and what kind of content they like to view. This will give you a better idea of which site will likely produce the best results. Each medium has its perks and downfalls, but understanding them and using them to your best advantage will put you ahead of the game. Learn more: The Most Effective Social Media Platform For Your Business
Picking the Platform
- The ads come in a variety of formats which allows you to be creative in your delivery
- The prices range from only a couple dollars to a couple thousand dollars so it can fit into even the smallest of budgets
- It utilizes the pay-per-click ad model, so you will almost be guaranteed results.
- Twitter Promote is a cheap ($99/per month) and “always-on” program that boosts your content to the best potential audience
- The ad formats allows you to showcase the feel of your brand and what makes you stand out over competitors
- Ads on Instagram are really helpful with bringing traffic to your website through links on images and Stories
- A business can purchases a Snapchat filter for a select area for people to use and share with others
- Actual advertisement videos are very expensive for a small business, but for large businesses with a flexible budget it may add value to your marketing campaign.
- Instream ads are video ads that play before, during and after videos. Users do have the option to skip past these after 5 seconds, so creating a compelling video is crucial to maximizing the value of this feature.
- Bumper ads are like instream ads, but they are only 6 seconds or less and they cannot be skipped.
- Discover ads appear all over the site. The difference is that the user must click onto the video to view it. Make sure the thumbnail image is compelling.
There is not a single correct way to run a social media campaign. Creating great quality and relevent content that shadows the tone and values of you business will return positive results. Social media advertising is an easy and customizable way to boost your business and every business owner should ad it to their marketing tool box.