Social media has emerged as a critical component of digital marketing.
While there are plenty of other solutions out there for driving leads and traffic, social media is the best way to maintain a sustainable relationship with your target audience. Get that initial connection right, and you can benefit from better loyalty, higher lifetime values, and even brand advocacy.
With 3.196 billion social media users active in 2018, today's companies need to make sure that they're focusing their attention on the right segment of the market if they want the best ROI. Like any advertising strategy, there's no one-size-fits-all solution - you need to get to know your audience and what your customers need.
Here, we're going to look at three of the biggest social media platforms, and what they can offer to your online advertising campaign.
For most businesses online today, Facebook is the ultimate social media network. Featuring more than 2 billion users per month, Facebook reaches more than a quarter of the world's population, which means you can connect with virtually anyone.
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These days, Facebook is less appealing to younger social media users and more attractive to people over the age of 18. There's a pretty good balance of genders available on this channel too, with around 66% of all male internet users, and 76% of all female internet users online. Additionally, Facebook is highly appealing to online users with an income over $75,000, which means that you're connecting with people who have money to spend. You can connect with your audiences on Facebook through:
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One of the most compelling things about Facebook advertising is that you have so many different advertising formats to choose from. As the platform continues to learn more about its audience, it consistently offers bigger and better marketing solutions, including:
Every social media channel has its positives and its negatives.
Facebook advertising is exceptionally good at lead generation, after all, around 22% of the world's population is currently using Facebook.
If you're looking to generate email addresses for your other ad campaigns, Facebook is a cheap way to reach out to people who are more likely to show an interest in your brand. It's rich "Audience Insights" section, is packed with information about the demographics of the customers most likely to interact with your company.
The highly targeted nature of Facebook advertising along with the wide range of advertisement options you'll have to choose from means that you can get a great ROI for a low initial spend. Of course, Facebook isn't perfect.
In recent years, organic reach has started to plummet on the channel, which means that you need to use more paid media if you want an effective outreach. Additionally, with such a huge audience active every day and so many competitors active on Facebook, it can be difficult to break through the noise and connect with your target market. If that wasn't enough, the controversies regarding Facebook's privacy measures have caused some disruption during the first half of 2018. Facebook isn't going anywhere any time soon, but marketers will need to be cautious with it.
There are countless ways to improve your Facebook advertising efforts. Here are just a few tips to get you started:
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We've covered one of the best-known forms of social media advertising. Now, let's take a look at one of the most popular social channels of late. While Facebook's exceptional user numbers make it the ultimate option for a broad social reach, Instagram is growing more by the day, with 500 million monthly active users.
Not only is Instagram incredibly popular, but it also commands a higher audience engagement rate than many other social channels too.
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In terms of audience demographics, Instagram is most appealing to a younger audience, with around 53% of online users between the ages of 18 and 29 active on Instagram. This visual channel is a great option for businesses hoping to reach a younger audience.
Although Instagram users aren't earning as much money as their counterparts on Facebook, they are more likely to engage with your brand and develop loyalty over time. In other words, you might not get a huge initial spend, but you might get repeat customers, which are more valuable overall.
Because Instagram is a subsidiary of Facebook, it offers the same targeting options. In other words, you can:
Like Facebook, Instagram offers a multitude of ways to connect with your target audience, including:
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Instagram is highly focused on videos and images. This means it's a great solution for anyone selling highly visual products or services. Additionally, because Instagram's user base is young, it's perfect for anyone who wants to connect with new generations like Millennials or Generation X.
Additionally, Instagram ads are highly engaging because they're both visual and mobile, people carry their Instagram feeds around with them all day long and check the app constantly during their lunch breaks and at other points during the day.
Of course, like Facebook, Instagram's organic reach has seen some issues in the last couple of years, thanks to the overcrowding in the network. Additionally, while the visual nature of this platform is great for advertising in a space that's highly image-focused, it's not as useful for people who struggle to show a visual side of their company.
What's more, because captivating images and videos are crucial in Instagram, it's difficult to add any text benefits to your campaigns.
Instagram advertising isn't always easy, but it can be a fantastic way to drive attention and engagement for your brand. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Finally, we come to LinkedIn - a highly unique social platform that's perfect for B2B brands and people who want to reach out to professionals in their space. LinkedIn might not be as far-reaching as Facebook, with around 227 million monthly users, but it does help you connect to a very specific audience.
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LinkedIn is a social media platform designed specifically for professionals, making it the perfect way for B2B brands to reach business decision makers. Around 50% of all LinkedIn users have engaged in higher education, and nearly half of the users make more than $75,000 per year, which means they have money to spend.
You can reach out to your target audience on LinkedIn in a selection of different ways. For instance:
Just like with Facebook and Instagram, LinkedIn offers different forms of advertising to suit different goals in your marketing strategy. For instance, you can choose from:
Image source: Buffer
Perhaps the biggest benefit of LinkedIn Advertising is the fact that you can connect with a customer base that has a higher disposable income. Approximately 75% of LinkedIn users earn more than $50,000 per year - and it's a great place to go if you want to earn high-quality leads across a range of industries. Unlike many social platforms, LinkedIn is best-suited for B2B ads too.
However, unlike Instagram and Facebook, LinkedIn isn't particularly active, with fewer people logging in every day. Additionally, there's not a lot of educational resources to tap into if you want help getting started with your advertising plan. Although there are FAQs and help sections, you may need to look elsewhere for support.
Additionally, because LinkedIn doesn't offer any product-focused advertising campaigns, it's not great for people who want to generate attention for their eCommerce website. Instead, users on LinkedIn expect a professional and personal experience when connecting with new people.
As always, there are things you can do to boost your chances of success with LinkedIn advertising. For instance:
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Today, it seems as though everyone understands the potential benefits of social media advertising.
However, just like any other form of marketing campaign, the best way to make sure that you're getting the ultimate ROI is with the right strategy. Choosing the perfect social media channel for your target audience and investing in the right kinds of advertisements is the best way to make sure that you're getting more out of your marketing budget.
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