July 9th, 2014

The ABCs Of Social Media Advertising

by Ashley Bullin

With all of the advertising options available on social media, it can be difficult for a business owner to know where to start. At Sage Island, our team approaches each campaign differently, as no two clients’ needs are the same. We begin by identifying your social media goals, which makes it easier to identify the most effective advertising options. Rather than listing all of the advertising options available per social media platform, it’s more insightful to analyze which advertising options can help meet specific objectives, such as increasing engagement and building a community of followers. We’ve highlighted some common business goals, how they translate to social media goals and which advertising campaigns would prove most effective for each.

Business Goal: Increase Brand Awareness
Social Media Goal: Increase Fans or Followers

Whether a business has 50 or 100,000 social media followers, there is always room to grow an online community. Based on the client’s industry and needs, and the fact that Facebook and Twitter are the major social media players, our team would most likely recommend a Facebook Page Like campaign or Twitter Promoted Account campaign. With Facebook, targeting methods allow us to tailor the audience through options such as geographic location, gender, age, interests, education level and much more. And Twitter isn’t too far behind with their targeting methods. They feature many of the same options, and are adding more all the time. Through these advanced targeting methods, our team is able to pinpoint your target audience and communicate with them through Facebook and Twitter news feeds. From there, we create custom graphics and messaging to capture their attention and, ultimately, gain their endorsement through “likes” or “follows.”

Business Goal: Spread the Word on a Company Initiative
Social Media Goal: Promote a Message to Your Fans or Followers

Sometimes brands need a little help in getting the word out about important company-wide news or a special promotion going on. Or perhaps they’d like to boost participation in an exciting contest or sweepstakes. A Facebook Promoted Post campaign or Twitter Promoted Tweet campaign can help companies extend their reach of their message as well as increase engagement for that content. And best of all, they can reach new markets in addition to their current audience. (Let’s face it—Facebook’s declining organic reach almost forces brands to promote posts in order to guarantee their current, active fans will see their content.) These campaigns are fairly simple to set up, since it’s merely a matter of putting dollars toward a specific Facebook post or tweet. However, much thought should go into how your message is presented—text should be straightforward, graphics should be both aesthetically pleasing and relevant to your audience, and it should easy for users to take action (click on a link, etc.) if required. Although it requires a monetary investment, promoted social media advertising is a great way to guarantee that your selected audience sees your message (and what could be better than that?).

Business Goal: Drive Traffic to Company Website
Social Media Goal: Increase Clicks to a Specific URL

There are many times when a business may need to drive qualified traffic to a specific page on their website. Maybe it’s a push to shop for a certain product, read a specific news item, fill out a form—whatever it is, you have to guide your customer there first. With Facebook it’s fairly simple to do just that; simply choose “clicks to website” as your campaign objective, or choose “website conversions” if you wish for users to complete a specific action when they get there. Twitter options aren’t currently as advanced, but a Promoted Tweets campaign would be your best bet. The tweet would simply need to include the link alongside a strong call to action urging your followers to click on it. For ecommerce sites, we may even recommend a Pinterest Promoted Pins campaign—once it is available to all advertisers. Depending on your business, Pinterest can be a fantastic tool, though Twitter and Facebook are still the most relevant social media platforms in terms of advertising (so far).

Knowing what options are out there goes a long way, but there are many factors a business must consider before launching a campaign. Advertising guidelines and policies are fairly strict, and choosing an agency that has plenty of experience is the best way to go when it comes to spending your hard-earned marketing dollars most efficiently. Not to mention you can take advantage of trained brand and social media experts, copywriters and graphic designers to best captivate your targeted audience. Contact Sage Island today if your business could use a little help in increasing brand awareness, spreading the word on a company initiative or driving traffic to your website. Utilizing social media advertising can make a huge impact on results!