Digital Advertising used to be an option or an “add-on” to traditional marketing, i.e. print, radio, TV, and outdoor media. I can still hear a former client saying to me a few years ago, “Advertise on social media sites? We’ll see what we have left over in the budget after the Yellow Pages” O.o
These days as brands stare into a defective media landscape where the usual options aren’t converting like they used to back in the day. The ROI with many digital properties is not only hard to quantify but also very few offer any scale.
Creative brands are starting to figure out that to advertise on social media sites offers them a great deal of scale, more so than any other digital advertising option.
In terms of websites and destinations on the Internet, social media networks have the highest engagement. According to Nielsen, Americans were spending an average of 12 hours per month on social networks as of July 2012. Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 spent more than 20 hours a month. This alone is every reason to create an exciting campaign and advertise on social media sites.
A brand can create a captive audience for their marketing efforts using a well-researched, optimized, content heavy, social media marketing strategy. If your content is compelling, interesting, and relevant to your target demographic, they will not only follow your brand but will share your content to their own social networks.
Scale combined with billions* of users who offer up copious amounts of personal info that social networks store in huge databases (and exploit for financial gain), makes the option to advertise on social media sites an attractive marketing consideration for brands and SMB’s.
* Facebook boasts it has more than 1 billion users globally while Twitter claims its user base is 200 million.
11 Ways Brands Can Advertise on Social Media Sites:
Advertising On Facebook
1. Facebook Ads
While maybe not as popular as they used to be (IMO), only because of other advertising products Facebook has introduced, Facebook Ads are still relevant. Ads can appear in the right column of pages (including apps, photos, groups, pages, & timeline) throughout Facebook. Depending on how you target your ad it can be seen by fans, friends of fans, or even non fans.
2. Facebook Promoted Posts
Ok so we all know that even though our page my have 10,000 fans; only approximately 16% of those fans are actually seeing our posts. So how do we boost our reach? Facebook has a fantastic paid option that works. You can boost your audience that sees your post and you control your budget.
Promoted Posts have the ability to reach not only fans of your business but also the friends of people who have shared, commented, or liked the post. If you’re giving thought to advertise on social media sites, this should be in the top 3 of your list.
3. Facebook Sponsored Stories
With this tool, you can pay to highlight a post or action from a Facebook fan. By doing so, the post is shown to all of that person’s friends, either in the sidebar or News Feed. This allows you to highlight positive feedback from a fan of your business. The most popular form of Sponsored Story is a page “like,” although it can also be used for check-ins or any other type of user action.
4. Facebook Offers
Make sure your offer is a really good deal. You can put a time limit on your offer so make it count. Why? When you make a Facebook offer you’re able to send promotions and coupons right into the valuable digital real estate known as the NewsFeed of your fans.
If a fan takes you up on that offer a story is then added to their timeline (also much sought after digital real estate). The win for you here is that now that offer is visible to that fan’s friends.
Advertising On Twitter
5. Twitter Promoted Tweets
Twitter defines Promoted Tweets as ordinary Tweets purchased by advertisers who want to reach a wider group of users or to spark engagement from their existing followers.
Promoted Tweets are clearly labeled as Promoted when they show up in a users feed. Other than that, Promoted Tweets look and feel just like regular Tweets and can be retweeted, replied to, and favorited.
This tool is also very helpful as you’re able to target users as they search Twitter. For example of your Promoted Tweet was about your microbrewery, Twitter would determine which relevant users would be interested in your Tweet. It will then show your Promoted Tweet in those users timeline.
6. Twitter Promoted Accounts
Promoted Accounts are part of Twitter’s “Who to Follow” feature. This tool suggests accounts that people don’t currently follow and may find interesting.
Promoted Accounts help introduce an even wider variety of accounts people may enjoy. They are shown as part of the Who to Follow widget, the Who To Follow Page, search results, and on profile pages.
When you advertise using Promoted Accounts Twitter again will determine which relevant users will see your ad. As with Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts are labeled as Promoted.
Advertising On Google+
7. Google+ Social Extensions
Google may not have a solid, final monetization or advertising model for Google+ yet but it’s probably safe to assume they are working on it. If you’re looking to advertise on social media sites owned by Google, there are a couple of options. Google+ Social Extensions is a cool low-key option for advertising on Google+.
If your company has a Google+ Business Page you can include a social extension to any of your Google AdWords campaigns. This will add the red +1 button to your chosen campaigns.
Why does this matter? According to Google, search ads with the +1 recommendation button receive an average of 5-10% more clicks.
Advertising On YouTube
8. YouTube Ads
Since we’re discussing Google’s product, did you know that many people don’t realize that YouTube is the 2nd biggest search engine in the universe.
=”http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324582004578457253960478548.html”>New statistics, show that YouTube has more than 1 billion unique visitors a month watching over six billion hours of video (up from 4 billion hours just last year).
YouTube’s best social advertising tool for SMBs is probably its TrueView suite, which is actually part of Google’s AdWords for video.
Just like Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or Cost-Per-Click (CPC), with TrueView you pay only when a viewer actually chooses to watch your video.
There are 4 options to this service: In-stream, In-slate, In-search and In-Display. Check out =”http://www.youtube.com/yt/advertise/trueview.html”>YouTube’s advertiser page for more information on each option.
Advertising On Yelp
9. Yelp Ads
While we’re on the subject of advertising with social search, let’s get into the benefits of Advertising on Yelp.
For those unfamiliar, Yelp is a location-based social search app (with a great website as well) that has grown a great deal over the last 2 years. They now claim to have 84 million unique monthly visitors. That’s not total users. That’s unique monthly visitors.
Their success lies in the abundance of user generated reviews or local businesses.
They have two options with other options that include video. With Yelp ads you can have placement at the top of its search results for your category or you can appear on the business pages of your local competitors! Awesome huh? Even better you have the option to remove competitor ads from your Yelp page should that game get out of hand.
Advertising On LinkedIn
10. LinkedIn Ads
With LinkedIn ads you can target who see’s your ad based on industry, job title, location, age, company name, company size, gender, or LinkedIn Group.
As expected the investment options are CPC (pay for each click) or CPM (pay per 1000 impressions).
11. Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr Ads?
It’s only a matter of time before advertising on social media sites like Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr becomes a reality.
It’s clear Facebook will monetize Instagram sometime soon, it’s one of the reasons they purchased the photo sharing social network. Tumblr is already talking about an advertising model. Pinterest can’t be far away from introducing theirs. In 2012 they started verifying Business Pages and created support for Pinterest for Business.
As you see there are plenty of options for your digital advertising budget to be spent to advertise on social media sites. You just now need to determine which options on which social networks are best for you. If you need help or would like to discuss these options further, email me, I’ll buy the coffee.
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