Social Media AdvertisingWhen MarketingLand.com wrote about social media advertising back in 2015, they predicted it would explode within three short years. And explode it has.

Today, targeted social advertising appears everywhere and anywhere YOU venture online, replacing (for the most part) things like banner ads and other traditional forms of online advertising.

Social media advertising may be here to stay, but it’s not an arm of social media that will ever remain static. Remember, we don’t OWN our social media real estate. And the real owners can make changes to their systems any time they see fit.

Social Media Advertising is on the Rise – Thanks Facebook!

Have you noticed how little you’re seeing posts in your news feeds from businesses that you follow on social media? We certainly have. Across all channels, we’re seeing less and less from brands with which we want to engage. Now, we have to go hunting for their pages if we want updates or see what they’re sharing.

That’s because Facebook tweaked it’s algorithm back in January to favour more human, organic, “friends and family” style interaction. Zuckerberg himself said, “Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”

For businesses who have a firm grip on influencer marketing and organic content sharing? No biggie. For businesses who haven’t engaged in much (if any) influencer style, organic leaning social marketing? It’s time to embrace social media advertising.

Why it’s Time to Embrace Social Media Advertising

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why Facebook made this shift. It certainly wasn’t altruistic. Social networks need to make revenue, and that’s only going to happen if businesses are spending money on advertising. Full stop.

That said, if you’re a small to mid-sized business on a tight budget, you might be pretty ticked about this. Without getting too zen, take a deep breath, and relax. I’m going to share some positive thinking with you about social media advertising…
• First, ads can be more budget friendly than traditional advertising.
• Targeting is much more precise, which means less money is wasted on audiences or demographics that don’t matter to your brand.
• Social media advertising is easier to measure (hello, conversion tracking!), and also easier to pivot and tweak if your campaign isn’t delivering the results you wanted.
• And it gets bonus points for being interactive, visual, shareable and engaging!

How to Get More Bang for your Social Advertising Buck

Spirits lifted? Great. Now let me share a few ways you can get the most mileage out of your social ad budget.
Do more than just boost a post. That little ‘boost post’ button is oh so tempting, but we highly recommend resisting the urge. Here’s why:

• The objective of a boosted post is limited to only post engagement and website visits.
• Ad targeting settings and budget control are more limited.
• You can only promote posts that are published on your timeline.

Simply put, instead of relying on a boost button, create an actual social media advertising campaign with a controlled budget, even if it’s small. You will see better results and have more control over the outcome.

A/B test the ads. Sometimes referred to as split or variable testing, this involves testing two variations of an ad, but changing one variable for each. For example, you might create two ads for the same campaign, but use a different visual for each, or you might create identical ads, but target it against two different audiences.
This is free to do in social media ad platforms and is an excellent way to see which ad performs the best in a testing phase. Once you have that knowledge, you can direct more budget dollars toward the ad driving the best results.

Implement retargeting. Have you ever visited a page on a website and then started to see their ads more frequently in your social media feeds? That’s because they’ve implemented retargeting! With just a bit of coding on your website, you can set your social media ads to trigger on potential customers’ news feeds simply because they’ve already visited your website.

Have you tried advertising on social media yet? If so, what results did you achieve and how do you think they could have been improved? Hit reply and tell me about it!