Social media has not only been an avenue to communicate with family and friends across distances, but with the increasing number of social media users around the globe, it has also become an ideal place for marketers, entrepreneurs, and business owners to reach out to their target audiences and increase brand awareness, engage, and generate leads. Moreover, business to consumer (B2C) advertising relies heavily on visual content and is geared towards being shareable and engaging to consumers. Thus, social media channels are the best avenues for the fast distribution of creative visual content and advertisement.
What is social media advertising? It is a type of online advertising focused on users of social networking sites. Using social media channels with the help of social media marketing tools advertisers can target and distribute their ads appropriately. Social media channels or platforms help you target specific audiences. You can create a target group profile based on gender, age, location, interests, and other demographic information of your target market. Your advertisements will then be distributed to different users that fit the target group profile you made.
Different social media channels offer various advertising options. When choosing which social network channels or platforms to use for your business’s social media advertising, choose those that perform well organically, are most popular to your target audience, and are worth your time and money.
Here is a social media channels list you can browse when selecting a platform for your social media advertising:
Facebook is the most used social media network with more than 2 billion monthly users worldwide. It allows a more advanced targeting compared to other social media advertising platforms.
Facebook ads will help you reach 3 types of campaign objectives: (1) build brand awareness or increase your reach; (2) send traffic to your website, increase engagement, or generate leads; and (3) create online conversions, make sales, or drive foot traffic to physical stores.
Facebook has 8 ad formats you can choose from: photo, video, stories, Messenger, carousel, slideshow, collection, and playables.
Facebook photo ad includes 125-character text with a headline, link description, and a call-to-action button. Your target audience will appreciate it if the photo depicts how to use the product instead of merely taking a picture of your product.
Facebook video ads can range from short mobile videos to 240-minute promoted videos made for desktop viewing. Brief videos are ideal as they yield higher completion rates. If your video content is compelling, you can extend the duration of your video ad.
Facebook stories ads can display your photos for 6 seconds and play videos that last up to 15 seconds. Stories last for up to 24 hours, only. It is a great format to use to display your limited time offers such as sales and promos.
Facebook carousel ads are a great format when presenting different products or the different features of a product. A carousel ad will allow you to post a maximum of 10 photos or videos and their links.
Facebook slideshow ads create videos comprised of your images or stock images from Facebook. It is a great format for advertisers who want to “upgrade” their static photos but are not yet prepared to try video ads.
Facebook collection ads highlight your products or services in the Facebook feed. This includes a cover photo or video, product images, pricing, and other details. Collection ads allow people to learn about your product on their news feeds.
Facebook playable are interactive previews of an app that a user can experience prior to downloading the app.
Advertising on Facebook costs below USD1 per lead; prices would vary based on budget, audience, and duration, among certain factors. Nonetheless, the bigger your budget, the more efficient Facebook’s algorithm is at spending your money, as your ad performance increases over a period of time.
Facebook Messenger is also one of the widely used social media marketing platforms. Facebook Messenger ads are Facebook ads seen on the Messenger app’s home screen. It is an ideal format to let people reach your business through Messenger.
Messenger has 4 features you can try for your advertising: (1) comment guard, (2) chat blasting, (3) click-to-messenger ad, and (4) chat widget.
Comment guard is a bot you set up in your organic Facebook post. This bot allows someone who comments to automatically receive an opt-in message from you. Once they reply to your message, this generates a lead. You acquire their information and will be able to message them back.
Comment guards are free and are a good avenue to build your list of leads. Create interactive conversation-starting organic posts. Also, it is best to add a comment guard to posts receiving a lot of engagement. To easily get a response from a potential lead, bait your bot for them to easily respond.
Chat blasting is sending a Messenger chat to everyone on your list. It is similar to email blasting but better because it has a higher probability of being opened and read by the people who received it. To use chat blasting, apply for Facebook’s subscription messaging. As a word of caution, you can’t send a promotional content in chat blasting. It will, however, help you maintain a high degree of engagement with everyone on your contact list.
Click-to-Messenger ad is a type of Facebook ad in which the conversion action is “Send Message.” If someone converts from your Messenger ad, they enter an interactive dialogue either with you or the chatbot. This type of ad can convince your potential clients more since these can quickly address their queries regarding your product or services and get answers, right away.
Chat widget is the button found on your website which visitors can click to message you. This widget is run by free and automated bots. They are readily available and can respond to any message instantly. This is more efficient and cost-effective in contrast to a live chat.
Instagram ads are geared towards helping you reach 3 campaign objectives similar to that of Facebook ads. If Facebook has the highest users, Instagram has one of the highest audience engagement rates in social media compared to Facebook and Twitter, making it an ideal social media platform for your social media advertising. Millennials and Gen Xers are the top users of Instagram.
Instagram ads can be made to link directly to your product page or other landing pages such as your website, to enable direct engagements. Similar to Facebook, you can also set your target audience on Instagram to make sure that your ads will be displayed on the feed of your target people.
Instagram has 6 ad formats: image feed, image story, video feed, video story, carousel feed, and canvas story.
Image and video feed ads are single images and videos that appear in the feed of your target audience, as they scroll. They look like your typical Instagram posts, only they have “Sponsored” labeled on the top right corner and can also include a call-to-action button.
Image and video story ads are similar to the first two aforementioned ads; the only difference is that these ads are posted on Instagram stories. Adding interactive elements in your story ads can yield higher engagements.
Carousel feed ads are comprised of a series of scrollable images, with a maximum of 10 images bearing their own link; a video may be included, as well.
Canvas story ads are the newest type of Instagram ads. They are supported by mobile devices and allow advertising to make a 360-degree virtual reality experience within their story. You can use an image, a video, or a carousel for your canvas story ads.
Since Instagram is known for its visual content, make sure your photos and videos are creative and engaging. Use a good amount of creative hashtags that your audience will likely search for.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay via Pexels
Twitter has an average of 330 million monthly active users worldwide and remains one of the most popular social media channels.
Twitter ads are geared towards these 5 business objectives: (1) website clicks, (2) tweet engagements, (3) followers, (4) awareness, and (5) app installs. It also offers two ways for you to create your ads. First is Twitter Promote which automatically promotes your tweets for you. Second is Twitter Ads campaign which allows you to create and promote your business’ campaign depending on your marketing strategy, objectives and goals. These campaigns may include bidding, awareness promotion, website clicks and conversions, and video views.
To maintain high user engagement, Twitter made recent changes, including multi-image tweets which allow users to share more visual content, and a camera function similar to that in Stories.
This is a good update, since the Stories feature has become quite a trend on other social media channels such as Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.
These changes are geared not only towards the improvement of the platform, but also towards the generation of organic content that will yield meaningful user experience.
YouTube ads can help you collect leads, drive more traffic to your website, increase your brand consideration, and build brand awareness and extend your reach.
YouTube offers three types of video ad formats: TrueView ads, non-skippable YouTube ads, and bumper ads.
TrueView ads automatically play before or during the videos you select on YouTube. Users can skip this ad after 5 seconds; so make sure you convey your message effectively within this duration. Thirty seconds or less is the ideal duration for this type of ad.
Non-skippable YouTube ads are brief ads with a maximum 20-second duration. They appear at the beginning and in the middle of a video that’s at least 10 minutes long.
Bumper ads appear at the end of YouTube videos. They last for 6 seconds and can be skipped.
Snapchat is one of the newer social media platforms and is ideal for a young target audience such as Millennials and Gen Z’s. When compared to other social media platforms for marketing, Snapchat takes a different approach and goal. Going viral isn’t the core objective of Snapchat advertisements; rather, getting your content to those who will engage with it is the objective.
Snapchat has a number of advertising options to choose from for your social media marketing: snap ads, sponsored lenses, geofilters, stories, and collection ads.
Snap ads are full-screen vertical images or videos up to 10 seconds long. These videos may include attachments for app installs, landing pages, or long-form videos. Keep your Snap ads simple, with a strong call-to-action.
Sponsored lenses are filters you can customize to feature your brand. These lenses allow Snapchatters to engage with and have fun while taking selfies, snaps, and videos.
Geofilters are overlays that can be added to Snapchatter’s stories. You can create a geofilter based on where you are physically located. It is a good tool for building brand awareness. These geofilters can be used when you are promoting events.
Stories are the branded tiles found on the user’s Discover feed. You can feature behind-the-scene content of what’s happening in your company, or you can provide a detailed look at the products you offer. Attachments with a call-to-action can also be added.
Collection ads allow you to display a series of different products with four thumbnail images, all in one ad. Each thumbnail image can be linked to its own URL.
You will have less competition when using Snapchat for your social media advertising, compared to using Facebook and Instagram.
Pinterest can help you achieve building awareness for your brand, drive traffic to your website and other specific products, drive video impressions, increase app installs, and encourage actions on your website. It is worth noting that Pinterest is highly used by females.
There are six types of Pinterest ads: promoted pins, promoted carousels, promoted video pins, promoted app pins, buyable pins, and story pins.
Promoted pins appear in the home feed and in search results. The only difference is that they’re boosted and deliver more reach. They are labeled “Promoted”; and Pinners can pin, share, and comment on them.
Promoted carousels feature a maximum of five images that Pinners can swipe. Each item on a carousel can feature different images, titles, descriptions, and landing pages.
Promoted video pins are similar to promoted pins, except that a video replaces the image. Since many users watch videos on mute, it is ideal to produce a video that can relay its message even without audio.
Promoted app pins allow Pinners to download your app directly from Pinterest. Once they click on the Install button, they will be directed to a valid Google Play app link or iTunes URL.
Buyable pins are designed to make shopping convenient. This feature allows Pinners to search and buy products from your pins.
Story pins appear in Pinner’s home feeds; these contain a cover image, title, and a “Story” label. This pin can feature up to 20 images, texts, and links.
When using Pinterest ads, make sure that your content is creative, on-trend, detailed, and engaging to your followers.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay via Pexels
LinkedIn is a social media platform that is ideal for the business to business (B2B) market. Many LinkedIn users are professionals.
There are three types of LinkedIn ads: sponsored content, sponsored InMail, and text ads.
Sponsored content ads appear in news feeds. Here, you can feature your brand expertise and promote brand awareness.
Sponsored InMail is like email marketing, only your mails are sent directly to users’ LinkedIn inboxes. They receive your ad mail when they are active on LinkedIn.
Text ads are small ad units on top of and on the right-hand side of a LinkedIn newsfeed. Text ads may also include thumbnails. These ads are visible to desktop users.
This 2019, LinkedIn launches a new campaign manager which includes objective-based advertising.
To open up a business profile on WhatsApp, you have the option of using the WhatsApp Business app which is ideal for small business owners. This is a free app you can download wherein your business can easily interact with your customers using tools to automate and quickly respond to messages. If you own a large business or large brand, you can use the WhatsApp Business API to send messages efficiently to your customers. Once you’ve created a profile here, your business can provide responsive customer support and send timely, one-way notifications to your customers.
With the chat features Viber offers, it is an ideal channel for you to provide customer care. To reach a huge number of people, you can also create your own Viber community that can fit up to 1 billion members. Here, you can easily disseminate information about your products and your business to your intended target audience on a wider scale. It is also a great avenue for gathering feedback, to improve your products and marketing campaigns.
Social media advertising is one of the best marketing strategies any marketer should try, to spread brand awareness and generate more leads. Before delving into social media marketing, remember to identify your business goals and objectives. Know your target audience well, to know which social media platform is best for your organization and what type of content will keep your audience engaged.
Make your posts engaging; and, if possible, let them tell a compelling story that comes with a strong call-to-action. Keep your budget under control and schedule your ad posts wisely. Since most social media users are accessing social networks through a mobile device, make sure that your ads and posts are mobile-friendly.
Always test your ads. Before setting an ad to a campaign, test several ads for small-scale audiences and see which one works best, then refine your strategy. Also, measure your results and report them.
While social media advertising might be a little tricky, you can always ask for a reputable marketing agency to help you with your social media marketing management. After all, they can provide you with the best digital marketing framework strategies while maximizing your budget and ensuring that your business will be known to and patronized by the right people.
I am a futurist who spends most of my time monitoring social behavior in search of new consumer trends. I use the information to create viral and useful content as part of the new media strategy. I’m interested in technology, market behavior, new media, environment, sustainability, futuristic scenarios, and businesses.
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