*This is a blog post that I am writing for an assignment in my Advertising class. We had free reign with this one topic-wise, so I thought I’d point out some social media advertising options, since that’s a little more up my alley.*

My area of marketing proficiency is social media. I grew up in a world of social media, so I often tell my clients that I’m at an advantage because I’ve been around this stuff all of my life. All I have to do is apply it to business and marketing plans. Once clients are comfortable with social media for their business, I try to promote utilizing social media ads. However, even in our digital, online world today, many people still aren’t convinced that social media is the way to go for advertising. After all, isn’t it enough to just have a Facebook page? I shouldn’t pay for ads, too, should I do? What about LinkedIn and Twitter? Isn’t a presence enough on there, as well? In today’s post, I’d like to briefly give you some overview of advertising on social media.

Please note: I am not talking about social media marketing in general; specifically, I am talking about advertising with the paid ads on these networks. After all, advertising is defined as “paid” promotion, right? Social media is free to use; advertising via those platforms is another story.

Some Quick Stats

In case you’re wondering why you should be on social media with your company, here are some stats to let you know where your audience is.

  • Social media has overtaken porn as the number one activity on the web.
  • Americans spend an average of 37 minutes daily on social media.
  • 93% of marketers use social media for business.
  • Every two seconds, a new member joins LinkedIn.
  • 67% of US Twitter users are more likely to buy from a brand they follow.
  • Facebook has 955 million active users, and 58% of those log on every single day.
  • Over 4 billion hours are watched on YouTube each month.
  • Pinterest generates 27% more revenue per click than Facebook!

Now that you see where your audience is spending a lot of their time, let’s look at some social media advertising options on three of social media’s biggest channels.

Facebook

Facebook ads are easy to set up and manage, and they also provide valuable insights and analytics. Setting up a Facebook ad can be as simple, or as complicated, as you want it to be. Ads include image, headline, and copy (of course, there are some limitations on just what exactly you can do with those elements). These ads can be placed in the newsfeed or on the right side column of Facebook. We’ve all seen these ads, so that’s no surprise. Facebook offers precise targeting that can help you target exactly the kind of people you’re looking for. (It’s almost a little scary.) You can target the ads to a geographic location, education level, relationship status, interest, pages a user likes, and more. These ads can be set up specifically in order to help you reach your specific goal, whether it’s to gain traffic to your website, sell a product, get more likes on a page, or encourage app engagement. You can pay per click (every time someone does something with your ad) or pay per impression (a thousand views of your ad).

Facebook ad results

Twitter

Twitter also offers some advertising options for businesses. Companies can advertise via promoted tweets, promoted accounts, or promoted trends. Promoted tweets are specific tweets from a company; for example, this could be a company promoting a tweet about an upcoming contest or giveaway. Promoted accounts are exactly what they sound like- they promote specific Twitter accounts. These will show up in a column of recommended followers when a user is on Twitter. Finally, promoted trends encourage trending topics and show popular hashtags and conversations on Twitter.

Twitter ad options

LinkedIn

The last network we will look at in this blog post is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social network for professionals. There are various advertising options on here, similar to Facebook. One can create an ad with an image, headline, and copy. Also like Facebook, LinkedIn offers targeting options to help your ads reach the right kind of professionals. (However, LinkedIn’s targeting is not quite on par with Facebook’s at this point.) LinkedIn is a great place to advertise job postings, or to advertise if you’re a B2B company, as you can target specific types of professionals that you’d like to work with.

Linkedin ad options

Sources:

Adler, E. (2014, January 5). Social Media Engagement: The Surprising Facts About How Much Time People Spend On The Major Social Networks. In Business Insider. Retrieved March 10, 2014, from http://www.businessinsider.com/social-media-engagement-statistics-2013-12

Cooper, B. (2013, Nov 18) 10 SURPRISING SOCIAL MEDIA STATISTICS THAT WILL MAKE YOU RETHINK YOUR SOCIAL STRATEGY. Fast Company. Retrieved March 10, 2014, from http://www.fastcompany.com/3021749/work-smart/10-surprising-social-media-statistics-that-will-make-you-rethink-your-social-stra

Social Media Statistics (n.d.). In Social Media Infographics. Retrieved March 10, 2014, from http://socialmediainfographics.org/

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