Social media is how users share everything from delivering important world news to funny cat pictures. It also affects how users make purchasing decisions. Just as consumers once relied on print ads and television spots, social media is where customers are getting information about products. Due to this shift, brands have to think about how social media can be leveraged for advertising, in addition to their current social engagement efforts.
Paid vs. Organic Social Media Advertising
There are two types of social media advertising, organic and paid. Paid, often referred to as Sponsored Content, is when a company pays to have their content featured in certain spots and in front of targeted demographics. Have you ever seen a “sponsored” post from a company you don’t follow on your newsfeed? That’s a paid advertisement. Organic advertising, on the other hand, involves creating and implementing different methods to build your following the old fashion way, by posting your content without any additional paid efforts. When it comes to your messaging, it is not a question of which method is better vs. the other, but rather what your goals are and which is a better method for achieving them.
It All Begins With Strategy
Social media and advertising are the same in a strategic sense. Each post should have a purpose behind it that encourages the response you’re looking for. When you start, you should put serious thought into how you are going to present your brand, similar to the way that advertisers are careful about how they present theirs. What would attract your viewers? It’s best to learn as much about your audience as you can, then base your strategy on how to best serve your niche.
Some basic questions to ask about your audience:
- What is their demographic (age, gender, location, etc.)
- How are they accessing social media?
- What channels are they using? (Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, etc.)
Once you have your target audience in place, it is time to start thinking strategically. Some things to include are:
- Choose a platform that will best your target audience.
- Learn when is the most effective time to post for maximum reach.
- Engage with people; this can vary from customers to fellow professionals.
- Create content accordingly that will encourage engagement.
Best of all, you can accurately measure how effective each post is (traditional advertising uses estimations).
Measurable Data is Key
The beauty of social media is that, in a way, it acts as a scientific experiment. Let’s take Twitter for instance – you can measure how many people are following you as well as how many impressions each tweet gains. By using that information, along with factors like the time the tweet was sent and the type of content it featured, you can assemble a set of data (much like a scientist). Then you can leverage that data in the future, the same way advertising professionals determine whether or not a certain time slot or network is worth advertising for.
It’s also worth taking into account the value users place in social media. Social media has become more popular on mobile devices than desktops over the years.
What it boils down to is getting your brand more exposure. Every post is as much of an extension of your brand’s image as a billboard or television commercial. If you’re focused, committed, and prepared to learn, you will create a place where your customers can communicate with you, as well as drive more people to you brand.
Active Web Group is a full service digital marketing agency that manages digital marketing for companies on both the local and national level. Our experts do everything from the research, strategic planning, content posting, and reporting. Call us today at 800-978-3417 to get started on your next social media campaign!