Which Social Network Should You Advertise On?
You just can’t ignore the rise of social media in today’s culture. Not only can you use it personally to connect with family and friends, it also has the ability to benefit your business. Now that millions of consumers are using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and other forms, there’s an entire market just waiting for your services and products to blow them away! The only question is…which social network is most effective for your business?
One big advantage of social media is it doesn’t cost any money to create a profile, publish content and grow a following.
Let’s take a look at four of the major social media platforms and explore the pros and cons of advertising on them.
Pros: With roughly two billion users each month around the world, Facebook has the largest audience by far. Whether you want to target locally or nationally, it’s clear to see that the potential visibility of advertising here is enormous. Facebook is a great place for small businesses to advertise, and it’s easy to increase your audience since you can advertise based on your location. Because you can spend as little as a dollar a day per ad, it’s also a cost-effective choice.
Another advantage of a Facebook ad is their advanced targeting options. You can target viewers based on six distinct categories: gender, location, education, workplace, likes and interests and even relationship status!
Facebook also does their own method of A/B testing for you. They let you design multiple ad variations and then use the ad set that performs the best for you. Knowing the effectiveness of the ads your company produces is valuable information to you.
Cons: The only real disadvantage of advertising on Facebook is that the metrics they provide concerning ad performance are currently fairly small when compared to other sites.
Example: BarkBox took advantage of Facebook’s targeting options, and it really paid off. The company earned one-third of their daily traffic and half of their daily conversions from Facebook.
They accomplished this by using Facebook’s custom audience option to target dog lovers. BarkBox increased their subscribers to 5,000 per month from Facebook alone and expanded their business…just from using targeted keywords of people on Facebook who “liked” different breeds of dogs. You can read their incredible success story here.
Pros: The second most popular social network is Twitter, the home of the hashtag. With approximately 320 million users each month, it’s an effective platform for advertising.
Since you can target keywords in any user’s tweets, including the famous hashtags, you can ensure that your ad appears wherever someone is talking about a phrase connected to products you sell or a service you provide.
You can also use Twitter to target a specific audience when you focus on a specific user. For example, if there’s a popular influencer in your industry who has a large Twitter following, you can target their audience. By doing this, you will increase your reach in the industry.
Cons: Despite being successful at targeting users through hashtags and keywords, it isn’t as easy to target by interest on Twitter. There just aren’t many interests to choose from. For example, the only interest category option for a B2B inbound marketing agency to select is “Marketing”. Since this category includes such a massive industry, advertising here wouldn’t be very effective. Twitter has the potential to be a powerful advertising option as soon as they increase their advertising categories.
Example: All companies can benefit from advertising on social media, even traditional companies like the Girl Scouts. They used Twitter to boost downloads of the new Girl Scout Cookie Finder mobile app they created.
The result of this ad campaign was astounding…over 19,500 viewers downloaded the app. You can read about their success story here.
Pros: LinkedIn offers the greatest opportunity if your goal is to target the business community. You have the highest chance of conversion solely because of the audience you’re targeting. You’re able to focus your ads toward small groups based on their title and location which ensures you’ll be seen by CEO’s, marketing directors and other company decision makers.
Cons: You won’t get a high click-through-rate for your ad on LinkedIn, but the users behind those clicks are usually better qualified than the ones you’ll find on the other social media platforms. With Facebook, you might get as many as 1 in 200 impressions, but on LinkedIn, the average is 1 in 500.
Another disadvantage of using LinkedIn is the expense of running an ad campaign…each click costs up to four or five dollars. Since you have a higher-quality audience, though, the extra cost might be worth it.
Example: MarketShare’s experience is a great example of effectively using LinkedIn for advertising. They targeted marketing professionals and used LinkedIn display ads to drive traffic to their site.
The result was better than they expected. The ad received a .10% click through rate, double the number MarketShare was looking for. An added bonus…they saw more qualified leads coming in from a variety of verticals. You can read about Marketshare’s experience here.
Pros: A big reason to consider advertising on Instagram is because it lets your ad include clickable links as part of promoted posts. Being able to include a call-to-action and include a link in an advertised post will increase traffic to your website. This ability isn’t available to posts that aren’t boosted as advertisements.
Trying to be seen through the millions of posts is the biggest struggle all businesses deal with when using social media marketing. The fastest and most effective way to get noticed is pay to play. Just because you pay to get into your target audience’s feed doesn’t mean your post will be followed or that people will engage with you, though. It’s vital that you create Instagram posts that are compelling and make people want to engage with and follow you. Instagram ads help you get noticed by potential customers.
Since you can use your Facebook Ads Manager account to set up ads on Instagram, another advantage of advertising here is that you can piggyback off your Facebook Ads. You’re able to promote photos, multi-photo carousel ads and videos as well as advertising within Instagram stories. Since Instagram is constantly adding new features, the options for advertising will continue to increase.
Cons: Even though Instagram allows you to place clickable links in your advertising, the links aren’t used as often as they are on Facebook. You might want to test Facebook ads with Instagram ads and see which is most successful…especially if your goal is to increase traffic to your website.
If your target audience is over 29, you might have better luck on Facebook than Instagram since most of its users are 18-29 years old.
Another significant disadvantage is that Instagram ads lack the capabilities of Facebook ads which allow for more detailed targeting. The options are more limited on Instagram, at least for now.
Example: Michael Kors company wanted to boost sales, attract more customers and increase awareness of its smartwatches. They created a compelling 3-card video carousel ad in Instagram stories. Every card on the carousel was clickable and featured a Shop Now call-to-action and a link to the Michael Kors website so people could learn more and/or purchase.
The result was impressive. The campaign saw a 3x higher click-through rate in only two weeks. You can read more about the successful ad here.
These four social media platforms offer many advantages to your business. You can engage with your audience and organically grow a following as you advertise to expand your brand and promote the products or services you provide. So, give it a try and see how advertising on social media can boost your marketing results!
Contact us today and let our experienced staff help you get started or answer any questions you may have. We’re here to help you reach your full online potential!