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Getting Started With Social Media Advertising

Laura Phillips

by Laura Phillips on 15th July 2014

Social Media AdvertisingWith the increasing amount of time spent on Social Media – many brands are opting to take advantage of the paid advertising options available. This is an attractive option for many brands in search of connecting with customers and seeing a tangible return on investment.

Let’s look at the options available, and how your business will benefit.

Main Types of Facebook Ads

External Site

Click to a website

Clicking these ads takes the user away from Facebook and to the advertiser’s website.

These Ads often have a dedicated landing page with the website written to continue the customer journey that began with the Ad. These Ads will usually include a photograph. You can add numerous images and Facebook will test them to find the most effective one for your Ad. Try to keep your messages short, with a strong call to action.

Click through rates are usually low for these types of Ads, but can be tailored by many factors such as age, location, gender and interests to narrow down impressions and serve your Ads only to those who have the potential to become customers.

In 2011 it was reported that the average cost per click for a Facebook Ad was £0.52 and the average click through rate was 0.051%, though of course this is a generalised set of figures.

Page Promotion

Page promotion is great for those starting a brand new Facebook page. This advertising option allows you to promote your page and gain more Likes. When people Like your page this action will show up on their profile…

Page Promotion

…and also in the News Feed, where other friends will see it.

Page Promotion 2

Page promotion is great for building your page and increasing brand awareness.

Promoted Posts

A while back Facebook told us/admitted that the contents of branded pages are only seen by around 16% of subscribers to that page. But lucky company owners could pay to been seen by more people by way of Promoted Posts. Obviously this was met with mixed reaction.

Promoted posts help you reach more people. You can choose which posts to promote yourself, but handily Facebook will tell you when one of your posts is performing particularly well and suggests what it might cost to promote.

Promoted Posts 1

You do need a relatively solid base to fully utilise these posts or they are a waste of money.

A study by Syncapse estimates that a Facebook ‘fan’ is worth £102 ($174) based on brand loyalty, spend, likelihood to recommend, media value, cost of acquisition and brand affinity.

Promoted posts are best utilised for offers, events, limited time discounts, news…

How To Create Facebook Ads

Facebook have made it very easy to set up Ads using their Ad Create Tool, though, don’t be fooled. Creating Ads IS easy…

Objective

…the hard work starts when the Ads are up and running! If you’re new to Facebook advertising you’ll find that making sure your money is being used effectively and knowing how to manage and optimise your Facebook advertising campaign comes with time and experience.

Stumble Upon Paid Discovery

Stumble Upon have their own form of paid advertising called ‘Paid Discovery’. Stumble Upon targets users by their predefined interests, showing them posts recommended by other users with the same interests, posts recommended by those they follow, and those entered into this stream via paid advertising.

Stumble Upon Paid Discovery

Paid discovery allows you to pay to show users video, images, whatever you like in this otherwise natural stream of posts, and sends them straight to your page so you do not create ‘ads’ as such. This maintains the appearance of a natural set of results as opposed to invasive and obvious advertising which can put some users off. Stumble Upon say that Paid Discovery accounts for around 5% of all material.

Pricing can vary depending on the criteria you set. You pay extra for age, gender, location, interests, and engagement on top of the equivalent ‘cost per click’, so watch your spending.

On the upside Paid Discovery can be useful to drive targeted traffic to niche sites. Traffic is already targeted to some degree, and you only pay for unique visitors. However, it’s worth remembering that Stumble Upon is driving ‘targeted traffic’ directly to your site. By ‘targeted’, we mean traffic that their algorithm has deemed to be users who may be interested in what you have to offer. This is pretty vague and far from fool proof, meaning you could end with an extremely high bounce rate and still be paying for every click.

LinkedIn Advertising

LinkedIn

LinkedIn ads run along similar lines to AdWords, and include an image. They run on main pages such as the Home page, profile pages, groups, and inbox.

Ads can be targeted in a variety of ways, reducing wasted clicks and making sure your ads are being seen by the right people:

Target By: Examples:
Job Title “Patent Attorney” or “Sr. Laboratory Technician” or “Registered Nurse”
Job Function “Sales” or “Engineering” or “Marketing” functions
Industry “Banking” or “Biotechology” industries
Geography “United States” or “Netherlands” or “Toronto”
Company Size “1-10″ or “500-1000″ people
Company Name “GE” or “Hewlett-Packard” or “FedEx”
Seniority “Vice President” or “Owners”
Age “18-24” or “35-54”
Gender “Female” or “Male”
LinkedIn Group “Business Intelligence Group” or “Corporate Real Estate”

 

Budgets are set is a similar way to AdWords, with the lowest limit being $10 per day, and you can choose between CPC and CPM.

CPM means cost per thousand impressions. If you are looking to reach the highest number of users for maximum exposure, this is the way forward. CPM is most useful for brand awareness campaigns, offers, and should only really be used by those who have experience of paid advertising.

CPC stands for Cost Per Click. Using CPC means you are charged only when someone clicks on your Ad. The lowest cost per click you will pay is $2.00, the highest bid is set by you. LinkedIn offer a ‘suggested bid range’ based on competitor bids, I would advise experimenting with lower and higher bids as these models can mean spending more money than is actually necessary.

Recently LinkedIn has begun testing allowing advertisers to target ads across the web using their vast tank of data. They are reporting a good response, but companies using the new system are reporting a lack of response from users.

Twitter Paid Advertising

Twitter offer a number of paid advertising options to fit their model where traditional PPC would not work.

Using the Promoted Accounts, targeted users are invited to follow your account. Promoted accounts appear in the ‘Who To Follow’ section of the Home page and widgets, and can help build a community who are more likely to engage with your brand. You will only be charged when users engage with your account.

Twitter

Promoted Tweets help boost the reach of your tweet, reaching more users. You only pay when users engage with the posting as opposed to by impressions. Where organic tweets cannot be targeted, promoted ones can.

Twitter Promoted Post

Targeting options include age, gender, location, keyword, and more. Publishing options are varied, so you can promote tweets that have already been published organically, or you have the option to tweet only to those who do not yet follow your brand.

Promoted tweets appear in dashboards like HootSuite and TweetDeck, at the top of relevant searches, and results for Promoted Trends.

Twitter paid advertising allows you to set a daily budget, once this has been used your promoted activity will stop appearing so you won’t pay more than you planned to. As with AdWords and LinkedIn, you can use Twitter’s bid estimation tool to see what you should be paying in order to be seen.

Reddit

Reddit advertising is an often neglected advertising source, being low cost, with huge reach – Reddit estimate 114 million users – and a highly engaged audience. With a well-crafted campaign you stand to gain a great deal from Reddit. Build a lazy campaign or fail to engage, and they will tear you apart. Reddit users are passionate and committed to their platform and this means only high quality, creative advertisers are likely to succeed.

Reddit offers two forms of advertising, links and text. Links, unsurprisingly, take users to a URL of your choice away from Reddit itself. As these ads drive traffic to a specific page they are best used for products, services, and offers where the intention is to convert.

Reddit Sponsored Link

Text advertising allows you an unlimited amount of copy, and takes users to the comments section of your post. These ads are best for engaging users, driving conversation, and building a community around your brand.

Reddit Text Ads

The minimum budget for Reddit advertising is $5. Once you have entered your date range and budget, Reddit will calculate how many times your ad will show. You can then adjust this accordingly. You can also choose targeting options such as where your ads will show, and the location of users who can see them.

One thing to be aware of, Reddit doesn’t allow the immediate launch available with other platforms, it can take up to 2 days for ads to go live and you may need to set start dates accordingly.

Final Thoughts

Test and experiment with these main platforms, set your budget and measure the results. You should quickly and easily be able to tell which works best for you. Those that aren’t may just need a few tweaks to get them started, and don’t forget to use the analytics dashboards offered by each social media platform to refine your campaigns.

For more information on paid advertising options, get in touch today to see how we can help.

Image Credits: 

Social Media Thumb Up via BigStock 

Laura Phillips

Laura Phillips

Laura has experience of SEO, PPC and Social Media both in-house and within an agency environment. Having worked across a variety of industries from travel to law, and retail to education she is always looking for new and innovative ways to improve the search and social visibility of her clients across various platforms.

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6 Comments

  • Alexandra Nicola 15th July 2014

    At the end of the day what you want for social media is engagement. In many cases more likes or followers doesn’t necessary mean that. I am not quite sold on the idea that social media advertising brings you the right kind of leads. It might work for big companies with large marketing funds but it doubts it’s actually offers money’s worth results for small businesses.

    Reply to this comment

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  • Emmanuel 16th July 2014

    Hi Laura,

    You mean what do I think? I have tried Facebook ads myself and I went along with the site promotion type and at the end, it was really worth the try.
    I did find this post of yours on kingged.com!

    Reply to this comment

  • Jim Seward 16th July 2014

    Hey Laura

    I do a lot of work with Linkedin advertising and although I’ve found traditional PPC sidebar linkedin adverts to provide a particularly low engagement rate, we get a lot more from sponsored posts (in terms of engagement, follower building, and clickthrough and conversion) which you haven’t mentioned above.

    cheers

    Jim

    Reply to this comment

  • Laura Phillips

    Laura Phillips 16th July 2014

    Hi Jim

    Thanks for that, I’ll save that for another post! :)

    L

    Reply to this comment

  • Jenny 30th July 2014

    Interesting article! I’ve been using both Facebook and Twitter advertising quite extensively for a large online retailer. From experience I think one of the most important things is to really set out clear objectives before you start advertising, whether that be increased engagement or revenue. Once objectives have been established I found trial and error was the best way to approach Facebook advertising so you can test all the different options to find out what works really well for your specific company. In terms of Facebook advertising for a large online retailer I’ve found that a mixture of page promotion, promoted posts and offer codes have worked really well.

    With Twitter advertising we’ve seen mixed results with huge engagement (in terms of new followers) through Promoted Accounts but slightly less engagement through Promoted Tweets.

    I’ll definitely be looking into Linkedin advertising in more detail in the upcoming months.

    Reply to this comment

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