Making your social media count can be difficult these days. At the start of the year, Facebook announced they were changing their news feed system to favour personal posts over posts created by businesses, in an attempt to make the feed more ‘meaningful’ for users. The idea that businesses are struggling on Facebook is reinforced by evidence - for instance, BuzzSumo reported last year that engagements with Facebook posts created by brands and publishers has fallen by over 20% since January 2017.
It’s not all doom and gloom however for business engagement on social media. Paid advertising is being utilised more than ever by businesses as it allows a company to engage with a very particular audience - an audience crafted explicitly for that business, based on criteria they have cultivated. Paid advertising works, and ever-increasing ad spend shows that it’s worth the effort, but just paying for adverts and spreading them out in front of anyone isn’t going to get you the results you’re looking for. The criteria is what’s important, and this blog will give you an idea of how best to utilise paid advertising to prevent you from wasting your money, while gaining some real leads.
It’s important to know what you want to get out of your paid advertising before you wade into it. Sproutsocial states that the 5 most common goals of paid social ads are to increase traffic, increase visibility, increase engagement, increas... Your goal is incredibly important, as it will act as the basis for everything you try to do on social media, including creating your target audience. It’s not enough for your audience to just see your adverts, they need to engage with them. Engagements lead to conversions - a paid social media ad could be what transforms a regular visitor into a returning customer.
Now, organic reach in general is down across the board when it comes to social media advertising - organic reach being the audience a post would ‘naturally’ have. But that’s where paid adverts come in - and where your investment begins as well. If you pay for an advert to appear on social media, and it’s spotted by someone who is interested and they click it, that increases that post’s organic reach as well. The more the organic reach increases, the more likely that customer’s friends and family are to see it and so, thanks to that paid advert, the organic reach spreads naturally anyway. Think of the paid advert being something of a kickstart to the advert’s reach!
There are a couple of important factors to keep an eye on in regards to paid advertising. Your cost per click (CPC) is how much of your budget you use each time someone clicks the link of your ad or post. CPC should be as low as possible ideally in order to get the highest return on investment you can. Meanwhile, your click through rate (CTR) tells you how many people clicked on your ad, which is an important statistic for any business looking to drive traffic.Make sure to choose the social media channel that’s best for you. Facebook has taken steps lately to shut businesses out of customers’ news feeds in an attempt to make feeds more personable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reach people. Facebook’s user base is still huge in 2018, but the landscape is actively changing. Young people are moving more and more to image-heavy social media channels like Instagram. This summary from the Pew Research Center takes a look at the state of social media reach in the US in 2018:
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