It’s Not Social Media – It’s Social Advertising

September 26, 2014

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Social Advertising is Rapidly Expanding and Evolving
All of the social mediums are rapidly expanding their advertising offerings. The start-up goal of most mediums to expand a user base and deliver a solid experience has now evolved into a market that is trying to monetize itself. Advertising is the vehicle that social media sites are using to pay back their investors. That’s great news for marketers and businesses.

You don’t need to have a social presence to advertise!
That’s right, you don’t need to have an engaging twitter account or manage a Facebook page to be using social media as an advertising platform. Ads that show in your target customers’ news feeds can link back to your website or to other locations. There’s no need to maintain a dynamic social presence for an ad to be effective. If that’s holding you back – think again.

The Major Mediums at a Glance
Facebook has the longest-standing, and most robust social advertising platform. It has great targeting options and fantastic analytics. Their platform is so intense that they have even created an “advanced advertising” offering, which includes look-alike audience profiling and re-marketing, among other things.

LinkedIn and Twitter have offered the ability to pay to promote posts / tweets for some time. Twitter is taking it to new levels. They recently launched a robust set of additions to their offerings which include: more sophisticated audience management (including look-alike targeting), graphic buttons which encourage click throughs (buy now or learn more), and twitter cards, which can include rich media to give tweets more impact.

Instagram and Pinterest have been running pilot programs with large advertisers, and both tease marketers with holding pages.

Excellent Targeting
Each medium has its own strengths in terms of targeting. Facebook has robust demographics and geo-targeting, but the ability to target based on interests and other liked pages offers deeper psychographic targeting than most list service companies have even been able to provide.

LinkedIn’s combination of geo-targeting + industry + job title allows precise targeting of professionals that is invaluable to B2Bs. We are finding an ability to reach specific groups that we have never been able to target effectively through print or other mediums. The closest opportunities in the past have been trade shows or other trade publications, and the costs of social ads are minuscule in comparison.

Minimal Costs for Serious Reach
Which brings us to the price, which cannot be beat. We have reached 20,000 with $20 on some accounts. We have seen the dramatic reach that can be achieved, so a common recommendation of ours is to “throw $100 at it” and see what happens. These results are not unusual for social advertising…for now.

Not Likely to Last
Which brings us to the sad reality that these prices are not likely to last. The marketplace is immature. It can be compared to the early days of AdWords. As businesses and advertisers gradually tested and moved budgets over to the AdWords platform, there was a period of a few years where the ROI on AdWords was just incredible for many advertisers. The market has since matured, the major players have all established their footing and those deals are hard to come by. As marketers make a mad dash to get their customers set up with social advertising, there will be a fleeting period during which some businesses could really get incredible results at rock bottom prices.

Interested in learning more about what social media can do for you?
Contact Robot Creative for more information.

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