Nicola Moras (main photo) is an online visibility expert and author of Into The Spotlight, a guide to help you step up your online visibility, become a rock star in your industry and make your business thrive. In this guest post, Moras takes a look at the pros and cons of paid social media advertising…
To the uninitiated social media advertising can have the allure like that of the holy grail to Indiana Jones. Whilst the adventure may not be quite the same, put a foot wrong and BOOM! You end up falling into the abyss of closed ad accounts, pages shut down and worse – you could lose all the equity you’ve spent time building up on your pages.
I’ve heard the cries time and time again: “Social media advertising doesn’t work” and “We did an ads campaign and we got nothing from it”. The fact of the matter is this: most people who try to advertise on social media fail dismally – not because the advertising doesn’t work, but because the strategy they’re using quite frankly, sucks.
It’s tough to know what to do. We’ve all heard the success stories from using social media advertising, so why does success seem so elusive? We’re badgered by the platforms to ‘Boost to reach more people’ and to ‘advertise to reach more people’. There’s the prompts that tell you that ‘this post is getting more engagement than usual. Boost to reach even more’. Phew. No wonder everyone’s confused. Throw into the mix the adverts managers, the placements, the targeting, the creative options and what platform to choose.
Overwhelmed yet? You’re in good company. The good news is that there is a simple way to navigate it to ensure that should you choose to spend your hard earned dollars on advertising on social media, you’re going to get a return. (Otherwise don’t do it!)
1. When should you pay to advertise?
There is a golden rule to advertising on social media and that is this: Only advertise when you are generating leads and or sales. Generating a lead means obtaining a name and email address from someone. You can then stay in contact with them through your email marketing. A lead is not a ‘like’ or a ‘follow’.
The only other instance that you should pay to advertise on social media is if you are wanting to actively promote something that you are selling. For instance your event, product, program or a service.
If you are not wanting to do either of the above, then you should not be paying for advertising!
2. Why would you?
Facebook is the best social media advertising platform available to us right now. The platform has the biggest volume of users sitting at 2.45Billion monthly active users. Half of those are active daily and on mobile devices. You have the most targetable audience online sitting there in Facebook daily. Your people are on Facebook. It doesn’t matter what you’re offering, what you’re selling, what business you’re in. Your people ARE on Facebook. They may well not be on there using it the way you are. They may be using it to stay in touch with
their families, check up on what their children are doing. They may even be using it for work.
When people are on social media, their guards are down and they are more likely to be inspired by your content, your marketing and your advertising than on any other medium available to us right now.
3. But how do you do it?
Firstly, you have to know who your audience is and you need to identify a problem of theirs that you can solve. You will create something of value that you can give to them for free in exchange for their name and email address. You’ll then email it to them! (All of this should be automated, by the way!).
When you know who they are and the free item (digital ideally) you’re going to give to them, it’s time to head into the Ads Manager. Do not ‘boost’ a post from your page. You always want to use the Ads Manager facility within the platform. You can test, measure and fine tune within the ads manager. It’s very difficult to do it should you choose to create an ads campaign any other way.
From there, you’ll choose your audience targeting (you can be very specific), your creative and hit SUBMIT! Test and measure for a short period of time. A couple of days should be enough to see the leads starting to flow.
Social media advertising is the best it’s ever been…when you have the right strategy behind you.