All major social media platforms offer some form of advertising for businesses. On the big players (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn) the tools are incredibly sophisticated and reaching new audiences is often only a few clicks away.
With organic reach on social media only going one direction, down, paying to play is becoming a necessity for some businesses who need to raise awareness or find new customers. But diving straight into this large and complex world isn’t always a good idea. A few stray clicks here and there and you can waste your monthly budget in a matter of days and have nothing to show for it.
So, let’s dig into when you should advertise on social, and how to go about it.
When to Advertise on Social
We’re not talking about days of the week or which hours of the day here (although we could fill a whole blog with that too!), but rather, how you decide as a business when the time is right to start advertising on social.
For most, the answer is that now is the right time to be advertising on social, if you have the budget to allow it. Social media advertising is perfect if you’re looking to reach a new audience, especially if you need to be able to do it quickly. We’ve not come across many businesses who don’t want to reach a new audience and grow their customer base.
You’ll need to be able to dedicate some time and budget to it to give it a chance. Like a lot of marketing, social media advertising involves a lot of trial and error until you find the methods that suit your audience and your needs. You can make all the educated guesses you like, but in the end, they’re still just guesses. Having a bit of budget to play with can give you a great foundation for your future campaigns.
We’re not talking thousands here so don’t worry, a couple of hundred quid should be plenty for most businesses.
How to Get Started
The easiest way to get started in social media advertising is to start with one platform, and we recommend you go for the platform you have the most success with organically. This suggests that the audience on there already enjoys your content more than most.
For a lot of you, this will be either Facebook or Instagram, and the good news is that because Facebook owns Instagram, they use the same advertising platform.
There are more options than we can list here, but broadly, advertising on Facebook and Instagram can be split into three objectives:
- Awareness – increase reach, gain followers
- Consideration – website clicks, app downloads, messages
- Conversion – online conversions, website sales
Facebook will deliver your ads in a slightly different way depending on what you are trying to achieve. An awareness campaign where you are simply trying to grow your followers, for example, would be shown to a wider audience, a conversion campaign looking to achieve sales might only be shown to a very specific audience.
Twitter’s advertising works in a largely similar way, as does LinkedIn’s. You can target your campaign to raise awareness, gain new followers, encourage app or content downloads, drive website traffic or simply to be seen more.
As we’ve already said, finding out which options work best for you will be based on educated guesses and lots of trial and error, so start small and work your way up.
Tips and Takeaways
Before you go, keep the following tips front of mind if you’re thinking about social media advertising:
- Start with a small budget, maybe £100 a month, and trial a few methods.
- Use the platform your organic content currently performs best on. Start with one platform only.
- Remember your business objective in everything that you do.
- Have an exact picture of who you’re trying to reach – targeting tools are incredibly detailed.
- Always use pictures and videos where possible.
- Design your adverts for mobile, this is how most people use social media.
Want some help navigating the world of social media advertising? Let’s have a chat.