Advertising on Social Media, does it work?

social media advertising

 Social Media Advertising like a politician

Previously we talked about using social media more or less as intended i.e to talk to other people.
Today I am talking about a much more powerful use of social media and that is advertising.

Two things make social media a more powerful place to advertise than any other. . There are however special rules that apply to doing business on Social Media.

  1. Social media is a place that despite all we said previously, is still viewed by most users as relaxation rather than PR or business. For this reason the normal barriers are at least relaxed. Regardless how subtle this may be and how quickly relaxed barriers can be re-erected, this does make a difference to how many people’s attention you are able to grab for just a second. Every advertiser knows exactly how important this is, hopefully and if you are in doubt, then multiply your biggest estimate by at least 50.
  2. Social media networks, for now at least, know more about their membership than anyone else and in some cases it really is bordering on criminal if not over the border, but for the next few years at least, ethical business can make full use of this available customer profile data to segment accurately and target their messages at the right people at the right time with just the right content to achieve sometimes staggering business results.
  3. Social Media, for now at least, is able to pass off advertisement as comments by interesting people, though that is in the process of changing. The power of influencers from the worlds of music and sport is enormous not to mention genuine influencers from the blogosphere. The possibilities are endless.
  4. Organising people in groups by affinity is the ultimate power of the medium, though you would have to break a few European laws to use it in the way the likes of CA did, nevertheless with a little more patience and a few tools you can engage an audience that has demonstrated certain broad interests, place content to attract their interaction and narrow down your target until you are able to create a core group of highly motivated target customers. Alternatively you can advertise directly, re-market, or invite them to participate in groups, education and more. 
    And yes a useful level of psychological profiling can be done also without crossing the boundaries of decency. For example, we routinely learn about their learning and interaction preferences using VAK (Visual, Aural, kinaesthetic) so that we can send them better resented content. We learn about their preferred decision process through further simple profiling and use it to choose the most effective content to help them with their decision.
    • For example: A user who is highly visual by nature and needs to carefully analyse all the pros and cons before deciding will receive a carefully designed chart or infographic that makes it very easy for her. 
      When combined with other tactics such as re-marketing and usage of groups to build contact lists and stay in touch, or even using Messenger bots for instant communication, then Social Media can add significant value to your marketing efforts.
      Be warned though Social Media Warning  even if you are not a Social media user, you or your business, employees or products you sell can appear on Social Media unexpectedly in a damaging manner and if you are unaware of this and you fail to deal with it correctly or worse still, you do a bad job of handling it, the power of this media will swiftly act against you with even greater efficiency.Every attempt to harness social Media via advertising must be accompanied by a well manned policy to avert and deal with negative comment.

What you can not do on Social Media.

 Just like the old fashioned insurance salesmen who attended every fete and dogfight, wedding and funeral, befriending the “unfreindable” in the hope of selling another plan, you are encroaching on peoples social space. They are aware of this and tolerant up to a point, but you can very quickly close the doors and leave yourself unable to get any sort of an audience.

Successful brands on Social Media, contribute heavily to people’s enjoyment of Social media in one way or another and in return, they get opportunities to influence potential buyers. The simple rule is you must not disrespect peoples social space by being too In-Your-Face or too direct.

You also will no longer be able to access via most platforms,. the sort of data that Facebook partners were previously taking from the platforms to drive their one to one election campaigning, but you can still monitor networks to find what people are talking about today and use it for “NewsJacking” and other legitimate ploys, you can learn their language preferences and attitudes before producing copy and you engage honestly and directly to learn about the hopes and fears of your customers and the problems they really want solved.

What you can do extremely effectively to sell to social media users.

You can place your advert in front of Jane as she approaches your little diner on foot with her phone in hand and remind her that you have a special on those cute little hamburgers she expressed an interest in on her Social Media group.

You can present Nina with an advert about wedding invitations within minutes of her announcing her engagement.

You can run a sweepstake to give away one of your product and build a huge list of people who would like to own one.

The possibilities are endless, once you understand the data available and how it applies to your customers and their needs and aspirations and once you grasp what you can and can not do effectively.
Facebook does stuff in the background that you are not even aware of, most likely things that are at best frowned upon in these parts with people’s private data that they trust Facebook with. For once you can be on the right side of this transaction. Facebook sometimes knows when you couldn’t possibly guess, that a user is on the lookout for just what you are selling and may even match personas on some occasions.

You can organise or sponsor a group who will return in future at intervals to engage and buy your product or service and you give them a genuine reason to stay in touch and think of you first the next time they want to make a purchase. You can then place free posts and pay to boost other posts so that your input is consumed as social interaction and your costs stay low and manageable.

You can encourage past customers to tell the world that they had a great experience with your business  and your product so that you can encourage new potential customers to trust your brand and place you at the top of their list and even more importantly, you can monitor not just reviews but any comment about your brand that might be seen as negative and handle it intelligently. Experience shows that a negative review well handled is often more beneficial than a very good review. The key is to move fast with an intelligent strategy. Don’t delay and don;t ever get into an argument.
In my experience the cost per new customer is substantially lower on Social Media and even on Linkedin with pretty high comparative rates, the targeting often makes it a value proposition.

What you can’t do any more is expect to simply write an advert and watch the customers come in. It requires a well rounded approach and a well integrated marketing mix. Everything from Facebook and GMB pages to twitter accounts, website and all the rest must be up to scratch and you must be able to maintain the level of contact other brands are rightly, or wrongly establishing as the norm or you will stand out as lame and unprofessional.

Extra benefits attached to an active Social media strategy

 Google puts substantial emphasis on the amount of social interaction your content is receiving form social media. If you want your content to rank and let’s face it this is not an option, then you need significant Social Interaction with it. To achieve this you must be active on Social Media platforms and ideally running adverts and boosting posts in order to place your content in the path of people who will share it and get you in front of Google.
Remember: No Social means low ranking,  Low ranking means expensive advertising and that means low to no revenue for most of us.
Social is a necessary part of the marketing Mix for most businesses in 2019 and beyond but it is also full of risks not least of which is the ability to eat up a lot of valuable time and thus make your marketing too expensive. Important tough social is in your marketing mix it needs to be handled with care and planning.
 
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Facebook advertising expert Birmingham

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