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Advertising Basics for the Top 5 Social Media Platforms

Reading Time: 6 minutes

In today’s world there are so many different ways to market your business both online and off. As business owners and marketers, we are always searching for the most optimal approach that yields the quickest return. With the information that we can gather and share through social media, it is no wonder that social media is a part of revolutionizing a digital marketing strategy. Social media gives marketers and businesses an incredibly powerful advertising platform with billions of users and endless amounts of data.

Along with posting on social media to one’s following, advertisers are able to distribute advertisements to extremely targeted users on many different types of social media platforms. Social networks utilize user data to display highly targeted ads that can start showing returns immediately because of how focused the advertisement can be.

For social media networks, the power is in the data. More user data means the ability to target users down to the very fine details, which is why platforms like Facebook are so powerful when it comes to social media advertising. In 2017, Facebook brought in $28.17 billion in advertising revenue.

When considering a social media advertising campaign it is recommended that you start with the platforms that most of your customer base is using. For example, if your product is a time management and productivity software, it would probably be wise to use LinkedIn advertising since over 500 million business people use LinkedIn as of 2017.

For this article we will look at the advertising basics on the top 5 social media platforms. The mediums we will be covering are as follows:

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. Twitter
  4. Pinterest
  5. LinkedIn
advertising basics for social media

If you’re looking for somewhere to start, Facebook is the universal social media network. As of the second quarter of 2018, Facebook reported over 2.23 billion monthly active users. Even more importantly is that Facebook provides extremely robust demographic targeting based on the information they have about the users. For example, if a user adds football as an interest on their profile an advertiser that is selling football-related items could target this specific person.

One of the areas that Facebook excels most in is lead generation. Constructing an extremely optimized lead generation campaign could be extremely effective in obtaining email addresses or information about interested and potential customers. Advertisers have recently reported that email addresses could be acquired for less than $1 depending on how well the campaign has been optimized.

Basic Tips for Running a Facebook Ad Campaign

1. When targeting an audience, do not run the exact same ad to the entire audience. Run different versions of the ad to see which ones are performing better.

2. Rotate ads in order to keep a fresh image. Testing new ads for different audiences is beneficial to see the reaction of the target audience.

3. Use prospecting ads followed by retargeting ads in order to get the prospect to a commitment point. Immediately after the client shows interest, the retargeting ad seals the deal.

instagram advertising basics

2. Instagram Advertising

Even though Facebook takes the cake as social media king, Instagram has reported that they now have over 1 billion monthly active users as of June 2018. Instagram uses visually appealing content to engage its customer base. Finely tuned Instagram ad campaigns appear as nothing more than a regular post on someone’s Instagram feed.

Since Instagram is mainly a picture and video sharing site, the best ads that work have great visuals that are appealing towards their audience. Instagram is a one-way stream so users must either scroll up or down to view more content which gives them more of an opportunity to see your ads.

Basic Tips for Running an Instagram Ad Campaign

1. Make sure your visuals are extremely appealing and targeted. Whether it is a custom picture of a model or a detailed picture of the product, making it look presentable is key.

2. Make your offer irresistible. Since the visual element of Instagram trumps any other social media advertising platform, your offer has to be incredibly appetizing for the consumer to take action on it.

3. Copy is still important. Even after you have visually optimized your ad, make sure that your copy is clear, concise, and direct. You only have a short time to interact with your potential client.

twitter advertising basics

3. Twitter Advertising

To understand Twitter advertising, one must know that Twitter is a network of users that share information via Tweets. Similar to Instagram, Twitter works with a scrolling news feed type of interaction.

Advertising on Twitter allows you to place tweets about your company specifically in targeted users timelines. Twitter is mainly used for conversions and is said to be underutilized by marketers. If you have a low budget and are great at generating content, then Twitter is a great platform for you because it can help generate conversation around your business.

Basic Tips for Running a Twitter Advertising Campaign

1. Use a great image with context. This helps attract the customer and quickly fills them in on what the product is just by looking at the image. Your promotion will also take up more screen space!

2. Make sure that you are constantly updated the posts that you are promoting. Running old, stale posts is not effective.

3. Short and Sweet. Twitter only allows 140 characters so you need to make sure that you get to the point quickly. Don’t waste words with fluff.

pinterest advertising basics

4. Pinterest Advertising

Pinterest is a photo sharing site that resembles a pin board that contains many creative products and entries. It has over 175 million monthly users as of September 2017 with women accounting for 93% of pinning done on the website. A company that whose clientele is mostly women would benefit greatly from looking into an advertising platform like Pinterest.

Basic Tips for Running a Pinterest Advertising Campaign

1. Stand out. Your product must be able to stand out to consumers because they are looking at hundreds of pins at a time. Creativity with your post is crucial and creating a sense of urgency or a call-to-action would be ideal.

2. Focus on competitors. Keep an eye on what competitors are posting and make sure to follow trending searches. Trending searches have a higher volume of eyeballs for you to get your product in front of consumers.

3. Engage with your followers. Be responsive and knowledgeable in order to create a brand following and interest. Re-pinning your fans pins also brings your product to a wider audience.

pinterest advertising basics

5. LinkedIn Advertising

LinkedIn is a social network that is designed with the professional in mind. Many people on LinkedIn are looking to get exposure for their business or build connections to expand their network. LinkedIn relies on the business-to-business market and is made up of more than 260 million monthly users as of March 2017.

One of the most interesting factors of LinkedIn is its users. About half of the users are male and the other half female, but since it is a business community, LinkedIn users earn more money per year than other social media users. This is where high quality leads are generated for businesses that have a higher than average product cost or service.

Basic Tips for Running a LinkedIn Advertising Campaign

1. Use Concise ad structure. Make sure your ads are short and to the point. The ad copy should be strategically created and written as if the customer had written the ad.

2. Make sure to track ad performance. LinkedIn offers a wide range of metrics for you to determine where success is coming from in your campaign.

3. Use Sponsored InMail. Sponsored InMail allows you to run email marketing campaigns within LinkedIn’s platform. Make sure to address the user by name and customize the message specifically for them.

Obviously, social media advertisement is an extremely powerful way to reach consumers that you otherwise would not have been able to reach. All social media sites are different and should be handled accordingly. Research should be done in order to define ad requirements for your company and what social media platforms are best for your business.

Whether these sites rely on photo sharing, microblogging, or B2B communication, you must always be cautious and know the strengths of each site. When implemented correctly, advertising on social media helps grow sales and a fan base, target new customers more efficiently, and use customer generated content for ads.

All in all, social media marketing is a great digital marketing strategy for many different types of businesses. No other avenue can deliver the amount of data, quality leads, and ROI as well as social media platforms can.

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Written by Preston O'Connell

Preston is Flying V Group's first intern and participated in the Flying V Group Inaugural Internship Program in the Summer of 2018. Preston is a Senior at the University of Arizona and is studying Business. Preston hopes to one day own his own business. He is passionate about sports, his family, and his families mini-horse named Willow. Go Devils!

August 3, 2018



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