How businesses market their products and services has changed considerably over the last twenty years. At the turn of the century, newspaper, radio, and print advertising were king. Google AdWords wasn’t even a “thing” yet.
But today, to get a message out effectively, companies need to reach their audiences online through multiple digital channels. This includes website, search engine optimization, email marketing, and social media.
Social media marketing is becoming a necessity for connecting with customers and potential new leads.
Currently, 67% of Canadians use social media, and that number is expected to rise to 80% by 2025.
Social media enables companies to serve up their message in a very targeted way to an audience. Few online platforms know as much about our likes, dislikes, and what drives us to click an ad as social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
But while these sites are similar in the fact that they’re social networks designed to connect people and drive online interaction, their audiences can differ widely. For example, if you’re a B2B business, you will not likely find as many potential customers on Instagram as you will on LinkedIn.
But, if you sell consumer products, Instagram and Facebook will be prime places to find potential sales.
How Do You Reach People on Social Media?
There are three key methods of reaching an audience on social media:
- Posting and interacting: You post interesting content regularly and respond to your followers that post comments on your content.
- Set up your page for customer support: Using tools like Facebook Messenger, you can set up instant customer service capabilities on social media pages.
- Advertise on social media: Paid-per-click advertising on social media can help you boost your sales message and get it in front of targeted social audiences.
Considerations When Choosing a Social Platform for Ads
Because of the differences in social media audiences, it can be confusing when it comes time to choose the one that’s going to give you the biggest return on your investment. You don’t want to waste money on one platform when your audience is on another one.
Here are some of the things to consider when choosing the best social media platform for your advertising dollars and marketing strategy.
Which Social Channels Are Already Bringing Your Traffic?
If your website is already getting a lot of traffic from Facebook organically, then there is a good chance that you can increase that traffic by advertising on the site.
As a first step to deciding which social platform is the best fit for your ad budget, take a look at your website and SEO reports to see where social referrals are coming from. You can then rank the corresponding social platforms in order of traffic volume.
Where Does Your Audience Hang Out?
With any type of marketing, it’s important to identify your target audiences. Most businesses will have more than one type. For example, if you sell paints and coatings, you may have two very different audiences to reach: homeowners and commercial contractors.
Do some research on the demographics of the different social platforms to see which ones your target audiences are using.
Here are some insights from Spout Social:
- Facebook: A good mix of all age types, with the largest age group being 25-34.
- LinkedIn: The #1 network for B2B marketing, with a healthy mix of international users.
- Twitter: Majority male users (68%), with the largest age group being 30-49.
- YouTube: Used widely by all genders, with the largest age group being 15-25.
- Pinterest: Majority female users (78%), with the largest age group being 30-49.
How Is the Site Used?
If you have a more in-depth message for a product that takes a lot of education upfront, then it could be lost on a site like Twitter where each user session is less than four minutes.
On the other hand, Facebook users spend about 38 minutes per day on the platform, allowing for more interaction with your message.
Another example of how a difference in site use could impact your advertising is selling on LinkedIn. If you sell a consumer product for kids, LinkedIn will most likely not be as good an advertising target for that message because it’s full of business people doing business-related things. But put that on Instagram with a flashy image, and you’re bound to get some traction.
It’s important to look at how sites are used as compared to the product or service you’re selling. Here are some examples of typical social platform use:
- LinkedIn: Used for business networking.
- Facebook: Used to connect with friends, family, and groups or businesses.
- Twitter: Used to get quick bits of current news and information.
- Pinterest: Used for craft and hobby ideas.
- YouTube: Popular for watching how-to and entertaining videos.
Get Help Planning an Effective Social Ad Strategy!
Data First Solutions offers expert digital marketing consulting and can help your business choose the perfect social platform to drive more leads and sales.