Social Media Advertising: Should You Invest In It?

Should you invest in social media

Photo Credit: Maria Elena/Flickr

 

Establishing profiles on different social media platforms has now become commonplace for some businesses to better engage with their customers. Since it has grown so rapidly, some entrepreneurs are quite skeptical about its growth and sees it as a passing fad with no real benefits on ROI packed with a tough learning curve.

However, a 2014 study have shown that roughly 92% of marketers surveyed stated that their social media efforts have generated an increased exposure for their businesses.

Social media is important to your business

2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Michael A.Stelzner/ Social Media Examiner

 

This clearly indicates that social media marketing is not just a fleeting marketing trend but one with a massive potential to boost your sales when done right to achieve maximum results.

You might also wonder why would you fork out money to pay for social ads when posting on social sites is free. Well, according to Salesforce, they found out that  70% of the marketers choose to increase their spend on social media advertising including mobile ad platforms.

It has become evident that more companies consider social media platforms as ‘pay-to-play’ in order for their social media campaigns to perform. The question now lies whether social media ads will make sense for your business or not. Here’s a look at the some of the practical reasons why social media advertising is worth the time and investment.

 

Why Invest on Social Media Marketing

Target your Audience with Social Media

Photo Credit: Open Hardware Summit/Flickr

 

Tap a Specific Audience

Social media ads is a great tool to reach the exact type of audience who will more likely buy your products. Whether you are trying reach a specific demographic–based on age, location, gender or for a specific interest, social ads allow you to get a scope of your relevant audience.

With traditional media such as TV, radio and print, you would need to purchase time slot or ad space and hope that someone will be able to see it and find it relevant. With social media ads, you can target specific demographics and interests and the ads will only be shown to profiles that match your criteria. In this way, you will only spend for those who might actually be interested in your product and engage with them.

But how do you know who your target audience is?

If you’re not sure as to what type of audience you should be targeting, social ads allows you to first target a broad audience and when you’re through with processing your ad campaign, you can then assess if you need to narrow down your targeting to suit a specific group. This method can help you figure out more about your brand and make the necessary tweaks to send your message to the right people.

There are thousands of software tools online that you can use to better understand your users and dig deeper on what content they are mostly posting, their hobbies and interests, location, and more. Some of the tools we recommend you try are: Facebook Insights, Google Keyword Planner, Adwords Tool and Trends, Social Mention and online surveys.

 

Increase Brand Awareness

Your social media profiles are just a few of the platforms where you can increase visibility for your brand and share your voice to your core audience. This is especially true if you want your brand to stand out and be recognised by your new customers. You will never know a potential customer might hear about your company for the first time when they happen to browse your social ads through their newsfeed on Twitter or Facebook.

 

Convert Interactions with Customers

Do you know that every time you post content on your social profiles you are increasing your chances to convert visitors to possible customers? Your blog post, videos, photos and other content may lead to visits to your site and conversion. Take note that not all interactions lead to conversions but all positive engagement will mostly likely lead to conversion.

 

Boost Inbound Traffic

For every social profile you create, you are opening a new path where you can direct traffic back to your website. When you’re not on social media, your site’s inbound traffic is restricted to loyal followers and visitors who stumble upon your site by searching for keywords that you’re brand is ranking for.  According to Hubspot, over 84% or those surveyed found that their site traffic has increased by spending only 6 hours per week on social media. With this in  mind, make sure that you consistently post more quality and relevant content on social media because more traffic means more chances for leads and conversions.

 

Improve Customer Experience

Just like email and 1-800 number, social media is another valuable channel to personalise your interactions with your customers. If a customer turns to Facebook to rant about your company, this is an opportunity to apologise and resolve their issue. It demonstrates how your company cares about their customers.

 

Where to Allocate your Budget for Social Media Marketing

Budget for Social Media Advertising

Photo Credit: Rosaura Ochoa/Flickr

 

If your purpose for using social media is for personal reasons, then there would be little to zero investments involved but if you’re using it to engage with your customers and drive leads and sales, then it’s important to allot a budget for social media marketing. Here’s a list of the places you can focus on when investing in social media.

  • Budget for Social Ads – The best way to attract more followers, and increase sales and leads is to allocate a budget for social media advertising. Facebook has powerful features that lets you micro-target your audience and create a relevant ads for them.
  • Staff Training – Content is the lifeblood in every social media success. Users are less interested to hear about the products you’re promoting and more on the premise of “What’s in it for me?”. It is crucial for your content to be shareable and likeable to get the most from your social media efforts. Train and brainstorm with your staff on what type of content that resonates well with your audience.
  • Online apps and tools – Interestingly, there are thousands of amazing tools and apps that you can use to process your social media campaign. Many of them will offer you free trial to test them out but if you find that these apps help you maximise your results, then go premium. You will need tools for scheduling posts, monitor conversation, and others.
  • Graphic Design – Unless you have the skills and time to to design your own social media content, it’s best to let a design expert to do it for you.
  • Outsourcing Provider – If you don’t have the luxury of time to train you staff in-house, you can choose the outsourcing route. But you still need commitment from your staff to help manage expectations when producing content. Remember, no one can communicate better with your customers than your company.

 

How to Measure Social Media ROI

Measuring Social Media ROI

Photo Credit: Jerry Nihen/Flickr

 

To ensure that your investments in social media is justified, it’s best to keep track of your social media campaign has affected every engagement with your customers. These are steps to consider:

Synchronise your Business Goals with your Social Media ROI

The social media goals you set should be parallel with your existing goals for your brand. Make sure to audit your current social media results to create a foundation for your baseline targets and then establish relevant goals for improvement. To illustrate social media’s value, it is crucial to track social media ROI as it relates to your general business goals. Examples of key metrics can include:

  • Inbound traffic
  • Reach
  • Conversions
  • Number of leads generated

 

Choose the Right Analytics Tools

As soon as you’re all set with your social media goals, you will need to use tools to measure your ROI. There is wide array of tools that can monitor your key metrics. These are the top 3 we recommend:

  • Hootsuite Analytics
  • Google Analytics
  • Salesforce

 

The Fun Part: Calculating your ROI

It is important to be able to keep track with whatever you do on social media so that you won’t have a hard time explaining the outcome of your social media campaign.

Customising an analytics report template should help you monitor desired metrics without creating a new report from scratch. You need to check these metrics regularly–ideally everyday–to ensure that your social media goals are followed through.

 

Make Necessary Adjustments

Once you have discovered what areas work and what doesn’t, it’s about time to tweak your action plan. The whole point of auditing your social media ROI is not only to prove the value of your social media campaigns but to extend its value over time.

Since social media campaigns are generally short in duration, campaigns that failed needs to be changed or improved on. Social media is highly dynamic and is never constant. What works now may not make sense later on. To ensure that you’re on the right track with your social media goals, you need to consistently update and improve your strategies based on the results of your metrics.

 

Social media marketing when executed well, may lead to more conversions, more customers and increased site traffic. Now it’s your turn. Do you think that social media advertising is important to your brand, why or why not? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

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