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How social media advertising works

Social media advertising is now a must for forward-looking firms. Although relatively new in the grand scheme of things, this form of marketing has exploded over recent years. From small start-ups to multinational giants, companies are seizing the opportunities that abound in the world of Web 2.0


Reaping the rewards of Social Media

One business that appears to have fully embraced such advertising is Procter & Gamble. In 2013, it revealed that it had altered its marketing mix to devote nearly 35 per cent to social media. However, as with all forms of marketing, promotion via social media is laden with potential pitfalls. It’s no good simply throwing time and money at it. In order to reap the rewards you desire, it’s vital that you bear some key principles in mind.


Target the right audience

For example, it’s important that you have a targeted approach. There are lots of social media websites on offer, with the most popular including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram. Be sure to focus your marketing efforts on the sites your customers actually use. There’s no sense in splashing all-important cash on Facebook campaigns if your audience prefers to use Twitter and LinkedIn, for instance.

As well as focusing on front-end updates on social media sites, spend time researching the sort of people you want to follow. Over the medium to long term, this extra effort will pay off.


Set a budget

One of the great appeals of social advertising is its low cost. However, if you’re not careful, your expenses can mount up over time. This means it’s a good idea to set a clear budget at the very start of your campaign and stick to it. As well as helping to prevent overspend, this can make it easier for you to determine the ROI from specific projects.


Try to devote enough time to responding to comments and entering into genuine communication with readers… when it comes to social media, you really do get out what you put in


Engage

Social media marketing should never been viewed as a one-way process. Unlike more traditional forms of promotion, such as print ads, Web 2.0 offers you an opportunity to really engage with existing and potential customers. With this in mind, try to devote enough time to responding to comments and entering into genuine communication with readers. Although this takes some time and resources, it’s well worth it. When it comes to social media, you really do get out what you put in. There are no shortcuts.

Similarly, the content that you create should be relevant and interesting to your audience, and it’s important to encourage people to comment or share your posts using questions or calls to action. Competitions, offers and freebies tend to get plenty of attention.

What you definitely don’t want to do is bombard readers with post after post simply promoting your goods. There are other channels for this, and when people are on social media sites, they don’t expect or like such blatant marketing.


Track your campaigns

Tracking your campaigns is a must too. For example, it’s important to check your ads and posts for likes, clicks, comments and so on. If they are not getting enough attention and exposure, it could be time to rethink your targeting or content. If you don’t keep a close eye on the performance of your social media projects, you could end up wasting precious time.



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