Social Media is constantly evolving, sometimes this works in businesses' favor and sometimes against. Facebook’s latest move to decrease organic reach is a blow to many marketers but it should also be a wake up call – get ready for pay to play. I liken it to when one airline charges for baggage, opening the flood gates for others to do the same. Pretty soon all networks will require some sort of ad spend, and for those who want to stay in the game they’ll need to learn the basics of social media ad buying. After all...what’s the point in creating content that nobody sees?
- Facebook: The Promoted Post versus the Like Ad. Facebook offers several different type of ad campaigns but at the heart of it all the ads either work to drive people to your page to become a fan or to increase the reach of your content.
- The Promoted Post: Use this ad when you want to get relevant content in front of fans and non-fans – a special deal on your burger, a new product you are rolling out or a service you want to highlight. This type of ad helps drive action. Think of it as a more short-term play and remember you can leverage the data Facebook has on its users to reach people who haven’t even liked your page. Be sure to set the right interests to get the most out of your promoted post ad budget. If you are going to interrupt someone's newsfeed you better make it relevant.
- The Like Ad: This ad is becoming less useful as the game has changed with the decrease in organic reach. However the Like Ad may still be good for general mass awareness - (ie) here’s what my company does versus here is a specific deal. If Facebook changes the game again and increases organic reach, the number of acquired fans may become more important once again. You just never know.
- Twitter – Twitter follows Facebook’s lead when it comes to advertising offering similar products to the Promoted Post and Like Ad.
- Promoted Tweet: Much like a promoted post on Facebook a promoted tweet is best used for a specific call to action, a more short term play. Use a promoted tweet to drive traffic to a website or to promote a contest, for example. This ad function basically tells a user – we want you to pay attention to (insert marketing program) now, and we’re willing to pay to get it in front of you. You can promote a tweet to followers and non-followers. Remember to select the right interests and demos to keep it relevant though.
- Promoted Account: This is comparable to a Like Ad and is a long-term play. Get people to follow you and they will see your content on an ongoing basis. Unlike Facebook, Twitter doesn't have immediate plans to limit reach to a brand’s followers. That could always change as Twitter and Facebook morph more and more into the same type of network, but for now your tweets go uncensored.
Both of these ad platforms are self-service. The two musts for setting up an ad buy: 1. Access - you must be an admin of the Facebook page or have the username/password to the Twitter account in order to run a campaign. 2. Payment – You need to have a credit card tied to that specific account (for Facebook this is set up through your personal account, for Twitter it is through the brand’s page). More tips to come…what questions do you have about social media advertising?