Social Media advertising: How to get the most of your ad budget

Social media advertising is often considered a microscopic element to your marketing with no real value. Wrong! In fact, once sneered at as ‘fun’ or ‘oh that’s nice’, social media advertising has to be taken seriously as one of the most effective tools for your business. In a fast-paced technological age where 3 billion of us are using social media (90% of which on hand-held devices) platforms like Facebook, Instagram & Twitter subtly teach us how to advertise on social media, leading to higher engagements & new prospects along the way.  Fun fact- whether we’re refreshingly honest or in denial, we spend an average of 2 hours & 22 minutes a day using social media! 

Granted, your business may be thriving by simply using paid media (I hear you muttering in the back) but you shouldn’t discard the gateway to what your customers are missing out on. So what if you’re already turning over 10 million? You could be turning over 15.  Equally, if your business is stagnating or ‘bobbing along’, social media offers a perfect get out of jail free card to pull your marketing feet out of the mud & propel your business to the next level. Every minute of every day, you're missing out on customers who are literally searching for services that your brand offers like web design & brand design for example. There’s just one problem. You’re not there to be seen!

Your audience are currently standing on top of a mountain, screaming your business name from the top with search dogs, trying to find you.  It’s probably happening as I write this very piece.  Oh what’s that I hear? Oh, it’s your business name again echoing in the wind.  I must be hearing things.

Implementing a content strategy around your social media will complement your search engine marketing & business systems. It’s that simple. With most free platforms (unless you’re ‘boosting’ posts) there is no way you can lose out.

‘Gone Social Media Fishing’

What springs to mind when you think of fishing? It’s relaxed right? It’s peaceful yes? And, it involves patience. Just like inbound marketing, In the end, you’re able to walk away with something special & huge that you can be proud of.

Whether it’s a simple ‘like’ or comment, this is your customers way of saying ‘I’m interested, tell me more’. Time to reel in your customer & respond, like their comment back, reply, or even private message them with a link for more information. No need to be desperate here, simply be kind, helpful & provide some background about what it is your company can offer.  From the latest happenings & promotions, this is a fantastic chance to get customers browsing your website, turning a window shopper into a buyer.

Be personable, say “my name is” & “if you need anything further” before closing your message with “if you need anything, just ask. When your company has an offer in the future/or any events going on, don’t hesitate to revisit the same customer. This is how emotional rapport is built.

Catch Up with Your Customer.

Think of your customer like an old friend. Someone we haven’t spoken to for months, even years. The relationship may have fizzled out or one of you might have moved away. In a social sense, we put this down to a 'norm' of life. In a business sense, this is a huge no no. How is your customer doing? Do you even know him anymore? What’s he been up to? What did you last talk about? Were the subjects you were speaking about in 2014 even engaging? What was their response? Work out why it is your friendship fizzled out and reach out to them! I bet he’ll appreciate it.

Social media plugs you directly into a world that allows you to not only make a mends with your customer you unintentionally abandoned, but start a brand new relationship. Tap into your customers base & see what problems they’re having.  Find out what prospects are saying, what they love, what they hate & what their perspective of your brand is. If you aren’t on social platforms, you’re missing out on key customer interaction. If you can’t find out the problem, how can you fix it?

Consider Your Costs

Traditional marketing methods can cost you thousands and (especially) with the introduction of social media, it's almost impossible to measure or see a return on investment.

“Medium sized companies get great value when they utilise Social Media advertising”

Social Media advertising is easy to set up, free, user friendly, popular & requires no training.  To boost ROI, tracking key performance indicators to analyse social media advertising allows you to make adjustments where necessary. Examples to consider vary.  Twitter (for example) is a platform that offers built in tools called analytics and focuses on follower growth & post frequency. Facebook offers Insights to track post engagement reach & likes for your page. For small and medium sized business's, social media provides excellent value.

Customers Want Authenticity

It’s crazy to think that in 2004, only fifteen years ago, our only real form of social media advertising was playing ‘Snake’ on our Nokia 3310s with regimented 30 minute slots on 'MSN' after school.

iPhones weren't 'a thing' yet, and the closest thing we had to ‘Alexa’ was that creepy ‘Welcome to AOL’ voice that caught us off guard, every time. Fast forward to 2012, technology had (at this point) become SO revolutionary that (through no fault of our own) we became a naive society, unable to tell the difference between what was real and what was fake.

Think about it. Seven years ago, if Linda posted a selfie with a jaw narrowing/alien like filter warped around her head & blocking all of her insecurities, you’d have (Instead of noticing the painfully obvious) seen the image & thought “She looks amazing, hasn’t she lost weight”

Now, I’m not digging out hypothetical Linda here, I’m sure she’s a pretty girl, but my point is, we were all guilty of ignoring the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of social media marketing.

The 'why' is the emotional drive behind what possessed Linda to take the selfie in the first place. Again, as an easily coned social media spectator in 2013, we'd have assumed Linda posted this selfie because she was feeling very confident which would (in turn) lower our own self esteem.

Business’s worked in the same way. Companies became so obsessed with their competition that they appeared desperate with direct approaches that (as studies show today) simply don’t work now.

No More Bull is the Rule In 2019! A relaxed approach is the best way to tackle sale offers through social media as audiences are more inclined to intuitively guess a business angle behind a campaign. This is where ‘being human’ comes in. Authenticity is crucial to separating yourself from the competition, simply because, it’s a breath of fresh air to not be approached through a robotic script. Have the same respect for your audience as you would for yourself, as if you were the one at home, spending your free time browsing their brand.

Turn Negatives Into Positives
Of course, you can’t avoid complaints but you can overturn a negative comment into a positive moment. This is your opportunity to be human, to genuinely care & build trust by offering a quick response & savvy solution. Ask for more details. Is there anything more you can do for them?

"Transform a disappointed customer into a returning customer"

Never underestimate the power of word of mouth. Remember, consumers will tell friends & family about good content & a  positive experience they had with your brand. Customers want a direct line into the company so that they can reach out at any time. Asking your audience to follow you or sign up to your weekly newsletter  that provides website tips (for example) is an easy way to keep them in the loop. Sharing product launches, promotions & events creates a wow factor and makes your customer feel special. 

How Do I Turn My Content into Cash?

With thousands of social media advertising users competing for attention, taking some time to find your niche and work out a structure is normal. Before diving straight off the high board, make sure you don’t belly flop!

Filter who you’re trying to reach out to with research & work out the most appropriate method for your audience’s needs.  This will save you time, money and, eventually, you’ll be able to interact with your clients and determine which platforms your audience are communicating with the most. Be approachable, put a face behind the logo. There’s nothing more humbling than owning a small business that’s trying to grow, whilst speaking humanly about the brand. A personable touch allows you to connect with the world in an emotional way. What’s trending? What can we all relate to? Human beings aren’t as different as you think you know and it’s not about your ego, it’s about the customer! An example from this very blog- I don’t particularly like Marvel characters but, because I know that my audience does, I have featured some analogies.

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