Your Initial Social Media Advertising Questions, Answered

Thinking about diving into advertising on social media? Here are answers to the big questions you might have before starting:

1. How will social media advertising help my business?

Social media advertising can supplement an existing social media strategy or kickstart a new one. Facebook and Instagram ads increase your number of ‘fans’ online, drive traffic to your website, generate leads, increase sales online and even drive customers to a brick-and-mortar store.

Pinterest’s Promoted Pins build brand awareness, increase customer engagement with your content and drive traffic to your website. A Promoted Pin we ran for our client Lucy’s Market, for example, generated 279 clicks to the website and 447 repins.

Twitter ads accomplish goals like driving traffic to the website and building brand awareness, while LinkedIn advertising is great for B2B businesses, recruiting and generating leads.

2. How do I decide which platform to advertise on?

It depends on your business, goal and audience. As mentioned above, LinkedIn is the way to go for B2B businesses. Twitter is great for promoting branded content and establishing a person or brand as a thought leader.

Pinterest relies heavily on high-quality photography and its audience is more female and high-income than other platforms. Businesses in image-driven industries that generally appeal to women are good fits for advertising on Pinterest; think apparel, food and home decor.

Facebook advertising offers the broadest audience and strongest analytics out of all social media platforms, making it a good fit for small businesses that want to see clear value. Instagram, like Pinterest, lends itself well to image-driven advertising. Instagram also reaches a younger audience than most platforms.

3. What kind of advertising campaign should I run?

Types of campaigns can vary from platform to platform, but here’s a basic breakdown of the types of campaigns by business goal:

Brand Awareness: Technically, all ads on social media help build brand awareness. However, all major social media platforms have specific ads for brand awareness. Facebook also offers page like campaigns to build a following.

Audience Engagement: Engagement is another common ad type covered by all major social media platforms. *Pro Tip: Use video in engagement ads, no matter the platform, to generate the most interest.

Website Traffic: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter all offer website click campaigns. LinkedIn’s option is not quite as specific but display ads and sponsored updates with a link both drive traffic.

Conversions: Facebook offers ads for email leads, offer claims, event attendance, app installs and an array of website actions, including purchases and page views. Some of these ad types are available for Instagram as well. Many of these types of conversions are included as goals under Twitter’s website click campaign as well.  

In-store visits or purchases: Facebook really dominates with options for driving brick-and-mortar sales. Their local awareness, store visits and event promotion ads are all strong options for driving in-store traffic.

4. How do I track and measure the success of my ads?

Below are the best metrics to measure success of an ad based on business goal. These metrics are even more powerful when paired with data from Google Analytics and the Facebook and Pinterest conversion pixels.

Goal: Website traffic or lead generation

Metric: Click-through rate, cost-per-click/cost-per-lead

Goal: Brand Awareness

Metric: Impressions, engagement rate

Goal: More fans

Metric: The obvious metric here is total number of fans or “likes” gained, but click-through rate and cost per result are also important.

Goal: Conversions

Metric: Total number of conversions, cost-per-conversion and click-through rate

5. Will I see a return on investment with social media advertising?

Yes, in a number of ways! In addition to ROI in the form of actual sales, social media offers value in terms of new brand fans and in keeping your business top-of-mind for customers when they are making purchase decisions.

Story by: Kelsey Thompson