3 Reasons You Need Social Advertising for Your Business

3 Reasons You Need Social Advertising for Your Business

Social advertising is becoming the new go-to for businesses of all sizes.  As more and more people use and rely on their smartphones and web browsers for information and ideas, businesses are having to adjust their online advertising plans and budgets.

Businesses have to be where their customers are and right now that’s online. Businesses cannot expect to put an ad out via traditional methods (TV, cable, print) and garner the results of old. While those types of ads do still work on occasion, the ways we advertise and share our messages have changed.

Times have changed and consumer’s shopping methods have evolved. They seek peer recommendations via social media. They search Google for whatever they happen to be seeking. They watch TV shows online (some homes do not have TVs anymore!). These consumers are continually seeking out answers. It is your responsibility to find these consumers and provide them the answers and opportunities.

Consider this –

  • According to Forbes, Internet advertising revenues have passed those of broadcast TV, $42.8 billion to $40.1 billion for the very first time.
  • The same Forbes article showed that Internet advertising dominated the overall advertising market share of all forms of a media.
  • The Newspaper Association of America (NAA) stated in Media Daily News, that total newspaper advertising revenues fell 6.5% to $23.57 billion, whereas digital advertising was up 1.5% to $3.42 billion.
  • TechCrunch reports that total Internet advertising spent will reach $121 billion in 2014.
  • Companies like Google have dominated the Internet ad space with search ads, but the rise of ad tech and social media (read: Facebook and Twitter) appears to be changing that tide. ZenithOptimedia predicts that by 2015 Internet display will overtake paid search at $74.4 billion versus $71.1 billion. (Source: TechCrunch)
  • According to a recent poll by Andoit Digital, 36 percent of millennials claimed digital ads are more effective at getting their attention while 28 percent claimed traditional and digital ads are equally effective.  (Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch)

The takeaway? Online/social/digital advertising (Internet ads) is growing – fast. It’s now larger than broadcast television advertising and it’s beating traditional print newspaper advertising. More money is being spent on this form of advertising and it’s more effective at getting and keeping the attention of a younger demographic.

Reason 1 You Need Social Advertising – You only reach a tiny percentage of your target audience organically.

Facebook organic reach is sitting at a whopping 2-3%. Some lucky ones (and they are rare) see anywhere from 10-30%.  That’s organically (meaning they see it naturally in their newsfeed without any promotion). If you have 2,000 fans, that means only 250-600 people are seeing it or 1,750-1,400 fans AREN’T seeing it.

Advertising via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn provides greater reach based on your budget. That means your promoted post will be seen by a larger percentage of your audience. Your contest will get more entries or you’ll see an increase in opt-ins.

Reason 2 – Without keeping yourself out there, people will forget about you.

My background is in advertising and one thing that is permanently branded in my brain is top of mind awareness. If you do not put yourself out there and stay out there, people will forget about you.

With social media, you can stay out there by being active, but that’s only within your community. Yes, compelling, interesting and quality content will keep them coming back, but every business owner hopes to grow, not stay stagnant. According to a stat from Social Media Today, 79% of marketers saw more quality leads from social media. That’s why you need to branch out and advertise, reach that new segment. You want to continually add new people to your community and advertising is the perfect avenue.

Reason 3 – More businesses are advertising online and will do so on a bigger scale – including your competitors.

Social advertising is almost required in social marketing now. If you want to keep up with your competitors, you have to devote some of your budget to advertising online. Take in these stats:

  • In 2013, Internet advertising expenditures surpassed newspaper ad spending for the first time. Internet ads now account for 21% of all advertising dollars, second only to television at 40%. (Ad Age)
  • There are over 1.5 million active Facebook advertisers. (DMR)
  • Over 1 million small-to-medium sized businesses are advertising on Facebook. (DMR)

These facts and figures make online advertising hard to ignore. It’s a sector that is only going to grow and if you are not already advertising online, you need to start – NOW. If you don’t, your competitor is going to beat you to the punch and you’ll spend your time playing catch up.

Are you already advertising online? If so, what platforms/areas are you using? Have you decreased your traditional advertising budget(s)?

Ask Mandy Q&A - Should I Advertise on Facebook?

Ask Mandy Q&A – Should I Advertise on Facebook?

Ask Mandy is a weekly Q&A blog series. To ask your question about social media, please click here.
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Lately there has been a lot of chatter online about Facebook advertising:

  • Chatter about it not being worth it.
  • All you get are fake likes.
  • It’s just a scam by Facebook to make money.

So it only makes sense that the next question I received was –

Should I spend money to advertise on Facebook?

A video was posted earlier this year, called “Facebook Fraud.” The video creator talked about how his Facebook ads gained likes, but the likes were from foreign countries and it was essentially a waste of money because the engagement was zero. However, he failed to share his targeting options and the examples he used were over a year old. If you have kept up with anything pertaining to social advertising either here or elsewhere on the web, you will know that A LOT has changed in the past year. Facebook advertising specialist Jon Loomer published the best rebuttal to the video. You can read it here.

I’m here to tell you that yes, you should spend some money and advertise on Facebook.

Here are four simple reasons why:

With Facebook’s organic reach declining advertising keeps your message out there. 

Whether you promote a post or run an ad in the newsfeed, you are out there. However, use promoted posts carefully – if someones sees something too much in their feed, they will unlike or hide the page. I once saw a social media professional promote a post asking how everyone’s day went. Seriously?!?! You wasted money on THAT? That is an example of not using promoted posts carefully.

Facebook ads are more affordable than traditional advertising.

You can run a series of 10 ads roughly half the size of my quarter page ad in my local paper for $1,200.00. Yes, over one thousands dollars for a paper that has a circulation of 8,000. Doing the math I am paying $1,200.00 for 80,000 views, if everyone sees it. I can run a Facebook ad for 10% of the traditional ad cost and get roughly the same number of views. Of course, a lot depends on the targeting of the Facebook ad. Facebook ads are easier on your advertising budget, especially if you are a small business.

You can specifically target those with whom you want to do business.

No other advertising option out there, traditional or digital, can give you the targeting options Facebook can. This also controls the quality of any new fans.

You can track and see the results.

No other form of advertising will tell you exactly how many people saw your ad. Or clicked on the links. Or liked you because of it. Traditional advertising can guesstimate, but it’s rarely accurate (unless you have a coupon for them to bring in). It’s amazing to see the results of your ad and be able to measure the ROI of it.

Facebook advertising is definitely something to try if you have not already. You will see results.

If you do advertise, do you think it’s worth it?


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Best Practices for Those Who Pay to Play

social advertising facebookIn this day and age of digital marketing, the options are nearly endless of what you can do for your business. Most businesses have taken advantage of social media, using Facebook and Twitter to get their message out to the masses. Social media, as you probably know by now, allows you to really get to know your market. A smaller group of businesses have taken that further and paid for advertising to get even closer to their market.

Yes, businesses can pay to play on social media and the ones that do it have gotten quite good at it.

Paying to play is almost becoming a new norm on Facebook. Everyone and their brother knows about Facebook’s decline in the amount of people who see your posts. Because of that simple truth, businesses are devoting advertising dollars to that platform to make sure their content reaches their market.  Let me say though, you can pay to play on Twitter and LinkedIn as well – it’s not just limited to Facebook.

If you are going to pay to play, here are some basic best practices to make sure you getting the most bang for your buck…

Know why you are doing it. Simple enough, right?  Not really. I see businesses promoting Facebook posts and tweets that are honestly a waste of money and it’s obvious they did it just to do it. Like in using social media, you have to have intent in every.single.thing you do.

Know who you are targeting. You may be having an event that interests only a portion of your market, so when you pay to advertise it, target only that group. That’s the sheer beauty of social advertising – targeting. You can target so specifically that you know your market is going to see it.

Have a budget. I know this seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to lose track of your money on social advertising. Yes, you may only be spending $2 per day, but if you have that plus $15 on a promoted post plus $10 per day on Twitter, it adds up quick. Keep a spreadsheet of what you are advertising, how long it’s running and how much you are planning to spend and stick to that.  Trust me, it will save you many accounting headaches later.

Don’t promote every post on Facebook. This is a hard truth, but not everything you post is worth paying to promote. I’m not saying your content isn’t awesome (because I’m sure it is), but when you promote a post it shows up more in your fans’ news feeds and the more they see it, the more likely they are to hide/unlike/report your page for spam. A good rule of thumb is that unless it’s a contest, event or sale/special, don’t promote it. Blog posts are sometimes okay to post, but only if it’s one that is getting a ton of response or it’s something you really want people to read.

Those seem easy enough, right? These are just some basic things to keep in mind when you go to pay to play. Do you have any best practices you use when you advertise online?

8 Holiday Marketing Tips for Your Business

Photo Credit: graphicstock.com

Photo Credit: graphicstock.com

The holiday season is the time of year that businesses can be made or broken. Many businesses, such as retail, depend heavily on the holiday season that runs mid-November through New Year’s Day. This is one time of year that you should not skimp on the marketing! The holidays make marketing so much fun – the contests, the deals, the relevant engagement – everyone needs to get into the spirit!

Here are some of the holiday marketing facts (source: Constant Contact):

  1. 20 to 40 percent of yearly sales for small and mid-sized retailers take place within the last two months of the year. (National Retail Federation)
  2. 38 percent of consumers are likely to shop on Thanksgiving Day. (Accenture)
  3. Holiday spending is expected to increase by 11 percent in 2013. (Experian)
  4. Online sales will increase by 15.1 percent in 2013. (eMarketer)
  5. Nearly half of consumers plan to buy holiday gifts online this year. (Google)
  6. 66 percent of 2012 Black Friday purchases were the result of a social media interaction. (Mr Youth)
  7. 64 percent of respondents said they have bought a product because of something they saw on Twitter. (Twitter)
  8. 55 percent of Twitter users discuss gift ideas on Twitter & 62 percent of shoppers Tweet about purchases they’ve made. (Twitter)
  9. 64.8 percent of shoppers use social media to find the perfect gift. (Crowdtap)
  10. 67 percent of consumers have purchased a gift they saw on social media. (Crowdtap)

Now that you know the facts, how does that factor in to your marketing plan? Here are 8 tips to help…

1. Get festive! You want your business/brand to be relevant, so that means “decorating” your social media accounts! Change out your Facebook cover photo to something Christmasy (if you celebrate that) or have your Twitter background be a field covered with snow. Show the world that you are ready for the holidays.

2. Post interactive content. Ask questions each week, share favorite holiday memories.  Connect with your market on an emotional level and get to know them.

3. Give sneak peeks. People like to have exclusivity. If you are offering a deal in your brick and mortar store, offer it to your social media fans or email list a day early. If you are debuting a new product or service, leave bread crumbs so they are hungry for it when you debut it.

4. Offer a discount or special deal. You do not have to do this to be successful, but sometimes this will help you convert those browsers into customers. It can something for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. It could be a month-long discount on a product or service.

5. Utilize your email list! Your email list is almost like gold. These are people who have said they want emails from you – use this wisely! Segment it and send carefully crafted messages. Send email list-only deals. You have a captive audience, so make the most of it!

6. Give back. I believe all businesses should donate to charity (whether it’s time or money). During the holiday season, share what you support or support something new. Do boxes for Operation Christmas Child. Donate to Toys for Tots. Adopt a local foster child. Take a group of your employees and do a shift at a local soup kitchen. Show that you are more than a business and that you truly care and want to give back.

7. Use some traditional marketing.  You will always have a segment of your market that is not online. Make sure to infuse your online holiday marketing plan with some aspects of traditional.

8. Have fun.  It is the holidays after all. Show some holiday cheer and have fun with your fans and those who come into your office/store.

Are you ready for the holiday season? What tips would you share?

Google AdWords for Small Business

Online ads have become big business for small business owners who have either just launched websites or who want to see more traffic on their existing sites. They want their target markets to find them quickly and easily. This is where Google AdWords can help small businesses create effective ads to reach their customers online.

In a recent article for Business 2 Community, Ben Cohen talks about how small businesses should develop solid strategies when using Google AdWords. Cohen says, “Even with a small budget, you can get impressions and clicks on Google with a smart account structure and the right targeting options.” Cohen goes on to explain how small businesses are able to reap the same advertising benefits as their larger B2B counterparts – all from creating and properly using ads through Google AdWords.

A new Google AdWords user probably has a few questions to ask and have answered before they get started. These are a few common questions, along with some answers, to help explain the fundamentals.

What exactly is Google AdWords?

Google describes it as their own online advertising program product. The Google AdWords system suggests keywords, then allows its users to assemble text ads with the keywords they decide upon. People can then target ads to the online markets they prefer and have their ads appear where and when they decide. VirtualNet Marketing, a Google AdWords certified partner, defines the system well by saying, “Google Adwords is the system Google has developed to assist you in marketing your products or services in the Google Search Engine, and its affiliate sites, via the use of a placed text ad that appears when people search for phrases related to your offering, this appears as a “sponsored link.” The product also provides excellent reporting and tracking tools so you immediately know what is working…or not.

How do I gain access to Google AdWords?

Once you sign up for your own Google account, you can immediately access Google AdWords. From there, you have the power to easily create your own online ads through Google AdWords.

How do I set up ads using Google AdWords?

Google provides step-by-step directions for walking you through the Google AdWords process. The directions are helpful and fairly easy to follow. You can possibly set up your ad in a matter of minutes. The process involves deciding on things such as which keywords to use, who you want to target, how long you want your ad to run and how much money you want to spend. Since these intensive details make the process potentially complex and time-consuming, you should be prepared to spend an ample amount of time so you develop an ad which completely meets your needs and expectations.

I put an ad together that really stinks. Am I stuck with it?

Not at all. All you need to do is sign into your Google AdWords account and modify your text. You can also delete, pause and reactivate ads as often as you like.

Do I need to spend a lot of money to use Google AdWords?

You are able to budget as little or as much as you need to run your ad campaign. Keep in mind that when you set up PPC (pay-per-click) ads, you are paying for each time your ad is clicked…even when someone clicks it accidentally. Just like going to a casino, it is wise to start with a budget. Using Google AdWords can seem like gambling; in essence, you are going to place bids on how much your ad is going to be clicked. Know exactly how much you are able to spend and stick to that amount. It is easy to get caught up in the complexities of choosing the proper keywords and such. The product includes keyword planners and performance indicators which help you keep your budget intact, as long as you use them properly.


Many small businesses use and have successfully gained clients through creating and managing online ads with Google AdWords. What are your experiences with using it? I would be glad to hear your thoughts about Google AdWords. Email me at jenn@jplussocial.com or tweet me at @jennghanford any time.

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