If you run your own website or eCommerce business, you will have felt the need to try to engage your customers/readers in a more effective way. Well, you are not alone! All sites want to do this, as the more people you can engage with and get onto your site, the more money you can potentially make.
Communication is changing faster than it ever has before. We have to find ways of building a community around our site(s) that allows for hyper-connectivity between the customer/reader and our content. Now there are many ways that you can do this, but one particular way is by using social media ads, which has been rapidly expanding over the last couple of years.
Advertising is nothing new. We are constantly bombarded by images, slogans, jingles, etc. of products that we should buy everyday. We see them on TV, in movies, on the side of buses, on the radio, online… everywhere! But social media ads are still relatively new and quite different to traditional advertising.
So, the main aim of this post is to make you aware of some of the different kinds of social media advertising strategies that you can use and (more importantly) why they are important?
Social Media Ads
As you build your online business and grow a community of people around it on social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Google+) you can begin to look at using social media ads to grow your community further. This not only helps to get your name out there, but can also help to drive traffic to your site.
People love to hear about their favourite products and services online. You only have to look at the online buzz that goes around when a new blockbuster film is about to be released, or a new phone/games console is announced. People simply love talking about these things.
But how does that buzz start? Well often it comes directly from the company itself promoting their new product. You see, adverts don’t just have to be traditional banners or TV ads, they can simply be something that people are willing to talk about and share with their friends. If you can get that right, it can be one of the most effective ways to spread the word about your latest offerings.
Use The Right Social Media Sites
Your first responsibility should be to look at and understand who is using which social sites, so that you can promote your business on the right one. If you are aiming for a more professional audience, you would be better focusing on LinkedIn rather than MySpace as that is where your target audience will be. Likewise, it’s no good trying to build a community on Pinterest or Instagram to try to advertise Health insurance, as you can’t take a picture of that. It all depends on your individual business.
Saying that, it is good to have some sort of presence on all of the major social sites. You can just focus your advertising strategy on the ones where your target market are.
What’s The Right Advertising Strategy For You?
Now the most obvious question is “What’s the right social media advertising strategy for your business?” Different social media websites offer different social media advertising opportunities. For example, a company can benefit from business-centric LinkedIn networks, whilst some may be better suited to using Twitter.
Whilst we aren’t going to look at the different advertising options that each social media site offers, we can take a look at some different strategies that you can use to help you across all sites.
Let’s take a quick look at some;
Think About Your Target Market Age Group
The age range of your target market will have a huge impact on your advertising strategy. For a younger audience you may want to use bright, bold images or a younger style of language. An older audience may be more focused on value for money or quality assurances.
If you can reflect that in your advertisements, then you will have a better chance of them being noticed. These are just general ideas, but you can see how off-putting it would be to your customers were you to get them mixed up.
Organizing social media events online can be a great way to engage with your community. This could be a live event that people can visit and take part in, or perhaps an online event such as a Google+ hangout or live stream. This would allow you to show off your latest product and let people interact and get involved.
Sony recently announced their new PS4 at E3 which was also streamed live across the world. It got millions of ‘likes’, tweets, +1’s, and shares whilst the event was being broadcast and many more after that.
Everyone loves a chance to win something, so why not run a social media competition and give away something for free. The great thing about this method is that there is countless ways to run a competition.
- Get people to send in their best question, story, joke, etc. where you choose the best. Or better yet, get people to vote for the best on social media.
- Get people to share your link on their social media site (or multiple social sites). That way, you are gaining more exposure by people sharing your content.
- Get people to take a picture of themselves using your product and post it online (with your #hashtag). Maybe the one in the most unusual location could win.
- Get people to video themselves using your product and post it online (with your #hashtag).
Just be aware that some social sites have different rules on what type of competition you can run, so always make sure you check before hand.
Make use of the seasonal holidays and produce ads that reflect that. (i.e. Our Xmas giveaway, Thanks Giving deals, New Year Extravaganza, etc.). Remember to use seasonal offers from other countries as well to help broaden your reach.
The best strategy of all though is to actively interact with your customers/followers on social media. What better advert is there than you posting a helpful reply to a customers question. People will see that and remember that you helped them out, just don’t slack off – do it for one and all!
Social media ads are such a great way to reach out to your customers online. You just have to look at it in a slightly different way that you would traditional advertising. There is HUGE potential for new people to find you this way and become a customer or long time reader themselves.
What unique social media ads have you noticed online? Have you run any campaigns yourself? If so, what types worked for you? Please let us know by leaving a comment below!