The big picture is that social media is one of the most incredible mass communication channels invented by modern technology. The social media landscape has seen it’s share of growing pains, rising stars and spectacular failures, only to leave the business owner wondering which social media platforms to use. The noise on social media can get overwhelming especially without a direction or a strategy to cut through the chatter. The two primary functions of social media for business are ROI and leads. A tailored online marketing strategy should drive the business forward through social media engagement.
Here is how to determine the social media platforms to invest your time and money in:
The first question a business should ask about their online existence is: who is my audience? Social media audiences have been known to be fickle, they are a segmented bunch with short attention spans. Extensive market research about the business’ audience and where they hang out in the social media space is the recipe for success. While the big four (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram) are standard for most businesses, special attention should be paid to niche social media sites which may be beneficial for more specialized businesses.

After defining the target audience, businesses should embrace the fact that organic social media reach is a thing of the past. These days, social media is a game where you have to “pay to play”. First of all, the business has to craft optimal messages that won’t trigger ad blindness. Then, a business needs to have a social media calendar which defines posting frequency, integration with other marketing channels, and the cost of paid campaigns- all factors that need to tracked and measured. A business that has these systems in place will be able to determine which platforms perform the best and how to capitalize on the data. More valuable yet sophisticated features like remarketing on Facebook benefit from the consultation and expertise of a marketing agency.

The big four social media channels dominate the online conversation but how does a business owner determine which platform deserves the most attention? Each platform has a personality, reach, and benefits for the businessowner. The behemoth Facebook is a generalist with 2.2 billion monthly active users. Needless to say, every business should have a Facebook business page and take advantage of Facebook advertising, granular targeting, and remarketing. LinkedIn is the B2B thought leader with 500 million users, great for posting online resumes, networking, and B2B sales. Twitter is useful for posting bite-sized, time sensitive information for the tech crowd and other progressive audiences of different ages with 275 million monthly traffic. Finally, Instagram is the cool kid of social with 800 million monthly users that skews slightly female, mostly urban and millennial. Instagram is heavy on the visual content curation which is a dream come true for the product marketer.

In online existence, where social media is no longer optional for the businessowner, how does the business determine which platforms to use for the best ROI and engagement? The answer is a powerful marketing strategy which intimately knows the target audience, social media calendar, and the performance of content on each platform.

In 2018, Facebook brings out the haters in the social media space that’s dominated by cool kids like Instagram and Snapchat. Quips like “Facebook isn’t cool since my parents are on it” have given the original social network a less than hot PR image. However, an eMarketer study paints a different picture of social media popularity when it comes to the ROI on advertising dollars. According to 96% of social media marketers, Facebook advertising is the most effective paid option out of all social networks.

Here are the top reasons to use Facebook as an advertising tool to turn “friends” into customers and capture market share among the 40 million businesses that use Facebook.

The first reason to use Facebook advertising for business is simple- it is where your future customers hang out. Research has found that the average American spends 28% of time on social networks, approximately 1.72 hours per day. Out of that time, the user spends an impressive 40 minutes just on Facebook- sharing and liking content. To break it down, every minute, Facebook users like more than 4.1 million posts and other engagements.

The sheer scale and reach of Facebook are impressive, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook has surpassed 1 billion users logging in in a single day. However, with such a volume of active users, there are only 2 million active advertisers on Facebook. That is a huge advertising opportunity! And the perks of running ads on Facebook keep getting better. For example, the targeting feature is a goldmine for customer data and marketing campaigns. Businesses can target users with Facebook Ads by demographics, location, age, interests, gender, behavior, and connections. Facebook has enabled advertisers to tap into recent purchase behavior, play with custom audiences to nurture leads and inspire brand loyalty, and even create “lookalike audience”, a segment of Facebook users that mimic your customers. Such progressive targeting options allow the advertiser to get hyper granular with targeting which leads to insightful customer data and an organic advertising reach.

Another dynamic feature of Facebook advertising is remarketing. This is the single most powerful way to grow a business’ customer base. What is remarketing? It is a type of technology that delivers ads for the business after people have visited the business’ website, used the mobile app, or signed up with an email address. Essentially, people will see remarketing ads from Facebook when they hang out in other places online. The magic happens when businesses combine remarketing with Facebook product ads. On average, remarketing boosts engagement rates by three times and increase conversion rates by two times.

Facebook advertising is what makes the network with 1 billion users a day cool. From the gigantic scope of Facebook’s reach to the hyper granular targeting capabilities, advertising on Facebook is highly sophisticated and smart like the remarketing feature. It will be exciting to watch how businesses harness the advertising power of Facebook ushering in a new era of digital advertising.