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8 min read | January 6, 2023

What is Social Media Advertising? Definition & Strategies

Social media advertising is a highly effective marketing strategy for reaching new audiences and increasing awareness of your brand. It can help you target specific groups of consumers at a fraction of the cost of other online marketing strategies. If you’re not already active on social media, then now is the time to find out what you’re missing out on.

Read on to find out everything you need to know to launch a successful social media advertising campaign that helps you promote your brand to the right people and increase those all-important sales.

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What is Social Media Advertising?

Social media advertising is a form of digital marketing where you advertise your brand on social media platforms. Popular platforms for this advertising strategy include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Social media advertising comes under two broad categories: organic social media advertising and paid ads

Organic advertising refers to free posts that you publish through your social media business accounts. These posts usually explain who you are as a business, what your brand represents, and the products or services that you offer. The hope is that online users will be organically drawn to your page and engage with your posts. However, it’s not always easy to reach the right audience organically, which is why paid advertising is usually a far more effective strategy.

Paid social media advertising is the same thing, except you pay a fee to the social media platform so that sponsored posts are targeted at specific audience segments according to selected demographics. This makes it much more likely that your message will reach the right users and your social media marketing campaign will be a success. 

Benefits of Social Media Advertising

Here are some of the specific benefits of social media advertising for brands:

  • Maintain an active online presence: It helps you build credibility, social proof, and consumer trust. It also makes your brand seem more approachable and helps you make meaningful connections with your target consumers. 
  • Increase brand visibility and awareness: The more active you are on social media, and the more you invest in paid ads, the more people will get to know your brand. In fact, visibility and brand awareness are the foundation of most marketing strategies.
  • Drive traffic to your website: The right campaigns can help you drive more potential customers to your website and improve your SEO ranking. 
  • Generate more leads: The more traffic you drive to your website, the more likely you are to generate leads and conversions. This is especially true if you open an Instagram or Facebook shop or invest in influencer marketing campaigns.
  • Build relationships: The more meaningful connections you can nurture through your social media interactions, the easier it will be to build relationships with your customer base. This is because social media advertising opens a direct line of communication between you and your current and prospective customers. It’s also a great channel for collecting valuable feedback about your brand and your marketing strategies so that you can keep up with evolving market trends. 

Effective Social Media Advertising Strategies

Although social media advertising is pretty straightforward, there are a few essential strategies that can help you get good results from your campaigns.

Let’s take a look at some of the most effective strategies for this.

Clarify Your Objectives

Before you launch a social media advertising campaign, you need to make sure you are clear on your goals and objectives. Are you looking to raise brand awareness or drive more traffic to your website? Your core objective will determine which marketing strategy is best for your campaigns.

Also, take the time to consider your target audience. What are their demographics and interests? What content format and style would best appeal to them? Do as much research as possible at this stage. You could even check out a few of your direct competitors to see which social media advertising campaigns resonate best with their followers.  

Plan Your Posts in Advance

It’s always a good idea to create a schedule of the content you are going to post in advance. This will help you ensure you have a good mix of content formats and don’t get too repetitive. Having said that, though, you also need to be flexible and adapt your content in line with any emerging trends to help you stay relevant. 

Overall, aim for a mix of photos, videos, stories, and live feeds. It’s also a good idea to play around with timings and frequency. That way you can test your audience to see what they interact with the most, and when

Listen & Engage with Your Audience

One of the fundamental rules of social media advertising is making sure you listen to your audience and interact with them as much as possible. If someone leaves a comment on one of your posts, reply to it or give it a like. If someone leaves a review on your page, thank them. If someone raises an issue, address it. This will help you build meaningful connections and encourage more users to interact with you. And this is the first step towards building an engaged community

Monitor Your Analytics

Finally, it’s important to monitor all your social media advertising metrics on a regular basis. This will help you keep a close eye on the performance of your campaigns so that you can adjust your strategies accordingly

For example, if you identify that more people are interacting with posts that include videos then you can focus less on images in the future. Or if you are getting high levels of engagement from your stories and live feeds then you can invest more in these types of posts in the future. That way, your social media advertising campaigns will continuously improve, and you will increase the return on your advertising investment.

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