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Matthew Small
by Matthew Small
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When, where and why to promote your content with paid social media advertising: Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn

02/25/2014
When, where and why to promote your content with paid social media advertising: Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn

Social media is a fantastic place to promote your business. While social has historically been free, it is increasingly a hotbed for paid placement and paid advertising. Small budgets can still go a long way if you play your cards right (e.g. do audience profiling. demographic analysis, behavioral, contextual and semantic targeting, geo-targeting, retargeting, proper campaign optimization management, and appropriate landing page optimizations).

Traditionally, social media has been a free resource mostly used to engage in dialogue. It all starts with listening! Building a lasing customer relationship is about listening and learning about the other person. Listening and responding to customer inquiries in real-time sends a powerful message. Listening to customer concerns or problems is important for early resolution and customer satisfaction. By being present in social channels, listening, and reacting, you demonstrate that you value your customer’s opinions and points of view. You show that your business is open and transparent.

Over the past five years Facebook has become the secondary, or even the defacto, website for most businesses. It has allowed current customers to keep-up with what your business is doing and for new customers to discover what it's all about. Many businesses keep with the trend of trying to provide engaging posts to attract Likes and comments and sharing their content from their page and to ultimately drive people to their business. What people don’t know is that in 2012 the half-life for an average Facebook post was only about 30 minutes. That requires someone to be constantly posting new and engaging content to your page for that content to be even recognized by a large portion of your friends and their friends. That, of course, requires time, effort, and money. A great way to keep a single post relevant to the Facebook community is through the “Boost Post” option that Facebook provides. By boosting your post you’re allowed to promote your content for longer and more widely reaching your audience by paying a small amount. This ensures that your post will not go unnoticed and will appear on your customer's newsfeeds longer.

The Twitter advertising model is not all that different from Facebook. Much like Facebook, promoted tweets allows a business to increase its audience and provide a greater opportunity for the content to be retweeted and create a larger and stronger base of people who follow your business. By having greater control over interests, geography, and other demographics, you have greater control of your audience and provide the right content to the right people at the right time. In 2012 the average half-life of a single tweet was only about 18 minutes long. The importance of paying to promote your organization's content may have an even greater importance for your business on Twitter. The other great thing about the pricing model of paid Tweets is that your organization pays only when people engage with your promoted Tweets (i.e. retweet, reply, etc.). This ensures that it is paying for performance.

LinkedIn is the third main avenue that a business should use to promote itself. It gives businesses a distinctive business-to-business (B2B) advertising opportunity and allows it to create brand awareness, promote career opportunities, and educate potential customers on its products and services. What’s unique to LinkedIn is the focus around the professional audience. The business leaders and those who work at it are targeting professional peers with a goal to build relationships that primarily focus on the business. LinkedIn ads are unlike the promoted posts and tweets. These are custom formatted text, image, and video ads that target the professional audience and B2B targeting. Target not only by industry but segment by job title, job function, company, LinkedIn group as well as geography, age, and gender too.

Don’t be handcuffed by solely cornering yourself in the free aspect of social marketing. These paid advertising options are extremely important tools for businesses and should not be overlooked. Enhance your audience, both in size and quality, by leveraging these platforms and if you need a helpful hand or would like to discuss these options in greater detail please feel free to contact our Dirigo Content Marketing Team. We’d be more than happy to help.

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