With Social media, marketing has never been more comfortable and more productive. While there are hundreds of different marketing strategies, only one can bring in consistent sales from day one: social media advertising.

Simply put, social media advertising is advertisements served to users on social media platforms.

One of the fascinating things about social advertising is that there is virtually no limit to your ability to scale. As the internet has made the world a global village where everyone is interconnected via electronic devices, so can you conquer the world with your brand using social media.

With social media advertisement, you don’t have to grow old waiting for someone to search for your targeted keywords. You don’t have to wait for someone to run your promotion or read your blog.

If you want to reach 50,000 people in one day, you can. Sounds as easy as cheese, right? However, with the myriads of social media networks out there, how do you know which to leverage on to reach your desired audience?

 

Which social media network you choose will depend on 3 significant factors:

1.  Where your target customers are most concentrated (usage, groups, etc.)

2.  Where your target customers are most accessible (preferred media, ad targeting, etc.)

3.  Where your target customers most actively engage with ads (testing required)

Finding success on social media requires you to thread a number of needles together somewhat seamlessly. You have to present a compelling offer through a persuasive medium to people who will actually find it compelling, in a place those people will actually see it.

Let’s take a look at the top 4 social media for e-commerce advertising

 

1. Facebook Advertising

You can call Facebook the godfather of them all, and you won’t be wrong. With more than 2 billion monthly users, Facebook hosts over a quarter of the world’s population, providing advertisers with an unparalleled opportunity to reach virtually anyone and everyone.

Why Facebook?

•  Facebook excels at lead generation.

•  If you want email addresses, Facebook is the place to go, with many advertisers reporting costs below $1 per lead.

The most common model used is to run a Facebook ad directly into a high-converting landing page offering some variety of a free lead magnet or bundle product. These leads can then be nurtured with a targeted autoresponder that introduces them to your brand and products.

Expression Fiber Arts uses Facebook advertising –– offering free products with predictable discounts and coupons for her audience. Doing so has earned her more than $1,000,000 in annual sales in just 2 years.

Many e-commerce brands also use bundled product offerings to drive home perceived value and earn direct conversion.

Facebook allows more advanced targeting than any other advertising platform on earth. Advertisers can target by location (within a 5-mile radius), job description, interests, past activity, and many other incredibly valuable criteria.

 

2. Instagram Advertising

Where Facebook is the father, you might term Instagram the mother of all social media, and the argument simmers hot which is more important in the family: Father or Mother? However, while Facebook’s mind-boggling user numbers make it the undisputed king of social media, the company’s hottest acquisition is beginning to look like the king of social advertising.

Instagram now boasts more than 500 million monthly active users and commands one of the highest audience engagement rates in social media, 58% higher than Facebook and 2000% higher than Twitter.

Why Instagram?

Instagram is image and video heavy. As such, sellers of products that are visually appealing or who are able to incorporate visual media into their campaigns tend to perform best on this social media channel. It is also worth noting that Instagram’s user base points heavily to the 18-29 range and slightly more toward females and minorities.

If any or all of those characteristics are in alignment with your target audience or buyer persona, then odds are, Instagram will be the best ad choice for your business. And unlike organic posts, Instagram ads can be made to link directly to a product page or other landing page, allowing for direct engagement with your products.

A great example of Instagram ads in action again comes from Spearmint LOVE, proving that you don’t have to stick with only a single channel.

The Spearmint LOVE team had great success with its organic posts on Instagram, but the business really grew after advertising on Instagram and Facebook. To continue their growth, brands use Ads Manager to integrate the Facebook pixel with BigCommerce, its third-party e-commerce website—all without touching a single line of code.

For its Thanksgiving retargeting campaign, the Spearmint LOVE team optimised its ads for conversions and used data from the Facebook pixel to set up a custom audience to retarget. The team used to build out its targeting lists manually, but with the newly integrated pixel, it can now automatically build a custom audience based on the people who visited its website within the last 60 days but did not purchase. This audience is continuously and automatically renewed based on the 60-day window.

Spearmint LOVE then used dynamic ads, which pull from the company’s product catalogue, to encourage people to revisit the site and make a purchase.

Since integrating the pixel, Spearmint LOVE has seen a 33.8X return on ad spend on Instagram alone and a 47% decrease in the cost per purchase.

 

3. LinkedIn Advertising

LinkedIn is another unique social platform that revolves primarily around the B2B market.

LinkedIn has an estimated 227 million monthly active users, evenly split between male and female users. 61% of users fall into the 30-64 age range bracket.

Why LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is where you tend to find the highest average disposable income, with 75% of LinkedIn users earning $50,000 per year or more. It’s also where you manage to find the highest quality leads, particularly in specific industries.

Unlike most social platforms, which excel at B2C advertising, LinkedIn is uniquely suited for B2B ads and social media marketing campaigns.

Service businesses and B2B product businesses tend to have far more success on LinkedIn than B2C retailers.

In fact, the industries that see the most enormous success with LinkedIn advertising include recruiters, secondary education, and high-end B2B products and services.

 

4. Snapchat Advertising

Snapchat is one of the newer platforms to emerge on the scene as a competitive force with 301 million monthly active users.

While it remains to be seen if the company will succumb to Instagram’s social video push, as of now, it’s a viable advertising platform with a highly active user base.

Why Snapchat?

There’s really only one stat you need to know to understand the value of Snapchat. On any given day, Snapchat reaches 41% of all 18-34-year-olds in the United States.

Drawing on analysis from these four, Instagram is inarguably the best social media platform with the broadest reach. This is your sure bet to conquer the world.

 

Therefore, for effective use of Social Media Advertising, follow these 5 hot tips for creating engaging content and advertising:

1.  Focus first on custom audiences. This could be audiences created through pixel tracking, an email list, a followers list or some other method. Lists of users who have engaged with you in the past perform best.

2.  When you are ready to expand past custom audiences, lookalike audiences should be your next stop. Facebook/Instagram’s algorithm is very good at finding similar audiences that will respond well to your ads.

3.  Use custom images of real people. Stock photos do NOT work on Platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and look fake-real a best on LinkedIn and Facebook.

4.  Make your offers irresistible. Instagram’s visual nature takes impulse buying to the next level, but you won’t tap into that if you aren’t offering something compelling.

5.  Take hashtags seriously. They are kind of a joke everywhere else, but hashtags drive Instagram, and they are a great way to connect with niche audiences.

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