While our social habits continue to evolve, with certain demographics favouring specific platforms, it’s safe to say that social networks such as Facebook and Instagram are massively beneficial for growing businesses. But what is it about social media advertising that remains so lucrative?
In this guide to social media marketing in 2021, we’ll take a look at what to expect – and why going social is absolutely worth the effort if you haven’t already invested some of your budget in social media advertising.
What Is Social Media Advertising?
Social media advertising is bidding to pitch your products, services, and brand to audiences via social networks. With more than two billion people using Facebook every month, for example, the platform offers business a significant opportunity to engage with their ideal audience.
Social media platforms are free for everyone to use, with posts reaching audiences organically. Organic reach is rooted by several factors, including consistency, engagement, relevancy. The golden rule is, inform and entertain, don’t sell.
So, if you don’t have the time and resources to play the long game, and reach your target audiences organically with fresh, shareable, and engaging content, social media advertising is going to be a fantastic tool for getting your message in front of audiences.
Social media advertising works on a pay-per-click basis, meaning, you set a budget which will not be exceeded. You can choose different objectives, such as generating website leads, brand awareness, video views, and newsletter sign-up, amongst others.
Select your target audience – segmenting audiences by location, age, interests, to name but a few. When there is an opportunity for your ad to be shown to your target audience, it will go into an auction with similar advertisements, with the best being selected for display. Billions of auctions happen every day across social media platforms, determined by finely tuned algorithms.
Which Social Media Platforms Are Available to Business?
Most social media platforms are available to business and for organic marketing and advertising. Here is an overview of the key social media platforms for business, and what you’ll need to know to leverage the benefits:
- Facebook is seen as the leading name in social media, with a 56% share of the UK social media market (as of May 2021). It has 51.15 million Facebook users in the UK – up 2.62 million from a year prior – with the largest user group aged 25 to 34 years.
- Instagram, owned by Facebook, has around 28.81 million users in the UK. Its focus is sharing photo and video content. ’Insta’ is an ideal platform for B2C connections and for ‘humanising’ brands. Instagram’s largest user group aged 25 to 34 years and the second largest group aged 18 to 24 years.
- Twitter is a short-form opinion-sharing platform. It has around 180 million users active per day, and it’s a great engine for B2B advertising. Twitter users tend to fall in the Millennial generation, with most users aged between 25 and 40 years.
- Pinterest is a digital pin board that boasts more than 400 million monthly users active. Users of Pinterest tend to fall between the ages of 25 and 60, and advertising on here is largely consumer focused.
- LinkedIn is a professional social network that allows users to connect with fellow professionals and business owners. It boasts more than 675 million users active each month. It tends to be great for networking and appeals to users aged 25 to 75.
- Snapchat appeals to younger audiences who want to share photos and videos directly. More than 240 million people use the app each day. It’s great for brand awareness and appeals to teenagers and users in their early to mid-20s.
- YouTube is a video-sharing platform largely used by people aged 18 to 40. It’s the biggest monthly draw, with more than two billion people using the service each month. For business, it’s a must-use for sharing authoritative B2B content and B2C video guides.
- TikTok is a video sharing network that’s quickly become a huge draw for younger audiences after launching in China, under the name Douyin, in 2016. It has 689 million international users every month. It’s a great platform for brand awareness, with entertainment by far its primary use, it is also popular for lifestyle guides such as fitness, DIY, cooking, and personal care.
What Are the Benefits of Social Media Advertising?
The benefits of social media advertising for small business in particular, are hard to ignore. It is the best way to connect with modern consumer audiences to promote brand awareness and drive lead generation. Return on advertising spend is trackable, with a suite of tools available to monitor reach and engagement.
- You’ll generate regular leads. Used effectively, social media marketing can and will pull customers to you. You can also make lead generation engaging, without the hard sell. You can create competitions, surveys, etc.
- You’ll be able to showcase your products. Social media gives you a platform to show off every visual aspect of your products. You can use YouTube to give directions, Instagram to share behind the scenes footage, and more.
- It’s superb for keeping an eye on your rivals. Social media is largely public, especially when it comes to other brands and businesses. It is easy to see how other companies and entrepreneurs are managing their own campaigns.
- It’s perfect for boosting your brand. Without a social in-road, your business is likely to fall behind competitors. Brand awareness online means regularly posting and developing content which resonates with your audience – highly shareable. By appealing to people via the apps they are already using, you have maximum opportunity to build awareness.
Which Social Networks Are Best for B2B and B2C Advertising?
For B2B and B2C advertising, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn come out on top for various reasons.
Instagram is ideal for reaching out to customers with original products and behind the scenes sneak peeks. It’s a great platform for offering clients and leads insight and builds confidence in your brand.
Twitter, on the other hand, is a fantastic tool for both B2C and B2B. You can use it to connect and chat with other businesses as well as to provide valuable content to followers – in short-form style.
LinkedIn, finally, is great for building your professional network, generating leads, and cultivating your own professional persona. LinkedIn focus on the individual first, requiring a well-developed profile and network to reap the full benefits for a business.
Ultimately, all the social networks listed offer a wealth of opportunities for business to engage with target audiences and generate leads. It all depends on who your target market is, where they ‘hang out’, and available time and resources to create relevant, engaging content.
How a Marketing Agency Can Help Maximise Your Ad Budget?
Advertising budgets vary from business to business. So too, can advertising expertise. Whether you are new to social media for business or short on time and resources, it makes sense to outsource social media advertising to a marketing agency, able to take the reins – and make the most of your ad budget.
Social media experts at Fenti manage social media advertising for both B2C and B2B clients. Managing everything from image- and video-based asset creation to running ad campaigns and performance tracking to audience and competitor research.
Why spend time learning the fine art yourself, when social media advertising expertise is available when you need it? Contact Fenti to discuss your social media advertising opportunities.