Why Social Media Is the Most Effective Advertising Medium for Small Businesses

By on May 13, 2019

Small businesses are spending money to make money, including on social media. According to a new survey from The Manifest, nearly half (43%) of small businesses say social media is their most effective advertising medium.

In the near-term, advertising is critical because it helps companies generate leads, increase brand awareness, and drive sales. Over time, advertising helps businesses develop brand recognition and differentiate their products from competitors.

This article explores why social media is an effective advertising medium, plus how to create a social media advertising strategy

Social Media Advertising Reaches Your Audience

Most people use social media regularly and often. This makes social media advertising a reliable way for businesses to reach their target audience.

Traditional advertising mediums such as TV and print media only reach a broad audience — and you need a lot of help from an advertising agency to create these types of ads.

Advertising on social media, though, lets you target audience segments with precision and track your results in real-time. As a result, paid social is a more effective, economical, and responsive way to achieve your advertising goals.

Given the targeting capabilities of each platform, social media is also a highly cost-effective advertising channel. The wealth of data on social networks helps you continuously refine your strategy in order to conserve your budget yet maximize results.

Supporting this, fifty-six percent (56%) of small businesses say they will spend more on social media advertising in the coming year.

A mix of accuracy, reach, and economy makes social media an ideal choice for small business advertising.

Social Media Advertising Supports Varied Objectives

People use social networks to find entertainment, friends, and information. For best results, learn how and why your audience engages on social networks, then advertise in a way that aligns with both your goals and theirs.

According to The Manifest survey, almost one-third of small businesses (32%) say that increasing sales and revenue is their main goal for advertising.

Promoting products to interested buyers is an easy way for small businesses to generate revenue on social media. This is because 37% of consumers find social media the most influential medium when making a purchase, according to PWC.

To a lesser extent, paid social also helps companies generate brand awareness, drive conversions, and develop brand recognition.

Repeatedly exposing social users to your brand helps develop a positive brand image. People who recognize your brand are more likely to engage with you, become loyal customers, and refer their friends. As a long-term strategy, advertising on social helps generate valuable social proof that fosters engagement while also reducing the cost of customer acquisition.

Whether your goals are impressions or conversions, paid social augments your organic efforts among an ever-growing audience.

How to Create an Advertising Strategy for Social Media

To get the most out of your social media advertising strategy, follow these five steps:

  1. Identify your goals: Success on social media requires you to target distinct audiences. Determine your objectives, as your goals will inform who to target, how, and which metrics to track.
  2. Choose your platform: Which social network does your audience use most? Refer to your buyer personas, check the demographic data about each social network, and decide where your brand will succeed most.
  3. Create content and structure your campaign: Effective social media ads are relevant and offer immediate value. To best engage your audience, craft humorous or emotional ads that feature a unique value proposition followed by a strong call-to-action.
  4. Plan your budget: Social media advertising uses a pay-per-click (PPC) bidding model for keywords. Research the cost for relevant keywords, create a budget, and outline your expected ROI. You should also research the cost of social media agencies to see if you can afford an expert to help you design and implement a strategy.
  5. Measure and optimize: Social networks allow you to track and adjust your ad campaigns in real-time. After a week or so, look to the platform’s analytics to evaluate your success based on your chosen metrics. Reinvest in what’s working, and refine your targeting wherever possible to better drive results and save money.

Social Media Is the Most Effective Advertising Medium for Small Businesses

Social media is a precise, versatile, and cost-effective advertising medium. This makes it ideal for small businesses on a budget, whether your goal is to sell products or grow your brand presence online.

Businesses that don’t advertise on social miss out on spreading brand awareness and reaching customers where they spend much of their time.

About Kristen Herhold

Kristen is a content writer and marketer at The Manifest, a business news and how-to website in the heart of Washington, D.C. Connect with her on LinkedIn, or reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns at [email protected] or on Twitter.
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