Is social media advertising effective? Digital marketers get asked this question all the time and to answer it, first we’re going to touch upon another: ‘what is social media advertising?’
A lot of our clients have no experience with digital marketing and have never ‘boosted a post’ before or promoted a tweet. As we discussed in our previous blog post ‘How can digital marketing help your business?’ digital marketing, which includes social media advertising, is about:
- Quality content
- SEO keywords
- A structured strategy
- Social media advertising
That’s great, but is social media advertising effective?
Let’s give you an example; we manage the Facebook page of a company which runs two care homes, you can find out more about our work with them here. Since we took over the account in April, we have increased page likes by 84%.
This means that content is being served to more people who are genuinely interested in the care homes.
By boosting Facebook posts we have been able to drastically increase the ‘reach’ of posts – i.e. the amount of people seeing the content. If someone sees an advert for the care home, they may get in touch with the home and not necessarily go on to like the page.
But how do we know if this is helping to grow a business?
We look at the results from a business perspective. Our client, Vicky Smith, tell us: “This has had such an impact on the business in terms of an increase in enquiries, bed vacancies being filled and giving staff within the home a space to showcase what they do so well.”
She adds: “The social media has made such an impact that we did not hesitate in requesting our contract to be extended.”
The above testimonial speaks for itself. We know that as well as increasing the number of people who are seeing content on the care homes’ Facebook page, this has correlated with an increase in enquiries and beds being filled. Of course, it helps that the care homes are genuinely fantastic and caring – how do we know? We receive great content from our client in the form of photos from events, information about things like what the residents are having for lunch, and comments with lovely testimonials on the Facebook page. This brings us onto the most important thing about social media advertising…
What makes a good story? The key to social media advertising
Every social advert is not always successful. You’ll probably encounter a lot of people who’ve bunged a tenner on boosting a post and they haven’t had a sale from it, so they’ve decided that it doesn’t work. If you don’t plan your social media content, then it won’t work. For example, say you post an advert and it reaches a lot of people and those people look at your page and see that you hardly ever post and when you do it’s very sales orientated; it’s unlikely they will follow your page or be interested in your business. They don’t know your business and you are essentially trying to pitch your product to them. The best way to do this is by telling your brand story, because everyone loves a good story.
So who are you selling to? What are they interested in? It’s important to step back and really get to know your target audience; what makes them tick? Where do they like to go? What do they like to do? What shows do they like to watch? Once you know this you can begin planning your social media marketing strategy, which will include organic content (free regular posts) and paid-for boosted posts.
Everyone is different, so it’s best to experiment a bit with a lower budget first using different styles of advertising, then beef up your budget on the types which have been most successful. So if you’re looking for a starting figure and you have a tight budget, you might try £10 per advert on two or three adverts for a few days – then see which type was most effective and put £100 on that one.
How can you make your social media advertising effective?
You might suffer from the point of view that people don’t care about what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ of your business. This affects all of us and it can be hard to put yourself out there – but you should. Stories are, and always will be, about people. Your customers want to know they can trust you and your staff to deliver high quality goods and services, and if there are ever any issues, they want to know they can trust you to put things right. Show them the people behind your business, be transparent and earn their trust.
What have we found is the most successful social media content?
- Good quality photos with people in them
- Video content
- Posts showing behind the scenes content
- Posts showing humanity (i.e fundraising efforts, staff achievements)
- Topical content
- Brand story content
It’s difficult managing a social media advertising campaign; if it was easy, we wouldn’t be in business. For more of our success stories click here or click here to get in touch and find out how we can grow your business.