Advertising on Facebook has become one of the most successful and popular online advertising options for marketers. According to eMarketer.com, Facebook ad revenues are expected to reach over 4 billion dollars in 2011 (with 2.2 billion in the United States). Emarketer.com states, “The company will receive 68% of all social network ad spending worldwide. In the US, it will garner 71% of social network spending and 7.7% of total US online ad spending.” It isn’t a surprise that Facebook has become the apple of the marketer’s eye.
So what are you waiting for? Although Facebook ads shouldn’t be the entire focus of your marketing plan, you should consider allocating a portion of your budget in this direction.
One of the major reasons to consider investing in Facebook ads is your ability to target specific audiences. Let’s be honest, most people put their lives on Facebook. People list (freely) their demographic information, jobs, residence, and interests within their profiles. As Facebook continues to expand its advertising options, it will allow marketers to get more creative in their marketing strategies and messages.
One of the newer services available is Facebook’s “Likes & Interests” targeting option. What exactly does this mean? Simply stated, you are now able to display your ad in front of individuals that have some sort of vested interest in your competitors (or people that have “Liked” a competitor’s company page). This also means that you are able to advertise to people that identify an interest that may be affiliated with your target audience.
Let’s take a look at the example below to better illustrate how this targeting option is utilized. Pretend for a moment that you are working for a University in Florida. Your goal is to advertise your college to the majority looking to go to college in Florida (in this case, we will focus on targeting the U.S, ages 17-25). Within this target, you’d like to advertise to individuals who have displayed interest in other Florida Universities.
With the “Likes & Interests” option, you can reach these people by placing names of other higher education institutions in Florida. This granulates your search and gives you the ability to get in front of a group of people that wasn’t necessarily guaranteed previously. Most likely, this ad will display to people looking for a Florida college as well as to people who are currently attending a University but may be looking to transfer or continue their education after graduating.
The “Likes & Interests” option may not be applicable to all industries. Perhaps you don’t want to advertise to people affiliated with your competitors. Remember though that you can be creative with identifying your specific targeting keywords. Your approach may be more indirect (as opposed to such a direct approach in the University example). Instead of trying to reach individuals who have shown interest in other Florida schools, perhaps you are trying to reach the same age group who have mentioned interest in a sport or geographic interest (such as the beach). If you are a college in South Florida located near the beach (Florida Atlantic University for example), placing “beach” as a targeting interest may be an interesting way to grab the attention of your target audience. In this case, you may wish to tailor your ad copy to speak to this audience. As an example: “How would you like to spend your study breaks on the beach? Apply to FAU today”.
Facebook has undoubtedly become the front runner in social media paid advertising. If you know your target audience and are looking for a creative way to reach them, Facebook advertising may be the marketing route for you!
Though there is a ton of buzz surrounding social media for business, not too much of it highlights how to proactively manage and leverage the various networks. Often times, it isn’t until there is a “slip-up” or lapse in judgment by the individual managing a company’s account that we hear a response as to what should have occurred instead.
Perhaps you’ve heard about the recent high-profile PR incidents including personal messages being sent from @RedCross or @ChryslerAutos profiles. If you didn’t hear about those incidents, perhaps the Intern that went on a rampage on the last day of his job, calling Marc Jacobs’ CEO Robert Duffy a “tyrant” rings a bell.
There are many lessons to be learned from these unfortunate examples. One of the most important lessons is, choose your social media contributors wisely. Remember that the individual managing your account is, in essence, a spokesperson of the business. In some cases, the person actually becomes the face of the company. LinkedIn is a great example. The person that manages company groups on behalf of the company works LinkedIn under his or her personal profile.
On the flip side, having a credible individual act as the face of the company can work to your advantage. The person that is able to network and recruit a great number of credible followers and is able to engage with others through the platform has great benefits (including possible business/sales opportunities).
Let’s go back to the importance of being proactive. As managers, you should always be in tune with the activity on your social media accounts (better yet, be engaged yourself!). This is important for a few reasons. Troubleshooting is the first reason. Without micromanaging, it is important to oversee and be involved with the operation to maintain your brand sentiment. This way, if a post was inadvertently entered or a message was incorrectly stated, you can fix/remove it before any negativity goes viral. Secondly, you should always have access to and control your account passwords. In the event that your social media specialist or marketing manager leaves that company, you will always have the ability to control/manage your accounts (and in this case, change your password).
As a result of some of the recent mishaps mentioned above, some networks have created safeguards to help prevent these situations from occurring. Hootsuite in particularly, announced that they have created “Secure Social Profiles” to minimize an accidental mis-send. The new profiles feature “prevents accidental updates by team members by requiring an additional confirmation step before sending”. The Secure Profiles feature is available in HootSuite’s Enterprise plan and is designed to help large companies with multiple team members. As you can see below, the feature is also compatible and available for Smartphone users.
Social media remains one of the greatest marketing tools available. A common challenge with managing social media is a lack of time. Outsourcing these efforts, in some cases, is the best solution to this dilemma. Selecting an agency that understands your brand, goals, and products is important as they will represent you throughout the social media trenches. If you choose to hire someone internal to manage your channels, make sure that they are well trained. The person should understand the business, brand, services/products, as well as the goals of social media efforts. Remember, consistent effort and engagement can go a long way!
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression before and it’s true. One size certainly does not fit all. This statement is fitting and should be kept in mind when crafting an online marketing strategy for your business.
When individuals seek advice from our team at MoreVisibility, we would be remiss to suggest a “cookie-cutter” formula to achieve online marketing success. Each industry, business, and client not only has different marketing goals but each may have to take a different path or approach to reach individual targets. For this reason, an interactive marketing plan should be customized according to the specific needs and objectives of any company.
Although your marketing budget often determines what you are able to accomplish in a given time period, keep in mind that all visibility doesn’t require considerable amount of resources (monetarily that is). Much of what we do as marketers online, especially in the social media realms, require human capital.
Whether you are new to online marketing or have been following the industry for years, it is always a good idea to review your online marketing plan. Start by clearly identifying your audience/market, define (or redefine) your goals (often helpful to track through adding Google Analytics onto your marketing campaigns), and pinpoint which online marketing channels would be best to reach your targets. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to accomplish and have a presence everywhere, if your budget doesn’t allow it. Start with improving your website (your “final destination) and work diligently to create brand awareness in other areas of online marketing when the time and budget permits.