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Many of us ask the question What is Social Media Advertising? It May sound as it’s been asked forever. Truth is advertising on social media, as we know it, and as a choice for marketers, has been with us just less than two decades. It was the year 2005 when Facebook launched its advertising platform. Fast-forward to today, and social media is the preferred choice of small and large businesses alike. Ad formats have evolved to fulfill the many needs a company, and marketers may have. If you look at the available options, you will find a format that fulfills most of your needs.

Social Media Advertising Today

Want to advertise in a cost-efficient way? The answer is usually yes. Social media has become the go-to solution for startups, and the first item in their advertising to-do list. You can get an outstanding return on investment (ROI) for your blog, business, or project. This capability makes it easy to get off the ground as pain-free as possible. Chances are a large percentage, or all, of your audience, uses a social media platform. It’s probably they’re having conversations about your brand. If you want to join them, the best way is to advertise when they’re already gathering.

Ad Types

It all began with the written word. Many ads were, and some still are, text-based. As time went by, social media companies began listening to the needs of advertisers and created new, innovative ways to spread their message. As an example of this, you will find Facebook sponsored posts, Twitter Cards, and Snapchat Lenses. Each platform has strengths and weaknesses. You’ll find that some platforms focus on texts, some stand out by showing images, and some seem to be experts when it comes to video. Ad types allow reaching different goals.
Some advertisers choose to drive traffic to their blogs or websites, some prefer to let users download an app, some others want to interact with their audiences, and so on.

Demographics

Demographics are intimately related to segmentation, which looks to identify a particular set of consumers to provide an attractive message to that group of people or audience. Demographics explain certain traits such as gender, age, occupation, income, and family status. By choosing a set of characteristics, you separate your prospects from the crowd. Knowing who to talk to is a crucial element of a marketing plan. With most developed social media platforms, you can choose the demographics you want to show your ad to. The user feels you’re speaking directly to them, which makes them more inclined to listen to your offer.

Hashtags

Technically, a hashtag is a word or group of words preceded by a hash sign, such as #blogging. Users use hashtags to make their publications more easily findable through search. When a trend arises, you’ll find that posts related to it can be found through hashtags. It can be used as a la label, as it encourages exploration of a particular theme. Many hashtags become fashionable for any given period, and you can hijack their popularity to drive attention to your publications.

Each social media platform has its way of using hashtags. Some highlight them, and in others, they have a humbler implementation.

Platform

A social media network can begin its life as a website or an app. As time goes by, they tend to become platforms, which is a collection of technologies that are used as the base for an array of services. As an example of this, you’ll find that Facebook now has not only a website, but also has a variety of apps. A platform is usually a single social media network such as Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest. This way, the platform is the collection of websites, apps, APIs, and other resources with which you can access the network.

See also  What is Online Advertising

Facebook

Facebook’s mission is “to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.” It lets you connect with family and friends and understand what’s happening in your surroundings and the world. With more than 2.89 billion active users a month (second quarter of 221), this social network is the biggest one worldwide. Its advertising revenue was $27.2 billion (Q4 2020) Who uses Facebook? You’ll be surprised to know that it serves more than 200 million small businesses scattered across the earth. Over 6 out of 10 Americans aged 12+ use the platform.

Instagram

Instagram was one of the first social networks that focused on sharing graphics and videos. Twitter relies heavily on text, and Facebook, which relies on both pictures and texts feels the weight of this specialized social network. You’ll find this social media network has 1.071 billion global users in the year 2021. Users use the platform 53 minutes per day, on average. You’ll find up to 4 times more interactions on Instagram, in comparison to Facebook. The platform encourages up to 80% of its users when making de decision to buy a product or service.

Twitter

Twitter is a microblogging service that allows you to post messages called tweets. When you follow an individual, you can see their posts (tweets) in your timeline. It’s a popular social network used by former American presidents and other high-profile politicians. You’ll find 199 million daily Twitter users. The USA leads the way with a large part of its population being Twitter users. Is the platform active? You can count up to 6,000 tweets per second, or 200 billion tweets each year. Up to 82% Business to Business content marketers use the platform for organic content marketing.

Other Social Media Networks

I’ve written about the big 3 social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You should know you can find a large list of social media sites worth exploring. You may find your target market gathers in the recently created Tik Tok app, maybe you want to target professionals through LinkedIn. Snapchat is another possibility. Maybe you want to advertise a restaurant and find Yelp beneficial. Is your content preeminently visual? You can find Pinterest attractive. One advantage of using an up-and-coming social media network is that you can position yourself as an expert relatively fast.

ROI

Finally, to answer the question What is Social Media Advertising? It’s interesting to analyze if it’s a viable option for your blog or business. The first step is to set your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), separating vanity metrics from useful ones. Once you’ve performed this step it will be easier to analyze if your campaigns are working or not. Working with other web properties, such as websites, is a common scenario. Sometimes you’ll need data from a variety of sources to understand what is working, and what is not. Many individuals and businesses have found success by advertising on social networks, and this trend is here to stay.