It may come as shock to realize that while most people consider social media to be a relatively new phenomenon, it has actually been around for about 40 years—when you consider its original form of simple bulletin boards. Ok, ok, so it really wasn’t until Facebook took off several years after its public rollout that social media became integrated into our day-to-day lives—and businesses realized that influence could be monetized in the form of advertising.
Nowadays, social media boasts a super sophisticated algorithm that is based on highly targeted audiences. Users can search for, find, and view basically any content that interests them, and in the same vein, can advertisers target precisely the right audiences.
Benefits of Ad Targeting
With social media, you have about half the world’s population at your fingertips, and you can also control precisely who sees your ads. This means that you will be able to reach people who will likely be interested in your product, and who are more likely to buy your product than advertising to a random sampling of people.
Ad targeting allows you to reach out to a smaller audience that has a demonstrated interested in what you have to offer. Targeting should result in much better ROI overall.
Know Your Audiences (and what they are looking for!)
By creating a “buyer persona”—a fictional representation of your ideal customer—you can nail down the specifics of your target audience. Factors to consider include ages, gender, likes, dislikes, attitudes, and preferences. The more specific you are, the better you can target your advertising to reach them.
Choose Social Media Platform(s)
Choosing which platform to use for your social media ads is crucial. Your buyer persona will determine which platform your target audience is most likely to use.
It’s also important to remember that each platform has different requirements, trends, and etiquette.
Facebook and Instagram data focus heavily on a user’s profile and interactions with groups and people. These outlets currently provide the most available targeting options. Twitter and LinkedIn provide targeting opportunities in the forms of keywords, hashtags, conversations, and user handles.
Set Your Targeting Options
Once you have decided on your platform, you can set up your targeted advertising using the platform’s targeting options. Each specific outlet (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) will provide different options. If you need help, take a look at some online tutorials, or give us a shout so we can help you make the most out of each platform.
Learn and Optimize
Advertising via one or more social media platforms will likely require a little tweaking until you hit the sweet spot for your desired audience. You probably won’t get it 100% right on your first attempt—but learning is part of the process.
You can experiment with several different ads, all with slightly different options, and see which works best. This is especially relevant for Facebook targeting, and the affordability and flexibility factors allow you to try different methods safely.
Businesses that don’t embrace social media advertising are majorly missing out. More traditional advertising media is still relevant, but it just doesn’t offer the level of targeting or the freedom to experiment.
There are billions of social media users worldwide. It’s time to connect with users looking for businesses like yours.