It's Not Social Media. It's Advertising. And It's Not For Amateurs.
February 26, 2018We frequently sit in new-business meetings with prospective clients, and they lecture about the importance of social media. They tout its magical powers to drive inquiries and convert leads to paying customers. "We really want to focus on social media and digital marketing. Can you do that?"
We typically answer them with advice they don't want to hear, "You know, we're not so sure your fill-in-the-blank-highly-technical-business-to-business-company is going to attract a whole lot of engagement from a social media universe." Not to mention, prospects rarely have a bevy of ripe content for sharing on social media platforms.
Social Media Users Don't Want To Chat With Brands
These companies – and so many like them – need to stop looking at social media as a "free" channel for disseminating commercial messages. In our experience as a Miami public relations firm, we see that commercial appeals usually fail on social networks, places where consumers want to engage with other people they know. Few people embrace brands on social media when those brands are using the medium to persuade buying behaviors.
In fact, this is the precise reason that Facebook changed its news feed algorithms: to suppress brands' organic reach. Why? Well, imagine you're having a chat at a party with a friend. Someone else walks up to join your conversation, and that person starts trying to persuade you that the outfit they're wearing is the best thing since sliced bread. You're likely to turn and walk away.
However, if you're at the same party chatting with a friend, and someone walks by in a spectacular outfit, you may say to your friend, "Wow, that's a great outfit. I wonder where I can buy it." That my friends, is social media advertising.
Social Media Platforms As Advertising Outlets
Social media marketing is marketing. This may not be popular among social media managers and other social media purists. But it's true. (We're a marketing communications firm. We know marketing when we see it.) Just like any other media outlet, successful brands use social to reach their audiences. Then they sell products or services to that audience with effective, creative advertising.
For some reason, many people in our industry continue to deny that social media advertising is, in fact advertising. They like to use euphemisms, like "paid reach." Get over it. There's nothing wrong with categorizing social media with other types of advertising. In fact, social media advertising is one of the most affordable and effective media types available. A small budget can go a long way and yield powerful results.
Social Media Advertising Is Not A D.I.Y. Project
Okay, so by now you're probably nodding your head and feeling quite smart. You already know that social media advertising can be a cost-effective component to your marketing plan. For goodness sake, you're using social media advertising right this minute – running sponsored posts on Facebook, pre-roll on YouTube, and boosted posts on LinkedIn. But chances are, your ads aren't working as well as they could because social media advertising is not a do-it-yourself project.
Just like television ads, print, or billboards, professional advertisers like those at this Miami ad agency, are more equipped and more effective at creating and placing ads on social media platforms.
Think back to the example of the friends chatting at a party and their reaction to someone walking by in a great outfit. Similarly, effective ads for social media capture attention and lead the user to seek more information. And when the user seeks more information, they become a qualified lead.
So how do you do it? How do you create social media ads that attract eyeballs and tantalize someone to click for more? For starters, less is more. You don't have to share every detail about your product or service in your ad. In addition, you don't need fancy bells and whistles. At our agency, we rely on straightforward messaging and powerful design to stand out from the onslaught of posts that clog users' feeds.
Of equal importance, we painstakingly use available data to target social media ads to the most appropriate users. This is what makes social media such a valuable and economical advertising medium – the ability to target the precise audience your brand needs to reach.
When these ingredients come together, creative messages and targeted distribution, then – and only then – will social media reveal its magical powers to drive inquiries and convert leads to paying customers.
To learn more about our agency's professional approaches to social media advertising, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or submit an inquiry form through the Contact Us page of our website.