You would be hard-pressed to deny the overload of sponsored social media advertising you see every time you scroll down your favorite social media page. Similar to direct mail or email marketing, social media advertisers reach their target markets based on a variety of gathered data that includes potential customers' demographics, the fan pages they like, and the topics they frequently post about in their updates and shares.
After you choose the social media platform that's most appropriate for your business, you’ll find that sponsored posts in social media advertising pop up on the page in different ways. It can be as simple as your friends' "liking" a major brand name’s fan page. The resulting ad shows you how many of your friends like the product, enticing you to do the same. Local ads containing coupons and deals from businesses are another way to target specific consumers. While the ads you see on social media may seem similar to those you find while browsing a major search engine, the differences are what make social media advertising more effective.
Unlike the sponsored posts you’ll see while performing general Web search, social media advertising offers consumers a greater feeling of confidence and trust. If your friends on a social media site like a particular page or brand, that can carry weight like word-of-mouth advertising: they're sharing their personal recommendations of a local business or product. It's also convenient to click on a link and instantly be able to see what others are saying about the company, good or bad. Add specialized offers and you get a winning combination for building a strong potential customer base. Join an online media buying community to learn more about smart purchases in marketing.
As in many other types of marketing, social media advertising relies on providing incentives and benefits. Create coupons, contests, and other giveaways to lure people to your page. Make it interactive—enable fans to share their experiences with your product or services or tips on how to use your product in original ways. For example, you could hold a recipe contest that uses leftovers from your restaurant for next-day lunches. If you purchase sponsored social media advertising, keeping your page updated regularly and moderating what is posted to it will help ensure that people want to read your posts regularly and don’t "unlike" your page out of boredom or disapproval.
Even though there seems to be an overload of sponsored social media advertising, it is a truly effective means of reaching customers that match your target market. Social media can help you build friendships with people before they even set foot in your establishment or order from your company. This relationship can last for years, as once they like your page through a paid ad, the updates you post are bonus advertisements that cost you nothing but additional time.
(Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)