Paid Social – Understanding the Big Picture

You’ve seen the ads at the top of Google search results, and perhaps dabbled a little in paid media. Online advertising is an enticing world to explore, and has the potential to reach an audience that traditional advertising can miss. Since everything with online advertising can be tracked, campaigns can be managed to generate revenue. Community engagement for your brand is another benefit.

Paid media strategies need to be backed by solid goals and a clearly targeted audience. It’s critical to define both of these from the beginning of a campaign.

Once your audience and objectives are established, assess which channels will best reach your targets. When considering paid social, most marketers’ automatically think Facebook. It’s the most widely used platform, with an estimated 1.1 billion unique monthly visitors. If you’re going the Facebook route, it’s important to consider boosted posts versus paid ads, and the best use of each option.

A boosted post spreads your Facebook message to a wider audience than it would normally reach. Use them when your goals are post likes, shares, and comments. Boosted posts are also useful for stimulating community engagement among followers.

A Facebook ad provides several options, including likes, clicks to a website, app installs, event responses, video views, and more. Ads also can include call-to-action buttons, unlike boosted posts, that drive potential customers to your owned media platforms.

Twitter is another significant player in the social space, and reaches different education audiences – especially in higher ed. Twitter ads are structured as objective-based campaigns that can go in several directions. For example:

  • Drive web traffic and increase sales
  • Grow your followers
  • Increase tweet engagements

With Twitter, you pay when intended engagements are achieved. If your objective is to drive web traffic, you’re charged only when a user clicks through to your website. While the targeting capabilities of Twitter ads and boosted posts are limited, the analytics serve as a great assessment tool.

Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn have their place as well, depending on your goals. The opportunities for online advertising are nearly limitless; you just need to know how to leverage them for maximum impact. Contact us at hello@cblohm.com if you’d like help exploring paid social campaigns.

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