To say that social media management is a new phenomenon would be a huge understatement. Consider the fact that 20 years ago, Facebook was virtually unheard of. The very concept of a “search engine” was new. And Google was still trying to decide what to call itself. Back then, you couldn’t even buy advertising on Facebook. And nobody was sure how to buy space on the Google search engine – or why.
But once it caught on, social media management has changed the entire business world. Now, if somebody wants to find out where they should buy a specific service or product, they Google it. The power that gives Google is extensive. But pair Google with various social platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn, and you have an unbeatable combination.
Reaching out to prospective customers is different than it used to be. Marketing used to be primarily a guessing game, and you didn’t know if you had succeeded until after you spent your marketing budget. Now, if businesses want to reach out to their prospective customers, they use social media to build brand awareness and create a solid digital presence. While at the same time effectively gaining new clients through strong Facebook ads programs. And the best part is you can adjust these program as you go along. Long gone are the days of mailing coupons to everybody or purchasing ad space in magazines or newspapers. A lot of these newspapers don’t even exist anymore.
Because of this big change in the marketing world, we have also seen a change in the personality of the marketing professionals. The marketing professionals of the past consisted of people that owned printing presses and television stations. They were producers of magazine ads, mailings, and TV/radio time. Only basic projects could be left up to do-it-yourselfers, and the bulk of advertising was left up to well-funded advertising professionals.
But what about today? Can do-it-yourselfers effectively produce social media management while at the same time maintaining and growing brand awareness? The answer to that question is not a simple yes or no. To answer it, we need to talk about how to produce social media ads and what it takes to do social media management.
DIFFERENT ONLINE PLATFORMS
Social media management is the promotion of services and products through different online media platforms. This will include Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, content on LinkedIn, Twitter advertising, and much more. Strictly speaking, Google is not a social media platform, but Google Ads is the number one advertising venue in the world. Google should always work hand-in-hand with any social media management program. Google Ads programs are not something we can ignore when we are talking about social media management.
Depending on your industry, you are usually working with the top five social media management platforms. They are Google (2 Billion users), Facebook (2.2 billion), Instagram (1 billion), LinkedIn (650 million), and Twitter (350 million). There are others, and some of them may be ideal for your industry. But for now, let’s consider only these. And each one of these platforms has an entirely different type of user base and reaches out to its user base using different methods.
This is the biggest- Google. And everybody knows Google from its insanely popular search engine. The Google search engine generates 94% of its revenue and is the world’s most popular form of advertising. And here’s an interesting fact, before Google delivers any search results, it takes into consideration 200 factors. And it does this in a fraction of a second.
For DIY advertisers, the process of buying Google ads for an ad program can be a challenge. This is because Google sells its advertising by auctioning different words or phrases. Participating in that auction takes some education and patience. As an advertiser, you will place bids on different words or phrases using online tools that Google provides. So, if I’m a chiropractor, and I wanted to appear at the top of the search page for “Chiropractors in Albany.” I would need to go onto Google and place my order with a bid of, let’s say, $1.00 per click. If I am the highest bidder, I will get that top position listing when someone searched for “Chiropractors in Albany,” and every time someone clicked my ad, I would pay $1.00.
The actual process for purchasing Google Ads is more involved, but not extremely complex for someone bidding on a simple one-word auction. But when you add in the different options such as bidding on words vs phrases, targeting your prospect by the different targeting options, the timing of the ads, directing to a landing page, the analytics, and ROI, it then becomes very complicated to run Google Ad campaigns. It would even be much more complicated if this Google Ads purchase were part of a larger marketing program that included Facebook Ads, online reviews, and other ad spend. In this current business environment, you need a complete social media management program to compete.
Facebook has a unique approach that matches the way they interact with their users. Because it uses a newsfeed for interacting with its users, the advertising method is to insert ads into different users’ newsfeeds – and you get to designate the type of users. As you probably know, Facebook is free for regular users as well as for businesses. Anybody can get an account and post anything for their friends to see. And that’s the catch – it’s free to post as long as it’s to “their friends.”
What Facebook Ads allow advertisers to do is to post on other people’s newsfeed. With Facebook Ads, you are allowed to purchase space on other people’s newsfeeds – and you get to decide what kind of people will see your ad. It’s genius because Facebook knows everything about its users. Everything.
This is how you place a Facebook Ad. First, you create an ad that has video or pictures in the size that will fit on Facebook. Then, inside the Facebook Ads Manager, you target the type of customer you would like to see your ad. There are thousands of different options. For instance, if you wanted to show your ad to married couples that are between 50 and 60 years old, that live in Albany, NY, you can do that within the Facebook Ad Manager. Do you want to show your ad to horse lovers in New Hampshire? Not a problem. The Facebook Ads Manager can accommodate. In fact, when using Facebook Ads, there are many thousands of different specifications and characteristics you can choose from to finely tune who gets to see your ad.
Another thing where Facebook Ads excels is allowing you to create different types of ad programs for different purposes or objectives. For example, there is an ad program that Facebook offers that is designed to bring visitors to your Facebook page. It’s simple and effective. Then there are programs inside of Facebook Ad Manager, which are designed to collect information from the customer with a form for them to fill out. Instagram (owned by Facebook) has a similar approach, but the user base is very different, so some of the required formats of the ads are different. But basically, if you create the ad and if it falls within Facebook’s ads guidelines, you can post it. And if your goal is very simple, so is the process.
And the same goes for ads placed on LinkedIn. Used correctly, LinkedIn is incredibly effective for business-to-business marketing. However, if you want to run an effective business-to-business ad campaign on LinkedIn, it will probably include videos on YouTube and paid ads on Google. In today’s market, running ads on a single platform just won’t do it.
So, what is the answer to our earlier question – can you do this yourself? The simple answer is yes, you can if your goals are very simple, and the ad program is very basic. Problems will arise if the ad program is complex or includes different social media platforms.
When we run ad programs here at The Click Depot, we design the entire ad program with all the social platforms in mind before we place a single ad. And because our ad programs include a combination of different social platforms as well as split-testing different ads creatives, the ROI is higher. We know that this is the only effective approach because it is the only one that covers the entire buying process. We have been very involved in social media management for years, and we are experts at it. Social media management is one of our specialties.
If you have decided that it is time for you to jump into the powerful world of social media management and you don’t want to waste your time and money with false starts and ineffective campaigns, call one of our professionals at The Click Depot.