Small business marketers are always looking for new and effective ways to help market their companies. While there are numerous platforms to advertise on, many marketers still find social media to be a viable and affordable option if done correctly. However, not all platforms make sense for small businesses. Find out if your small business should advertise on social channels and which ones will bring you the best engagement.

Advertising on social channels

social media adsThere are several benefits to advertising on social media channels. First, on most platforms, you’re able to target the audience you want your ads to reach; actually, a better word would be hyper-target, because depending on the platform, you can drill down to target by age, gender, location, interests, behaviors, website visitors, email lists, etc. This allows you to put out a very targeted marketing message to a very targeted audience, increasing your chances of engagement. You can also build audiences to best suit your marketing campaigns, using these audiences in future marketing efforts, running A/B tests to see which audience is better engaged, and more. Measurement of marketing efforts continues to increase on social media platforms, so you can easily see which platforms are providing the best ROI. You can do this by viewing your budget’s performance and analyzing return on ad spend (ROAS), cost per website purchase, and cost per lead. Not all advertising platforms give you this kind of visibility, but several social media platforms do just that!

When doesn’t it make sense to advertise on social channels?

should you advertise on social channelsThe very attributes that make social media marketing ideal can work against small business marketers if they don’t understand their target audience. To be successful, you need to have a good understanding of your target audience; ideally to include age, gender, location, interests, and behaviors (the more you know the better!). If you don’t have a solid grasp on your target audience, you’ll likely have disappointing returns advertising although several social media channels do “learn” who responds to your ads and makes suggestions over time to improve ads. This, however, takes time. For some businesses, not all platforms make sense. Instagram, for example, is geared more towards B2C businesses. If your company only focuses on B2B, you make not see the best results on Instagram, but other platforms may work better. Again, it comes down to knowing your audience. If you’re unsure, it might be best to not use social media advertising until you’ve completed a small business marketing strategy.

Which channels are best to advertise on?

social media channelsSocial media channels will only be effective for you if your target audience can be reached on those channels so again, it’s best to know your audience before choosing one or more to advertise on. However, there are a few platforms that stand out as solid advertising options. According to a HubSpot survey, Facebook took the top spot as the highest ROI-generating platform of 2021. In fact, 25% of social media marketers are planning to invest in Facebook advertising more than any other platform in 2022. Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok also made the list of good advertising options. Instagram showed a 19% ROI, YouTube showed an 18% ROI, Twitter came in at 13%, and TikTok at 11%. While LinkedIn didn’t make the top five, if your business is solidly B2B, this social platform would definitely make sense to investigate. On the other hand, if your target audience is ten to nineteen years old, TikTok is a good option to investigate. Assuming you’ve done your research and understand your audiences and which platforms they likely reside on; you next want to consider the following before advertising:

  • Advertising goal – what are you trying to accomplish? Brand awareness? Website traffic? In-platform sales? Identify this so you’ll know how to set up your ads and measure.
  • Types of ads – several social media platforms offer different types of ads, so have an idea of what you’re looking to run. Options are text only, photos, videos, stories, carousel ads, slideshow ads, and collection ads. If you don’t have the digital collateral for some of these, your ad options may be limited on some platforms.
  • Minimum budget requirements – each platform has minimum ads spend requirements. For example, Facebook requires at least $1 a day for ad sets charged for impressions, and ads charged for clicks, likes, video views, or post-engagement need a daily minimum budget of at least $5 a day. The minimum daily budget amount required to start on LinkedIn is $10, for any ad format. The minimum lifetime budget amount for new, inactive campaigns is $100. Once the campaign launches, the minimum lifetime budget adjusts to the minimum daily budget of $10 multiplied by the total days scheduled.

With so much to consider when it comes to social media advertising, your best option to help you decide if social media advertising is right for your small business, which platforms should be targeted, and what kind of ads should run might be best left to a small business marketing professional who can help guide you to the best platforms that will give you the best results. If 2022 is the year to investigate social media advertising, these insights should help you make an informed decision on the best route to go.

Patty Hughes
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