Home RESOURCES How does paid advertising on social media work?
Social Media
3 minutes
One Stop Media

Everything you need to know about social media advertising for your business

In our previous article, we talked about how to choose the right social media platform for your business. Once you’ve established a presence on the social network of your choice, you might find that posting organic content isn’t enough to get the reach you wanted. Lately, paid content is the easiest way to get around the complex algorithms of most sites and ensure your content isn’t hidden in the constant stream of posts. This is the basic principle of social media advertising. What’s more, it is also one of the cheapest forms of advertising currently available.

This article will take you through the basics of social media advertising, how different platforms use their paid advertising, and the best strategies for your business.

What is social media advertising?

Social media advertising involves businesses paying a small fee to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to boost their content. This is done either by strategically placed advertisements or sharing their content to targeted audiences. These sites have algorithms that determine who forms part of your targeted audience based on their interests and likes, and use it to broadcast their paid advertising.

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise in online shopping and social media dependency has seen an upward trend in the use of paid advertising on these sites since 2020. Facebook and Instagram, in particular, have their own marketplaces where small businesses can pay to advertise their products. Social media advertising, therefore, isn’t just a way for businesses to promote their existing or upcoming deals, but attract new audiences who will potentially be customers.

How do social media websites use paid advertising?

Just as we earlier talked about choosing a social media platform that suits your business objectives, the same goes for paid advertising. Look into how each site uses their ads and how they target consumers. Facebook, for instance, uses Targeted Ads which has advertisers bidding for slots in its Marketplace feature. Since Facebook owns Instagram, any ads you run on Instagram will also be run in the Facebook slots you bid for. Both sites require a business profile to run ads.

Twitter ads have the advantage of looking the same as organic tweets, and can integrate seamlessly into a user’s regular Twitter feed. Just like the others, Twitter determines target audience using geographic location, user data and interests they’ve shared. They offer different ad settings and formats based on your budget.

LinkedIn makes social media advertising easier by letting you select keywords that your target audience may have also selected while building their profile. Just like Facebook, LinkedIn allows users to interact with ads directly from their feed, eliminating annoying popups and keeping them engaged with your business.

The best strategies for social media advertising

The biggest advantage of paid advertising on social media is how inexpensive it is compared to traditional channels like TV and radio. Social media advertising costs are calculated based on the campaign duration and number of impressions made in that period, and with targeted ads, this becomes easier to determine. The downside is that social media sites stop running your ads as soon as your campaign balance is exhausted, so it is crucial to ensure your campaign does not exceed your company’s balance. So, working out a smart and efficient ad campaign strategy automatically helps you budget your advertising.

You can use in-built tools available on most social media platforms to generate target audience statistics, from geographic location to age, occupation and interests based on specific topics. Then, define the strategy you’ll use to attract new customers to your business, not just existing ones. Interactive ads with sign-up forms are the easiest way to do this. If you have an established audience on a specific platform, it’s easier to design your campaign goals around it.

Get more advice on social media advertising with One Stop Media

Designing a campaign for paid advertising on social media that optimises your business goals and increases reach can be tricky. At One Stop Media, we use our data-driven approach and wealth of experience to create a social media strategy that understands your business, and what your customers want. Contact us today to learn more.