Why Social Media Advertising May Not Be For You

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social media advertising platform IllustrationsMany business owners think that social media advertising is not as effective in driving conversions as they hoped. Don’t be surprised at a networking event if someone says social media ads are just a waste of money, time, and everything in between.

But what do the numbers say? According to Statista, social media advertising expenditure as a percentage of digital advertising spend has been increasing, and is still expected to increase in the years to come, not just in the United States and Canada, but also worldwide.

So it only makes sense to ask the question – is it worth it?

Yes, But…

And it’s a big but. Many research and studies on eMarketer, HubSpot, and HootSuite will tell you that social media ads lead to more conversions. That is true but the statement is very general. For example, if you are an eCommerce site that offers nationwide delivery, then ads on Facebook and Twitter may help you get more visits, as well as leads.

Now let’s look at another example. If you run a local cleaning service in a small town, then social media ads aren’t going to be as effective for you. However, if you run a cleaning service in a big city, then ads on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube can be effective in raising awareness and securing appointments.

The purpose of the ads should also be taken into account. For example, if you want to hire talented individuals for your business, then Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube ads won’t be as effective as LinkedIn ads. Similarly, if you want more people to read your blogs, then advertising on YouTube doesn’t make sense as much as it does on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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Size Does Matter

The scale of your business does come into play when you’re deciding whether to advertise on social media. Social media marketing, without a doubt, is effective in many ways at different stages of the business lifecycle. Even if you are a small business in a small town, being active on social media can help raise awareness, get more people to buy from you, and retain your customers.

However, when it comes to social media advertising, your small business may be better off allocating its budget to print media advertising. Granted that budgets for social media ads are reasonable in terms of price. But if your business is not operating on a large scale, then you should focus on other online marketing efforts.

On the other hand, if your business has a large target audience and is in a competitive market space, then social media ads can be the missing ingredient in your recipe for online success. So in this case, if your website is getting enough daily visitors from Facebook and Twitter Ads, then social media advertising is turning out to be effective for you.

The Curious Case of Budgeting

When you’re creating an ad on a social network or sponsoring your post, you will be required to set a budget and the timeline for the ad. Understandably, the higher the budget, the more outreach your ads will have. However, a higher budget doesn’t always guarantee more leads and sales.

Why? Again, it depends on the market you are in. If you sell custom apparel, then a higher budget makes sense because many people love the idea of having a customized t-shirt or hoodie. On the other hand, if you sell medical inserts for diabetic patients, then not only is your target audience small on social media, but your recurring sales potential is also limited.

See what’s happening here? Now if Custom Apparels were to set a budget of just $5 daily, and across just Facebook and Twitter, they would still be getting good, qualified leads on a consistent basis. However, Med Insoles won’t have the same level of outreach or ROI, even after setting the budget to $50. So given these two cases, we can say that it’s Yes & No to social media advertising effectiveness.

Note: Targeting is very important, so make sure that you are targeting the right people.

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So is Social Media Advertising For You?

There’s no doubt or lack of evidence on the effectiveness of social media as a marketing platform. However, as an advertising platform, where you actually have to pay for the marketing, its effectiveness depends on many factors, more prominently the nature of your business. That being said, the importance of social media advertising is only going to grow with time. In fact, it already has but you need to take a good look at your business and decide if social media advertising is for you.

The comments are open, any thoughts or experiences to share?

Last Updated on February 28, 2018