Social media advertising is becoming one of the primary steps in running a successful local business. Social media ads are a powerful tool that help to get customers into your physical building, with over 80% of people finding companies through a search engine.
Whilst this is a significant statistic, only 45% of this audience will choose to visit a business in person. This decision relies on whether the customer finds the business's social presence engaging, which makes it clear how important social media advertising truly is whether you want to sell products online or in person.
This guide will detail the top social media advertising tips to ensure you attract new customers and keep your current social network and corporate audience engaged with your content.
When you start using social media platforms, one of the most important steps is to recognise who you want to target with your content. While it may be inviting to try and target everyone, this isn't a measurable goal and will make your business fade into the background.
After all, industries are becoming increasingly crowded; you need to know what makes you stand out and who is looking for a business like the one you run.
Once you have thought about the age range, shared interests, local area and other important factors that directly relate to your business, you can apply your social media advertising to these elements. For example, if you're targeting Gen-Z audiences, look into using platforms such as Tiktok and Instagram to create video ads that engage with this age group.
For your social ads to make sense, it is always best to consider your goals first. Using SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time) will help you to figure out a more concise vision for your brand's social media presence. In addition, understanding your goals will help you stay on track and not end up posting social media ads for the sake of it.
Social media advertising isn't just about reaching as many people in your target audience as possible but is more so about resonating with your target market and creating a strong, recognisable image.
An excellent social media ad will capture the attention of potential customers, prompting them to look at the business's social media pages. When this potential customer gets to your page, your content should be consistent and create an image that lets anyone viewing your profile know exactly what your business is about and what to expect.
If we think of Instagram ads, they appear in our feeds and draw us to that user's page. If we saw an advertisement for organic beauty products, we would be confused if we reached their page and their content was full of bright artificial colors that weren't focused on their natural product range.
Think about what is synonymous with your brand, from color schemes to tone of voice, and keep this consistent throughout your page to ensure your target audience is satisfied with your image and decides to engage with your content.
You shouldn't focus on your competitors too much, but conducting research into how other local businesses use social media marketing to their advantage is a great way to learn more about social media advertising and how you can apply it to your brand.
When researching other businesses' pages, consider whether they use video ads and which social media networks they use the most. Keeping an eye on these aspects will ensure you know which social media advertising platforms are the best to use for your target audience as they are working for your competitors.
The most consistent social media advertising efforts come from those who document and write down their vision. A precise marketing strategy ensures you can create an ad campaign that aligns with your goals.
Regarding marketing campaigns, there should always be an end goal. For example, suppose you are planning on launching a new product or have an event coming up. In that case, you will want to create social media ads to advertise this, with the end goal being customers buying the product or attending your event.
Create dynamic ads according to what you are advertising, with a range of photo ads, story ads, and video ads to make up a well-rounded stream of content that will engage new and existing customers.
Your social media marketing campaign should be organized and follow a specific order to ensure your social media platforms look professional throughout the campaign. Using a content calendar will prevent you from posting social media ads in inconsistent orders or on random dates or times, making for a specific stream of content that presents itself most effectively.
We recommend using a good range of platforms for ad campaigns, but focussing on two of these platforms more than the others regarding where your target audience spends the most time.
It is important to note that each app works differently. For instance, Twitter advertising is entirely different from posting Instagram ads. If you were to use Twitter as one of your main sites to post social media ads, you would need to post more frequently. Twitter ads can be more personal, funny, and relatable than the content you may find on apps such as Instagram and should be centered around the caption/tweet itself.
You can also use Twitter in a more relaxed way, posting multiple times a day to reach maximum audiences. On the other hand, Instagram advertising should be done at specific times of the day after analyzing when your audience uses social media the most, ensuring more people engage with your social media ads.
Leading on from our above point, taking time to understand social media analytics will be game-changing for understanding the best ways to utilize social media platforms. In addition, analytics help you see insights regarding your audience, which can help create social media ads they will engage with on their preferred social media platforms.
Performing analytics reviews can be the best way to carry out this process. Every week, delve into the stats for follower growth, likes, number of posts, engagement, page views, and impressions. Over time, it will become more explicit about which type of content your audience engages with and which variety of content new audiences are interested in.
From here, you can create social media ads according to your findings, ensuring you are still on brand whilst providing your customers with content they enjoy seeing.
Organic posts can be hard to come by on social media platforms, but brands are starting to realize how popular candid user-generated content is amongst customers and followers.
User-generated content is a great promotional tool that puts the customer in the spotlight of a business's social media page, whether through a review or another form of posting with the brand's assets.
Many businesses encourage their customers to get involved by using a hashtag that all customers can join in using. Then, the brand goes through the hashtag and chooses its favorite customer posts to highlight them on its social media platforms.
User-generated content is an advantageous social media ad for small local businesses that can be used to your advantage. Showing customers enjoying your product or in your physical store will encourage others to give your business a go.
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