The research firm Clutch polled small businesses of varying sizes recently to determine how they used social media in their business. One of the findings that stuck out to us as a missed opportunity for the majority of companies polled is their collective approach to social media advertising. While 30 percent of the responding business owners planned to increase their investment in social media ads, the majority did not. Fifty-nine percent of the small businesses planned to either remain flat, decrease their spend, or not advertise at all on social over the next 12 months.
When compared to Search and Display advertising on Google, social media advertising offers a cost-effective way to generate online leads, increase sales, boost search rankings and raise brand awareness. Following Facebook’s changes to its algorithm in April of last year–which now serves organic posts to only 2 percent of your followers as compared to 20 percent previously–it’s also become a necessary part of doing business and being heard from online.
More on those ways that social media advertising will help your small business grow are below.
1.) Generating Cost-Effective Leads: Social Media Advertising–specifically on Facebook–helps generate leads in the form of email signups and website traffic at a fraction of the cost of Google Adwords. Advertising on Facebook also helps you better target your vertical audience and remarket within the newsfeed to people who have visited your website at a highly affordable pricepoint.
2.) Increasing Sales: Advertising on social allows you to put your message in front of people or audiences who are most likely to purchase from you. It also creates the opportunity for word of mouth advertising from those who like, share, or comment on your ad; serving as a recommendation for your product or brand throughout their respective social networks and leading to increased sales.
3.) Boosting Search Ranking: An investment in Twitter Advertising these days is also an investment in boosting your Google ranking. Recently, Google and Twitter announced a partnership to index tweets, allowing Twitter to now have an effect on SEO. So where you might not have seen as much value in advertising for Twitter followers in the past, now some new opportunities exist as accounts with larger “social authority” are being rewarded in terms of page rank.
4.) Raising Brand Awareness: Whether it’s sponsoring a post on Twitter, boosting a post on Facebook, advertising for more likes or followers, or simply using a social platform to promote a product, social media advertising is critical in helping small business raise brand awareness. There are 156.5 million US users on Facebook and the average user spends 29 minutes daily on Facebook. The more investment you put into platforms where your customers spend their time, the more chance you have of increasing market share and growing your business.
-Author: Brendan Bowers