Benefits of Social Media Advertising

Posted on May 19, 2012 by Nikhil P Naik

According to a recent World Wide Worx study, South Africa will have over 10 million Internet users by the end of 2012. Of that 10 million, 7.9 million will use their cell phones to access the net. This has huge implications for advertising, as many people use their cell phones for social networking. More marketing companies are realising this, and they are gradually moving away from traditional mediums. Here are three big reasons why you should be, too.

1. It’s all about engagement

Mark Zuckerberg believes that systems (all sorts of systems) work best when everyone has a voice and everyone has power. This is the crux of social networking: people are able to interact with each other by sharing their thoughts and opinions. Social networking allows people to feel that their thoughts and opinions matter and this, in turn, gives them power.

The same thing happens with social media advertising. Traditionally, marketing has been a one-way selling approach. With social media, advertising has evolved into two-way communication, based on personal interaction between the marketer and the customer. No longer is advertising just about selling products – it’s about building communities around business (

Also read: Does SEO Serve a Purpose In Social Media?

2. It brings your target audience to you

This is one of the major draw cards of social media advertising. You can easily reach your desired target audience, based on anything from age to what brand of coffee they drink. A popular form of online advertising is called Pay Per Click, which allows you to decide on a target audience, and then easily tweak your advertising campaign according to your requirements. Facebook Engagement Ads, YouTube Sponsored Videos, and LinkedIN Direct Ads all allow you to select your specific target market, based on factors such as age, location, topic, keywords, job title, or demographics. Access to an online media directory can further assist you in narrowing your target audience, ensuring that the right people see your advertising.

Also Read: Using Facebook to Promote Your Business

3. It’s accessible and flexible

Social media advertising is usually low cost (or even free) and practically anyone can use it, from huge corporations to small home businesses. You also don’t need a degree in IT, as Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is quick and easy to set up. You can create a campaign to suit your budget, as you literally only pay per click or, in some cases, per impression. If more people click on your advert, you pay more. There are no commitments and you can opt out at anytime. Also, you can use various online tools to measure the success of your adverts, such as Google Analytics, which allows you to continually test the waters. For example, if you discover that certain keywords aren’t working, or if you decide to pay more or less, you can easily make changes to your ad copy or to your budget.

You can’t afford not to be using social media advertising, in any marketing campaign. If used effectively, the results can be staggering. The #BeatCancer campaign is a good example of how powerful it can be. An Atlanta-based social media communications company decided to raise money for non-profit cancer organisations by using social media. #BeatCancer’s major sponsors would donate $0.01 to charity each time #BeatCancer was mentioned in a blog post, Tweet, or Facebook update. $70 000 was generated! If social media can create social change, imagine what its’ advertising can do for your business?

Related Article: How to Impact Your SEO and Improve Rankings with G+

Ang Lloyd writes on behalf of SARAD, an online media directory in South Africa that provides media buyers and planners with up-to-date online advertising rates.

About Nikhil P Naik

Nikhil Naik has a Master's Degree in Information Systems, and is currently working as a Software Engineer at Microsoft. He also loves playing cricket, listening to music, and traveling. Twitter Handle - @buzz_nikhil.

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