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Social Media Advertising | 01 May 2018

How to Use Social Media Advertising to Grow Your Business

Social Media Advertising

Being effective with social media advertising is not as straightforward as most would perceive and or hope. And for any brand that has been using social media advertising for the last 12 to 24 months without a measurable return! They are beginning to understand the need for expertise in this area (social media advertising) to guide them.

In today’s article, I am going to break down the core components required to make social media advertising work for you or your brand.


First and foremost your content, advertisement, must achieve its purpose. That purpose is to make the consumer notice your brand and be intellectually and emotionally engaging, creating a bias for action.

While a lot of brands come from the thinking of creating a campaign (same image, ad, everywhere). This is not how social media advertising works.

You are of course competing for attention. And not just with your competitors, but everyone else who is targeting your demographic. And with social that now includes their friends and family.

However, the benefit of social media advertising is that you can create many ad formats, and ads, and test, iterate and improve.

Effective advertising on social means, you must do this. Real-time data tells us if your ad is performing.

So the campaign you may have spent 10k to 100K+ creating may very well fall short in less than a week. Based on actual data, or real audience engagement.

Social media advertising provides real-time feedback on how good your campaign is.

Bearing in mind, you have less than 800 milliseconds to engage your consumer emotionally and intellectually.

Your Audience

Unfortunately, your audience is not everyone. True even if you are Coke-a-Cola, Apple, Google, and dare I say it Facebook.

You have a core demographic and target market that is interested in your product, and or service. And targeting your ideal audience is paramount to effective social media advertising.

Even if you manage to create the most effective advertising as raised in point 1, targeting the wrong audience will see you fail. And unfortunately, you may then assume the ad was wrong! When in fact it was poorly targeted.

The social media platforms let you create advertising that is hyper-targeted to the right audience.

As an example, let's say you are promoting the Cook Islands as a tourism destination. The potential right target audience for you might be people who have travelled or considering travel to Fiji at a basic level.

At a more advanced level, you could create a list of clients who have travelled to the Cook Islands. You could then build a lifetime value based audience which you could then create a look-a-like audience from.

As you would expect the better the data in, the better the data out. For social media audience-based targeting the right data will amplify your position. Worth noting even if your ad is average, precise targeting will compensate. Then you can iterate on your advertising copy and content from there.

Social proof

How many fans do you have on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn? What are your reviews like? What are people saying about your company and brand as they see your advertising?

No matter how good your advertising is. Social proof is now a factor in effective social media advertising. Does your advertising match the experience the consumer has with your brand?

If not the right targeting will do more to hurt your brand than help it. However, if your social proof is strong, the right social media advertising will help amplify your brand exponentially.

Good product/service + strong positioning/advertising + the right audience = strong performance.

Consider this? Your advertising content is good, your audience targeting is great, and your existing customers see your ad. They then make positive comments about your brand.

You have targeted the right audience, and they are looking for a product/service like the one you are selling. They see your ad, with the positive comments by existing customers. They then head over to your Facebook page and see an extensive list of positive reviews, good informative content, and a strong fan base.

Their decision becomes an easy one. And your social media advertising works!

To use an analogy to simplify the above example. Let's say you are travelling around the countryside, and arrive in a small town that has two cafe's you can choose from. One is full of locals, and the other has no-one in it. Your decision becomes easy.

You rely on the crowd to help you make your decision. We all do it, as in a world where we are faced with so many decisions daily, we rely on factors we can trust to help make those decisions. One of the key factors we use is social proof, what are others doing, or what are they saying? Of which you can read more about in the wonderful book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, By Robert Cialdini.

As the world continues to adopt social media at an unprecedented rate. The need for brands to become active on this mainstream medium is intrinsically linked to their success.

With 79% of US adults now using social media in 2019 and 87% in Australia, social media is now mainstream media.

If you follow the key tenants above of the right message to the right audience on the right medium. Social media advertising will work for you; it is that simple.

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By Mathew Slavica
01 May 2018

Founder Digital Stand. We are a Sydney social media agency working with enterprise clients and disruptive brands. We bring clarity to social media and help you become effective fast.

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