The Internet brings content to virtually every corner of the universe. This means that all you need for a little exposure is to get yourself on the Internet, and you have a market of billions of potential consumers.
Social media has spawned advertising, and the aim of every social media advertising campaign is to go viral. The question facing advertisers is where to advertise. There are so many platforms available from which to launch your assault on the unsuspecting public, that the choice of is almost mind numbing.
Facebook is a market leader in the social media space, and there are people who can barely function without checking or updating their Facebook page. However, it is not the only social media site that you should consider when looking to launch social ads.
Actually, I might even call it the LAST resort.
After recent studies have implied that not all Facebook clicks are real, and so are “Likes” that you pay for within a well-targeted campaign, I have tested it for myself and witnessed the horror with my own two eyes.
We all use the different social platforms out there, but hardly ever consider trading our Facebook PPC budget with any of them.
So here’s a quick summary to remind you there’s a better world out there.
For those looking to target a mainly business audience, LinkedIn should be the site of choice for social advertising.
A LinkedIn advertisement, whether it be a recommendation ad or a display ad, has the capacity to reach a market approaching 200 million in more than 200 countries. Even a company page on LinkedIn which does not cost anything opens your world to a vast audience of business professionals.
Pro Tip: LinkedIn’s business interface was updated only a couple of months ago, and very few businesses have adjusted to it. Get your unfair advantage by upgrading before they do.
YouTube is the king of getting a short film clip to the public.
If you have decided that short film clips in the form of traditional advertising are your preferred form of social advertising, then YouTube is a preferable starting point than Facebook.
Of course, links can be made on a Facebook page to a YouTube clip and everything can be cross-referenced, but it is YouTube rather than Facebook that first springs to mind when people think of video clips.
Pro Tip: YouTube Ads are expensive and get less clicks than normal AdWords ads. If you are having trouble deciding between Search page Ads and YouTube Ads, go for the first option.
Viddy and Instagram are shorter form deviations of the YouTube theme.
As the pace of life has increased and the world has become a much faster environment, people either assimilate information faster or don’t have the time or attention spans to assimilate vast swathes of information anymore. Adding a promo code or discount coupon to an Instagram picture is a great way to attract interested parties.
People can take in a lot more from quickly looking at a picture than they can from having to sit and listen to information. Of course, the picture and accompanying text must be compelling. Also, men are much more visual than women, so these methods of social advertising are well suited to a male audience.
Pro Tip: Find a unique Instagram hashtag that is related to your niche, and dominate it with a contest.
Twitter is the king of going viral for those with a limited attention span.
With its 500 million members, a successful Twitter media campaign has enormous traction and something of interest can spread around the world in seconds. All it takes is a great idea and access to someone with a huge following.
Easier said than done, but nobody ever said that life was meant to be easy – even in social media land.
Pro Tip: Try different platforms that allow paying for sponsored tweets – sometimes the right tweet from the right influential figure could have more effect than thousands of dollars’ worth of advertising.
Pinterest is a fast growing social network site. It is the third largest site of its kind, behind Facebook and Twitter.
It has over 48 million users and distinguishes itself by facilitating users to collect and share photos of their favorite hobbies, interests, and events. It works on the premise of targeted social networking and is a sort of combination of Instagram and Facebook with the best features of both at its disposal, which makes it potentially the perfect place for your social ad.
Pro Tip: US users are using Pinterest as a search engine, sometimes even over Google.
StumbleUpon is a relatively new concept gaining traction at an alarming rate.
As a customized form of push marketing it helps you attract a target audience that is seeking what you have to offer. Rather than marketing with a scatter gun approach you can now effectively hand pick your market with a high probability of success, which should ensure quicker and higher conversion.
Pro Tip: SU doesn’t allow a paid stumble when it’s leading to a page with thin content. So to get approved, make sure to target a page with actual and interesting content.
Advertising may be easier than ever. The question now facing you is how to distinguish yourself from all the other wannabes and which social network to use for this task.
Facebook is by no means obsolete in the social network stakes – far from it; however, there are other options which should be considered either as alternatives to or in conjunction with a Facebook social network advertising campaign.
About the Author
Jove Welner is the CEO of App Champ, a viral community that rates new Apps and reviews them.
Image via Jason A. Howie