With billions of people using social media every day, your small business MUST think about advertising on social media.
But with all the different social media platforms and social media ads to choose from (each with its own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to promoting brand loyalty, driving traffic to your website, and improving your online reputation), how are you supposed to know which one is right for your needs?
If you’re not sure where your small business should start on social media, read on to discover the 12 Ways to Expand Your Brand on Social Media.
1. Paid advertisements
Paid ads on Facebook can be targeted based on a variety of factors such as geographical location, demographics, interests, and internet activity.
Done well, these paid ads place your small business in the sightline of your ideal customers through attention-grabbing photos or video, compelling content, and intelligent calls to action.
However, simply paying for an ad doesn’t make it succeed.
Paid ads must have a strong marketing strategy behind them, powered by content that will draw (and keep) the attention of your ideal audience. The better you can acquire and hold that attention, the better able you’ll be to convert Facebook users into paying customers.
2. Content promotion
Paid ads aren’t the only way to advertise on Facebook—you can “organically advertise” by creating a page for your small business and using that page to share valuable content with your followers via posts. The more people who like and share your post, the more attention you can drive to your company’s Facebook page.
(You can even boost your post to broaden their reach albeit not for free.)
3. Pair with partners
Partnerships with Facebook influencers and specific Facebook interest groups can be an effective way to expand your small business’s exposure to potential customers.
When selecting partners, try to form a relationship with individuals or groups that have large social media followings and active online communities. Doing so will improve the chances that your campaigns are liked and shared.
4. Poll power
Polling isn’t just for Gallup and Pew anymore.
With hundreds of millions of daily active users, Facebook hosts a huge audience that your small business can proactively tap into through the use of polls.
Polls not only offer your small business a way to obtain critical marketing information from specific demographics, but they also give you a way to introduce your brand to new audiences and indirectly advertise your products and services.
You can choose different polling formats (e.g., multiple-choice, text, single correct answer, multiple correct answers, customized drop-down lists, etc.), customize the poll’s appearance with images, colors, etc., and send follow-up thank-you notes to participants.
5. Video and carousel ads
Instagram’s user base is growing daily, and millions of companies are taking advantage by running ad campaigns on it.
Take your small business’s Instagram presence to the next level by incorporating video and carousel ads as part of your social media campaign.
Video ads offer the reach of photos but add the attention-grabbing power of motion and sound.
Carousel ads ad another layer to your campaigns by expanding your real estate on social media. Users swipe to view additional videos or photos in a single ad, enabling deeper brand storytelling.
6. Milestone campaigns
Getting ready to celebrate a small business milestone like an anniversary or grand opening?—Celebrate with an Instagram campaign centered around your milestone and invite your followers to join you.
Milestone campaigns help small businesses engage authentically with followers and prospects, fostering a sense of personal connection while building brand awareness.
7. Sell with Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories offer a cost-effective way to tell the story of your small business in an engaging way. And with options like geotagging, hashtags, and Instagram stickers, you can make it easier for customers to find you based on location or category.
For the best results, post a combination of fun, light content along with promotional content. Be sure not to overwhelm your community by posting too frequently or you’ll risk getting muted.
8. Influencer advertising
Partnering with the right influencers for your small business can be an effective strategy in your marketing campaign. It works by leveraging the influencer’s ability to attract a bigger audience based on their established following. Look for influencers with high engagement, a positive reputation, and who respond quickly to queries.
For optimal success, set clear goals to be accomplished within a specific timeframe.
9. Sponsored InMail
LinkedIn offers a way for small businesses to make use of the proven inbound technique of email marketing but in a more streamlined, effective way: Sponsored InMail.
This social media ad format enables businesses to send personalized messages to a targeted audience within LinkedIn’s messaging platform. Top tips for successful InMail campaigns include personalizing the message, reserving for your best offers, segmenting for special promotions, and catering your message for the target audience.
10. Self-service PPC ads
Self-service pay-per-click (PPC) ads on LinkedIn make it easy to create and schedule ad campaigns, target specific segments of your social media audience, and check what’s working and where to improve with their campaign manager.
Use these ads to showcase your business expertise, but be sure to use strong copy, compelling images, and accessible language. Try mixing up your approach to see which ad styles give you the biggest bang for your advertising dollar.
11. Sponsored content
With sponsored content, LinkedIn offers a way to increase brand awareness, entice more click-throughs, get more impressions, and ultimately attract more followers. Share your posts with a targeted audience through sponsored content ads that appear on the home-page feed and extend your company’s appeal to a larger audience.
Content of all types—company news, upcoming sales or promotions, blog posts and articles, white papers, ebooks, webinars, presentations—work well as long as they offer people something of value.
12. Recruitment campaigns
With at least 500 million users already on LinkedIn, small businesses can leverage recruitment campaigns to gain visibility across specific industries with well-placed ads. Be sure to check out LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions to make the most of your ad campaign.
Cross-promotion: The Key to Social Media Ad Campaign Success
Running campaigns on social media helps small businesses reach more potential customers. Different social media platforms allow for different types of interaction with target audiences. To increase the reach of each campaign, cross-promotion is essential. The more social channels used, the more leads, customers, and industry influencers a small business can reach.
Cross-promotion allows small businesses to share content and campaigns broadly and efficiently. Yet it’s important to remember each social media channel is different, with unique audience profiles and specific use cases. Therefore, optimize your efforts for each social network you’re tapping into to take full advantage of the benefits it can offer your small business.