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5 Tips on Social Media Advertising

Posted on Mar 27th, 2008
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    In the wonderful world of social media marketing there are many ways to reach and engage customers. As with search marketing, there is both an “organic” and an advertising component to online marketing with social networks, news and media sharing sites.

    As social media usage increases month over month, marketers have found a way to use these popular sites as channels for promotion. Anyone can join the PINK Victoria’s Secret group on Facebook and receive messages of a new sale or a new product line hitting the shelves in the upcoming weeks. Companies have been using MySpace for years to create custom pages for their promotion and making friends with current and potential customers in and around their target demographic.

    Now that a savvy online marketer can build a profile, continuously grow a network and strategically contact said network with updates about the company and products themselves, it is time to bring in the advertising. Here are 5 things to know about social media advertising.

    Understand your targeted social media channel – By knowing who is using which social media site, advertisers can promote their products to their targeted audience on the appropriate social site. Facebook users represent an older, more mature crowd than MySpace users, so advertisements about refinancing a home mortgage might not be the most appropriate content on MySpace.

    Target the correct users with your message – Advertisements targeting users on social media channels are becoming more prevalent. There has been a lot of controversy about this content targeting on Facebook with their Social Ads. Here an ad is placed with related user actions and placed in the newsfeed for the users’ friends to see. If I were to change my status to say “Dana just bought a rockin’ pair of red high heels” a company selling shoes might be targeting “red high heels” and place their ad next to my status update. The company’s hope would then be that my friends were jealous of my new shoes and need an easy place to buy themselves a pair.

    Ensure the advertisements are supplementing the present content on the social site – Having Google-powered PPC ads next to related lenses on Squidoo, using Yahoo to integrate advertisements with similarly tagged images on Flickr and using the Facebook social ads are placing the company directly in the path of those already seeking similar information. But now the advertisements are just offering one more way for the users to fulfill their need. Targeting pages, images and profiles that have content about shoes or fashion with the Red High Heels advertisement doesn’t seem out of place, and the user can identify with the advertised product.

    Have a social networking presence – Integrating social media advertisements with social media usage is quite similar to placing PPC ads on a SERP next to an organically ranking website: two impressions are better than one. And because searchers seeing a brand name and PPC ad are likely to then click on the organic results for the same company, social media users could see the advertisements and search for the same company as a user on Facebook, Flickr or

    In addition, seeing a company successfully networking with the opinionated and persnickety social media community can really boost their reputation as being a caring company that is just “one of the guys.” Many people respect companies that are more down to earth and that interact with their customer base.

    The time to get on board the social media train is now – Just like with social media networking, the early bird gets the worm. Being one of the first to successfully use social media as an advertising vehicle shows innovation and understanding who will respond best to the advertisement’s messaging. Once the Red High Heels company has penetrated the social media channel, positively showcasing their social networking/social advertising acumen, all others in the future will pale in comparison.

    Incorporating social media advertisements with social media networking practices can give more impressions to the companies’ targeted users as well as a channel for users to connect with the company they trust. And give users the chance to wear great new shoes.