Social advertising – what’s all the hype?

A lot of social media tutorials focus on how to use the various tools these sites provide to open a dialogue and engage with consumers. While this is absolutely correct, the role of social media sites in providing cost-effective, and, some might say more traditional advertising methods is often overlooked.

Earlier this year, a report by Nielsen and Facebook found conclusive evidence that social media advertising led to a dramatic increase in advert recall, brand awareness, and purchase intent. This is not only down to the wording and placement of the advert, but also the effect of ‘personal recommendations’ as trusted friends become fans of the product.

The sample of 800,000 illustrated that the best social advertising campaigns followed a two-pronged approach that combined paid media (pay-per-click and banner adverts) and earned media (advert viewers driving their friends to become fans). This approach combines the best of traditional advertising while utilising all the benefits that social media has to offer to create an advertising campaign which is immediate, personalised and can have a long life, even once the initial adverts have stopped running.

This is a highly cost-effective way to drive business, as using pay-per-click adverts means that a company only pays to receive traffic with a confirmed interest in a product. Add to this the snowball effect of social media, whereby each paid for advert has the potential to enlist hundreds of ‘fans’ all spreading your brand awareness for free and the fiscal benefits become remarkably clear.

Combining social media advertising with a strong campaign can effectively push a company forward to quickly reach an entire new audience.

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