With over 70% of US online adults using social media networking, social media marketing is becoming increasingly critical. Content on social media are either sponsored ads or those that go viral organically.
Sponsored Social Media Marketing
One of the main advantages of sponsored ads is targeting right audience. How narrowly you can target depends on the social network itself. For example, Facebook allows you to target specific groups and interests but, LinkedIn target choices are much broader.
Though there are advantages attached to sponsored ads, there are major drawbacks.
1. Lack of personal touch
When you see the word ‘Sponsored’ on a post, the first thing comes to mind is ‘I am being targeted’. So, your audience hesitates to click on the link. However, if someone in your network shared the same post, you are more willing to read the article.
Though social networks have been displaying the word ‘Sponsored’ very carefully in small fonts with grey color to almost hide the word, they are obligated to display it.
2. Expensive bidding wars
Price you pay per click differs by many factors such as keywords and target audience. However, the reality is you end up with bidding wars paying high prices. If your competition allocates a higher price per click for the same keyword as your business, their ad will be shown prominently.
If you set strict price range for your ads, you may end with low quality impressions with low number of clicks.
3. Finding target audience is not easy
With sponsored ads, it is easy to target audience. However, there is a risk of narrow targeting. For instance, if you target wide audience you may not find out who are your potential buyers. But, if you narrowly target it will take several rounds of testing the market before you find out your potential buyers.
So, achieving a balance in choosing your target is critical and not easy.
Social networks do not show whose feed the ad fell into and where was the ad displayed. They may end up on the right hand side column, in which case though there is an impression counted, it is very questionable whether the person even looked at your ad.
And, you need to factor in those accounts that are not genuine, i.e, created by bots. Social networks make an effort to eliminate such accounts, however, not all accounts are valid.
Organic Social Media Marketing
Content shared by someone in your network is extremely engaging. Especially, when there is a comment attached to the post, it can quickly grab attention making your link get high quality clicks to your destination URL.
You can clearly see this when you post a blog on LinkedIn. The number of views bumps of very high soon after someone on your network likes or shares the blog. This is how viral effect is easily demonstrated.
Shares and likes are technically free. However, it is not easy for your friends and friends of business to share all your posts. So, utilize your network to kickstart your social campaign.
3. Massive viral opportunity