By Jen Brister
With the increasing popularity of social media websites such as Facebook, many small companies are using paid advertisements on these sites to drive traffic to the company website. This is a very effective marketing strategy as long as you know exactly what you're doing. If you create a paid ad on a website such as Facebook or MySpace, and you don't target the right audience, your ad is not going to generate much revenue or traffic for your website. However, if done correctly, you can use paid ads to your advantage to gain new and loyal customers for your business.
Who Is Your Target Customer?
If you want to be able to advertise effectively on social media sites, you will need to figure out who, exactly, your target customer is. If you are advertising cosmetics, you might wish to target young women. If you are advertising auto parts, you should be targeting those people who are interested in certain types of cars or auto mechanics.
The beauty of advertising on social media sites is that you can create highly specific and targeted ads and have them shown to only the people that you wish to be in your audience. If you are targeting women who have school age children, then the Facebook ad managers can make it so that your ads are only seen by women who have children in school. This kind of highly targeted advertisement can result in a much higher conversion rate than a regular ad.
One advantage to social media advertising is that the ads are easy, fast and inexpensive to produce. If you are advertising on radio or television, you already know how expensive and time consuming it can be to create an ad. When placing ads on social media, all you really need is a good-looking graphic and a line or two of text about your product.
Another advantage of this type of advertising is that your ad will be seen by millions of views. Since social media sites have readers that check in several times per day, your ad will be seen each day by viewers that are interested in your product. In contrast with TV ads, the viewer will not have to be watching TV at the exact time your ad comes on. With social media ads, the ad is there waiting for them to log on and be viewed.
Types of Social Media Ads
If you are trying to figure out which social media ad is right for your small business, why not do a little research with several different kinds. You can pay a very small price for a few sponsored tweets on Twitter. You can also have colorful banner ads placed next to the pages of targeted users on Facebook or MySpace. Using a free method of social media advertising is also effective. Set up a Facebook fan page and Twitter account for your company. Use both to gain followers who are interested in what you have to say. You can then, at any time, tweet or post about a new product, a sale, or a special discount for users.
Advertising on social media is all about finding the right target. By knowing who your audience is, you can advertise to them and remove uncertainty from the equation.
About the Author
Jen Brister has been a writer, researcher and Internet marketer for three years. She makes her living writing full time, publishing videos and creating websites.