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4 misconceptions that could be derailing your social strategy

Charlie Sanchez
Charlie Sanchez

When it comes to marketing on social media, many companies are hesitant to put their hand in their pocket and used sponsored posts to promote their content. While organic activity could and should form the backbone of your strategy, ignoring paid media may limit your success in the long-run.

This is especially true for those of us tasked with generating leads on social. By amplifying messages beyond existing followers, marketers can artificially widen the top of the sales funnel and build brand awareness.

So what’s stopping marketers from using paid ads on social? I’ve identified four common misconceptions that could stop a business from expanding its social reach.

Advertising is expensive!

When most marketers think of ad campaigns, they think of huge campaigns that blanket a whole social platform. Yes these are expensive and yes they have poor engagement. This approach is akin to trawler fishing, you’re guaranteed to get the catch you want but at great cost and with a lot of collateral damage. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Every social platform now offers powerful targeting tools, allowing you to clearly define your audience and serve your campaign exclusively at them. Think of it as spear fishing. You’re not guaranteed to make a catch but if you do, it’s exactly what you’re looking for.

These targeted ad campaigns can be as large or a small as your budget allows, meaning that there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t be putting your brand in front of those that matter.

It is impossible to measure

Marketers are constantly asked to justify their budgets and demonstrate ROI against activity. It’s tempting therefore to shy away from any methods that increase costs without having a measureable impact.

Social media has long been perceived as a dark art lacking accountability. But times have changed, and social media analytics are now some of the most advanced marketing tools available. The impact of every penny of your ad budget can be accounted for and traced back to one of your initial goals.

Whether you’re tracking follower acquisition, reach, or referrals back to your ecommerce site, social media can give you complete transparency as to the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

Everyone block adverts anyway

Ad blocking is a big topic at the moment and as a result marketers and consumers alike often don’t differentiate between the many different types of ads available. There are display ads, pulled onto websites by third part ad-exchanges and there are native ads, such as the sponsored posts served in your Twitter timeline.

Ad blockers can block display ads but importantly (as of writing) do not block native ads.

Most social advertising is native and – given the usage of devices – is mobile and in-app. This gives it the added benefit of looking like a tweet, seen in-feed as part of the user’s normal experience.

I’ve already got enough followers

When speaking to clients, there is often a view that paid activity are only for accounts that “need help”. This is simply not true.

Run the analysis on any Twitter account and many of the followers will be inactive, irrelevant or plain old bots. I’ve seen some company accounts have as much as 70% of their audience be inactive.

Businesses should look long and hard at their “real” audience, those individuals they are really trying to talk to. They will probably find that it’s a fraction of the whole.

Promoting your account among specific audiences (Twitter lists can really help here, as can LinkedIn’s industry and company targeting) is a fantastic way of not just growing your audience, but more importantly growing your relevant audience.

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