Advertising on Social Media

There are nearly countless methods of social networking on the internet, with the numbers growing every day. Naturally, a few names standout as the top platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+. Small businesses likely cannot afford to choose more than one of these platforms, though the visibility is certainly worth the investment.

Where will you receive the best results?

Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of advertising on the top social media platforms:

Facebook

Pros: Facebook has the largest number of users (over 1.19 billion and of those at least 700 million users are active daily) and will give you immediate visibility with a wide range of audiences. It offers advanced targeting options so that small businesses can advertise to their specific clientele. Targeting options are: location, gender, likes/interests, workplace, relationship status, and education.

Cons: In comparison to other sites, Facebook’s provided metrics are very small. Additionally the expense for a small ad may not offer increased traffic enough to justify its cost.

LinkedIn

Pros: The user base is made up of mainly business professionals, which gives the platform a high conversion rate. Categories like employee title, location, and demographics allow targeting to specific audiences. The platform is growing swiftly, particularly in markets such as India.

Cons: Click-through-rates are fairly low, though the ones that do click are usually invested. Compared to other platforms, advertisements are expensive. Additionally remarketing options are not available.

Twitter

Pros: With its use of hashtags, Twitter allows targeting of users based on their current interests. Like Facebook, Twitter has a dedicated user base (over 320 million active users, with 1.3 billion total). Its ad format is much more straightforward via promoted tweets, which appear like any other user’s tweet. Promoted accounts and trends are additionally beneficial.

Cons: Apart from hashtags and keywords, Twitter’s selection of interests to choose from is fairly limited and makes it difficult to target by interest. Twitter keeps quiet about its ads’ success compared to other platforms. Also the cost can be unthinkable for small businesses, especially for “promoted trends.”

Google+

Pros: As a search engine itself, Google knows how to use SEO benefits. Its audience is more tech-driven (a pro for some companies and a con for others). The advertiser does not pay for their ad unless someone clicks on it and at that point, pays per click.

Cons: Google does qualify hovering over the ad for two seconds or more as a click. This platform does not receive as much traffic as the other sites mentioned, with a mere 300 million monthly users (although this includes use of Google’s other products like YouTube). Also targeting options are limited and promotion policies are restrictive.

 

Pros and Cons of Email Marketing

 

woman typingEmail marketing and newsletters can often be overlooked as outdated, as it has been around since the 1990’s. However e-newsletters have stood the test of time and still hold a place among the many methods vying for customers’ attention. If you are considering either adding a newsletter to your customer connection outreaches or getting rid of your newsletter, here are some pros and cons to consider.

Pros

 

  • Statistics are easy to read and interpret. Platforms are available to provide you with detailed statistics about interaction with your newsletter: who opens it up, their location at the time, which links were clicked and which avoided etc. From there you are able to identify and utilize the most helpful parts of the newsletter, target a more specific audience, and know what content that audience is looking for.
  • Pulls traffic to your website. Obviously the newsletter will contain a link to your website, but don’t stop there. Include a peek at your latest blog posts or your Twitter feed and invite them to participate in conversations hosted in those places.
  • Emphasizes personality. A newsletter opens up the possibility for the business owner to include short articles, updates, or personal stories. Making this personal connection is very important in customer relations. It will show you as down-to-earth and a real person, instead of a vague company entity.
  • Design and create your brand. You get full creative license in establishing a unique look for your company and keeping it consistent, yet interesting. Having an arrangement, color scheme, logo, and design that immediately makes your readers think of your brand is an essential marketing strategy and a strategy that newsletters will help you accomplish.
  • Cost efficient. The price of a newsletter is doubtlessly lower than that of a physical newsletter and maintenance is also far easier of a process.
  • Fully customizable. This covers both the content and the audience demographic. You can target specific interests of your audience by only sending relevant information. Some people will be interested in areas of your company or updates that others will not be. Being aware of this and focusing your information on those interested in it shows that you are connected to your audience and both respect and understand their interests.

Cons

  • Email overload. We all know the feeling of opening our inbox to find 35 unread emails waiting. It is easy for mail to get lost in the shuffle or deemed as less important and deleted without even opening it just to clear the clutter.
  • Spam filters. Everyone uses these and as handy as they can be for decluttering, anything advertisement related can automatically be sentenced to the spam folder.
  • Online marketing stretched thin. There are so many places today that require online presence: Facebook, Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn, and so forth. It can be hard to keep all of these platforms up and running with new content. You do not want to stretch your resources too thin. It is best to identify the platforms that are most helpful to your business and focus on those.
  • Unsubscribe buttons. It is as easy to sign up as to unsubscribe, unfortunately. While people are less picky about prioritizing what they choose to “like” on Facebook or follow on Twitter, having constant new unread emails can feel like a chore waiting to be checked off. The moment your newsletter stops being new and interesting, your audience levels will drop.