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:


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.


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.


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.”


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.


Improve Customer Interaction on Social Media

Social media is an essential staple of customer interaction in today’s business world. No matter what your company’s focus is, social media is a tool you must take full advantage of. Here are a few steps toward improving your social media presence and engagement.

Facebook is your friend! The companies with the best customer-interaction strategies come up with new and unique ways to connect with their followers. It is important to present the company as a group of real people, with familiar faces, personalities, and an eagerness to connect as friends. Try highlighting your employees via your Facebook page. Emphasize their individual quirks and interests – try pairing current pictures with their baby photos or asking a weekly or biweekly question (“What are you listening to?” “What is the name of your pet?”).

Similarly try using Facebook to highlight your followers. This has the advantage of attracting interest and offering advantageous exposure to those you do feature. It helps make your viewers to feel part of the company and a fun, diverse community.

social mediaDon’t hesitate to get personal. Send shout-outs on Twitter to followers to compliment their achievements, record personalized video messages through Vine, thank someone for sharing your content, answer or ask questions. Similarly don’t avoid leaving a personal stamp on the Tweets. Some companies include the initials of the Tweeter inside the message or the Twitter handle of that person. It adds a very human touch and authenticates the interactions. Always respond to those who tweet toward your company to show that you appreciate the shout-out and value their input – whatever it might be.

If you have a LinkedIn Company Page, take advantage of their group functions which allows you up to three groups. Not only does this give your company more visibility, but it also gives you an additional opportunity to be involved in your industry’s discussions.

Pinterest also is a growing platform for customer interaction and sparking interest in your company. You can create company pins to promote your products, special offers, or announcements. Also you can collaborate with other users for that personal connection. Invite other users to pin to certain boards. Follow similar boards or users with similar interests. Comment on and repin other users’ pins. Make sure to use the platform for interaction as well as promotion.

Another place to maintain a presence is on Foursquare. Leaving tips and pieces of advice at your locations shows your investment in customer ease of action and connection. Try leaving a joke to emphasize your personable side. You can create lists as helpful resources for other people and promote visibility for your company.

The hashtag is a useful tool for encouraging interaction and offering customer promotion. Use Instagram’s personalized hashtags to stand out. Encourage your followers to utilize your hashtags and feature the best pictures on your page at the end of the week along with credit. At the end of the day, you will have a fun community, pleased customers, and increased traffic.

The only downside of having a variety of social media platforms is that maintaining the interaction and customer service is nearly a fulltime job. Expectations for response-time, personalized answers, and immediate solutions can be overwhelming. Be sure that you are prepared to handle these expectations and demands, as customers can be easily disappointed and emphasize the negative experiences. The best strategy is to select which platforms will give your business the best visibility and where your current and potential customers frequent. If you have the capability for a presence on a large variety of platforms, go for it! If you have any doubts about being able to keep up with the interaction, start small and add in additional platforms eventually.