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Social media advertising (also referred to as social network advertising, social media targeting, and social media marketing) is a term used to describe paid digital advertising that focuses on social media networks or platforms.
Social media advertising gives advertisers incredibly granular control over ad targeting to reach the audiences you want and avoid those that won’t convert.
Facebook ads were unveiled in 2007 as a platform to connect businesses with consumers using target advertising. Since then, Facebook has become a marketing powerhouse.
Think about this: 1.84 billion people use Facebook every day, and your customers are among them.
Facebook gives businesses 3 distinct channels for advertising efforts:
Through a sophisticated set of insights and selections to narrow your audience, Facebook breaks down the advertising process into easily digestible bits. Facebook is an especially powerful tool for eCommerce advertising, especially those just getting off the ground.
Facebook is a top pick for many advertisers, but using this platform does present some challenges to users.
The huge range of ad options can be overwhelming for those advertisers who might just be getting started with campaign initiatives. Beginners may find that having so many options for narrowing audiences and tracking outcomes confusing, if not completely overwhelming.
On top of that, businesses advertising on Facebook must pay close attention to Facebook ad policies, especially for ads that might toe Facebook’s classification restrictions for political/societal entities.
Luckily, Facebook’s Ad Guide is comprehensive, and with enough research and practice even beginners will be able to take advantage of this powerful social media advertising tool.
If Facebook’s process for how ads display to users is confusing to you, you’re not the only one. Facebook’s team recently answered the question: “How does Facebook deliver ads?” as part of an effort to demystify this process. Let’s take a look.
Ads will show based on two main factors: audience targeting selected by you (the advertiser) and the results of Facebook’s ad auction.
Advertisers choose a target audience using Facebook’s targeting tools.
Facebook’s system will gather ads that include the advertiser’s targeted audience. These ads advance to the auction stage.
In the auction stage, Facebook selects top ads to show users based on total value score.
Snapchat might not be the first social media platform you think of for your advertising efforts, but it’s certainly a platform worth exploring. Snapchat reaches an average of 229 million users a day—that’s a lot of potential buying power!
This platform is a great channel for diversifying your advertising strategy at a low expense. Snapchat even boasts that businesses can launch ad campaigns for as little as $5 a day.
With Snapchat ads, marketers can utilize the Instant Create and Advanced Create features to build eye-catching ads within the site’s ad manager. These features are helpful tools for less experienced advertisers to get their feet wet with ad creative.
According to Snapchat, the “exact cost of advertising on Snapchat can fluctuate depending on a number of factors such as your selected advertiser objective, your selected budget, the duration of your campaign, your bid goal, and your bid amount.”
The minimum daily spend requirement is just $5 to begin delivering ads to your target audience.
Snapchat uses goal-based bidding, which allows advertisers to optimize their ads towards specific actions they believe a Snapchatter will take. Such actions might include downloading an app or watching a video.
Do you want to find customers in a particular location, with specific interests, and part of a targeted demographic? Snapchat has you covered with these campaign optimization tools:
Advertisers can use the Snap Pixel to measure the impact of their campaigns across devices. All you need to do is:
1. Create your Snap Pixel in the Ads Manager account.
2. Paste the Pixel code on your website.
3. Track Pixel data in your dashboard.
Voila! Millions of Snapchat users are now just an ad campaign away.
Instagram may be owned by Facebook, but the platforms are far from the same. Instagram users tell stories through images, meaning that for businesses and advertisers, compelling creative rules the roost.
However, Instagram ads are run through Facebook’s Ad Manager, so while your process for developing ad creative might look different, you don’t have to go through the trouble of relearning backend setup.
Instagram gives businesses 5 distinct methods for advertising:
That’s quite a few options to choose from, making Instagram an appealing tool for testing ad creative.
Instagram provides two unique methods for delivering content: stories and feed.
|Instagram Stories launched in 2016. The content shows up full-screen on mobile devices and disappears after 24 hours.||Instagram feed content launched years before in 2010. The content takes up a smaller proportion of the screen and permanently remains on an account unless deleted by the user.|
In an international survey conducted by Facebook IQ, users ages 13-55 from Brazil, Indonesia, the UK, and the US offered their insights on Instagram Stories vs. Instagram feed. According to the survey results, as of 2017 more than half of Instagram users globally view both stories and their feed daily.
Respondents indicated that they are more likely to visit Stories to see live, unfiltered content that’s unique and feels exclusive. An example of this could be behind-the-scenes action at a big event. Users were more likely to use their feed to view a wide range of reasons, including to learn new information or discover products or brands.
Based on this study, Instagram advertisers can take away that it's best to use feed content for informative posts and timeless content, and utilize stories to share exciting authentic-feel content.
Instagram is a very effective tool for eCommerce businesses and the platform offers functionalities to support online retailers. According to a survey from eMarketer, an estimated 75% of US-based respondents are using Instagram in their brand marketing efforts.
According to research from VidMob, 6 in 10 consumers have followed a new brand based on seeing an eye-catching or interesting Instagram ad. Additionally, of a survey of 1,000 respondents between ages 16-45, one-third indicated purchasing a product directly from Instagram.
In 2020, Instagram announced new Commerce Eligibility Requirements to expand Instagram Shopping access to more business types.
“Any eligible business or creator account with at least one eligible product can use shopping tags to drive people to their website to make a purchase. US businesses that are part of our checkout test on Instagram can drive people to purchase directly in the app.”
Pinterest is an image-sharing social media network with approximately 300 million active users. Users view images from crafts, home decor, recipes, and more and can “pin” these to personal boards. In many ways, Pinterest is an aspirational social media platform.
With a whopping 85% of Pinterest users on the mobile app, this platform reaches audiences on web browsers and mobile devices.
Pinterest is an ideal platform for eCommerce ads. For one thing, over 80% of weekly users have made a purchase based on a pin they liked.
Shopify and Pinterest recently launched a new collaborative channel to help online retailers integrate their products into the Pinterest experience. Shopify merchants can turn existing products into Pins and add a shopping tab to their Pinterest profile. Talk about a seamless experience!
Pinterest Features for D2C eCommerce Success
Some other Pinterest features built to assist eCommerce success are: