Unlike traditional print advertising in which we pay for the amount of space on a page and the number of issues in which an ad will appear (for example), social media advertising offers many avenues to get ad messaging in front of potential customers. The costs are determined, not just on a set amount per exposure to that audience, but in competition with others vying for that same audience. If it sounds like we’re talking about an auction, we are. For much social media advertising, you actually bid on getting your ad in front of your audience. You will notice terms like pay-per-click (PPC) associated with bid-based advertising. Other options of setting fixed prices to reach verified target markets on social media require a larger investment and are available mostly to big brand advertisers.
Social media platforms often say that cost is both the overall amount you spend on advertising and the cost of each desired result. This is overly simplified. However, if your desired result is to increase your number of Facebook followers or garner more LinkedIn comments, you could say that if you spend $100 a month and get five new followers each month, the cost of follower acquisition is $20 per follower. (We say this is overly simplified because there can be many other factors that influence cost, including your time, messaging development, ad and artwork creation, etc.)
When we at Stone’s Throw think of social media advertising as part of the overall promotional activity of a smaller to medium-sized business, we focus much more intently on moving prospects closer to you. How can we get that prospective customer close enough to have a conversation? That conversation can happen on a social media platform, yes, but for businesses like ours, we want to have that conversation privately. We want to ask questions that reveal challenges, exchange ideas, and answer questions as the consultative souls we are. So, one of our promotional goals is to spur a one-on-one exchange, either through email, telephone, video conference, or an in-person meeting. If social media advertising can get us to that goal, we think it could be worth a trial run. Start small. Assess. Branch out.
Just starting out on social media? Here are a few things you should know.