The advent of social media has undeniably changed the way humans communicate with each other. Along with it, new business opportunities arose for those looking to advertise their products and services. It wasn’t long until social media advertising became a common advertising approach, and Hootsuite claims social media advertising amounted to 33% of all digital marketing in 2022. Let’s take a look at the benefits of some of the benefits and challenges of this approach.
One of the most obvious advantages of social media advertising is that it allows even the smallest of businesses to reach a large audience with relative ease. Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and X (previously known as Twitter) have millions of users who are active on a daily basis. Companies can, therefore, advertise to a large audience without having to spend a lot of money. There’s a caveat, however: your reach is dependent on how well you manage your social media platforms. This can be achieved by various means, mostly depending on the size of your company and the number of accounts.
Another benefit of social media advertising is that it allows businesses to target their advertising to specific demographics. Many social media platforms have verifiably unholy amounts of data on their users, such as their age, gender, location, and interests, just to name a few. The reason for this is simple: these data collections are platforms’ most valuable assets because these dictate the efficacy of their advertising. This means that businesses using these platforms can create advertising campaigns that are tailored to the interests and needs of their target audience.
This method of advertising also allows businesses to engage with their customers in a more personal way. Social media platforms allow businesses to interact with their customers through comments, messages, and posts. This allows businesses to build customer relationships and create a loyal customer base. To further reinforce this relationship, companies often offer customer loyalty programs. One of the best-known examples of a successful customer loyalty program is Amazon Prime, which had over 200 million subscribers in 2022!
One of the challenges of social media advertising is that it can be difficult to measure the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. Here’s a brief outline of why that is. Social media platforms provide post analytics that enable businesses to track the performance of their advertising campaigns. This means that businesses can see how many people are seeing their ads, how many people are clicking on their ads, and how many people are making purchases because of their ads. But even if we rely on the metrics provided by the platforms (which tend to be somewhat inaccurate), there are instances where you can’t directly attribute the purchase to a specific advertising campaign. Many adverts simply function as touches, and moreover, just because the analytics tell you the ad has a certain amount of views doesn’t mean every observer paid meaningful attention to your content or that it was a positive interaction.
Another challenge of social media advertising is that standing out in a crowded marketplace can be difficult. Due to the basically non-existent entry barrier, social media platforms are flooded with advertising, so businesses need to create ads that are eye-catching and compelling. This means that companies seeking to stand out from the competition must be creative and innovative in their advertising campaigns.
The unending onslaught of pesky and intrusive adverts bombarding users left and right just about anywhere has inevitably taken its toll on consumer trust and engagement. Some estimate that as few as one in twenty-five consumers trust the contents of adverts they are exposed to. While this is a problem for the advertising industry as a whole, digital marketing has several disadvantages in this arena. First, there is a lower degree of buyer confidence. Also, shopping online makes it much easier to change where the consumer purchases the item.
In conclusion, social media advertising is a powerful tool for businesses to reach their target audience. It allows companies to reach a large audience quickly and easily, target specific demographics, engage with customers in a personal way, and track the performance of their advertising campaigns. However, businesses must be creative and innovative to stand out in a crowded marketplace.