What is Social Media Advertising?

Amber Kazalbash | Mar 27, 2015 11:17:00 AM

14 Min Read

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SocialMediaBlackandWhiteThis month has been focused on localizing advertising. From search to display, we’ve been breaking down how local advertising is essential to add in your marketing mix. This week, we’re finishing off the series with the low-down on the most current and up-in-coming form of paid advertising: social media advertising.

So, what is social media advertising?

Imagine a world where brands could connect and provide value to social customers when, where and how they wanted. Social media advertising allows brands to make that world a reality (if using the tools correctly). Whether marketers are prepared or not, social media and its related channels are more competitive for consumer attention than ever before.

From social networks like Twitter and Facebook, to review channels, wearables and apps, the ubiquity of this type of advertising means that multi-location brands can’t just reach customers organically. You have to ‘pay to play,’ and engage to win with geo-centric social media advertising

Here are 6 key terms to help you understand the current ecosystem of social media advertising:


  • Social Customer Relationship Management (CRM)-

Salesforce predicts that there will be 75 billion connected devices by 2020.  And with all the data these connected devices produce, advertisers can have a stronger CRM process than ever before. Just this month, Apple announced the capabilities of Apple Watch. With Intel, Samsung and Motorola releasing similar products already in the market, we believe that this revolution could spark the way marketers perform mobile-social advertising.

In developing this CRM strategy, marketers should advertise more narrowly to provide value to their data-inducing consumers. The adoption of the internet of things will encompass users’ social media usage, and provide brands with deeper insights into customer habits.  Social Times suggests that these devices are perfect to subtly alerting customers of nearby offers, while keeping the effort simple and geo-centric for users.

  • Engagement

Jason Falls defines social media engagement as “communicating well enough that the audience pays attention.” But how can brands measure engagement on social media? Since there are a variety of ways for brands to measure consumer engagement on social media the answer cannot be given with a simple formula. The trick is to first identify what your brand’s goal is on social so you can measure the proper engagements. Choosing the appropriate KPI for your social strategy will allow you to measure consumer engagement on social without getting lost in numbers that do not have any significance for your brand.

We found a great article that depicts 10 ways to measure social media engagement. Read the article here and decide for yourself which measurement is a KPI for your social strategy.

  • Promoted “Cards” (Twitter)-

Just this week, speculation on a possible partnership between Twitter and Foursquare was verified. This partnership means that Foursquare’s API will be backing Twitter’s posts, so tweets to be geo-tagged to specific locations. Now that brands will have the ability to monitor where their tweets are coming from, they can better target users using promoted Twitter “cards”. Cards give brands the ability to maximize their messaging past the standard 140 character count. Instead, they can implement more rich information, such as video, click through imagery, giveaways, audio and more. As we see Twitter rise up in the ranks of the location-based marketing game, brands should utilize these new capabilities to target customers who decide to engage and “check in” to them.

  • Graph Search (Facebook)-

Back in December, Facebook released a predecessor to its “Graph Search” to put personalized search results at the user’s disposal. Graph Seach allows users to get more personalized search results based on social circles and shows a huge opportunity for local advertisers. Now, it’s more important than than ever to be talked about by these social circles. Multi-location brands have the chance to disperse customized, localized ad messaging on “child pages” in addition to garnering organic referrals through Graph Search. Being vigilant about what is being said about your brand is the best way to stay on top of your brand presence and work to advertise to the right consumers when and where they want it.

Facebook is the second biggest local search engine behind Google. We just learned at BIA Kelsey that the number of reviews per month on Facebook are on track to exceed those of Yelp on a monthly basis. With that being said, marketers should understand the ecosystem of advertising on this social network. With Facebook now transitioning its messaging platform, businesses will have the opportunity to message consumers. We see this becoming a way to create a more seamless online to offline experience for local consumers.

Much like re-targeting through dynamic display, you can utilize consumer cookies to track and provide the right ads to customers. The goal of retargeted content is to stay top-of-mind in the user experience and guide them through the purchase funnel. Facebook recently acquired Atlas, a platform that helps brands utilize social media data on third party apps and websites. Especially for local customers, this is a huge opportunity because users show personal interest through every action they take on social media. We see this as a great opportunity believe that retargeting advertising on social media is a differentiating factor for brands who know how to use it at this point.

  •  Ad Creative

Through Facebook’s numerous algorithm changes, it has been made clear to marketers that Facebook wants to give users what they expect - a compelling, visually appealing advertising. Facebook defines Ad Creative as the following:

An ad creative is an instance of a specific creative which is being used to define the creative field of one or more ad groups.

In simple terms this means that when your brand posts on Facebook, you will be rewarded with more visibility when you have more than one creative field associated with the post.

Here are 5 best practices for great Facebook ad creative, ensuring your brand get the most impressions for each post.

With all these advancements in social media and how it connects to consumers, your brand shouldn’t ignore the possibilities.  This week, we were able to discuss how brands can localize their advertising efforts during #BrandifyChat. If you missed the chat, here’s a recap !

And to see how you can get started on optimizing your mobile-social campaigns, check out our newest whitepaper:

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Topics: Local Advertising

Amber Kazalbash

Amber Kazalbash

Social Media Specialist at Brandify. Home is where the Wifi is.

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