5 Reasons Why Social Media Advertising Is in Your Future

May 2, 2014

When most B2B marketers think of social media, their first thought isn’t of advertising. Instead, they think of an essentially cost-free pathway for communicating with their customers and prospects.

That nirvana of virtually free marketing via social media appears to be coming to an end – sadly – as Facebook and other social networks are constricting the organic reach of brand posts. As a result, an increasing number of companies will need to adopt social advertising if they still want to target messages to their constituency on social networks.

Here are five reasons why social media advertising is likely in your future:

Those billions of ad dollars can’t be wrong.

Social advertising spending on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter is on course to surpass $10 billion for the year. Facebook garnered $2.27 billion in ad revenue in the first quarter of 2014, up 82 percent over the same period a year ago. In the same timeframe, LinkedIn posted $101.8 million in ad revenue, up 36 percent. And Twitter generated $226 million in ad revenue, an increase of 125 percent.

Targeting on social networks is precise.

On LinkedIn, a superb B2B platform, users share their company, job title, and industry. On Twitter, users share so, so much, and B2B marketers can target users by a myriad of methods, including serving marketing messages to Twitter users following competitors. On Facebook users share their interests, their locations, and much, much more (as we’ve all come across over-sharers on the platform). Further, the Facebook Exchange (FBX) enables advertisers to use third-party data to target Facebook users based on their anonymous business demographics or other criteria. On all three of these social networks, advertisers see the possibility of precise, efficient ad targeting and relatively low costs.

Retargeting is critical.

Advertisers are also now enable the use their own first-party data to retarget visitors that have visited their own websites while they browse social networks. Facebook enables retargeting through their NewsFeed and right-rail ad inventory, and has driven extraordinary results for many marketers. Twitter also recently introduced the capability to retarget Twitter users with promoted Tweets.

Social networks are leaders in mobile advertising charge.

Boasting an in-app mobile advertising network, Twitter said mobile accounted for 80 percent of its ad revenue in the first quarter. Similarly, Facebook said it generated 59 percent of its first quarter ad revenue from mobile advertising. Facebook also just launched at its developers conference it Facebook Audience Network, a mobile ad network.

The squeeze on organic traffic is real.

If you think the reach of your Facebook posts has diminished over the past several months, you’re not hallucinating: It’s a fact. According to this AdAge story, Social@Ogilvy analyzed more than 100 brand pages and found that organic reach of posts on Facebook had “crashed” by about 50 percent. Observers only expect that reach to diminish further.

So what’s a marketer to do? Social advertising is one way to reach your targets on these social networks. For advice on how to use social media advertising to reach your target most efficiently, consult this guide: “Social Media Advertising for B2B.”

This post was originally published on the Bizo blog. In July 2014, LinkedIn + Bizo joined forces to build the most robust B2B marketing platform available to marketers. To learn more, check out David Thacker, VP of Product at LinkedIn’s announcement blog post.

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