Effective Social Media Advertising: Practical Tips

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    If today there is a universal tool for promoting (websites, companies, goods, services) on the Internet, then advertising on social networks clearly claims this role.

    No classic methods, including email newsletters, buying contextual banners, registration on thematic sites, and even his majesty SEO, do not allow you to bring your product to absolutely any given target group. Only advertising on social networks is capable of this, in which today there are all age categories of users.

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    Categories of social networks

    Before you promote anything, you need to determine the target audience.

    • Social networks of a general format. This is the most popular and numerous category, which includes the well-known Odnoklassniki, Vkontakte and Facebook. These networks are designed to communicate on any topic using various methods – text, photo, music, video, links, etc. This determines the maximum coverage of users, which means that advertising in social networks is appropriate for promoting all types of products.
    • Social networks of a professional format. This is a more specialized category of networks focused on communication between people of specific professions. The information here is also published quite specific – press releases, corporate reports, recruitment announcements, etc. Advertising in social networks of this type is very effective, because it is highly targeted. As an example, we can cite the “My Circle”, “Professionals”, Rb.ru or foreign LinkedIn and XING.
    • Social networks by interests. This is another option for the thematic association of user groups, only the topics here are more entertaining in nature – music, cinema, literature, and much more. For example, the Last.fm music network and the Kinopoisk resource dedicated to discussing various films and series are quite popular. As in the previous case, the effectiveness of advertising will be maximum if something is advertised that is suitable for the topic.

    Goals of promotion in social networks

    • Looking for new clients. The primary goal of any advertising campaign. People communicate in social networks on various topics and periodically look for information about a product, service, event, etc. Your advertising, useful and thematic, will be a good help for them. The user follows the link and can potentially become your new client.
    • Increasing the trust of old customers. High-quality information support and timely notification of new offers is a big plus for the reputation when the user sees that he is taken care of, his opinion is valued and respected. In this case, it makes no sense for the client to look for alternative options.
    • Spreading positive information. The assertion that a good product does not need advertising is fundamentally wrong. It is only important to correctly present it. But not in a rough form, but indirectly, with the help of real or virtual positive reviews, stimulating discussions, posting interesting creatives, videos, and so on.
    • Dealing with negative information Competitors are not asleep and can use black PR. Negative advertising in social media resources is strictly contraindicated. It needs to be dealt with in various ways – by crowding out with positive, cooperation with moderators, and even complaints to the administration.
    • Demand analysis. If you are planning to launch a new product on the market, it is important to determine in advance how much it is in demand. Social networks will become an indispensable assistant here. You can use various tools – creating polls and voting, holding discussions on specific topics, sending messages, etc.
    • Increasing brand awareness. This is an important task that needs constant attention. Especially for newcomers to the market who are just starting to fight for their niche. To control the success of solving the problem, there are generally accepted criteria – the number of subscribers, the coverage of posts, the number of mentions and reposts.

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    Benefits of social media advertising

    • Speed and simplicity. Classic methods of promotion related to search engine optimization of sites may require months of painstaking work. This option is not suitable if you need to launch an advertising campaign as quickly as possible. On the other hand, you can create and promote your own group on a social network quite quickly, and immediately get the first results.
    • Low costs. Competent Internet advertising in social networks is much cheaper compared to promotion in search engines, buying links and banners, and paid registration on marketplaces. Of course, combining a target with Direct or AdWords will increase the effectiveness of any advertising.
    • Viral marketing. This is the most important advantage of social networks, which allows you to organize a non-standard and memorable advertising campaign. To do this, social networks have a lot of useful tools – creating communities, sending private messages to users, commenting, creative notes on the walls, and the like.
    • Interactivity. Unlike search engines, social networks provide visual and effective feedback. Through the analysis of personal messages, survey results, discussions and other promotion tools, the advertiser can quickly understand whether the target audience likes the current advertising campaign and, if necessary, adjust it.

    Types of advertising in social networks

    • Posting. This is a basic tool for advertising promotion, which involves posting messages and comments with elements of hidden advertising. You can post relevant posts in related groups, communities, notes, and so on. The main rule is that advertising information should be secondary, and the main content should be relevant and useful to the user.
    • Distribution of viable content. One of the varieties of viral advertising mentioned above. The most common content to use as relevant content is joke text messages, pictures of popular “memes” and, of course, viral video clips. The main advantage of such advertising is that it is distributed by the users themselves. You only need to “launch” high-quality and interesting content.
    • Organization and support of thematic groups (publics). This is a rather complicated, but at the same time reliable and effective tool that allows you to organize the promotion of advertising in social networks on a long-term basis. In such a community, you can inform participants about goods, services and promotions, offer branded services, organize thematic discussions, advise, etc.

    Promotion in social networks – SMO and SMM

    Что такое SMO?

    Social media marketing and Social media optimization are two strategies that include all the main tools for promoting Internet resources in social networks. It is important not to confuse them – these are not the same thing, but two wings on which an advertising company should rely. If we draw an analogy with SEO, then SMO and SMM can be called internal and external optimization, respectively.

    Consider the main features of each strategy separately.

    Social media optimization (SMO) strategy:

    • is in no way connected with the work performed outside the site being promoted, since it is aimed at internally preparing the resource for user transitions from social networks;
    • includes mainly manipulations with the content posted on the advertised resource, ensuring its interest, usefulness and friendliness for the target audience;
    • involves a deep modification of all the parameters of a web resource for its maximum compliance with the criteria that are used by social networks when calculating relevance;
    • ensures the formation of a full-fledged infrastructure on the site, which provides visitors with a full range of necessary tools for comfortable manipulation with content – export of bookmarks, email subscriptions, repost buttons, and so on;
    • creates the necessary conditions for conducting fruitful discussions on the pages of Internet resources and the exchange of information between users (high-quality moderation, protection against spam, trolling, etc.).

    Social media marketing (SMM) strategy:

    • in contrast to SMO, it involves performing work outside the site – this is direct advertising and promotion in social networks, forums, blogs, etc.
    • provides for unobtrusive placement or promotion of placement of information on key topics of the resource with or without links to the relevant pages;
    • includes holding all kinds of events, including viral ones, aimed at popularizing the brand, as well as advertised goods, services, events, etc.;
    • provokes an active discussion of promoted topics between users – in comments, blogs, thematic groups and other sites;
    • is aimed at maximum convergence with the target audience through openness and interactivity.

    Scheme of promotion in social networks Vkontakte, FaceBook

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    As mentioned above, conducting advertising campaigns in social networks of a general format is mandatory for everyone. And Vkontakte and Facebook are the most popular networks of this type in the world. Tens and hundreds of millions of potential customers visit them every day. In order for advertising on social networks Facebook and Vkontakte to be as successful as possible, it is advisable to adhere to the following promotion strategy:

    • Step 1 – conducting an analysis of competitors in your market niche and compiling a comprehensive portrait of the target audience;
    • Step 2 – creating a thematic community in social networks (proper choice of name, publication of basic data about the company);
    • Step 3 – designing profiles and groups in all networks in a single corporate style;
    • Step 4 – development of a monthly posting plan – for example, 10 unique thematic posts, 10 posts describing goods / services, 10 posts of an entertaining nature;
    • Step 5 – search for “promoted” accounts, subscription to the target audience, interactive interaction with subscribers;
    • Step 6 – organizing and holding thematic promotions and competitions, periodically conducting viral “stuffing”;
    • Step 7 – setting up targeted advertising for maximum efficiency in reaching the target audience;
    • Step 8 – creating and promoting your own online store using the functionality of the social networks themselves;
    • Step 9 – analysis of the success of the advertising campaign, correction of the strategy (if necessary).

    The cost of promotion in social networks Vkontakte, Facebook

    In theory, everything can be done for free with time and experience. But most often, large companies entrust promotion to professional organizations that provide certain guarantees of success. In this case, advertising in social networks (“Vkontakte”, “Facebook”) costs a certain amount, which depends on several factors:

    • topics – due to the different level of competition, the cost of promotion will vary and depend on a specific market segment;
    • quantitative indicators – how many unique posts, what type and size should be placed per month;
    • desired results – the required growth in the number of subscribers / members per month (500, 1000, 2000 and so on);
    • purchased accounts – here the price will depend not only on their number, but also on the specific social network and the “promoted” profiles;
    • other factors – you have to pay extra for exclusive viral promotions, the development of specialized applications and other non-standard services;
    • the duration of the advertising campaign – this can be a payment for a one-time “promotion” for a specific promotion or product, as well as regular deductions on an ongoing basis.

    Seven critical mistakes when promoting on social networks

    ошибки в SMM

    • The desire to immediately achieve high performance. Socially-oriented promotion on the network usually gives results faster than SEO, but this does not guarantee sales growth by tomorrow. This is especially true for expensive goods and services – the client must come to the idea of ​​purchasing independently and gradually. Another example is if a brand has accumulated negativity, it will take time to eliminate it.
    • “Social media is easy.” If you think that any person who sits there from morning to evening can handle an advertising campaign on Vkontakte, then this is a big mistake. SMM and SMO promotion are serious events that require a professional approach.
    • “It didn’t work out – well, okay!”. If you are planning to abandon a social media advertising campaign with insufficient effect, then it is better not to start it at all. The reputation of the brand will be seriously shaken if customers who have subscribed to the corporate community suddenly discover a “dead” page in a month.
    • “Social media is a mouthpiece.” If you use them exclusively unilaterally for press releases and promotional information, the effect will be negligible. The main “feature” of social networks is their interactivity, which allows you to attract new customers and increase brand loyalty.
    • “I want to be like them.” If you see a successful community from a competitor, you don’t need to blindly copy all of its developments. A secondary product is always bad. On the contrary, you need to try to offer potential customers something new, exclusive, in order to lure them to you.
    • “They scold, it means they love.” A terrible mistake is the lack of struggle with the negative. It turns your ad into potential anti-ad. At the same time, it is also impossible to immediately remove all criticism. You will either have to “squeeze” it with positive reviews, or give a reasoned answer. Only obvious black PR and trolling should be removed.
    • “All in”. Spending the entire advertising budget of the company on social networks at once is also not the best solution. You need to “unwind” gradually, iteratively, constantly analyzing operational statistics and adjusting the advertising tools used.
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