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Learn the principles of the They Ask, You Answer by taking our most popular course, taught by Marcus Sheridan himself.

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Social Media Advertising Best Practices for Reaching Your Audience

Social Media Advertising Best Practices for Reaching Your Audience Blog Feature

Carolyn Edgecomb

Talent & Office Manager, 7+ Years of Logistics and New Hire Management

October 26th, 2013 min read

 Social Media Advertising Best Practices for Reaching Your AudienceI don't know about you but social media is something that I cannot live without. A significant portion of my day is spent engaging with our audience and monitoring social media profiles. Some might say that I'm a social media extraordinaire.

Many people ask the question if there will ever be a day when social media doesn't take up a portion of our lives. To be honest, I'm not completely sure.

I can say that, we're addicted to social media. According to new research by IPOS, Americans in the age range of 18-34 report spending 3.8 hours a day on social networking.

I don't see how social media could ever just go a way. It's a great way to stimulate conversation and a way for companies and brands to engage with their audience.

Sometimes, just posting on your profile isn't enough. You're not effectively reaching your target audience. It could be caused by a number of different elements; wrong timing, content is targeted to your audience, don't have a large social media presence, I could go on forever.

Thankfully, there's social media advertising. If you've been paying attention to the latest social media trends, you've noticed that promoted posts are becoming easier to use and readily available on almost every social network.

But, are you effectively using them? If you aren't implementing best practices you might not be using it to your advantage. Your goal is to expand the reach of your content but by utilizing some best practices your posts can go even further.

Best Practices for Reaching Your Audience

Know Who You're Targeting

When it comes to promoting your posts on social media it can go a number of different ways. To have a maximum impact, it's all about knowing who your audience is and which members you want to target. Not every post you promote is going to be beneficial for every member of your audience.

Think of it like email marketing. You aren't going to send every email to every contact in your database. You are going to segment your contacts based on their interests, behavior, and maybe even geographic location.

It's all about adding context into your social media advertising strategy.

On Twitter, a promoted tweet is just like any other tweet. You still only have 140 characters. The only difference is that you can target users based on interests, keywords, location, device and platform, and gender as well as someone’s followers. This is a great way to break down your audience and send them content they will actually be interested in.

Facebook also has similar options, giving you the ability to choose the location, gender, age, likes and interests, relationship status, workplace and education of your target audience. If you are the admin of a Facebook Page, event or app, you can also target your ad to people who are already connected to you.

Ads Don't Have to Look Like Ads

This one might be a little confusing. In your head you might be thinking, how can an ad not look like an ad?

It's becoming more about native advertising. Whether you're posting content on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Instagram (they all have one thing in common); people love seeing visual content. It appeals to their senses.

A post doesn't necessarily need to be a promoted post. Simply adding your logo within the images you use is a way to connect with your audience and put your brand out there. The logo doesn't even have to be intentional.

This could be easier said than done if you offer a service compared to a product, but it's a great way to promote without being intrusive. On the bright side you're saving money.

People love visual content. Here are a few examples:

Instagram Ford

Optimized for Mobile

With more of your audience accessing social media on their mobile devices, it might be a wise decision to optimize your social media advertising efforts for mobile.

When creating content for a mobile ad; it should be concise, short and sweet. When promoting a post on mobile you don't want to talk for ages you will eventually run out of room. You should make your point as quick as possible.

If you thought 140 characters were tough, try making your point in 90. That is the most effective number of characters to capture their attention while scrolling through Facebook on their mobile device.

Don't forget to include an eye-catching image. It never hurt unless it doesn't go with the point your trying to make or the offer you're providing.

If you're using Facebook's ad platform, they recently made updates. Making it easier for advertisers to navigate and create a post.

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