ADOTAS – Even once you’ve found funding and used business solutions to start your business, you’re not done yet. You have the business, but you still have to advertise it. Fortunately, you don’t need a lot of money to create an effective marketing strategy as long as you focus on social media. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
Facebook is the biggest and best place to advertise in social media today. It has tons of members and the most developed advertising platform of all the social networks. However, since it’s still relatively new, ads on Facebook are still cheap, making it a great place to advertise over something like Google AdWords, which will cost you significantly more.
With Facebook you can focus on two areas: targeting groups or making a network. With targeted ads, you can take advantage of the massive amount of information Facebook has about all of it’s members, allowing you to focus on a truly impressive number of combinations of data (men over 50 who like smooth jazz, perhaps). In terms of making a network, you can make a page on Facebook and then pay to advertise that page and gain “likes,” thereby creating your own network of fans on Facebook that you can then communicate with.
LinkedIn is a smaller, less diverse network than Facebook. You can do the same type of targeting of groups that you do with Facebook, but you won’t be able to choose from the wide range of topics that Facebook provides.
However, LinkedIn gives you a finer grain of targeting, so you can specifically advertise to people with, for example, a certain job title, like “Director of Operations.” It’s important to note that, as LinkedIn is made for business networking, that is the group that you’re advertising to; it’s either a perfect place or a horrible place to advertise your business depending on what you’re looking for and what you do.
Twitter is a “special” case. It’s huge and has grown at an unprecedented rate in its five years of operation. Even though it has had great success, though, it has the least developed advertising platform of any of the networks. All you can do with Twitter is buy a sponsored tweet or pay to promote a trend on the main page.
Other than that, finding success with Twitter requires manually building up your network through gaining followers and following the right people in order to make your voice more prominent. The advantage of eventual Twitter success is the “snowball effect” that you can have: you tweet, your followers retweet, the followers of your followers retweet, etc.
Even better, people tweeting about you means you show up in searches about what you do. Someone searching for “sandwiches” will find your business if you get people tweeting about it, putting the message fully into the public rather than Facebook that is more focused on the immediate network of a person and their friends.
There’s your quick start guide to advertising in the social media world. The important thing with social media is to consider which network is the most appropriate for your business. In addition, you’ll want to make sure that you test your advertising strategy before jumping in completely. You don’t want to find yourself seeing no results from ads on a network you’ve put a lot of money and time into.
In the end, social media advertising is one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to put your business in the public eye, and you should definitely take advantage of it.