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Social Media Ad Targeting – Creepy or Incredibly Beneficial?

Take a quick scroll through any of your social media channels.

Amongst the never-ending feed of dramatic statuses, pictures of food with vintage filters, cute animals and viral videos, you’ll find advertisements directly targeted to you.

Targeting your ads on social media is no longer a mystery. Instead, brands now have more information about their target audience than ever before (a bit creepy, right?).

With the introduction of these targeting options, brands are now reaping the benefits.

Benefits of Ad Targeting

It should come as no surprise that Facebook continues to dominate as the most popular social network. With over 900,000,000 monthly users and growing, it’s no wonder brands are using ads to target consumers on the social network.

Social media channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram are now offering comparable advertising platforms.

The targeting capabilities within each social media advertising platform provide brands with opportunities never seen before.

Abundance of Data

Before the world of digital marketing, brands relied on data sources such as Nielsen ratings to target their television, print and radio advertising efforts.

However, as fantastic as these statistics and data sources are, they could never truly provide real-time accurate data to brands looking to make conversions, reach wider audiences and accomplish other marketing goals.

Enter the era of digital marketing.

With social media advertising, brands can precisely target the audience they want to interact with. Facebook, for instance, uses additional outside data sources such as Epsilon, Acxiom and Polk to provide brands with additional targeting options.

Through internal and outside data sources, targeting consumers through social media ads has become a viable and worthwhile marketing options for brands of all sizes.

Intricate Targeting Options

Social media advertising provides a ridiculous amount of targeting options. Seriously, it’s mind blowing how many options are available to advertisers on social media.

Between demographics, behaviors, spending habits and even interests collected on Facebook, you’ve got a world of data at your hands.

Common demographic targeting options include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Relationship Status
  • Location
  • Ethnicity
  • Occupation
  • Education

Facebook specifically also allows advertisers to target their audience based off of behaviors in the following categories:

  • Automotive (DLX Auto Powered by Polk)
  • Charitable Donations
  • Digital Activities
  • Financial
  • Mobile Device User
  • Purchase Behavior
  • Residential Profiles
  • Travel

Is your target audience college students interested in unicycles and located in Anchorage, Alaska? You can target them.

Perhaps you want to target a broader audience, such as females between a certain age range. Of course, you can target them too.

Reach a Whole New Audience

Some businesses do not have the capacity to pack their bags and travel around the nation informing consumers about their products and services. Instead, they let the Internet (specifically social media ads), do it for them.

Social media ads allow you to reach a whole new set of consumers that you may not have had the ability to reach before.

Overcoming Advertising Obstacles

As with anything in the marketing realm, social media advertising presents brands with a few obstacles.

Intruding on Consumer News Feeds

Many businesses are worried about becoming another annoying brand on a consumer’s news feed. There is a simple, yet also challenging, way to get around this hurdle.

Provide. Great. Content.

Social media is not the place to blast coupons and promotions to the world. Your posts and advertisements need to add value to the daily lives of your audience, not annoy them. Provide spectacular, high-quality imagery (no shaky iPhone pictures please), engaging copy and if you are providing an offer, it better be a good one.

Not Setting a Goal

The largest obstacle with social media advertising is allocating your budget properly. At Titan Web Marketing Solutions, we’ve had business owners come to our office and complain how they were using social media advertising and spending a shocking amount of money, yet seeing no results whatsoever.

As with any marketing effort, you need to set goals.

Are you looking to increase your online fan base? What about conversions to your online store? Maybe all you’re seeking is improved fan engagement.

Your goals directly correlate to the amount of money spent on social media advertising. Remember, social media advertising costs per action (like, comment, or share), and depending on your goal, you can spend a little bit of your budget or a large sum of money.

Heres the hard part

You have yet another decision to make.

Should you take care of your social media advertising, or should you trust a social media professional or agency to take care of it?

There is no simple answer. If you have experience with social media advertising, specifically with the targeting functions, and have time to devote to constantly monitor, tweak, and update your ads, then by all means have a great time!

However, if you’re an overwhelmed business owner with several tasks on your plate each day, it is in your best interest to let a social media professional take care of your advertising.

Inexperienced individuals who attempt to run social media advertisements with little to no knowledge of or experience with the platforms typically end up running out money, but generate minimal results.

Be warned: your teenage employee, Jimmy, who only uses social media to post his skateboard videos will not have enough experience or knowledge of the advertising platform to provide you with optimal audience targeting and advertising results.

Moral of the story: social media advertising platforms provide an insane amount targeting options for brands.

Use social media advertising to boost your brand’s online presence and communicate with the correct audience.



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