Monday, May 22, 2017

Cost-Effective Social Media Advertising?


Advertising through social media serves two distinct advantages:
  1. Consumers are not always aware they are being advertised to and can be more receptive to ads.
  2. A social media advertising base is concise, often niche and very targeted, unlike traditional advertising.

With traditional advertising methods, you may be spending $1,000 for a billboard to advertise to 700 people in a day, with no control over demographic. 

With social media advertising, you can advertise to those who are most likely to purchase your service or from your brand. The cost is nominal but the outcome is a very specific action to a very specific group of people.


Cost-Effective Ways To Advertise Through Social Media

Advertising through partnering with influencers is a key marketing strategy for many retail brands, particularly those in clothing, jewelry, makeup and accessories. Larger brands can typically get away with offering a $400 item in return for a sponsored post from an influencer. If they're smart, they'll also offer a coupon code targeted to the fans of that influencer.

This method provides a way to track the number of conversions that a particular influencer has generated, quantifying the dollar value or ROI of that particular social media ad. You can find influencers manually on Instagram, through apps or through certain savvy social media management agencies (we offer this service, some others may not).


Two apps I recently came across make the world of influencer marketing accessible from the outside. They allow you to create a user account as either an influencer or a brand and connect one another based on your market and needs. Collabor8  is a good example of this. I set up an account as an influencer and was offered a collaboration in one day with a handmade jewelry company based out of the U.S. Though brands and influencers that use this app do not have that much social influence, it is likely because they are just starting out.

The number of followers for influencers on the app tend to be on the startup scale of 1,000 to 2,000 followers, which is around where I fall as well (I'm at about 3,100 followers). At some point, influencers will outgrow this app as their follower numbers grow. At that point, larger brands would then contact them through a direct message on Instagram or through a platform like #paid once they have enough social pull.


Collabor8 is still a great app option for startups or small businesses that need a push to grow their social channels or to expose their brand to a targeted millennial demographic. I also tried an app called Rep, which is the same concept but has a more complicated user interface, making it a little less desirable.


The most standard way to cost-effectively advertise through social media is with a targeted social ad campaign, such as Facebook or Instagram Ads. However, beware: 

If campaigns are not set up correctly, it can end up costing you thousands of dollars.

Always go with a reputable company to handle your social ads and ask for a case study within your industry to see their cost per impression. You may be tempted to ask for how many conversions occurred during the social campaign, but remember, once the user leaves the realm of social, conversions depend on a few factors: your website design, the offer itself, internal customer service and more.


Inefficient Ways To Advertise Using Social Media

A recent trend I've noticed is the rise of low-value, low-stakes social campaigns, such as when companies create ambassador programs that allow influencers to "work" or "invest" in return for products to advertise for that company.


This business model is severely flawed for a few reasons:
  1. It attracts users who have little social influence.
  2. It invites users who are looking to take advantage of free items.
  3. It creates no real value for the brand of either party.
To elaborate, I recently saw an ad for an ambassador program and performed a short case study. They offered free items in return for ad sponsorship. But once a user signs up, it's revealed that the user must perform certain actions to receive points, which can be redeemed for items. Five hundred points (equivalent to $10) was offered for ambassadors to include the brand name in their bio, as well as a coupon code. The proof of completion of this action was a screenshot.

After a 30-second Photoshop job, I was awarded 500 points without adding any of their requirements to my bio. Therein lies the issue: People are able to fake it until they make it.

Users who have real social influence will not want to jump through hoops or pay in order to receive a product to advertise for a company. It's nonsensical and easy to cheat, and the brand, getting a bad rap, becomes well-known within the networks of influencers as a low-value service or brand.



I searched Instagram for ambassadors of this particular program and found that many of them had an ambassador account and a separate, real account so as to not spam their personal contacts with these "sponsorships." This negates the influencer aspect of this strategy completely.

What Is The Value Of A 'Like,' Comment Or Share?

There is no concrete way to determine the monetary value of a "like," comment or share. The value depends heavily on the audience, as well as the advertising potential corresponding with the number of followers. We can determine a baseline of these values by calculating how much it would cost to advertise to the same amount of people based on the demographic.

A highly optimized social campaign strategy will involve a very targeted placement, such as offering a Matt and Nat bag from a new line of pastel handbags to an influencer who has a primarily pastel fashion feed. This would help the ad post blend organically with the aesthetic of the influencer's profile. Their followers will be very likely to purchase that product, as well as engage with the post and the brand.

Guest Authored By Kelly Samuel. Kelly is co-founder and managing director at Qode Media. Follow Kelly on Twitter.





"With traditional advertising methods, you may be spending $1,000 for a billboard to advertise to 700 people in a day, with no control over demographic. 

With social media advertising, you can advertise to those who are most likely to purchase your service or from your brand. 

The cost is nominal but the outcome is a very specific action to a very specific group of people.."

    • Post Crafted By:
      Fred Hansen Pied Piper of Social Media Marketing at GetMoreHere.com & CEO of Millennium 7 Publishing Co. in Loveland, Colorado. I work deep in the trenches of social media strategy, community management and trends.  My interests include; online business educator, social media marketing, new marketing technology, skiing, hunting, fishing and The Rolling Stones..-Not necessarily in that order ;)
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