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Social media advertising: communicating "face to face" with the customer
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Updated 29 January 2024

Social media advertising: communicating “face to face” with the customer

To promote a startup, advertising is very important but doing it in the right places (as well as in the right ways) is even more so. Nowadays, a place of honor among virtual places on which to advertise one’s products or services should certainly be reserved for social media. Not surprisingly, Erik Qualman (an expert in digital marketing and e-business), also said about advertising on social media:

“In this day and age, if your startup is not on social media, then it doesn’t exist.”

That the social media are a privileged and indispensable showcase for a startup is, therefore, now undeniable but, in order for social advertising to prove truly effective, it is necessary to follow some very precise rules and to know how these platforms work. First, let’s clarify what is meant by Social Media Advertising.


Social media advertising: what it is and why it works

“Social media advertising” is basically that digital marketing strategy that uses social media as channels to promote products or services.

For companies, the sounding board provided by this particular type of platform is an excellent opportunity to increase the visibility of brand and the user base, but also to show themselves in a direct and genuine way so as to convey the corporate values and build strong relationships with customers.

Social media are the sites where people spend most of their time when they are online, and here, moreover, consumers frequently look for information about companies and direct communication channels to speed up purchases or resolve any doubts or issues.

You need to know that social media advertising differs from traditional offline advertising channels because it allows you to create promotional campaigns targeted to a very specific target audience, customizing the promotional message for each type of user. Not only that, compared to traditional advertising, social media advertising is also much easier to measure. Moreover, advertising investments on social are generally smaller and, therefore, are accessible even to small companies and startups that are just setting up.

Comparison with other online advertising channels is also often successful, since the Return on Investment (ROI) on social media is particularly high.


Social campaigns: how, where and when to do them

On a theoretical level, social media can help you achieve all the goals just mentioned.

For this to be possible, however, you have to choose the right platform (or, rather, the right platforms) because each social network is different from the other, both in terms of technical features and in terms of users. The strength of social media advertising, after all, also lies in the possibility of using many different channels to promote the same product or service, modifying the message and methods of promotion according to the individual social platform.

Of course, you have to take into consideration the fact that some social networks are more popular than others. You will not be surprised to learn that on the list of the “best” in this particular respect are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter/X, TikTok and LinkedIn.

More than considering how globally and generally frequented these sites are, however, you would do well to ask yourself which of these platforms are the most used by your target audience. Obviously, to find the answer to this question you need to know who your potential customers are, what interests they have, and what behaviors they have online. Help can also come to you from competitive analysis.

There is another aspect to consider when you have to decide which social media to advertise on: the right answer to this question also depends on the marketing goals you need to achieve.

While considering the aforementioned differences between the various social networks, there are some common pointers that can help you understand how to advertise on social. Having said the importance of precisely defining your target audience, we will now focus on creating the advertising message: the goal is to capture the user’s attention and make him or her spend as much time as possible on the post and then on the company website to which the link in it points. The message, therefore, must have an impactful image and the text content must be creative, persuasive and engaging but, at the same time, it must also clearly communicate your Value Proposition. The Landing Page must be simple, clear and complete, with the Call to Action placed in the right position.

To maximize the chances of successful advertising campaigns, it is necessary to perform various tests and measure the performance of published content so that strategies can be optimized and the effectiveness of social media advertising campaigns increased.


Meta business suite for content scheduling

If you have decided to promote your products or services on Facebook or Instagram you necessarily need to know what Meta Business Suite is and how it works. In short, it is the new hub within which Meta (the company that controls, among others, Facebook and Instagram) has decided to bring together all the tools and features to manage advertising campaigns on Facebook and Instagram (and Messenger). With a few simple clicks, within a single platform, Meta Business Suite provides those who use it with a comprehensive view of the performance of each company page and each individual post.

Compared to Creator Studio (the previous tool), Meta Business Suite has many more features at its disposal. Prominent among them is the ability to:

  • create posts (and preview them);
  • managing paid advertisements;
  • edit the audience of the advertisements;
  • managing events;
  • view the results of posts and monitor their progress;
  • managing sales of products or services.


When to post on social media? Times and dates with highest attendance

Data analysis is always important, and social advertising, as already pointed out, is certainly no exception. An important piece of information you can glean from monitoring the performance of your posts is the answer to the question, “When is it best to post on social?

In fact, in addition to valuable information about the characteristics of the users who frequent your pages, the various social media outlets also provide page managers with data on the times and dates when the highest attendance is recorded. This can prove very useful because, obviously, reaching more people amplifies the reach of your message and its potential effectiveness.

Below is an indicative calendar with the best times to post on social media in 2023.


When to post on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, TikTok and X

When to post on social media


Viral content and latest trends: the importance of staying current

More than in other contexts, to advertise on social media it is necessary to keep up-to-date not only with the latest innovations in social platforms (such as, for example, the aforementioned switch from Creator Studio to Business Suite in Meta’s house), but also with current trends, so as to be able to intercept trends for promotional purposes.

Real Time Marketing has become an increasingly common practice for companies in recent years, but the ability to ride viral content and insert oneself into conversations by shifting attention to one’s brand is not for everyone, and more importantly, if practiced systematically, it can risk turning into a dangerous boomerang.

The desire to advertise on social media by chasing “easy” engagement at all costs, in fact, could be detrimental to the company’s image, undermining its authenticity and consistency. In this regard, you must keep in mind that while Real Time Marketing can be understood as the ability to respond quickly, in an unplanned way, to external stimuli, this does not mean that you should proceed without planning an upstream strategy or having a marketing plan. The priority is to build your corporate image consistent with your story and try to be true to it at all times, even when advertising on social media.

Nicola Zanetti

Founder B-PlanNow® | Startup mentor | Startup consulting & marketing strategist | Leading startup to scaleup | Private angel investor | Ecommerce Manager | Professional trainer | Book writer

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