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Practice Management > Marketing and Communications > Social Media

Social media advertising: What you need to know

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Creating custom, informative, and intriguing content is critical to the successful growth of your business.

Not only does this boost your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), but it also helps to establish you as an experienced leader in the financial services industry. There are lots of ways to promote your content for free, but there are also times when a paid solution might work best.

While paid promotions will cost you some time and money, they cost far less than traditional advertising avenues and allow you to cast a wider net beyond your current network. Here’s how.

Facebook and LinkedIn ads

Both of these social sites offer paid advertising, and they have a couple of significant benefits:

First, social ads allow you to specify your target demographic not only by age, gender, and location, but also by family life, job title, broad interests, relationship status, and businesses the users are connected to. This feature ensures that only people who may become potential customers see your message.

See also: Does social media work for prospecting?

For example, if you have a new white paper about college financial planning strategies you want to promote, you can target your ad to men and women in your city, in their 30s and 40s, who have children between the ages of 4 and 19. This is huge if you are seeking out people in a particular industry or a specific stage of life. This type of targeting will help you get quality leads, rather than just more traffic.

Facebook Ad

Another advantage of social ads is that, unlike taking out an ad in the newspaper or running a spot on the radio and hoping people will notice, you now have the option to pay only if your ad is clicked upon. This means advertising on your social networks can be significantly less costly than using other types of marketing.

These ads also work on a bid system, which means you are in control of how much you want to spend. Each platform lets you set your daily budget, and once you reach the daily cap, it stops showing your ad. This control over how much money you spend can be very reassuring.

Promoted posts

Promoted posts allow you to take a post you have made on your Facebook or LinkedIn business page and place it directly in a prospect’s newsfeed. This allows you to broaden your reach significantly, since other users will see your post besides your current Facebook fans. You want to promote a post with extra-­special content, like a free download offer, a new video on your YouTube channel or a recent research report.

Promoted Post

Facebook gives you two options when promoting your post. You can choose to promote your post to a specific, targeted audience just like the Facebook ads discussed above, or you can simply promote the post to friends of people who already like your page. The latter is especially valuable because seeing a promoted post from a company your friend already likes adds credibility and acts as social word or mouth.

An added benefit of promoted posts is that once they appear in a newsfeed, they remain there, unlike traditional right-­side page ads that can disappear when the user leaves or refreshes the page.

Track your progress

Remember, just as you would with a traditional advertising campaign, you need to track the progress of your ads and promoted posts.

Successful ads have enticing images, attention-­getting headlines and strong calls to action. Use the analytics feature to test several different ads against one another in a campaign and see which images, headlines and keywords are most effective.

You can also keep track of which days and times receive the most traction. Facebook and LinkedIn will only continue to promote ads in a campaign with the best performance, making it easy for you to clearly determine what works and what doesn’t.

When it comes down to it, paid promotions won’t get you anywhere if you don’t have worthy content to promote. In the digital world, where there is an abundance of information and chatter, you want to stand out from (not add to) the clutter. Creating content and paid promotions with value will help you rise above the noise and contribute to the overall success of your social media strategy.

For more on social media, see:

What’s the most successful social network for financial advisors?

Who owns your social-media accounts?

4 essential online resources for insurance pros


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