When it comes to PPC (Pay Per Click), there’s no doubt that the big search engines are great places to advertise. With Google now reaching at least 80 percent of all internet users, Google Adwords has become a powerful force in PPC advertising.
However, you can’t talk about PPC these days without giving at least a mention to social media. The larger social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter all have their own PPC programs that allow you to target your ads to a specific audience. Social networks collect plenty of demographic information from their users. This means that – even when they’re not searching – members can still see ads tailored to them and their interests.
So the question then becomes: Which social network PPC program will serve your business best?
Things to Consider
As with any advertising campaign, your budget and target audience should be your main focus. It’s true that PPC costs much less than traditional advertising methods by comparison, but the daily costs can quickly add up and you’ll really feel it if your campaign isn’t getting the results you expect. Test and retest your chosen platform(s) before making any major financial commitment. Time spent on testing is well worth it in the long run.
Also, don’t advertise on any particular PPC platform just because everyone else is doing it. Find out where your demographic congregates and take your advertising dollars there.
Who Uses Social Media?
This is the first thing to consider when you’re thinking about going the social PPC route, as targeting the right demographic is crucial to the success of your PPC campaign. Though marketers and webmasters are singing the praises of social PPC, the truth is that not every business can benefit as much as the next when it comes to this advertising channel.
The following are a few of the different types of users you’ll find on social media networks:
Age: According to data from the Pew Research Center, the age demographic with the largest social media usage rate is 18 to 29-year-olds (83%), followed by 30 to 49 year olds (73%). Not surprisingly, this age stratification has stayed constant since 2005, with the younger subset being the most frequent social media users.
Education: The data shows that social media usage pretty much spans across all education levels, with 65% of users holding a college degree or higher, 69% of people with some college education, and 66% of participants with a high school education.
Gender: Roughly 71% of women engage in social media, compared to 62% of men.
Location: About 70% of people in urban areas use social media, 67% of people in suburban areas, and 61% of people who live in rural areas.
Comparing PPC Programs
Facebook is probably the most widely used social PPC program, since it was the first one to make a huge splash on the social media scene (it’s also the most widely used social network by a landslide). With over 800 million users and a minimum daily budget of only $1, it’s a good choice for advertisers who want a wide reach on a budget. When advertising on Facebook, you can choose from the CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per mille, or cost per thousand views) methods of payment, though costs have been rising since last year for those paying by CPM.
For this reason, you most often see sponsored content from big companies, media giants, and well-known celebs on Twitter. Because of its succinct nature, this platform is fast paced and suitable for promoting hot and trendy things that you want to quickly build a buzz around. Though this social network has a broad swathe of users, account holders tend to be young (with an average age of 18-29), African American (26%), and/or urban dwellers (72%).
LinkedIn is the place to advertise if you’re offering B2B or employment services and products. With its very specific demographic (professionals and job seekers), LinkedIn allows you to target business professionals in specific industries. Right now, the minimum budget is $10 a day, which could be well worth it if your audience is mostly found on LinkedIn.
At the end of the day, experience is a great indicator for future success. If you’re still unsure about which social PPC platform is right for your business, the best thing to do is test. Run test campaigns on the platforms you feel would best suit your needs, and see which ones you perform well on. Then, optimize those campaigns so that they perform even better. Social PPC popularity is showing no signs of slowing down, making now a great time to dig your business’s roots into the social PPC soil.