Business owners are forced to come to terms with the phenomenon known as “social media.” Once thought to be just a fad, social media has become an advertising universe unto itself. The integration of targeting into social networking platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn has made them not only viable, but also very powerful marketing tools, able to present a message to a very specific self-identified group of users.
As any marketing professional can tell you, creating a message isn’t necessarily the hard part, it’s getting it in front of the people that are going to be interested in that message that is the crux of marketing. Having self-identified users fixes that problem. Marketers no longer have to guess at whether someone may be interested in an activity. Throwing mud at the wall and seeing what sticks is a thing of the past. The shotgun approach is out the window. Marketing is now an exercise in precision marksmanship.
Because of how social media platforms determine their marketing rates, it’s usually cheaper to target a smaller group of people – and not because of why you might think. By using specific keywords, a marketer can focus in on only those people with those keywords to get their message to. In other words, the more accurately you can target your audience, the less you will pay for them. This is a 180 degree turn from the past where the more you segregated your audience to target them accurately, the more you paid for them as each member was worth proportionately more. Gone are the days of having to run a cost-benefit analysis to decide whether you wanted to pay that extra money to go from sending mail to 40,000 people to sending mail to only 5,000 that had a specific interest in what you were offering. Likewise, gone are the days of having to put out a local newspaper ad that perhaps only 10% of the readership will be interested in, IF they see it. You can now target your ads to people within a certain gender, age, education, location and interest range. Your audience is essentially standing up, waving their arms over their heads and saying: “ME! ME! ME! OVER HERE!!!
The question is, where and how do you do that? (a good question, that we’ll get to next time)