Paid social media advertising for business

Almost eight in ten Australians use social media (over 20 million people). More than one-third of these users check social media more than five times per day. Despite these facts, only about a quarter of Australian small businesses advertise on social media with Facebook being the most popular platform.

Social media is no longer just about connecting with others or networking. Social media as with other things web-related, is now all about content and for small business, it is about leveraging social media content to enhance acquisition and conversion.

However, the increasing push for social media companies to bring relevant and meaningful content to the user has made developing an effective social media strategy much more challenging. Nowadays, brands can expect their posts to be seen by only about 5.5% of their followers.

Key benefits of paid social media advertising

Given that a very low proportion of your audience are seeing your organic content, consider advertising on social media. Some of the benefits of using paid social media include:

  • The ability to target your audience by age, gender, country, behaviour, interests etc.
  • The option to create purpose driven ads that create awareness or to increase sales etc.
  • The ability to test different ads to decide which ones are more effective;
  • The ability to set a budget for the ad or campaign;
  • Being able to measure the performance of ads;

An effective social media marketing campaign may combine paid social advertising with organic content, Google Ads to direct people to your physical store or online shop, and offline marketing tactics such as QR codes.  

Targeting is everything

There is an enormous range of options when it comes to paid social media advertising. The key to running a successful paid advertising campaign lies in having a strong understanding of who your target audience is and where they are online. The more specific you can be, the more likely you are to see results. Targeting best practices to keep in mind include:

  • Have a strong idea of what you want to achieve from the ad and focus on it (ie. more likes/shares/website click-throughs/email signups/purchases).
  • Understand which platform your target audience uses and where they engage with your brand (ie. teenagers tend to favour TikTok, whilst older Australians are extremely active on Facebook).
  • Research which type of advertising is likely to best suit your product or service (ie. tangible products perform well in photo only ads on Facebook, whereas services perform well in Facebook video ads).
  • Know who your target audience is (and is not) and use the platform’s filtering options to target and exclude certain demographics (remember: having a small target audience for a paid ad campaign isn’t necessarily a bad thing).

Last updated 30 March 2021


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