Should My Small Business Explore Social Media Advertising in 2022?
YES! There are 2 methods used for social media growth: organic social media strategy and social media advertising. And you need both for sustainable, stress-free growth and sales on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and any other social channel.
There’s a reason there are 9 million active advertisers on Insta and FB. Social ads can bring in a ton of revenue (cha-ching!), increase brand awareness, and enhance your organic digital marketing strategy for INSANE growth.
- 41% of local businesses depend on social media to drive revenue.
- 74% of consumers rely on social media to guide purchasing decisions.
- 96% of small businesses say they use social media in their marketing strategy.
Whether you’re a social media advertising newbie or have run a few paid social campaigns and want to learn more…
Here are the nine reasons ALL small businesses NEED to consider social media advertising in 2022.
1. In 2022, Social Media Marketing is Pay-To-Play.
The main reason we suggest social media ads to our clients is something that is not openly discussed in most marketing agency articles. Partly because it’s a touchy subject that could potentially drive clients away from monthly organic social media services. And partly because it just really sucks. It’s a downer. But we’ll always give it to you straight, so here goes.
If you don’t pay for advertising, social media algorithms won’t drive as much traffic to your profiles—no matter how awesome your content.
Don’t get us wrong. Populating your social media accounts with educational, entertaining, and inspiring posts and videos is still mandatory for growth.
But there’s no debating that popular platforms are making it increasingly hard to grow purely through organic reach.
It can be done through viral content and a sh*tload of time-consuming engagement tactics, but it’s certainly not the norm. Here’s why…
2. Social Algorithms Are All About Monetization (Like Ads).
Each social media platform has stages of algorithm development.
New social platforms (Instagram circa 2011-2016) are focused primarily on growing their user base.
That means it’s pretty easy to get your content out there because the social algorithm is tailored toward engagement. The most popular, creative, useful content is rewarded! How sweet.
But how do social media platforms make their money?
Once a social platform has established its user base, leadership will focus on monetizing its base through advertising.
Their algorithm will no longer solely reward creative content. It absolutely rewards content that’s awesome, because great content keeps users on the platform longer to view ads and interact with sponsored posts. But the true goal is always advertising spending and how the platform can make money. It’s a business, after all.
To succeed on an established platform where your users hang out, like Instagram and Facebook, you have to combine organic growth AND paid growth with a cohesive social media marketing strategy.
By posting great content that helps the platform keep users engaged and dedicating some budget to ads, you’re giving Instagram exactly what it wants and needs to promote your content and products. Let’s dive even deeper to learn why…
3. Social Ads Complement Organic Social Tactics for Faster Growth.
We always suggest planning your organic social media strategy and setting firm weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals before you invest in social media advertising. Why? Because it ensures your small biz ads will get maximum results. Advertising without an organic social media strategy IS NOT something we recommend.
When a potential customer sees your ad, we want 4 things to happen for your business. We want that customer to:
- Visit your profile and read your bio to learn more about your small business.
- Check out reviews and post comments to see what people think about your products.
- Make a purchase right then and there, based on this positive information.
- Follow your business so you can tempt them into a repeat purchase.
But these 4 actions are based on the trust-inspiring information they find in your organic posts and profile engagement.
If you’re missing the organic posts, comments, reviews, and product education side of your social media strategy, you may not make the sale.
You want to remove any doubts the customer may have and clearly demonstrate the awesomeness of your product!
Additionally, platforms like Instagram and Facebook openly reward users that embrace new features. Especially features they’ve launched to drown out their competitors.
Instagram Reels was introduced to compete with TikTok, for instance. And early adopters were (and are still!) rewarded handsomely for helping this feature become an established competitor in the video market.
The takeaway? If you combine the most strategic organic tactics with smart ad spend, your ads will drive sales through the roof! Woohoo! Speaking of sales…
4. Ads Win Sales, Leads, and Brand Recognition.
Nine times out of ten, the reason our clients come to us for help with their social media advertising is that they want to make more money! Duh! And paid social media advertising does not disappoint.
While the return on investment for social media ads varies by campaigns and your small business goals, 100% of our clients see positive results and go on to increase their ad spend.
Why are social media ads so effective? Because they reach your audience where they already hang out! Your customer base is on Insta and FB, primed to buy and open to taking a major hint from your ads—products they might like, how they will use them, and how they will FEEL with your products or services in their life.
Strategic social media advertising puts your brand in front of the right people at the right time.
It educates them about your product or service and motivates them to make a purchasing decision then and there. Plus, most social platforms now allow native sales that make it easier than ever for customers to buy without leaving social media or even getting out their credit card. Talk about a seamless customer purchasing journey!
5. Your Competitors Are Using Social Media Advertising.
In 2021, US companies spent over $44 billion on social media advertising. That’s a 16.34 percent increase from 2020 and almost four times the annual growth rate of the previous year. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to sniff out this trend: social media is THE best way to reach your audience.
Sure, your industry might be the exception to the rule, but odds are your competitors are part of this astronomical growth in social ad spend. If they’re smart, that is!
If you want to stay competitive, get your brand in front of consumers that are ready to love your products, and prove beyond doubt that you’re products and services are more kickass than your competitors’… you’ll need to budget for paid social ASAP. Or willingly give up revenue and loyal customers. Ouch!
6. Social Media Ads Are Affordable.
Advertising traditionally has a very high barrier to entry. We all know you have to spend money to make money, but many small business owners simply don’t have the liquid cash or business credit it takes to invest thousands of dollars per month in their ad spend.
Pay per click Google advertising, for instance, is extremely effective BUT requires a sizable up-front investment and can sometimes take a few months to return on that investment. We always recommend no less than $15,000 in ad spend per month for PPC.
But with social media ads, you can make a huge impact with a lower ad spend.
While we do suggest you start with a minimum ad spend of $5,000, many of our clients have grown leaps and bounds spending far less. We also heartily suggest experimenting with ads on your own to learn more about targeting and run some tests to see what your audience responds to best before you seriously commit and spend thousands.
It’s *sometimes* easier for an agency like LoudBird to hit the ground running with social ads tailored to your ideal customer if we have this historic data you’ve gathered in our back pocket!
So what if you have a limited monthly budget but want to get started with professional-level social ads that are correctly optimized?
We often help small business owners like you with a one-time account setup package for social advertising accounts. This typically includes auditing your existing ad campaigns, creating strategic ad sets with professional copywriting, videos, and images or designs that convert, and giving you some initial advice on how to manage your campaigns as you grow. But we can tailor this setup process to suit your needs! Just ask.
7. Ads Are Far More Effective Than “Boosting” Posts.
There’s a time and place for boosting posts. The time? 2016. The place? A dimly-lit, sparsely decorated office building in New Jersey…in 2016.
In all seriousness, you CAN sometimes benefit from a boosted post, but only in very strict circumstances. If you have a post that is going viral, sometimes a “boost” can make it go MORE viral.
But boosting a post and expecting it to go viral because you boosted? That’s just silly. Ain’t gonna happen.
Plus, a viral post doesn’t necessarily mean any sales or profit for your small business. Often, accounts that follow you when you go viral will unfollow you in the future or remain followers but not engage with any of your posts—which actually harms your account in the long run.
If you want to show your content and ads to a new audience without going viral, it’s time to lean on into social media advertising. Don’t waste your money on boosting posts—it’s just not effective these days for most small businesses.
8. Build Brand Awareness and Extend Reach to Your Specific Demographic.
The beautiful thing about paid social media advertising is that it allows you to beautifully target your perfect buyer. Even with all the changes in privacy laws and ad targeting limitations we will continue to see in 2022. Paid social on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or any other social channel means more eyes on your brand.
Depending on your budget, you can get super specific with ad targeting to reach qualified customers, clients, and patients in your geographic area. Or, you can use broad targeting to raise awareness amongst a larger national customer base.
It’s well-known that social media is the most relevant advertising channel for Generation Z, Gen X, and millennials. Younger audiences are open, responsive, and primed to receive advertising messages as they browse their feed. BUT only if these advertisements are strategic—this younger demographic has grown up with social media ads and can smell sales-obsessed messaging and off-pitch video and images from a mile away.
And they will completely ignore your ads if they aren’t engaging, authentic, entertaining, and emotional.
It’s less well-known that Boomers also respond extremely well to social media ads! Facebook, in particular, is a fantastic place to advertise products that appeal to Boomers. Social media is a good fit for almost any brand with any demographic. As long as your ads are strategic and your targeting is honed to fit your ideal customer. This brings us to our next point…
9. Social Ads Produce Valuable Business Data and Insights.
So who IS your target demographic? As a small business owner, you may think you know.
But we’ve seen some very surprising data insights when running social media advertising campaigns.
For instance, a client of ours that sells snoring aids assumed their demographic would be male Millennials. They thought Boomers would be too set in their ways to try a new product. Boy, were they wrong!
By analyzing their audience across multiple social media platforms and A/B testing, we learned that Boomers were very open to new solutions to end snoring—specifically advertisements that suggested their partner might be blessed with better sleep! Boomers became a major customer segment, targeted mainly through Facebook video advertisements.
Social media advertising can teach you A LOT about your customers and what they want and need from you.
The data you gather from advertising can drive better business decisions and help you make more sales everywhere you market—not just on social media. And paid media delivers a TON of valuable insights that will let you discover new audiences, aid your R&D team in product development, and drastically improve the quality of your sales funnels.
The value of social ads is not based purely on sales made—information is power! And sometimes an ad campaign that flops can teach you exactly what you need to know to run your best-performing ad yet.
How Do I Get Started with Social Media Advertising in 2022?
We truly hope you haven’t reached the end of this article dreading paid social media advertising! Can it be complex? Yes. Do you need an organic AND paid strategy to truly see the benefits? Mhmmm. Can it require an investment? Yup. But is it 100% worth your time, effort, and hard-earned dollars? Abso-freaking-lutely!
- Have you realized you NEED to have a paid social media advertising strategy in place for 2022, but you aren’t sure where to begin?
- Are you a small business owner who has the budget to dedicate to an ads strategy, but not the time and expertise it takes to execute?
- Have you dabbled in the past, but not gotten great results with social media ads? Likely because your targeting and creative assets weren’t great…
- Or is your small business still growing, and you don’t have a huge budget but want to start exploring ads ASAP?
We suggest finding a trustworthy social media advertising agency that can help you take your ads to the next level. LoudBird specializes in helping small business owners focus their digital marketing spend on tactics that actually work—making the most of every dollar of your 2022 social media marketing budget for max results. And we provide organic social media strategy and social media advertising solutions within most growing business budgets.
Get in touch for a free consultation to see how we can help you, no strings attached. Especially if you’re a fellow woman-owned small business. We’d LOVE to empower you to grow your female-powered biz in 2022! Learn more about us here.