There is no questioning the power of social media platforms in the digital age, especially when it comes to the services offered by Facebook. For those who don't know, Facebook has its hooks in various social media outlets. In fact, the two most popular platforms are Facebook and Instagram, and the former owns the latter. As such, Facebook and Instagram are a great place for your business to focus on putting out social media ads. After all, one in five minutes consumers spend on mobile devices is spent on one of these two platforms. With so many people spending so much time on these platforms, are you confident that you're making the most of your social media ads?
Why are Social Media Ads so Popular?
The answer to this question is in the numbers. As mentioned above, mobile users are spending an increasingly large amount of their screen time on social media platforms. However, there are more figures that point to the growing importance of Facebook and Instagram ads. Although they cater to different online behaviors, more on that in a moment, Facebook and Instagram are dominating for good reason:
Facebook has more than 2 billion active monthly users
Instagram has more than 700 million active monthly users
79% of online adults, and 68% of Americans, use Facebook
Taken together, nearly one-quarter of the world's population is active on Facebook and Instagram social media platforms. Their popularity as a social media ad outlet is less about the services and more about the unprecedented access to billions of consumers.
How are the Two Platforms Different?
Facebook might own Instagram, but the online behavior of their users and the means in which they prefer to engage with content is much different. Facebook users typically like and follow only those brands they've already shown interest in or even those they've already purchased a product or service from. As such, they follow these brands to stay informed and can quickly burn out on your messaging if they see too much content.
On the other hand, Instagram users engage with brands through visual means in most cases. Unlike Facebook, Instagram use is largely dominated by one generational cohort (Millennials) that tends to engage with brands in visual categories such as fashion, beauty, and architecture. So, how can you make the most of your social media ads on these platforms?
3 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Ads
There are a lot of steps you could take to improve upon your social media ads, but you don't have all day to sit here and read an endless list. Instead, let's focus on just three ways in which you can make better use of social media ads. Let's start by remembering that the people you're targeting on Facebook and Instagram are different and will react differently to your ads. Here are three ways to boost your social media ads:
Use hyper-targeting tools: On Facebook, in particular, it is important to remember that your followers are not representative of a singular block of thought and action. You might have millions of followers, but your ads shouldn't target all of them at once. Use Facebook's hyper-targeting tools to focus different ads toward different segments of your target market, separating them by age, geographic location, income level, and online interests (for starters).
Generate leads: Facebook is the better of the two when it comes to lead generation. The platform is a great place to advertise site-wide discounts, product coupons, limited time offers, and opportunities for free shipping.
Marry the two: Perhaps the greatest advantage of Facebook and Instagram is the interoperability. As Facebook is quick to point out, the two go together like peanut butter and jelly. Facebook is great for lead generation, but Instagram users engage at a higher level with the brand. Use Facebook ads to pique interest and retarget that same group with Instagram ads that boost engagement.