Advertising Using Social Media

If you consider this fact, that if Facebook were a country it would be the 3rd largest in the world, then it is probably understandable how advertising on social media networks and search engines could be an immense help to your company or business.

I am probably not telling you anything new by saying that people are constantly connecting on social networks, but have you thought about how many people would view your ad by posting it on a social network or search engine?

Social Media has been around awhile now, beginning with Instant Messenger, message boards and forums. However, as Web 2.0 evolves, so do the social networks, and so does their impact. In this post, I will focus specifically on five main social networks, Facebook, Yelp, Google, Yahoo! and Foursquare and their beneficial uses for advertising.

Maybe it’s just me, but I definitely pay a lot of attention to the ads on the side of my Facebook page, especially since the ads are targeted specifically toward me, based on the interests I have listed on my own Facebook page. But again, I probably did not have to tell you that, at least not if you are a Facebook user. But the beauty of it for advertisers is also that people of all age ranges use the ultra-popular social network, so it is easy to target specific people. The ads are right there in your face and switch up every time you change pages, which is why Facebook is a great place for advertising.

Now, how many times have you used search engines Google or Yahoo!? Both of these search engines get millions of hits every day, so how many people do you think view the ads posted on these search engines? MILLIONS!

On Google, if you purchase ad space, your ad will reach people actively looking for information about your product or services. Moreover, what is unique about this form of advertising is that you pay for your ad only when people click on your ad. Google gives you the ability to create your ad and choose keywords and phrases related to your business. This is why when you search certain keywords or phrases in your Google search related ads come up along with your search results, which means the ads are targeting people who are already interested in what your business has to offer.

Yahoo! works a little differently. Yahoo! offers directory listings, but unfortunately, when you submit your company name into Yahoo! for consideration, the process can take a long time. Advertising on Yahoo! means you can advertise your business in search results on Yahoo! and other popular sites. You can put your business in front of potential customers when they search for what you sell. Yahoo!, however, does offer another option. You can choose to use Yahoo!’s Express Service for an annual fee of $299, although there is still no guarantee that your site will be listed, only that it will be reviewed in seven days.

Ok, so here is how advertising on Yelp works. First, any business owner or manager can set up a free Yelp account to post offers, photos and message his customers. Listing your business then leads to word of mouth advertising when other Yelp users go on and rate and review the business. Moreover, users can use Yelp to find events, special offers, lists and talk with other users, which also creates free advertising. Second, Yelp generates money by selling targeted advertising programs to local businesses. When a business purchases an ad on Yelp, the business gains exposure, so that anytime someone searches for a business like yours in your area, they will find you. When you purchase an advertising package on Yelp, which typically ranges from $300 to $1,000 per month, you can advertise your business as a sponsored search result and advertise on related business pages. This also includes a dashboard to track your results in the program.

The last social network I want to discuss, and one of my favorites, which I have even blogged about before, is Foursquare. Foursquare is completely free for businesses, which is the greatest part. Foursquare is all about people playing the game of Foursquare on their smart phones to generate business for companies. Every time a player “checks-in” to a business, this posts to their Foursquare network and can even be posted to their Twitter and Facebook accounts for other people to see. Anyone who sees this can learn about a company or business. What gets players to keep playing is the hope of earning points, badges, mayor ship of a place, and maybe even some coupons or free drinks at Starbucks, so people are constantly generating business for companies. How convenient!


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