[ 16 February 2023 ]

Brendan Haggerty

Social Media Ad Basics vs. The Old Days of Advertising

Ahh. The old days. You bought an ad in the Yellow Pages, or perhaps the local weekly community fishwrapper newspaper. If you were loaded you might have a billboard on the highway or a late night TV commercial. And then you waited, and waited.

Finally the phone rings, someone walks in. You being on top of it ask them, “How did you hear about us?” She looks at you and says quizically, “a friend recommended you”. Did the friend see the commercial, the billboard, your name on the local peewee baseball team jersey? Who knows.

As you know today advertising is much more sophisticated, targeted, tracked, segmented and less face it, totally creepy.

But that is not the half of it, trying to understand requires a PhD from MIT and the ghost of Stephen Hawking. It’s like trying to navigate a maze made out of cat videos and memes. But fear not, my friends, because I’m here to shine a little light into the madness.

What Social Media Platform is Right for You?

First things first, let’s talk about the different social media platforms that you can advertise on. There’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, and the list goes on. Each platform has its own unique audience and advertising options, so it’s important to figure out which one(s) will work best for your business.

What Types of Ads Are Available How Does Work?

Now, let’s talk about the different types of ads you can run on these platforms. There’s sponsored posts, sponsored stories, video ads, carousel ads, each platform has their own angle on it. But the bottom line is your ads appear in peoples feeds. They see your ad as they doom scroll through their Twitter feed.

Here’s the thing. How they do this, track it, and charge you for it, changes all the god damn time. It is my business and it is near impossible to keep up with. And not to sound salesy… but you really should talk to an agency (like say… Haggerty Digital) to help you come up with your initial plan.

But, maybe you want to DIY it from there and manage it yourself. Hey, that’s totally fine. But get some outside professional advice to start. If you don’t call me. Please call someone.

Woo! Now Let’s Create a Killer Ad & Set a Budget

Alright you’ve some how chosen your platform and ad type (whether from professional advice or a Ouji Board), now it’s time to create your ad. There are honestly a ton of free tools out there that you can use to create your ad (Canva is a really good one).

Final step is targeting and budgeting. Some are super quirky and convoluted in this (looking right at you Google). But most it comes down to demographics, interests and where they are relative to you as that relates to your business. No sense in advertising your Taco Truck in Tampa in Vermont.

The best part is that once you make it to this point in your digital advertising journey, you will be able to better understand what is getting your phone to ring and people to walk in the door. That tracking can again get really sophisticated with the help of a marketing professional.

Social media advertising can be a bit overwhelming, but with a little bit of patience, digging in and watching a video or reading an article you can get it going. With a little time and a bit of a trial and error investment you will find some things that work and you are off to the races.

Stay safe out there. Reach out to me if you get into trouble.