Is social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, something that needs consideration when advertising an organization? The quick and easy answer is yes! However, that is not all I want to leave you with. Advertising your organization, product, or service can be tricky utilizing social media. For example, Facebook has the option to advertise by using their paid advertising product. This method is a very effective way of advertising because you can target your demographic and narrow it down to focused interests. You can even specify what regions your ad displays. Facebook advertising utilizes a similar concept as the Google adwords model, however, it seems to be a little more greedy than that of Google. For example, if you do your homework with Google you can actually get significant returns for your advertisement campaign without costing a fortune (that is if you do your homework). Facebook advertisers, on the other hand, frequently experience the problem of ads ceasing to run due to low bid amount. You can actually increase the amount on a daily basis and still frequently experience the same situation. There seems to be no logical cause for this. I have even applied the principles of re-focusing content words with demographic targets and still experience the same frustrations. On the other hand, performing similar actions with Google has produced satisfying results. This problem has caused many advertisers to quit using Facebook paid advertising as a means to pawn their products.
Remember the old saying "word of mouth is the best means of advertisement"? This is very true in social media. You do not have to spend a fortune to drive someone to your organization, product, or service. Keep in mind, however, people don't want you to bombard them with frequent blurbs of your product. If you are creative you can actually drive people to a website, blog, or article about your service without it looking like an advertisement. Groups and Fan Pages are actually a good way to accomplish this task. People also have an interest in you as a person rather than your product, so keep the personal pictures and thoughts active.
Twitter has been around a while but it still is increasing in popularity. Many companies are using this form of social media, also called a Micro-blog, to create an active presence in the Internet community. The old advertising technique of placing your name frequently in front of your audience is where Twitter shines. Political Candidates, Utility Companies, Banks, and authors place their comments and thoughts frequently to keep their names fresh in people's minds. They use Twitter to announce product releases and even offer technical support.
Twitter is also a great way to see what people say about your products and services through monitoring of #hashtags. I will try to cover Twitter and other elements of social media in detail in future posts so I won't go into it now.
There are many different forms of social media and if well planned they can be a benefit to your organization.