The Holiday gift of social media advertising: to boost or not to boost

As most of you are well aware, the holiday season is in full swing. Whether you’re wrapping up your shopping, tying up loose ends or diving headfirst into the eggnog – the hustle and bustle of the holidays are everywhere you turn.
The celebrations, festivities and  shopping  are especially evident on social media. Now, more than ever, brands – big or small – are using social networks as their go-to for holiday advertising. A  recent study  found that Facebook ranks as the top platform for advertising during the holiday season. It reported retailers received 55% more Facebook messages, posts and comments per day in November and December of 2018 than any other time that year.
Other  research  found that consumers not only recognized that social media presented a new way to shop for gifts, but that those consumers were also more likely to make purchases after being influenced by what they saw on social media.
The moral of this Christmas story? You need to ensure that you take the best approach to maximize your brand, product and message on social platforms so your followers take notice and engage with you.
So, here is a quick review of the basics needed to kick-start your advertising plan in 2020:
What is an ad?
A social media ad is exactly what it sounds like – you pay Facebook money to promote your brand’s content. This “sponsored” content will show up in several places – the sidebar, as banner ads, in direct messages, Instagram stories, etc. Because ads have more potential locations to show up,  reach and impressions are always greater with ads.  This content will  not  show up on your brand’s page as a post, but users can engage with the it.
What is a boost?
Boosts take existing posts on your brand’s page and amplify them to reach a larger audience. This content will show up in a user’s newsfeed just like any other post, giving the user the option to engage with and share the post to their own pages. Because this content only shows in news feeds,  reach and impressions are generally lower; however, because this content shows up on a brand’s page, engagement is usually higher.
When should you pick one over the other? It depends.
  • When should I choose an ad?
  • When you want large reach numbers and you’re not that concerned about engagement.
  • When you’re trying to target specific communities without sharing the content to all your followers.
  • For example, if you’re a company with locations in several areas, but the message you’re trying to share is only meant for a targeted location.
  • When you want your content to show up in Instagram stories – this isn’t an available feature of boosting.
  • When you want a deeper level of insights.
  • The reporting capabilities are much greater with ads – you can see post clicks, website visits, primary device type – if you want to know it, you can probably find it out. 
  • When should I choose a boost?
  • When you want a higher engagement rate.
  • When you want the engagement to show up on your brand’s page.
  • When you want the option to invite engaged users to like your page.
  • Fun fact: You can pull the list of users who engaged with your content and manually invite them to like your page.
Like everything else in life, variety is key. Your ideal paid social strategy will include a mix of both ads and boosts (even if one is weighted more heavily than the other). If you still are unsure how to navigate this advertising strategy, reach out to our team at  info@mckeemanpr.com  – we’d love to help you reach new customers in an effective way. 
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