As part of my responsibilities as Operations Manager at Do Space, I assist with social media management. Though I rely heavily on the assistance of the staff on the floor to bring the best stories and images to me, I schedule and craft our social media and blog strategy. It is one of the aspects of my job that I enjoy the most, but I fell into this social media marketing role. I am not sure that there were even any social media learning opportunities way back in the 90s when I went to college, but as social media increased in popularity, I embraced it and used it as an affordable marketing tool in some of my past positions with non-profit organizations.

So, I have been very excited to attend the Social Media Week conference in Chicago to immerse myself in learning opportunities about the subject. Social Media Week Chicago is a digital media conference that focuses on the industry’s most important trends, conversations, and best practices. Speakers share the tactical advice on how to be become a better marketer, media professional, and technology user in today’s constantly evolving world.

At Do Space we get many questions on how social media can be used to build the brand of small businesses, so in this blog post I will share some information from the conference which might be useful to our members as well. In this first blog post, I will summarize some of the information shared at the conference that revolves around the question: Should you advertise on Facebook and/or Instagram?

Paid social engagement is a big topic at the conference. Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 and now offers joint advertising opportunities. In researching the trends of users, they discovered that there are some similarities and key differences between the two interfaces. Facebook is the most powerful tool with 1.7 billion users. Instagram follows behind with 500 million, but they are used somewhat differently. Together that number of users does not come close to any of the other social media opportunities.

Facebook focuses on a personal sphere, whereas Instagram is considered a little more public with users being willing to follow people that they might not know. In addition, Instagram focuses largely on visual inspiration. However both tools are used to stay connected, also user trends on both platforms tend to be similar in terms of share rates, curated content choices, general feeling and time of use.

The benefit of social media advertising is that it can be target a very specific audience in a native format that is comfortable and personal. Whether or not advertising on these mediums largely depends on the purpose and budget though. Are you trying to build general brand awareness or are you seeking a specific action from the consumer? You need to decide your the purpose of your advertisement and get to know your fans using the Insights tool.

Through various experiments, the staff at Instagram and Advertly, a platform partner, believe that in the majority of cases using both Instagram and Facebook advertising will achieve ‘placement optimization’ providing a better value to achieve the results and reach the audience that you are seeking. When purchasing or ‘boosting’ on Facebook there is now an option to add Instagram to the campaign which means that the ad will also flow onto your Instagram account as well. By using algorithms and trends from your users, your ad is most likely to cost less and reach more people by advertising on both.

However, in order for any campaign on social media to be successful there are a few things that you should keep in mind:

  • Your creative needs to be engaging. While Instagram tends to be more visual, good images and messages tend to work on both platforms. You do not necessarily have to create a separate campaign for Facebook and Instagram if the creative is strong.
  • Test and learn. Make your own experiments using smaller portion of your budget to see what resonates with your consumers. Learn from those lessons and develop larger campaigns using that strategy.
  • The sweet spot for campaigns is for each targeted consumer to see your ad two times per week. If you decide to campaign for a long period then do not use the same image and message for an extended term. Create fresh images and content so it does not go stale. In general short campaigns are less effective, like a one day campaign, because it does not allow the system to figure out what is working and what is not with audiences.

So, should you advertise on Facebook and/or Instagram?  Well it depends, but it is certainly an affordable option that could be a very powerful tool to engage an audience. But, you do need to be committed to your social media channels and investing in the campaign plan in order for it to succeed.

If you are interested in following the conference, videos and more information is available at https://socialmediaweek.org

About Author
Rachel Tepper, Operations Manager
Originally from Texas, Rachel Tepper works as the Operations Manager helping to keep the facility running smoothly, managing accounting responsibilities, and assisting with in-house marketing efforts. In addition to working at Do Space, she has two big dogs that she enjoys walking and taking on vacations with her husband.