Without proper planning, you’ll find yourself wasting precious time on social media. Because every shiny object will look promising. But that’s never going to benefit your business.
Both social networking and social advertising are sometimes used interchangeably. But do they mean the same thing?
I don’t think so.
To truly understand the difference between the two, we must first define it.
Social networking is the use of Internet-based social media sites to connect with friends, family, colleagues, consumers or clients.
Social networks can have social goals, business goals, or both through websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Social networking has become essential for marketers who want to better engage with customers.
The primary purpose of social networking is to connect with other people. This connection can yield different results, such as traffic & revenue.
Some say that social networking comes before social media, while others believe that it’s the other way around.
The basis of social networking is the human touch. You fill out your social media accounts, and people interact with you based on personal information they read about you.
For example, here’s Brian Peter’s Twitter profile that highlights who he is, what he does, which industry he operates in, his Twitter followers, and more.
Of course, you can build a social network for work or pleasure. Social online systems are powerful connections. Social networks refer to reciprocal communication.
Marketers use social networks to increase brand awareness and promote brand loyalty. According to Sprout’s 2018 Social Index, brand awareness is a top priority for social marketers.
By improving business accessibility to new customers and recognizing existing customers, social networking helps promote brand voice and content.
For example, Twitter users can often learn about company news feeds for the first time and decide to buy a product or service. The more people are exposed to the company's brand, the higher the opportunity for companies to find and retain new customers.
Marketers use social networks to increase conversion rates. When you build the following, you can access and interact with new and old customers.
By sharing blog posts, images, videos or comments on social media, your social media followers can respond, visit company websites, and become customers. It doesn’t matter how boring or exciting your topic is, social media will work for you.
MoonPie is a seemingly “boring” brand that’s gained a lot of social media attention after it developed a unique voice and incorporated sense of humor in its social posts.
Social Advertising is the process of creating and implementing clickable advertisements to reach your audience across social media platforms, messaging applications, news feeds, and even outside of applications and websites.
Companies use social advertising campaigns to strengthen brand awareness, generate leads, and grow revenue.
The majority of businesses focus on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These giant social sites have proven to generate the best ROI, according to Statista.
Social advertising is very useful in driving engagement and conversion because social media platforms provide a treasure trove of precise and usable user data. The audience can be defined based on past behavior, purchase history, and user compliance with personal demographics and interest goals.
Viewers may not know the brand and product being advertised. However, the news has an excellent opportunity to resonate in a data-rich, highly personal social media environment and get an immediate response.
The first way to advertise is free and involves building followers, fans, or relationships by sharing useful content, running competitions, and interacting with your users.
The second way is through paid advertising. You can use Facebook ads, Google ads, or sponsored Twitter accounts to promote Twitter for your products, services, or Facebook.
Benefits of Social Media
For marketers, social media plays two important roles:
- Social networking.
- Social advertising.
These two important roles of social media have become a part of everyday life. Their users are updated every day with friends, interests, and events.
However, social advertising offers excellent benefits, such as:
1. Brand Popularity
Social advertising provides beginners and small businesses the opportunity to compete successfully in their industry.
There’s no better way to reach people who are likely to be interested in new products, services, or applications based on their interests and past behaviors.
Likes, Share, Tags, and Comments not only generate or offer brand buzz in a short time but also affect consumer social behavior.
2. Improved Conversion Rates
Because of how and where social advertising appears and how it’s being targeted, it’s less likely to provoke people's natural resistance to sales.
It's also more likely that you will attract the attention of consumers because they are more involved in social media platforms than traditional channels.
The response to social advertising feels reasonable and straightforward. Registrations, downloads, and purchases are just a click away.
For all these reasons, social advertising offers one of the highest conversion rates for every marketing medium.
3. Increased Return on Investment (ROI)
Social advertising is a relatively inexpensive approach that provides ultra-specific user data and unmatched targeting capabilities.
Effectively measuring ROI is essential. 60% of marketers agree that ‘measuring ROI’ is one of their top three social media marketing challenges.
During the campaign, social advertisers can quickly assess and optimize ad performance and rely on a more stable and predictable response rate.
Along with social advertising that drives growth, new companies with limited budgets can quickly measure it.
4. Brand Loyalty
Although the cost of attracting new customers through social advertising is relatively low, loyal customers tend to spend more -- 67% more than new customers. More so, CMOs are confident that social media impacts that brand loyalty.
Social advertising not only attracts the attention of brands from past buyers but also confirms their choice and makes them brand ambassadors who are willing and ready to bring friends and family.
5. Marketing Insights
Social advertisers can measure brand sentiment and campaign performance through ad impressions and retention, follower growth, brand mention, website traffic, and potential/revenue generated.
Advertisers can also see what works for different audiences and improve their social advertising campaigns and branding strategies in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Difference Between Social Advertising and Social Networking
If you want to join a social networking platform that’s more focused on building friendships or partnerships between internet users with similar interests, you should choose your social network carefully.
You should be able to find a number of these unique social networking sites. Many focus on important topics or topics.
For example, use LinkedIn if you want to connect and advertise your products to business-savvy people and Instagram if your business is more about entertainment and lifestyle.
When it comes to many specialized social networking sites, many people want to know what sets them apart. Honestly, that's the Community.
In the words of Ravi Shukle:
“People don't live online (although it can sometimes seem that way). People live in buildings and shop in stores. They drive cars and go to the gym. Your "social media community" goes wherever your people go. One word-of-mouth mention offline can act like a firecracker to stir up your community online.”
The difference between specialized social networking sites and traditional sites is that you’re automatically paired up with hundreds, if not thousands, of other internet users who share your interests or beliefs.
With social media advertising, you get a constant income from the first day your website goes live.
For today's eCommerce websites, winning new leads and converting existing ones into customers will turn your business around.
Even if you’re unable to generate initial sales, through referrals, email marketing, and customer loyalty, this can be a significant benefit for every customer who is marginalized.
In terms of ROI, marketers agree that these 6 sites provide the highest returns for most companies:
Embrace Social Media Communication Mix
There must be a perfect blend of talking and listening on social networks.
If you join a group on social media networks and do all of your brand publishing and promote it on your own, you won't get the respect you deserve. Worse, you’ll not be able to connect at a deeper level with your target audience.
To be celebrated on social networks, you need to spend time listening and interacting with others.
In terms of advertising, many entrepreneurs stumble. You have an excellent opportunity because many advertising methods cost a lot more. Media buying costs more than advertising on Facebook, for example.
As an entrepreneur, you want to make money, not spend it, right? If you believe that all forms of advertising require cash, you are wrong.
Although you may need to spend money to get past the teething phase, there are several ways to promote your business and the products or services that you sell without paying a lot of money or anything.
The exciting thing about social advertising is that its scalability is almost unlimited.
You don't need to wait for someone to search for your keywords. You don't need to wait for someone to download your eBook read your blog.
Although social networking sites have traditionally focused on those who want to find friends online or build online connections, there are networking sites designed for business owners -- LinkedIn.
On this website, not only are you able to share business information with other professionals in their respective industries, but you can also build strong relationships with those who share your interests.
In essence, this means you not only learn valuable business information but also get to know new business partners, new customers, or new friends.
If you join a popular social networking site that attracts millions of active users, you should be able to spark interest in your business, including the products or services that you sell.
Who knows, but this generated interest can turn into sales. Interestingly, this makes your social networking experience more than worth it.
Networking is about building relationships and interacting for the benefit of both parties. If you are active and keep tracking, you can have a network of contacts that you can access when needed.
However, social advertising offers unprecedented opportunities to engage and convert viewers but not without danger.
The simplest way to achieve your business goals while maintaining your advertising budget is to collaborate with Bloominari -- a San Diego Digital Marketing Company that can provide a result-driven internal marketing team with creative support.