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The way users search for information and products on the internet has completely evolved over the last several years. Traditional search engines, once the go-to for finding relevant content, are starting to feel the effects of this shift in user behaviour. But amidst this change, a powerful avenue emerges for businesses to connect with their target audience in an engaging and impactful way. Enter social media advertising - a game-changing approach that holds the key to unlocking exceptional advertising opportunities, boosting brand awareness, and driving sales. By harnessing the transformative power of social media advertising, businesses can open the door to a world of possibilities and fuel their growth strategy.

The Evolution of Social Media Advertising

Social media giants like Meta, Pinterest, Linkedin and Twitter are reshaping the way users search for information. While traditional search engines rely on optimised web pages to match results, Social Media search (or 'Social Search' as we'll refer to it from here on) focuses primarily on relevance and engagement. This means quality content becomes that much more valuable to your business when people talk about your products, services, and brand on social media. These conversations and feedback appear in Social Search results and can create a lasting impression and promote your brand to other potential customers.

With over 57.1 million active social media users in the United Kingdom alone, social media advertising presents an unparalleled opportunity to connect with your target audience, drive traffic to your website, and achieve your business goals.

There are 57.1 million active social media users in the UK

We recently wrote an article on social media as a search engine and went more in-depth on the trend, give it a read here! https://mabo.co.uk/insights/social-media-as-the-new-search-engine-frontier

Platforms and Advertising Opportunities

The potential for advertising on social media extends beyond traditional keyword targeting. Context plays a crucial role in maximising the effectiveness of your ads. Let's take a closer look at Facebook Marketplace as an example. This platform, predominantly used for buying and selling second-hand goods, offers exceptional advertising opportunities for businesses. By strategically placing ads within relevant spaces, such as Facebook Marketplace, you can directly engage with potential customers who are actively seeking products or services.

Imagine you run a business selling trampolines (if that’s what you actually do it’s a sheer coincidence!). When you advertise in a space like Facebook Marketplace where potential customers are browsing for second-hand trampolines, you're reaching people who have already expressed their intent to make a purchase. There's no need to convince them to get a trampoline; they've already made that decision. The likelihood of people clicking on your advert and converting into a sale is considerably boosted simply by strategically placing yourself in the correct context.

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Similarly, on platforms like, Instagram, where users are constantly scrolling through and coming across advertisements in their feed. Those ads are displayed to potential customers because it's relevant to their interests and tailored to their preferences. Unlike our Facebook Marketplace example, these ads aren’t connecting with people who are actively looking for a certain product, but the idea is the same, your ad is being put in front of someone already interested in what you sell, meaning there’s less need to win over your audience.  By showcasing your brand within the context of their interests, you are more likely to capture their attention and drive them to explore your shop.

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How to maximise your impact

Selecting the right platform is paramount to establishing a strong online presence. We begin by identifying your target audience and analysing platform demographics and user behaviour. Understanding where your audience is allows you to tailor your approach accordingly and ensure that your message reaches the right people. Each platform has its unique features and strengths, so be sure to familiarise yourself with all the options available and select the ones that align best with your brand's objectives.

To create effective ad campaigns on social media, it's important to start by defining your advertising goals. Are you aiming to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, or generate leads? With a clear objective in mind, you can craft compelling ad copy and visuals that resonate with your target audience, inspiring them to take action. Tailor your message to meet their needs and expectations, offering them something valuable and relevant.

Complement Your Current Strategies

The true power of social media advertising lies in its ability to generate brand exposure and attract users who may not have encountered your products or services through traditional search engines. When people see an ad on social media, they are more inclined to click through or visit the brand's page to explore their feed before eventually navigating to the brand's website. By strategically placing ads in front of potential customers, social media platforms create an environment that encourages people to actively search for brands and products, making it a highly effective advertising strategy.

We're not suggesting that you abandon your SEO or SEM strategies entirely. Advertising on Google remains valuable, and bidding for advertising space can be competitive. However, optimising your brand for search on social media is crucial for maximising your online presence and reaching your target audience effectively. By embracing social media advertising and sponsored content, you can amplify your brand's reach, connect with your audience on a deeper level, and ultimately drive more traffic to your business.

To wrap it all up

Social media advertising presents a wealth of opportunities for businesses to drive traffic to their websites and connect with their target audience in meaningful ways. By integrating your SEO and SEM strategies with Social Media, businesses can leverage the strengths of both to achieve remarkable results. So, why limit your advertising strategy to traditional search engines when you can unleash the power of social media, expanding your reach, engagement, and business growth?

Ryan Metcalfe
Post by Ryan Metcalfe
July 20, 2023