The rise of social media advertising: how to use it to help your business

Written by David Somerville - 15 Jan 2014

Biddable World takes place this month, bringing together speakers and digital marketers to discuss paid search and performance display. Our very own Nate Wood, head of international search, will be speaking at the event about view-through conversions within digital advertising.

Another key topic area for the day is social media advertising – a subject that is increasingly important to marketers, especially with the increase of the advertising products now available from the major social media platforms.

In this post, we take a look at this rise in popularity of social media advertising and consider some of the benefits for using it as a marketing channel.

We have also created a free downloadable guide to social media advertising, to help provide you with a good understanding on some of the most popular options available.

The rise of social media advertising

According to the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), social media advertising spend in the UK for the first 6 months of 2013 grew by 53% to £242.5 million. And, when its figures for the back-end of the year are released, this is likely to have only increased further.

The IAB also states that, in the past three years, social media spend has increased by 285%. And this upward trend is only set to continue.

The graph below produced by BIA/Kelsey shows that not only has spending on social media advertising increased over the past few years, but it is predicted to continue to do so this year and beyond.


Although these figures are for the US, a similar trend is happening within the UK and other countries globally.

Why use paid social media advertising?

Social media advertising offers a number of great benefits, including:

  • It extends the reach of your organic messages
  • It allows you to target specific audience groups
  • There is less wastage, and more value for money than other forms of marketing
  • Social media ads can be quick and easy to set up
  • It offers different options depending on your campaign objectives (for example, traffic, growing social communities, and increasing brand awareness)

The first point is increasingly relevant for marketers on a platform such as Facebook, which itself admits that fewer of your page fans are going to see your messages than before.

Social media advertising is available across a wide range of platforms, each of which have their own options, targeting and even audiences.

Our guide to social media advertising

We have created an essential guide to social media advertising that provides an overview of the main social media platforms and the key ad products they offer, including:

  • Facebook – Promoted posts, News Feed adverts and Right Column adverts
  • Twitter – Promoted Tweets
  • LinkedIn – Standard ads and Sponsored updates
  • Reddit – Sponsored posts
  • Stumbleupon – Paid Discovery

For each of the platforms, we outline the ways in which the ads can be targeted, plus an indication of what sort of budgets you may need to be allocating.

Social media advertising changes fast and in 2014 it’s likely to change even faster than before. Make sure you keep up-to-date with the changes (read our blog or follow us on Twitter – @FreshEgg) and take advantage of the right products to suit your intended audiences.

To get up to speed on which social media advertising products to use on which platforms, simply download our free guide from our Resources section.

And to find out more about how paid social media advertising can be used to compliment your current digital strategy, please contact us.