Social media was a game changer for the modern web. It modernized the way we talk, live, communicate and work – even the way we take photos. And for a lot of businesses, from small to enterprise level, it has become a true silver bullet due to its ability to boost online marketing.

But what benefits can social media advertising bring? How should a marketer use it to get conversions? Take a look at this recap of our recent SEMrush Twitter Chat with WordStream founder Larry Kim @larrykim and our other chat participants to find answers.

Let’s begin with question #1.How does social media advertising differ from other paid adsSo, why even care about social media if your paid advertisements are already working? First of all, social media provides you with an additional advertising channel. Secondly, it’s a great way to build an online community around your brand. Our participants told us about some other benefits of social media advertising.

Larry also added that social ads are “more native-looking,” consists of mobile users on +80% and also lower commercial intent, but cost much less per click. Social ads also generate direct responses and help to build brand awareness, especially when marketers use videos and image-rich ad formats.

Social media advertisements are also more easily tweaked than traditional paid formats like AdWords or banner ads.

Human interaction is another huge benefit of social media, since feedback arrives as soon as possible. Your customers could become your coworkers if you take advantage of this opportunity.

LinkedIn is one example of a social media platform that can be used for direct sales. Sometimes, even potential B2B customers who would typically never even open your emails are more likely to share a word or two here or there.

Yes: social media is more about creativity than traditional paid platforms. People get on social media to chill and laugh. Give them a chance to do that and you’ll gain a loyal audience.

Dagmar Gatell @DagmarGatell also shared an interesting point: social ads pop up in front of your target audience like a visit from a friend; paid ads show up as a result of a search query.

To summarize all these opinions, social media ads can be described as a channel with great targeting possibilities and detailed, flexible analytics – plus, more creativity is involved.Main difference between social media ads and other paid adsIt’s time to get down to the basics of social media advertising. If you encounter a good example, how do you recognize it? We asked our participants to share their tips for creating an epic social media ad.What is the anatomy of the perfect social media adThe critical moment for each marketer is to decide what type of content to promote through social media. Larry suggests dealing only with “unicorns.”

Creating an epic social media ad is always about creating epic content that appears at the right time and in the right place. And your content must resonate with your audience if you want to achieve success.

Straight and clear calls to action are another mark of a well-crafted advertisement, and, of course, your conversion rates are a good judge of your ads’ effectiveness.

Robert Katai shared his version of a step-by-step guide for creating epic social media ads.

Overall, to create cost-effective social media advertisements, your post should be engaging, and it should include a great image and call to action. It should also encourage your audience to respond to it and share it.The anatomy of the perfect social media adA lot of marketers attempt social media marketing, but only a few hundred of them are truly successful. It seems as though others make too many mistakes that interfere with their ads’ performance. What are the most common social media landmines? Let’s ask our participants.The biggest mistakes that newbies can make with social media adsRemember that the quality of your content is the main criteria for evaluating an ad. Companies that promote junk updates will always struggle to get users’ attention.

No one goes on social media to read; people come to share photos of kittens and chat with friends about their boss. Keep your text content to an average level.

Banham @Berngaming added focusing too much on ROI while neglecting community engagement, likes and follows to our list of mistakes.

Each particular social media post requires a different approach. For example, Twitter audiences actually like chats and images, while Facebook audiences are moved more with text content.

Disasters are not the best topics for engaging your audience. Give them a pleasant, uplifting environment instead. Choose trends that don’t include negative messages.

7thingsmedia @7thingsmedia noted that setting a campaign objective that doesn’t work with the content/image of the advertisement could be the worst mistake ever. We completely agree with that.

So, the biggest social media mistakes are lack of long-term strategy, poor ad copies, focusing too much on a single channel and faulty targeting. Social media advertising mistakesThe next question appeals to the experience of our participants. Facebook gets larger and larger year after year, and with the development of increased functionality, there are more advertising opportunities than ever before. What are the benefits of using Facebook?Facebook adsFacebook tends to be more conservative than other platforms and considered to have tough audience. What should you be aware of when promoting your content on Facebook? This question brings us back to the benefits of social media that Larry kindly pointed out.

Altos @altos advised aligning your Facebook ads with your goals and KPIs. If you aren’t planning to use the medium effectively, then don’t bother.

Victoria Gundersen @torriegundersen pointed out that Facebook ads provide great targeting opportunities. If you’re looking to grow your community you can target them with similar interests.

To summarize these answers, we can add that Facebook also provides the best opportunities for A/B testing your landing pages and set the “important” mark on rich targeting options that are definitely worth testing.The benefits of Facebook adsIf you’re not ready for Facebook yet or you’re looking for other channels and different audiences, you should definitely do some research. We asked our participants to list the best social platforms for beginners. Social network that has proven to be the most effective advertising channel Obed M. @MrClics began with Facebook and Twitter. They’re both good for promoting content, branding and showcasing new products or services for start-ups.

Thanks, Larry, for sharing your infographic! It seems that Facebook is on top of everything and that its golden age is only beginning. In general, defining a good advertising channel always depends on your objectives, goals, and KPIs – and your target audience.Effective social media advertising channelsNew Year’s Day is nearly upon us and many predictions about the future for the web are already being published.* We bet that our participants constantly monitor trends and correlations and can also share some insights for social media advertising in 2016.The predicted social media advertising trends for 2016Have you heard about Facebook Messenger? Sure you have. But do you also know that 2016 is the year that it will be opened up to the business community?

Peter Nikolow @PeterNikolow predicts new ad formats along with new types of ads; he also thinks that Facebook’s reach will getting lower and lower, so new ways to segment and target will be developed.

Blue Fountain Media @BFMweb expects more ad relevancy. For example, if you could target the consumer based on the exact product they have searched for on your site, your marketing would be much more effective.

Let’s recap this question. In 2016, marketers should expect to see more video advertising, new ways to interact with mobile, further development of Instagram advertising, new ad formats and more personalization from different platforms.Social media advertising trends for 2016That’s it for today!

Thanks to our special guest Larry Kim @larrykim for sharing his expertise, and to all SEMrush Chat participants.

We’ll be back on Christmas Eve! Be sure not to miss it!

Author Photo
Elena TerentevaElena Terenteva, Product Marketing Manager at SEMrush. Elena has eight years public relations and journalism experience, working as a broadcasting journalist, PR/Content manager for IT and finance companies. Bookworm, poker player, good swimmer.
More about Paid Social
Weekly Wisdom with Hannah Moyer: How To Use Custom AudiencesIn this Weekly Wisdom, Hannah Moyer reviews how to use custom audiences to better target your potential customers and current customers on Facebook ads. She reviews creating audiences from data files and website traffic, using data for retargeting, creating lookalike audiences, choosing video audiences and much more.
7 min read
Weekly Wisdom with JD Prater: How To Set Up Your First Quora Ad CampaignThis is the definitive guide on setting up Quora Ad Campaigns by Quora‘s JD Prater. He offers insights on how to set up different kinds of ads correctly and shows you each of the Quora Ad targeting options. Find out how you can reach the right audience, which ads are best for you, and see step-by-step how to set them up.
10 min read
Weekly Wisdom with AJ Wilcox: Advanced Targeting on LinkedIn AdsHaving a hard time with LinkedIn ads? Need a better return? Get step-by-step-advanced tips for setting up LinkedIn Ads by AJ Wilcox in our Weekly Wisdom video. AJ is going to show you how to deeply segment the audience you need to reach. This video is your opportunity to see how the experts make the most of LinkedIn Ads.
9 min read