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6 Reasons Why You Should Be Advertising on Social Media

To those who don’t fully understand it, social media advertising has a pretty bad rep. People relate social media ads with ‘spam’ and ‘fake news’, but ultimately, when it’s done right, social media advertising is fast becoming one of the cheapest and most cost-effective forms of advertising.

For example, MarketingLand found that Facebook desktop ads have 8.1x higher click through rates (CTR) than Google Adwords campaigns, and Facebook Mobile Ads have a 9.1x higher CTR.

If you want to get up and running with advertising on social media, but don’t have the resource or expertise in-house, get in touch and see how we can help you to get started…

Social media is growing at such a rapid rate that keeping up to date is (more than!) a full-time job – so it’s easy to see why some marketers and small businesses shy away in favour of more traditional marketing efforts. But the platforms are making it easier and easier for you to spend on advertising, and the return on investment makes it a no-brainer, so here are 6 reasons why investing your budget in social advertising will really pay off…

Cost Effective

Whilst it’s not THE most important factor, it’s definitely up there. Cost is, and will always be, a key consideration in any business. Unlike traditional print advertising though, social media ads don’t have any set cost – you can choose how much/little you’d like to spend on any given campaign. But more importantly, the ROI is much higher on social ads, and much easier to track and monitor too. For example, you might spend £50 boosting a Facebook post which showcases a new product and see 150 clicks and 2 conversions/purchases.

If for example, the value of your product was £100, you can easily report on the ROI of the campaign: £100 x 2, minus the initial ad spend of £50 = £150. In comparison you could spend £500 on a half-page advert in a trade magazine but have no way of measuring how many people actually bought the product as a direct result. I know where I’d rather spend my money…

If you work out your average conversion rate, you can plan your social media budgets in order to help you hit targets and achieve business growth objectives.

Detailed Audience Targeting

Naturally, the types (and placement) of advertising you undertake will depend on your demographic and the product/service you’re selling, but let’s face it – most people have some sort of social media presence. And we’re not just talking Facebook here, think bigger. You may not use Facebook, but you might be an avid YouTube watcher. You may use LinkedIn as a way to keep up with your professional network. Maybe you’re a keen Instagrammer? You can run adverts on all of these platforms.

Furthermore, social media offers scrupulous audience targeting. So not only can you put your ads out on the right platforms, you can also get them in front of the right people. You can target by location, age, gender, job title, interests and even personal circumstances such as relationship status, household income, age of children and the types of pet they own. (Seriously, go to your settings in Facebook and take a look in the Ad Preferences section – particularly ‘Your Categories’).

Imagine spending £100 on a social media advert targeting exactly the right group of people you’re looking for, as opposed to spending £1000 on a print ad in a regional magazine, where your ad may only be relevant to 20% of the people that see it. See where we’re coming from now?

Retargeting Capabilities

Ever been browsing Amazon, then seen the very same products flash up on an ad on Facebook? Or been ‘wish-listing’ on ASOS and consequently been stalked on Facebook by all the pretty things that you want but can’t afford? As well as being able to manually select your targeting criteria, you can also ‘retarget’ people that have already visited your site and taken certain actions. Website retargeting is made possible by adding some tracking code to your site (your developer will be able to help you with this) which monitors what actions people are taking.

You can also set up retargeting campaigns based on actions taken on the social media platform. For example, on YouTube, you’re able to retarget viewers based on their past interactions with your videos or channel. You can also retarget app users on Facebook or Twitter – so for example if you run an e-commerce app, you could retarget people who have added products to their basket but not completed the checkout process.

It’s all very clever – and just another way that you can increase your chances of your social media efforts leading to conversions.

Ability to Edit/Pause Campaigns in Real Time

Imagine spending thousands of pounds on an advertising campaign in a national magazine, only to realise that there is a typo in the ad creative. Bad times! With social media ads, you can edit/amend your ad creative at any time, meaning that not only do you have a safety blanket, but you can also test different copy and creative until you find the combination that delivers the best results. The important thing to remember here is that unless you really have to, don’t interrupt an ad during the ‘learning phase’. Create duplicate ads instead, so that you can compare results and performance. 

You can also amend the targeting at any time – so if you have a ‘Eureka’ moment at 3am (as many marketers often do!) or realise that you’ve missed out a massive interest group – you’re able to go in and make changes retrospectively.

This also allows you a lot of freedom to split-test, and to get to know your audience better. For example, you could set up multiple ads, all with the same targeting criteria, but each with a different message. The options here are truly endless, as long as you are paying attention to your results, social ads can provide an invaluable insight into your audience. Which leads us nicely on to…

Sophisticated Reporting

As with any marketing activity – the proof is in the pudding. It’s all good and well coming up with a visually stunning ad campaign, putting lots of work into researching your audience and testing your messaging, if you aren’t going to measure your results. The great thing about social ads is that they offer a much deeper insight than your standard ‘page-level’ reporting. For example, on Twitter, you can see out of all the keywords you targeted, which were most successful in terms of reach, engagement, link clicks etc. Information like this is invaluable – helping you to learn more about your audience and tailor your targeting in your future campaigns.

As mentioned earlier, you can also easily report back on return on investment – helping you to secure more budget for future advertising campaigns. Once you tell your FD that you can turn £50 into £150 – they’ll be keen for you to turn £500 into £1500, £5000 into £15k and so on… no pressure!

Constantly Evolving Around YOU!

And the best bit about social media advertising? It’s constantly evolving to make your life easier and to increase your profits. The more you make, the more you’re likely to spend, so it’s in the networks’ best interested to keep you happy. You’ll find as you start to spend regularly, you may be contacted by account managers, who are there to help you ensure your campaigns are successful. You’ll also start to hear more about new updates through the networks’ own advertising.

As you show more interest in social media advertising, you’ll also be targeted with hints and tips from other social media communities, trade publications, and key figures. All of these things help to make your job easier – as information comes to you, rather than you having to find it for yourself.

So there we have it… have we convinced you? If you’re sold, but just don’t know where to start with your ad strategy, give us a shout and see how we can help you on your journey.

Still not sure? Really?! Let us know on Facebook or Twitter why you’re not convinced so we can work harder to sway you next time!


Head of Online Content and Social Media and mum of baby Ella, Lois has masses of experience to help your organic and paid social deliver the goods.