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Aidan Hiljeh

Search Engine Marketing: Analyzing PPC & Social Media

Sep 16 2011, 03:41 PM by

Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Promoted Tweets and Trends - social media advertising is on the rise and the PPC segment appears to be growing the fastest. For those with the budget to spare, it could be a viable option for getting the undivided attention of your audience, driving traffic and boosting conversions. How does it stack up against PPC for search? Well, they both have their advantages and disadvantages...
Sexy, Yet Unproven
One doesn’t have to look too long to see the appeal to social PPC. Platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have millions of active users to call their own, and just being able to bring your message directly to a small fraction of them could result in a huge payoff. Be that as it may, paid advertising on the social networks is largely unproven compared to PPC for search. Success stories are very few in number at this point. On top of that, new research reveals that returns on social media PPC may not be worth it considering that some users appear to be losing interest. According to Gartner, 31% of tech savvy users are growing bored with the social phenomenon.

Despite the drawbacks, paid social advertising still has tons of potential for the right marketer. Below are some quick tips on getting the most from your investment:
 
Allocate the proper budget - Most social PPC programs are designed to accommodate your budget by allowing you to only spend what you can afford. Determine exactly what that amount is and stick to it.
Take advantage of targeting - One of the main perks of social advertising, on Facebook in particular, is the powerful targeting capabilities you have at your disposal. These features are available for a reason so put them to use and maximize your potential.
Analyze your performance - Once you have some data to work with, analyze your social PPC campaigns to gauge your performance. From there, take that insight and refine your strategy accordingly.
Proven, but Hectic
Unlike its social media counterpart, PPC for search has produced its fair share of success stories. However, this form of advertising is not without its flaws. Some of the drawbacks of paid search include the fierce competition for keywords, cost and around-the-clock management this type of campaign tends to require. Marketers can offset these disadvantages by doing the following:
 
Bid on long-tail keywords - Competitive keywords are hard to nail down for a reasonable price. Long-tail keywords, or key phrases, serve as a solution and can actually be very effective considering that many people use them to search for content.
Think beyond Google - Google AdWords is the most known and popular PPC search program, but it isn’t your only option. If your budget is restricted, consider giving cheaper options like Ask, AdBrite and 7Search a shot.
Stay on top things - You’re investing money into paid search to get something back. Make sure you have the time to manage your campaigns and, if you have to, outsource the management aspects to a capable third-party.
 
There you have it. Neither PPC for social media nor search is all peachy. On the bright side, both can work for your online marketing efforts with some strategic planning.

Posted in Tips & Resources, Social Media, SEO

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