You already know that social media is an important component of any good marketing plan. Keeping up with your company’s tweets, posts, shared photos, and overall online presence is such a big job that many businesses have found it necessary to hire a social media manager to stay on top of it all. And while one of social media’s biggest appeals is that it’s free, more and more companies are finding that paying for social media advertising, especially Facebook advertising, is a wise investment.


Sure, it used to be that banner ads were the way to go, but those had their problems: they totally ruined the design of any webpage they were on, they were distracting, and there was really no good way to measure their effectiveness. Plus, they were a concept based on old print ads, which was not necessarily the right approach for new, digital media.


If you’ve yet to take the plunge and purchase Facebook and other social media advertising, here are five solid reasons why you might want to consider it.


  1. With social media, your ads are where your customers are. You don’t need to do any market research to know that your customers are already on social media. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or another social network, everyone’s checking their feeds and engaging with all sorts of content on a very regular basis. Paying for ads on these sites simply inserts your ad into an ordinary part of their day.


  1. Your ads are targeted to interested parties. With banner ads or old media advertising, your effectiveness might be low because you’re throwing a message out there for lots of people, including many who many not ever be interested in what you have to offer. With social media advertising, however, there are different sorts of targeting so that your ad is shown only to users for whom it’s relevant. Targeting might be based on stated interests, usage and purchase behavior, and more.


  1. You can see full reports on the effectiveness of your ads. There’s no more throwing a message out into the void and hoping it appeals to some people. With Facebook and other social networks, you can see actual numbers: actual views, engagement, clicks, and so on. This is helpful not only for seeing how useful your ad is, but for refining it and comparing it to other versions.


  1. Social media advertising looks good on mobile devices. According to the Pew Research Center’s report in April of 2015, 64% of Americans own a smartphone. That’s a lot of people who are potentially going to see your message when they’re on the go. And of course, a big part of owning a smartphone is using social media apps. Put your ad on Facebook or other social networks, and you can reach a lot of people.


  1. Social media ads look more like content and less like advertising. It’s just not an interruption — it’s just part of the content, rather than a break in the content. And, thanks to targeting, ads are more likely to be shown on the screen of an interested person rather than a general audience. It’s something people will probably be happy to see, rather than an intrusive message that’s just getting in their way.


Convinced? If you’re still on the fence, consider the fact that social media advertising has a remarkably low cost per exposure. You can even set a limit on how much you want to spend — as little as a dollar a day! Then, you can check your numbers and adjust as necessary. You’re probably tweeting on a regular basis, and you may post images on Facebook to promote your business, but give paid social media advertising a try. We think you’ll be pleased with the results.