Do social media ads actually bring useful traffic?
Yes, the use of social media advertisements is a proven way to bring traffic to any website. But as with any form of advertising, you have to actually do it right. Let’s find out more on that.
Social media helps in reaching a target audience in a better way. Specifically, for web traffic, social media posts let people know about the website. Sharing the content of the website in the form of social media posts lets people engage with that. If people find that shared content valuable and interesting to them, then they visit that website. At a broader level, those visitors to that website are a part of its traffic. The same is the case with advertisements on social media. Advertisements are a part of marketing strategy and help in creating brand awareness. They are also very helpful in reaching a target audience.
Let’s cover the difference between a social media post and an advertisement on social media.
The major difference is that social media posts are unpaid, whereas the advertisements are paid. Social media posts do not usually involve Call to Action (or at least, shouldn’t abuse them), whereas a social media advertisement always uses CTAs. For example, for a website selling ceiling fans online, a social media post could involve the basic specifications of a fan, its price, features, etc. Further, it could have the website link and might ask the reader of that post to visit the website, if he is interested. On the other hand, an advertisement would also have the same details, but it would prompt the user to visit a website in more innovative ways. The ad is more about selling to a person than informing them.
Also, the social media posts are visible to only the followers of that social media account only as it’s free, not counting shares. On the other hand, an advertisement could be made visible to a larger audience, even those who do not like or follow that social media page. That would depend on the budget of the ad and the marketer’s targeting choices. As a random viewer of that ad, anyone would come to know about that product, and if that interests the viewer, it is likely he would visit that website.
But it’s gotta be relevant to the right person, and the ad itself has to be clever and well-made. Otherwise, a social media ad is going to fall flat, just like any other poorly-conceived marketing attempt.
In short, social media advertisements are capable of bringing first-time visitors or traffic to any website, whereas a post usually brings visitors who have previously visited that website. Therefore, it’s true that advertisements on social media can bring useful traffic. However, it is not worth denying that ads do not bring irrelevant traffic if you are at least a little smart about your targeting. Social media ads are not guaranteed to get you useful traffic, because nothing really is guaranteed to do that, but the amount of power these platforms give you, as both the buyer of ad space and the creator/distribution director, is bigger than anything in the past.
If you’re not sure about what I mean, consider this: in the olden days, when companies wanted to advertise on TV, all they could do is pick a station, pick a local area, and buy a stretch of ad spots over a certain period of time. Now imagine if it were possible for a company to advertise their product only to the TVs of specific homes, watching a specific channel, based on those families having the biggest likelihood to need and want their products. That would be a game-changer for the economy.
Well, after understanding that ads are really important for getting traffic, let’s imagine a hypothetical situation if there were no advertisements at all. In that situation, there would have been limited scope for informing anyone about anything, let along growing a business
The core of that hypothetical situation is to understand the importance of advertisements for any business, in a different way. I have penned down the importance of ads considering that hypothetical situation in my post: Welcome to a World Without Advertising.
Don’t forget to leave me feedback once you read that post. Please feel free to reply to me, in case you need more information on any of the points discussed in this answer.