WITH advertising on social media on the rise, Facebook should take top spot in the marketing budget of every business according to SponsoredLinX.

In 2016, all of the major social networking sites will introduce new features designed to entice potential advertisers. With so many options available, confused businesses may be wondering where they should invest their marketing budget.  

SponsoredLinX CEO and 2015 Brisbane Young Entrepreneur Digital Winner Ben Bradshaw says Facebook should be the first social platform they consider.

"comScore's latest research shows that Facebook reaches around 80 per cent of the digital population," Bradshaw says.

"The total amount of time spent by people on Facebook is 18 times greater than any other social media platform. 

"While some businesses struggled to gain traction with Facebook advertising when it was first introduced several years ago, it's definitely worth trying again.

"The company is offering increasingly sophisticated and targeted advertising options which can help small businesses to generate leads."

As an example, Facebook now allows businesses to implement Identity-Based Pay-Per-Click Marketing. By uploading their mailing list into the Facebook advertising portal, businesses can isolate Facebook users with matching phone numbers or email addresses.

This provides advantages over traditional email marketing campaigns as companies can target customers multiple times in their advertising feed. In contrast, sending someone a series of emails is more intrusive and could result in them unsubscribing from the mailing list. 

Another great lead generating feature that many businesses have been slow to adopt is the 'Call Now' button which can be incorporated into Facebook local advertisements. The button allows customers to contact a business with one click on their mobile phone.

Implementing a paid search activity doesn't mean businesses need to give up hope they will be able to generate new visitors to their page.

Facebook users can still share sponsored posts with their friends which can lead to a significant number of clicks. For example, an interesting and engaging sponsored post could attract 1000 paid clicks which may lead to 2000 organic views.

In addition to capturing new leads, Facebook can be used as a tool to improve the customer experience.  One of the most exciting new additions to Facebook is Business Messaging.

This feature has been introduced in the US and allows customers to add businesses to their list of contacts in Facebook Messenger. Customers can then ask a business representative questions about their products or services and receive updates on the status of their order.

Businesses can also advise customers of special offers and provide them details about new products or upgrades.  It is expected that Business Messaging will arrive in Australia soon, providing unique marketing opportunities for companies of all sizes.

Bradshaw says marketers should look to capitalise quickly on Facebook's new tools for advertisers.

"By being the first to adopt these tools you can gain a real advantage over your competitors," he says.


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