Social media is fast becoming the go-to platform for advertising among drinks companies

Social media is fast becoming the go-to platform for advertising among drinks companies

Advertising on social media is both an effective and cost-controlled way for the drinks industry to grow brand awareness and increase sales. Around 51% of advertisers in the US said they planned on increasing their digital ad spending this year, according to eMarketer. The same survey showed that 93% of advertisers plan to either increase or maintain their social media spending. 

The reason social media advertising is gaining traction is because of its massive audience and its ability to consistently achieve planned goals. Facebook is easily the biggest social media network with more than 1bn active monthly users but, according to MediaBistro, other sites like YouTube (800m) and Twitter (200m) are not far behind. According to Facebook, the average user isn't just checking their news feed once a week, they’re spending more than 30 minutes a day on the site and logging on about 14 times a day. Twitter’s reach is huge as well, with more than 5,700 tweets being sent out every minute of every day.

This is a giant - and engaged - potential audience for advertisements that includes almost every demographic a business could want. 

  • Set a budget

Social media advertising is unique, because it allows drinks brands to target audiences more specifically than any traditional advertising outlet, while still allowing the campaign to be cost controlled. Costs can be controlled because social media ads can be based on a cost-per-click basis, not just impressions if desired. This means that beverage brands will only be charged when a consumer interacts with the ad. Budgets can also be set in a way that retires the ads once the budget has been reached.

  • Set a goal

Social media advertising campaigns tend to fall into two categories; those that aim to acquire new followers and fans, and those that aim to directly impact sales. It’s important to set goals before starting a social media ad campaign such as adding a specific amount of new followers or a set increase in site traffic. The goals should be set in accordance to the budget and should be re-evaluated regularly. 

  • Find a target audience

Targeting is arguably the most important and desirable aspect of social media ad campaigns. Facebook targeting can include everything from users’ interests to their basic demographics like age, gender, relationship status and location. Twitter offers similar options, allowing businesses to target ads based on who people follow, who their friends follow, keywords used in conversations and more. In addition to basic targeting options on Facebook, advanced targeting such as recent purchases, interests, and device used to access Facebook can be layered in as well. 

Drinks companies can leverage this ability by targeting either potential customers, those who are not fans of the brand but fit the profile of the average consumer, or current customers, those that follow or like the brand. Both of these strategies have the ability to increase a brand’s community size, drive traffic to websites and increase brand awareness.

  • Test, measure and adjust

Brands should test different ad styles, the use of images and videos, linking to different digital properties, different social networks and ad copy. Posts and ads that include images or videos and a call to action tend to get the more engagement, so beverage brands should strive to make each ad as interesting and actionable as possible. 

By targeting one option, analysing the results and then adjusting based on the analytics; drinks brands can optimise their ads to become more effective over time. More detailed social media metrics, such as conversion rates, brand awareness and ROI are important to help determine the level of a campaign’s success. 

  • Be creative

Look outside the box, outside the normal target audience and the basic advertising rules that govern radio, print and television and strive to be unique. Drinks brands should go outside their comfort zone to create a compelling ad built specifically for the social platform. The one mistake brands make on social media, more than all of the others, is forgetting the personality and voice of a brand.

Beverage brands have massive opportunities to create a high return-on-investment on their advertising budgets by moving from traditional outlets on to social media channels. Websites like Facebook and Twitter have hundreds of millions of users who log in several times a day, which equates to billions of opportunities to reach and influence a consumer every single day.

With the pay-per-click and budgeted options available, costs can be controlled, meaning brands should strive to make these impressions at every single opportunity.

Kim Giroux is the VP of paid advertising at ZOG Digital, focussing on strategy, execution and optimisation of price-per-click, paid social and retargeting.