Incorporating paid social media activity into your overall online marketing mix will help boost your business’ profile and attract new customers in 2015.

Promoted Facebook posts and Twitter tweets, as well as LinkedIn ads, can dramatically boost visibility of your content.

Social media advertising complements your activity to increase the organic visibility of your updates.  Organic visibility is the means by which the organisation itself adds content to its profile that attracts new followers.  There is no cost to the business.

Building an audience of loyal and relevant Twitter followers organically takes time: activities include engaging each account you wish to follow you, posting content to earn retweets and new followers, and using relevant hashtags that your target audience monitors.

Supplementing these tactics with paid activity will build quickly fans and followers interested in your business and its products or services.  It is important to note that this is not the same as buying fans, which sees hundreds and thousands of spam accounts follow your business online.

So, social media advertising has a role in some instances:  it is most useful if you have recently launched a new account, or you want to increase your fans on an existing profile to increase the organic visibility of your updates.

Main platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube allow businesses to advertise their profile, together with a particular post or piece of content, to a specific audience.  Audiences can be broken down by, for example, industry, job position and geographical location.

Review all settings to maximise targeting. Hone your target list of recipients of your advert by focusing on a profile that uses a particular word or location in its biography, a hashtag they have used recently, or anyone who follows a particular account, such as one of your competitor’s.

For example, if your PR team produces a press release about your latest news, you can target the content at the people you wish to see it such as current and prospective clients, other businesses in the region, or relevant journalists.

Twitter also has a feature called Twitter cards.  They have a distinct layout and include a call-to-action button. Use Twitter cards to encourage a user to, for example, sign up to your newsletter, call your business, or view your latest case study.