Many businesses turn to paid search advertising to promote their products and services online, and rightfully so. Paid search is currently the cornerstone of digital advertising, since being among the top search results is a sure way to drive more traffic to your site.

However, if you focus on paid search alone, you are missing out on potential tenants and prospects who are engaging online in other ways. Running search campaigns, and nothing else, only allows you to engage in one part of your customer’s digital journey: the search engine. As soon as your customers leave the search page, they’re beyond your reach.

Instead of putting 100% of your attention on paid search, think about boosting your results by incorporating the reach of paid social into your marketing mix. Unsure about paid social? Consider the following three benefits of social media advertising.

  1. You can reach a larger audience.

Let’s compare Facebook with the most popular search engine, Google. With over 1 billion daily active users (and growing), Facebook is decidedly the biggest player in social advertising. On average, people open the Facebook app 10 to 15 times a day, and 20% of all time spent online now happens on Facebook. Although Google is currently the most visited site in the world, users spend much more time on Facebook (7 hours 45 minutes vs. 1 hour 47 minutes).

Paid search is still important, but adding paid social campaigns to your digital strategy allows you to cast a much wider net. You can reach a larger portion of your audience at the right time with the right message, in a format that has become second nature to nearly every age group and demographic.

  1. You can send a specific message to a specific audience.

Paid search revolves around the user’s goals. A potential customer volunteers information about their goals through a search query, and the search engine matches that information to an ad based on a keyword. Social media advertising, on the other hand, is based on audience targeting. Put simply: social media sites know who you are, while search engines know what you’re looking for.

Neither is better or worse than the other. Both have strengths. Search advertising is often described as a “pull” channel, while paid social is a “push” channel. With search ads, you can pull potential customers to your site via their search queries. Customers find what they’re looking for in your business, instead of your competition.

Social ads, meanwhile, push a message to a large, highly targeted audience. By targeting a specific group on Facebook, you can reach a higher percentage of your intended audience with a message crafted for them. Instead of trying to appeal to everyone, you can ‘talk’ to a group directly, increasing the effectiveness of your overall campaign.

  1. You can increase your conversion rate.

So how does paid social fit in with Paid Search campaigns when boosting results? According to a study by Kenshoo, your return on ad spend can increase significantly when search campaigns are executed along with social advertising campaigns. The team at Kenshoo found that an integrated search and social strategy resulted in a 30% higher return on ad spend and 7% higher click through rate, compared to the results of running search campaigns alone. When potential customers engaged with both search and social campaigns, they were more likely to make a purchase in the end.

Social advertising campaigns are clearly worth investing in, considering these results. You don’t have to rely on search engines alone to reach your audience. With social media, you can increase brand awareness and grab your customers’ attention. Even if those customers haven’t searched for your product or service before, they might be interested after seeing your ad on Facebook.