By Chad Keller, COO of Eyeflow.

Whether we love it or hate it, social media advertising is the wave of the future. Technology changes and evolves every day, and that includes social media. Facebook used to be a convenient tool for keeping track of old friends and sending out party invitations. Now, it's becoming one of the best possible ways to market products and services.

Go to any public place where people are waiting -- the bank, the DMV, the airport -- and look at what people around you are doing. Most of the time, they are staring at Facebook on their phones or on their laptops. The days of print media advertising are well behind us, and the only way to survive in business is to change with the times. While various digital options exist, Facebook (along with Google) is one of the biggest and most popular platforms for digital advertising spend.

Facebook: Not Just for Tweens Anymore

Today, people of all ages and from all walks of life use Facebook to stay in touch with friends and family, keep up with the latest news and events, exchange ideas about their businesses and interests, find goods and services, and network with other professionals. Unless you are trying to market to cave-dwelling hermits, you probably have a potential customer base on Facebook.

In addition to the huge audiences that you can reach through Facebook, the social media platform can help you gain crucial information about your potential customers, including their purchases, preferences, travels, credit ratings, incomes, reading materials, jobs, families, interests and much more. Facebook can also help you find the right target audiences for your marketing, narrowing down your potential customer base and refining your strategies and processes.

A lot of business owners have never tapped into the Business Manager side of Facebook, which is a whole different platform. It allows business owners to inspect their audiences and see demographical analytics and plenty of other insights about their Facebook audience. It also allows users to take advantage of the third party data that Facebook buys and trades, helping you to hyper-target audiences with your posts based on that data.

Social Media Marketing: A Chess Game, Not Russian Roulette

It's nice to make a sale as quickly as possible, but some of the best money-making strategies require a little bit of patience. Many marketers get hasty, jumping after the short-term gains and spending $10 to $100 for a conversion that may or may not be very profitable. For the same amount of money, you could set up a high-quality pop-up on your website with a creative incentive for a consumer to leave their email address and get 1,000 contacts.

Once this is accomplished, a savvy marketer can send out a mass automated drip email campaign for free and get 100 conversions instead of just one. These days, going straight for the sale with an ad is not always the best approach. In most cases, it pays to focus first on getting email addresses rather than going after the direct sale. Once you have the email addresses of potential customers, you have a direct line of contact that you can use over and over again. Owning that customer off of the platform is going to be crucial for the future of any business.

Chad Keller is the COO of Eyeflow, an internet marketing company specializing in social media, content marketing, SEO and more.

Published on: Jun 9, 2017
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.