Should You Pay for Social Media Marketing?

Should You Pay for Social Media Marketing?

Most businesses now engage in some type of social media marketing. Whether they use a Facebook page to promote their products or a Twitter account to follow industry trends, social media has become a common marketing tool for businesses of any size. But just how do you use social media marketing? And should you pay for advertisements or not?

Organic vs. Paid

In most cases, you’ll likely hesitate to pay for distributing your messages. Especially if you have already established an audience of current or future customers, you’ll prefer sending your messages directly to them, organically reaching them without having to spend money. But here’s the problem: on Facebook, you may not be able to reach your audience anyways. The network calculates whether your post will be visible to people who like your page with an algorithm that takes into account how much those people have interacted with your page in the past. Even if your audience consists of 500+ people, your post may only reach 50.

And that doesn’t even take into account the difficulty of getting that audience to begin with. In order to like your page or follow your account, users expect you to give them some type of value that makes it worth seeing your posts in the future. Even if you can offer that value (from behind-the-scenes insights into your company to exclusive offers), how will they know it’s there? By paying as little as $5 per day, you can craft content that reaches an interested audience who may not even have heard of your company before.

Native vs. Sidebar

Both of these examples suggest that you should at least spend some money to enhance your social media marketing efforts. But what exactly should you spend it on? Most networks offer two options: promoted content, which appears “natively” on your audience’s news feed among non-promoted posts, and “like” campaigns, which appear on the sidebar next to your news feed.

The latter option is helpful, but only if you’ve already established a successful page with regular, useful content. Too often, marketers measure the success of their social media audience by how many followers or likes they gather. But ultimately, thanks in part to Facebook’s news feed algorithm that we explained above, an increase in followers or likes has no relation to an increase in sales. An increased audience is great, but only if you can guarantee to follow it with the type of content that will convince them to buy your products or services.

Native advertisements that focus around that content, on the other hand, are often more successful. They generally also lead to increased likes or follows, but do their main job in promoting the value that your company can bring to your audience. Because these posts are embedded in a user’s news feed, they’ll appear organic even though you’ve paid for their distribution.

In short, paid social media marketing is successful – but only if it’s done the right way. And that’s what we’re here for! Contact us today to find out how you can enhance your marketing on Facebook, Twitter and more.