Well, most of us have social media accounts now, both personal and business/professional and you may sometimes be quite surprised by who actually sees the posts you publish. But, equally, sometimes it can also be rather disappointing! Dam you algorithms!
Well, that is where paid Social Media comes into play. Paid Social Media posts, are basically social media posts, that act as adverts for whatever it is you want to push. These adverts target a specific audience that you can choose! And that is the exciting aspect, compared to T.V. and radio, Paid Social Posts, will go directly to your custom audiences; so choose specific gender, ages, regions, interests etc and your add will fall straight into their hands – literally, if they are on their mobile phone – and at a time that they are the most receptive to your message!
To understand paid social media, lets first explain the difference between organic and paid reach. Reach, is quite simply, the total number of people who see one of your posts. In a perfect world, every single one of your followers, would see every single post you publish – but in actual fact, the figure is more like 5.17% (for Facebook) of your followers, states Hootsuite. This is organic reach, and happens because of the way the algorithms work behind the scenes. In comparison, the average paid reach would be 28.1% of total reach. That is quite a big difference isn’t it?
The other word to be aware of is ‘impressions’. An Impression means that your post was delivered to someone’s feed. A viewer doesn’t have to engage with the post in order for it to count as an impression. Also, one person could have multiple impressions for a single piece of content. This can mean that sometimes impression figures can be quite misleading, especially when you look at them against your follower count, because they can be significantly higher.
The most important bit to remember is: Reach is the number of people who may have seen your content, while impressions are the total number of times your content was displayed to people.
So Paid Social media helps to amplify your organic content, by using advertising tools which target your chosen audiences. Notice audiences is plural! You can use slightly different posts (if you wish) to target different audiences about the same subject. Making sure the language, information provided and the images are the most relevant and engaging for that particular audience. Now you can’t get more bespoke than that can you?
This means, that when it’s done correctly, paid social media, is one of the easiest ways to draw in new audiences to your business. But as with most things, you need to pay attention to the details. As mentioned above, you can target more than one audience, or different audience segments, for example; gender, region, age, preferences, and other demographics, but you need to remember the audience you are targeting and design the advert to appeal directly to them. This is how you can increase engagement, rather than just impressions.
Engagement is someone taking an action on your page or post. Most commonly this is things like reactions (likes/love/wow etc. on Facebook), comments and shares. However, saving a post, viewing a video, clicking ‘see more’ or a link also counts. The more engaged you can get a person, the more interested and invested they become in you.
We’re sure you will have heard the phrase ‘sales is a numbers game’? Well paid social media give you those numbers. It is a very effective way to get your message in front of the people you want to target – at a time they are most likely to be susceptible to your message! We’ll say that again! Paid Social Media is one of the most effective ways to get your message in front of the people you want to target – at a time they are most likely to be susceptible to your message!
By doing this, you can achieve more eyes on your brand, a wider reach, increased visibility and enhanced brand awareness. Paid posts, get around the algorithms that favour family and friends posts, and mean that organic posts take days for their momentum to build. Paid Ads bring you speed to market, campaign sustainability and of course, good ole fashioned message frequency or impressions! A paid campaign, gets started with a boost that organic posts just can’t compete with. In addition, they sustain views, traffic and engagement for as long as you pay for. Again, the length you pay for can be customized for each campaign – by you! These all help to drive interest of your brand and subsequently sales. #win!
Each social media platform, has its own way of you monitoring the success of your posts and paid posts on their platform. Using these tools to see the insights on your page, is very important so that you are making the most of your paid posts. For example, knowing the time your target audience tend to look at your page – so you can ensure your posts go live at that time. Knowing this information, allows you to plan and tweak your strategy accordingly, so as to further improve the effect of your paid campaign.
Using Paid Social, creates those ads you may have seen that say ‘sponsored’ on them and you can use these ads to boost your website presence in third party feeds. We are very aware that marketing costs can appear to spiral out of control, and it is not always clear what return you get for that money. Using some of your marketing budget for paid social content, is a very wise move at the moment, especially as the number of platforms, where you need to be seen, grows and so your paid social content can be used in conjunction with any other existing digital marketing efforts you may have. It may seem counter intuitive, given that there is so much free social content available, but having those Facebook, Twitter, Insta display ads is only part of the answer today. Because of the specific audience slices, that you can craft specialized messages for, paid social is really effective at turning sales prospects into hard leads, by directing them to your website. Having that simple call-to-action, and a compelling ask generates additional and measurable (that bit is almost equally as important as the number of sales!) ROl. Missing out on driving potential customers or clients to your website is quite simply a lost opportunity.
Platforms like Facebook, prioritize posts by friends and family, on people’s newsfeeds. This makes it very difficult for brand’s posts to make it to the top organically. Paid social ads, means your brand does get noticed, by your relevant audience, as we’ve said previously, and therefore stays much more prominently in people’s minds. (i.e. wider reach and more visibility) Further to that, with the insights these platforms provide, and the relevant tweaks you can make, you are able to further enhance your social ad campaign, which just makes your investment even more worthwhile.
It is for this reason that it is very important to initially know your goal, and then to keep it strongly in mind during your campaign. For example, would you like to generate sales leads, increase your number of newsletter sign ups, boost traffic to your website or create awareness? Whatever your goal – it must stay at the heart of your campaign – and the results can be staggering.
Although this data is for America, it gives you a very clear idea of what other businesses are doing; social media advertising spend is expected to top $47.9 billion in 2021! That’s nearly 20% of the total expected advertising spend. This spend has been steadily climbing since 2019, and now, often, businesses are preparing to spend nearly a fifth of their ad budgets on this – it’s quite clear that social media ads are becoming a stable in marketing strategies across business sizes.
So what are you waiting for?
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