Isn’t social media free? Why should you pay for social media marketing?

Isn’t social media free? Why should you pay for social media marketing?


Social Media Executive

Paying for advertising on social media is something that some businesses struggle with, particularly those who remember a time when they could gain followers and reach their target market without dipping into their marketing budget.

The reality is times have changed.  Social media platforms have been monetized, algorithms have developed and nowadays even the most creative social media campaigns and ideas are more successful with a budget behind them.

For most businesses it isn’t really a question of should I use social media advertising but rather when and in what way.  It is true that it is still possible to engage with customers via organic social and organisations should definitely be doing this but usually combined with paid social and not instead of it.

The key is to be clear on what you are doing on social media and why.  This applies to all social media marketing whether it is paid or not.  Think about what you want to achieve, who your audience is and how you can reach them in an appealing way.

Social media advertising

Consider paid social media when you want to

> Build an audience. Particularly when starting a new business or setting up a new social media profile, establishing your brand or organisation on a social platform which is new to you.

> Target an audience based on their interests with relevant offers or news

> Target an audience based on location with relevant offers or news

> Make announcements which are important to your audience

> Recruit for a role which requires specific experience, knowledge or interests

> Capitalising on unpaid content which has already performed well. If an unpaid post is generating engagement then you know it is of interest.  Boosting it will help you reach an even wider audience.

Consider an organic approach for

> Managing communities and talking to existing followers or customers.

> Learning about what people really think of your organisation. Listening to what customers have to say.  Social media is often the first place people turn with their feedback be it good or bad.  Harnessing good reviews on social media can be invaluable.  Listening on social media and understanding what is being said about your brand, products or services can give you real insight.

> Reinforcing paid activity

Paid advertising on social media can take many different forms and is very different to more traditional forms of paid advertising.   The right approach will depend on exactly what your objectives are.  It is worth remembering that there are some huge advantages of spending on social media advertising compared to some other forms of advertising.  It can be very carefully targeted by geographical location, interests and demographics.

It can also be measured very effectively. The nature of social media advertising means that paid campaigns can be monitored closely in real-time.  Budgets can be set but if a post isn’t performing it can be edited. Sometimes changing an image or revisiting the target audience can make a significant difference to engagement levels. If a campaign is performing well budgets can be increased to capitalise on a strong post or campaign.

If you are considering a paid for social media campaign or are interested in social media management and planning find out more about how we can help.