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The Paid Social Media Revolution

The Paid Social Media Revolution

2015 has been a very exciting year for social media marketers with Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat releasing advertising products; meaning social media advertisers now have a wider range of options to choose from, and larger markets in which to promote their brands. If your brand doesn’t engage in paid social advertising already, here are a few reasons why it should.

Paid Social Media is cost effective

Your owned social media (your company pages and feeds) and earned social media (online buzz around your brand) take a lot of work and cost a lot of money. Producing a high-quality video or infographic will set you back anywhere from 5 to 20 thousand dollars. If you are thinking of doing it cheaper, Brand Media Studio has an excellent article that you should check out first.

As you’ll be starting with a small audience first, your content will have lower reach so you should expect fewer shares, likes and reposts until your audience begins to grow. However, with the introduction of revised algorithms, most social media channels have made it difficult to obtain and increase organic reach. So your earned and owned social media is costing you thousands for each piece of content, for tens or even hundreds of posts before you have an audience big enough to justify the cost.

Now consider what you can get from paid social with the same budget as an effective earned/owned social campaign.

Average CPC (approx./equiv)

  • Facebook $0.50
  • Twitter $0.29
  • Linkedin $2 – $5
  • Youtube $0.10 – $0.30
  • Pinterest $0.15 – $0.50
  • Instagram $0.50


(Data: KISSmetrics, Hootsuite)

While it is possible to grow your social audience organically and reach broader networks without paying, considering the time and resource costs required to do so, it would be more cost-effective to engage with paid advertising that yields a similar result at a faster pace and cheaper rate.

Paid social amplifies your organic efforts

Paid social media is most effective when it’s incorporated into your overall strategy; alongside your earned and owned social media efforts. The hardest part of growing your social audience is reaching and engaging with new audiences. The only way to do this organically is to promote your brand through your followers and to rely on them liking and sharing your content on their networks. If your audience is not large to begin with, this process can be as slow and tedious as watching grass grow.

Using paid social advertising, you can target specific groups of individuals in your chosen demographics, significantly increasing the exposure of your social media content and potentially assisting in the growth of your online audience rapidly and economically.

If you are investing thousands of dollars in high-quality content, it makes perfect sense also to allocate some budget to promoting it. What is the point of producing a fantastic piece of content if no one sees it?

Diversify your marketing

Focusing on free marketing channels such as SEO can be perilous because, unlike paid marketing, the platform provider is unlikely to be responsive or sympathetic to any losses in traffic and revenue that you experience.

Being over-reliant on a limited number of paid marketing channels can be equally dangerous. With most social channels and search engines frequently updating their algorithms, policies and even layouts to meet user feedback and demands, a single functionality change could suddenly ruin your primary source of revenue.

In diversifying the marketing channels used to engage with your customers, the effects of the next search engine algorithmic update or changes in ad formation on a profitable publisher site won’t be too severe as your other channels will still deliver leads, engaged users, and revenue.

It is measurable

Paid social media is a measurable marketing channel that allows you are to attribute value to the activity and interest you generate and measure that value against your ad spend. Like any form of paid marketing, if it is producing a positive return on investment (ROI), then it is contributing to your growth and is something you should be keeping in your marketing mix.

What do you think the future holds for the Paid Social Media Revolution? Share your thoughts with me on twitter @nathan5ri.

If you are not already advertising on social media, struggling to grow your social media audience or your paid social media is not generating the desired results, give Metrixa a call today. Try our AdWords Audit.