Today, upwards of 1 billion people will log into Facebook, which means that at least one in seven people across the entire globe will be using social media at some point throughout the day.
So, how can we increase our chances of both reaching and impacting such a large potential audience?
During this four-part series, Muriel Cross and I will help you say “so long” to social media mediocrity by diving into planning and content generation; effective and efficient implementation of digital strategies; as well as evaluation through analytics for great social media campaigns.
Social media advertising has become essential in the last few years, so I want to start us there and answer four big questions that often come up when deciding if a paid campaign is worth the investment for any organization.
What does a paid campaign actually cost?
Social media ads tend to be significantly cheaper than their traditional counterparts. You can do a quick $20 campaign over a couple of days or spend a few thousand across several months depending on your goal. Luckily, the advantages don’t stop at tailor-made budget options. Social ads are also highly targeted, easily customizable and flexible in their implementation.
The design and format of each campaign can easily be decided based on your individual goal. Are you trying to drive traffic to an external site? Promoting a new brick-and-mortar location? Or are you looking for increased engagement such as likes, retweets, etc?
The appearance, messaging and call-to-action buttons will shift depending on your desired outcome. You can also target very specific audiences. In the case of brick-and-mortar promotions you are able to target the ad based on location, whereas when you want to promote a new product you may target based on an audience’s interests. You can also pause a campaign if you reach your goal earlier than expected, or edit the budget as you go if you feel your ad is not reaching the proper audience.
When have you ever heard of a TV station or newspaper giving you that kind of control?
Can paid campaigns supplement what I am currently doing?
Anytime you have an upcoming event, great downloadable content or a high profile media hit, a paid campaign can increase the chance these items will reach your target audience.
In an oversaturated world, normal social outreach can often get lost in the shuffle. By adding promoted posts to your repertoire, you increase the prevalence of your outreach on the site. Lets say you have an event coming up and the local paper covers the story. Now you can boost the post or tweet to people in the area to share that coverage, putting it in front of more people who would have relevant interests.
As people begin to interact with your post, you will be able to engage with each of them in an organic way while additionally reaching out to the reporters’ or paper’s pages or handles to thank them. Paid is most effective when working in tandem with organic.
What can paid campaigns really accomplish?
The biggest advantage of paid outreach is its ability to segment and target your desired audiences. Organic is not guaranteed to reach your audience and even the members you have may not be interested in every aspect of your outreach. Due to Twitter’s real-time process and Facebook’s ever-changing algorithms, reaching your target audience is becoming more difficult than ever.
By targeting your audiences with a paid campaign, you are able to provide specific segments of the population with relevant content and draw in more engaged users.
Below is a summary of paid reach versus organic for a client’s ad. This shows that paid has a substantially higher impact in initial reach, but without organic interaction for support that reach will not maintain growth.
So, is it better to do paid or organic?
It is essential to define your goals first, but once you have a strategy in place, using both paid and organic outreach can substantially increase and enhance your online presence. Paid can help reach new people, but in order to retain that audience, regular organic outreach and authentic engagement are essential.
I hope this was a helpful introduction to improving your social media outreach and we look forward to teaching you much more in the coming weeks.