Do you remember when you joined Facebook for the first time? I do. I was late to the party, that’s for sure. I thought Facebook looked dull and was still an avid ‘Bebo’ fan. Making quizzes for my friends and changing the background pictures and themes to all kinds of snazzy designs. (Hey, I was in my late teens/early twenties – give me a break!) Facebook didn’t have cool themes. ‘Lame’, I thought. So, I stood defiantly behind Bebo until all my friends had jumped ship and I was forced to join Facebook before I became a social outcast.
We all know how the rest of the story goes. Facebook went from strength to strength and is now as synonymous as the likes of Google. (Just as you can ‘Google’ something, you can ‘Facebook’ someone. Evidently, in this modern age, you know you’ve hit the big time when your company name becomes a verb.)
While you were enjoying the novelty of ‘friending’ people, ‘Facebook stalking’, and posting (now embarrassing) photos and odd status updates, did you ever stop to work out how those Facebook guys were making their money?
It doesn’t cost anything to sign up, post, or connect with people; so how are they making billions of dollars?
Facebook uses an intelligent business model: Attract millions of active users to your platform, then charge businesses to advertise their products and services to those users. The more people join, the more Facebook can charge for advertising because the size of the audience becomes more attractive to companies.
As the other platforms developed (Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat – the list goes on), they adopted the same model as Facebook. That means, as a business, if you want your content seen, then you need to ‘pay to play’ in the form of paid advertising.
Paid Advertising – Do you need to do it?
Unfortunately, these platforms don’t want you to be able to show your content for free, so they make it difficult to grow an audience organically, let alone making your content visible to them.
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and even Pinterest want you to pay to reach your audience. Meaning they aren’t going to make it easy for you to reach them for free.
Put simply; it is because each one is a business; they have a product and a service to sell just like you.
Is It Worth Paying For Paid Advertising?
We believe that it is worth paying to play if the platform suits your business and you will be able to reach your target audience.
After all, a significant portion of people around the globe actively uses social media. Better yet, the platforms are proven, and people trust and understand them. Because there are so many active users, advertising on these platforms will ensure more people will see your content.
Social media is a trend that seems to be growing rather than fading away; this means every day you have the chance to reach new people through paid advertising.
How Should You Use Paid Advertising?
Facebook will intentionally show your content to less than 5% of your followers. This amount can be organically increased with engagement, but your reach will still be restricted. The reality is that if you want your audience to see your content, you need to pay for it.
But don’t just throw your money around boosting posts willy-nilly. When it comes to paid advertising, you need a plan.
Take these things into consideration
1: Advertising Goals
Each advertisement is going to require a dollar investment, so make sure you have a goal for what you want each one to achieve. Is it to raise awareness for your brand, collect email subscribers, or to make a sale?
2: The Platform
There is no point in paying for advertising on Instagram if your followers are on Twitter. Know where your target audience is hanging out and which platform is best to reach them on.
3: Use Targeting
Each social media platform collects data on its user’s habits and interests, use that to your advantage by targeting your advertising to the people who are interested in your business.
Set yourself a budget and stick to it or you may find your advertising spend is more than you would like.
Social media is now a pay to play platform. Even though you have to spend some of those hard earned dollars, the results you can achieve are beneficial. You can also track what works and what doesn’t.
But if you don’t know what you are doing, you can spend a lot of dollars without any results. It pays to get an expert on board to help create the right kind of ads. Luckily, we have one of those experts on our team here at Virtual Assistants. Get in touch to find out how we can help you pay to play with excellent results.