Pay-to-Play: Target Marketing

Many companies struggle with how to balance organic social media…versus paid social media marketing. 

Paid social media marketing or pay-to-play is an investment that your organization may need to strongly consider. When you begin to understand that only 4% of your Facebook followers may see your brand’s organic posts… that means there could be 96% of potential clients…who are unaware of your products or services (1). 

Also, remember the social media landscape can be very daunting. In addition to Facebook, there is Instagram…Twitter….Linked in…and the list just keeps growing every day. So there are a couple of things you want to think about when deciding where to invest your social media dollars. Here are a few ideas for evaluating your social media strategy. 

The growth trajectory of the platform - An advertiser friendly platform

- Revenue generated - Target audience

  1. The growth trajectory of the platform. For example since 2014 Instagram has experienced a year-to-year annual growth of active users of no less than 100 million (2). In fact, between September 2017-June 2018 Instagram has experienced growth in the number of monthly active users by 200 million (2)! 

  2. An advertiser friendly platform. Facebook is selected by 97% of social advertisers as their social media platform of choice (2). Now…I must admit that when I go on Facebook to check a single post…I often find myself spending 30 minutes or more scrolling through additional posts and videos…without even realizing how quickly time is passing. So naturally that is the type of platform that will attract social media advertisers who want to connect with a large and captivated audience. 

  3. Revenue generated. Facebook has doubled its revenue per user in three years…with first quarter earnings in the 1st quarter of 2018 of $13.2 billion dollars (2). Now that’s a lot of ads! Twitter as a platform earned a total of $665 million in revenue during the 1st quarter of 2018, a 21% year-over-year increase (2). 

  4. Target audience. Instagram continues to attract a younger audience with 72% of teens reporting use of the platform…versus 51% of teens using Facebook. 

Okay… so you get the point… you need to have a very strategic paid social media marketing approach. This may require partnering up with a company that specializes in social media marketing and is able to provide consultation on how to maximize your marketing budget for your social media campaign. 

Hey…this does not mean that you should forget about your organic social media marketing as well…potential benefits include:

  • Communicating brand value: Remember consumers are people just like you…that means they are going to be more attracted to authentic messages, photos, and articles that offer high-value brand engagement (1). 

  • Brand validation: Potential prospects may hear about your company during a face-to-face conversation with someone in their network…but they will typically review a brands social media channels and sites in order to better understand what you are all about (1). 

  • Attracting talent: Those seeking a job may also check out your social media sites and channels to get a better sense of what working at your company would be like…should they come on-board (1).  

The bottom line is that you don’t have to choose between organic marking and pay-to-play. In fact, it is recommended that you consider incorporating both strategies based on your company’s marketing and growth objectives. 

What you may also find is that by balancing a combined organic marketing and paid advertising approach you create greater value for your prospects, customers, and potential employees.  

Finally, don’t worry about being perfect in your social media advertising approach. If you are like most businesses…over time you will see what works and what approach does not work as well. As you discover the best practices then you can make the necessary adjustments and begin to experience growth in your business and improved customer satisfaction.