While “organic” (unpaid) exposure to your messaging and content is still possible, it is becoming increasingly unlikely in the crowded social media landscape. Like many traditional media channels, more and more, social media rewards marketers who dedicate a portion of their budget to reaching targeted customers on their platforms. Here are just a few of the advantages of making an investment in paid social.
Advanced targeting features
Social media can offer businesses precise targeting features that are not always available in other media. While layers of targeting can reduce your reach, smart targeting can help eliminate wasting budget on people who have no interest in your business. With a balance between reach (having enough people) and knowing your customer, this is an efficient way to reach qualified prospects.
The platforms vary slightly on targeting features in their user interface; for example, Twitter does not currently allow for targeting by age, but overall, the targeting options are similar. You can select a geo target, gender, interests, page likes/follows and competitors likes/follows. Social media platforms are also set up to automatically take care of certain aspects of campaigns, such as bids, serving messages to just the targets, while staying in budget.
The biggest positive for social media platforms, outside of precise targeting, is the ability to have a campaign up and running quickly. If the creative is ready and targeting is decided, a campaign can be live and running within a short period of time.
As mentioned before, social media is a great way to interact with your audience. If someone has liked or is a current follower, ads or content just help reinforce that relationship. The interaction with the ad or messaging is then posted on their networks feed as well (usually with a notation similar to “Mary Smith liked this post”), which creates organic reach to new customers.
Quickly change message and offer several different versions
Costs for getting a brand message can sometimes be costly; for example, one commercial can have production costs, post production costs, and then the cost to run the commercial on broadcast TV or cable. The same can be true with print media, as well as radio. And, while those channels offer powerful benefits, a layer of paid social can be an affordable supplement to a broad campaign.
There will still likely be costs to produce the creative for social media, the cost to run the creative tends to be much lower than traditional media depending on platform and targeting chosen. A large group of people can see, and interact with the ad, for as little as a couple hundred dollars. This also means, if you so desire, that several different versions of the ad can run at the same time; testing the creative head to head to see which messaging or content resonates more with your customers can be done cost effectively and quickly.
If the message you are running does not seem to work, or your competitor releases a new product, no problem; creative and messaging can easily be swapped out on social media with little downtime.