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  • Writer's picturewhittinghammarketing

Should I be paying for ads on social media?

This article was originally written for Inside Magazine and was featured as part of our monthly column entitled The Inside On Social Media.

This is another question that comes up constantly and this time round the answer is always yes. But there are several caveats attached!

Social media is becoming more and more a pay-to-win environment, meaning that unless you already have a large following of active users that interact (like, comment or share) with your content then there is increasingly little chance of your posts reaching more than approx. 10% of your overall following.

Organic reach, which means how many people see your posts without you paying for it, is dependent on interaction. Put simply, the more people who Like, Comment & Share your posts the more people will see them.

Who doesn't love a Spidey quote!

However social media companies, like the rest of us, need to make money - and they do this by getting us to pay for ads. In return for us paying for ads they give us the incredible ability to literally target very specific audiences and invade their phones & computer screens with our products & services. This amazing ability to get your business in front of potential customers is unlike almost any other form of advertising the world has ever seen. But as Spider-Mans uncle famously said, ‘with great power comes great responsibility’.

As with anything in business you have to make sure that the money you’re investing in ads is being returned to you in either sales, interaction, new followers etc. The return all depends on your campaigns goals. In order to achieve the best results you need to be confident that you’re using your ad budget in the right way, getting the most bang for your buck if you will.

To make sure of this I recommend asking yourself 2 very important questions before you spend any money on social media adverts:

  1. Do I 100% know what I’m doing?

  2. If I accept that I do not know what I’m doing, am I prepared to lose the money I’m about to spend in order to learn?

If the answer to either of the above is no then you have only one choice and that is to outsource your paid ads to a social media manager who will be able to get the best results for you.

Otherwise you can allow yourself some small budget to play with in order to learn and better understand how social media advertising works, but be warned - this is not something you will learn overnight and the landscape is constantly changing thanks to ever more ingenious updates from the tech giants themselves. If you do not have the bandwidth (don’t you hate corporate jargon!) to stay up to date then getting an expert in is the only sensible route.

My advice in a nutshell? Social media paid adverts should 100% be part of your monthly ad spend, but they should be designed, instigated, and managed by an expert in online marketing. Otherwise you might as well take your money to your local casino and pop it all on red!

Jordan J. Whittingham The Inside on Social Media

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