It’s fascinating to chart the trajectory of social media marketing, and specifically its reception among business owners. When the field first emerged, a few entrepreneurs became early adopters, seeing the merit of platforms like Facebook and Twitter for interactive engagement with customers and warm leads. As social media reached ubiquity, a consensus began to form: Love it or hate it, social media marketing is here to stay.
Today, social media marketing represents something of a two-edged sword for businesses and brands. On the one hand, social media consumes so much of our daily time and attention that it’s impossible to write it off. Just consider the latest statistics: There are now more than 3.8 billion social media users worldwide, and on a daily basis, they spend an average of 2.5 hours on their favorite platforms. The average social media user spreads their activity across eight different networks.
At the same time, many business owners are wary that social media marketing can be a money pit, especially as platforms like Facebook change their algorithms to reward paid ads and regulate “organic” content.
The Limits of Organic Reach
The concerns about organic content being limited in its reach are not without merit; social networks naturally prefer businesses to pony up advertising dollars, which means they have increasingly scaled back on just how visible organic, branded posts can be. This phenomenon has been most pronounced on Facebook, where businesses may find that less than 10 percent of their non-promoted, non-boosted content is actually visible to their followers.
But that doesn’t mean social media marketing is a waste of resources; organic content that’s well thought out, and implemented with a consistent editorial calendar, can still be useful in reaching loyal followers and consumers. And it works especially well when paired with a paid ad strategy, which helps you ensure that more of your great creative content gets seen by the desired audience.
Paid Ads vs. Boosted Posts
As businesses consider their options for social media marketing, there are two primary means to consider: Paid ads and boosted posts.
We’ll start with boosted posts; if you own a branded Facebook account, you’ve probably been tempted with the option to “boost” your organic posts, which basically means throwing a few dollars behind them so that they’re seen by a broader range of people. In theory, this is a way for you to make sure your organic posts are actually seen, rather than getting lost in the algorithm.
Boosted posts have their place, but as we’ve written about in the past, Facebook boosted posts offer very limited functionality. That’s because boosting is designed to be a simple and expedient option for business owners who aren’t very well-versed in social media marketing; as such, it doesn’t allow you to set an objective, create multiple ad sets for a single campaign, build custom audiences, or display dynamic ads. Basically, by boosting posts, you’re only tapping into a small portion of the rich customization that’s available when you opt for paid ads, instead.
Overall, we recommend the paid ads approach, augmented by some organic content that is being boosted. Paid ads represent the best way for you to not only reach your target audience, but also to see clear ROI.
When you use tools like the Facebook Ads Manager, for example, you enjoy a number of benefits that neither organic content nor boosting can provide. Some examples include:
- Paid social media ads allow you to target your messaging; so, instead of reaching a general audience, you can hone in on a more specific one, based not only on geography but other demographic and behavioral factors. Paid ads offer a much richer set of data-driven targeting options than boosted posts do. In other words, paid ads allow you to make sure that your social media content is seen by just the right people.
- While many business owners may initially be hesitant to pay for social media ads, it’s worth noting that paying for ads also enables you to track your ROI. The enCOMPASS team provides our clients with detailed reporting about the reach and results obtained by paid social ads.
- Finally, it should also be noted that paid social media advertising can be scalable which better enables you to control spending.
The important point here is that, while it’s generally true that social media marketing requires a financial investment, there are plenty of tools to ensure that this investment gets real results.
Social Media Marketing with enCOMPASS
At enCOMPASS, it’s our mission to guide clients in making smart choices about how they engage with social media. We help clients consider their social media options in light of other marketing assets, and to achieve results in a number of ways:
- Ensure that you’re using social media not only to amplify your message, but also to interact with your followers.
- Extend the life of your best content, using social media to disseminate it and maintain its relevance.
- Collect insights from the people who engage with your content and use it to further refine your marketing efforts.
- Drive traffic to your website, where you can capture leads or simply boost familiarity with your brand.
- Sell products within the social network of your choice, through carefully crafted ads and calls to action.
- Generate leads directly from social media platforms.
- Grow awareness of your brand, ensuring that shoppers and information-seekers gain favorable impressions of your company.
- Take full advantage of the precision targeting that’s available in today’s social media marketing platforms.
These are just a few of the benefits our clients receive when they engage in a social media marketing campaign, as part of a broader digital marketing campaign, with enCOMPASS.
We believe that, when used judiciously and strategically, social media marketing is still a significant asset to businesses and brands. To chat further about any of this, connect with the enCOMPASS Agency team any time.
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