Social Media Marketing · Startups

What does paid social media marketing do that I can’t?

Anonymous

August 6th, 2015

I’m hoping to combine organic and paid social media marketing but have never gone the paid route before. Curious what the perks are of paid social media and if anyone has experience using it short term (or long term). Is it worth the money? - i.e. does it drive traffic and engagement like it should? And what do I still need to do on my end to make sure it’s working efficiently and correctly?


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Nicholas Coblence Founder Cords for Music & Co-Founder Izzygear

August 6th, 2015

Hi there, All depends on your business/product and the kind of social media you need. Also the goals for you for social. For me, content creation and egagement are the most important thing and to have someone else do it for me works because I'm using my time creating product, running the company etc. Thats why i hear outside to get the strategy going. What is most important for you? Hope this helps, N

Nicholas Petros Director of Marketing at RallyPoint Networks, Inc.

August 6th, 2015

It sounds like you're considering hiring a firm to manage your social media, so I'll respond as if that is your intent: in my experience, such companies make money by targeting folks who know they "need" to do something with social but don't want to manage it themselves or invest in a full time hire. We do all of our social media in house, and have turned both paid and organic mechanisms (particularly on Facebook) into massive traffic drivers and acquisition engines. I'd admit that social's impact is completed relative to the brand you're using it to promote - no one can make paper towels trend on social. But if you think it's worth it for your organization I'd invest some time into it. We're getting clicks for $0.02 and natural click through rates north of 15% on a regular basis. There's no way we'd be close to this with an agency in charge. The cost to have someone manage our social this closely would negate the benefit/savings of the channel if we could outsource it.

Ana Echeverri Visual Analytics, Predictive Analytics, Enterprise Software

August 6th, 2015

The main advantage paid social media campaigns have over free ones, is the ability to properly target the audience you want to reach. A solid social media strategy will establish the right balance between paid and free, and will use them effectively depending on which objectives you want to reach. If you are trying to reach a specific segment of the general population, the shortest route is through paid social media. If you want to drive specific goals - other than engagement -, again paid social media may be your best bet. 

Mark Wing Client Engagement Director at Small Back Room

August 6th, 2015

That's a good question and the answers above are right. But, if you are concerned about managing a tight budget then my view is that; if you have built your website correctly then natural search (free) will always come up trumps.

Imagine an Iceberg - paid search should be visible, perhaps costly, activity happening above the water line. See it as over and above making sure you have your technical architecture and brand messaging sorted correctly first.

This is why my firm talks about strength through image, culture and technology.

Kenneth Larson Retired Aerospace Contracts Manager, MicroMentor Volunteer and Founder "Smalltofeds"

August 6th, 2015

Personal, professional and business branding is occurring regularly, whether or not we are aware of it.

From our web site presence to our postings on the sites of others, from our credit ratings to our cell phone records and application navigation, we are tracking others and being tracked ourselves.
 

Deciding to become active in social networking is really a matter of managing personal, professional and business images/brands or having them manage us.

Networking is a vital tool in achieving an image/brand. Establish a network like a wheel. The hub is core content (web site, blog, books, articles, useful materials). The spokes leading from the hub are the tools to network content that is linked to the hub.
 

Contacts are the engines that power the wheel.

Content is the fuel that feeds the social networking contacts and powers the wheel. 

As the wheel turns, the quality of the networking improves with feedback and the wheel climbs the optimization hill of the major search engines (SEO).
 
Limiting factors are the quality of the core content and knowledge/persistence in networking.

CONTRIBUTE TO OTHERS

Blog, post and contribute to Q&A features on several sites:

1. It allows insight in solving the difficulties of others; always a satisfying achievement, dovetailing with professional endeavors and creating a positive image.

2. The manner in which a response is worded conveys values, expression, opinion, and insight to others who may wish to team, counter with a disagreement or pass on a reference to others; all healthy forms of communication.

3. Ratings features allow evaluation of responses by a large peer group.

4. With the growth of social networking international participation increasing dramatically, it provides insights into perspectives from other nations and cultures; a valuable input in the wired global economy these days.

5. The historical record of questions and answers, posting content and feedback is searched regularly by a large, world-wide community and draws others to profiles and web sites long after the initial dialogue has occurred.


MAKE PRUDENT JUDGEMENTS

Evaluate other net-workers for consistency. Value the participants who realize these are huge and open forums and who keep an open mind to input.
 

Do not value narrow minded use of these features for exclusively personal or business gain, control freak attitudes, and those who delete replies or answers because they disagree with the responses they are getting or are not getting what they perceive to be desirable results. 

THE END PRODUCT:

A brand, an image and valued content, carefully cultivated,  exchanged and viewed regularly with others and communicated for success. 

Please see the below link for an example of how the above principles are applied.

Integrated Utilities Linked as a Composite on "About Me"

Ayodeji Agboola We are a marketplace for African digital‎ content. downloads.com.ng

August 6th, 2015

First it depends on your product. If a sizeable number of your target market can be found on social, then paid social media should be one of your customer acquisition strategies.

For effectiveness, social media marketing has to be done right. And this is where the difference lies. Your content has got to be really social. It's got to elicit emotion. It can't afford to be a bland one liner cos no one pays attention to those. You've got to use quality images that tell your story at a glance.

Above all, Paid social allows you to drill down on who should be seeing your advert based on different demographics that you choose while all being measurable. 

In all of this, there's no substitute to great content. Paid social almost always fails without great content.

Brandies Dunagan CEO & Co-Founder of SourceDigital Marketing

August 6th, 2015

Hi,

Great question. Generally speaking paid social media marketing enables you to choose who, when and where your target audiences are exposed to your content.Organic social media enables organic impressions.

While you are able to find niches where your prospects hang out paid social media marketing buys you the ability to direct that your content is exclusively shown to the targeted parameters you set.

This means you are now able to learn what messages on which platforms convert. It is also a faster process than organic social media (although organic is more sustainable). It also can feed your organic content strategy.

I always suggest that my clients have metrics in place so that they can actually measure the effectiveness of their efforts both organic and paid so that you are sure you are getting the ROI needed to make the investment worth while.

Amy Vernon Audience Development. Community, content & product. Prize-winning journalist & writer. Connector of people & ideas.

August 8th, 2015

As some others have mentioned, one of the biggest benefits of paid social media is that you can target who actually gets served your content. You can make sure that it's being put in front of people who are the people you actually want to see your content.

And, when it comes to Facebook, you pretty much always have to use a combination of paid and organic to get any reach or visibility there.

Scott McGregor Advisor, co-founder, consultant and part time executive to Tech Start-ups. Based in Silicon Valley.

August 8th, 2015

You need to select relevant target demographics and have a message that appeals to them. If you don't have much awareness this is a way to reach more people. Scott McGregor, mcgregor94086@me.com, (408) 505-4123 Sent from my iPhone

Mike Masello

August 9th, 2015

I've used both Facebook and Twitter for paid targeting.  The number of levers you have to play with on Facebook makes it an excellent tool (age, gender, locale, interests, etc).

Both worked at driving traffic, but Facebook drove more and at a cheaper rate.

To answer your last question you can add a simple line of code to a "goal" page to help track if your campaign is working successfully. For example if you're looking to drive registered users add code to the account created page.

Feel free to reach out with more specific questions.