Back in our college days, many of us went through the rush process of joining a sorority or a fraternity. Most of these panhellenic organizations on campuses across the country involve the payment of dues each semester. Because of this concept, some who do not favor the process mock those who do, saying that they pay for friends and companionship.
But the sororities and fraternities are more than just a group of overnight friends and roommates. The culture is one of academic standards, group collaboration, and cultivation of leadership skills. Through these organizations, students can make lifelong friendships. They meet people they otherwise may not have, and they make new connections because of the time spent in the organization.
Similar sentiments are often felt when it comes to boosting or promoting posts on social media
Some who may not fully understand the concept of paid promotion on social media will derisively refer to the idea as “paying for likes”—which often means that the marketer feels that any interactions that come from this promotion are inauthentic and therefore is not a worthwhile expense.
But think back to the earlier reference about sororities and fraternities. Without this connection, relationships may not have been formed. Without this group of “paid friends,” some may not make networking connections or develop skills that are useful after graduation.
The same concept can be applied to paid promotion on social media
Because of the parameters that marketers can set, ads and promotions on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. can reach a highly targeted set of audience members in a brand’s target market.
Without this paid promotion, a brand’s reach is limited to those who already like the page, have interacted with posts before, or who may be visible through “friends of friends.” This group, while it can be large depending on the existing audience of the page, is often limited. And with the strict guard of the omnipresent algorithm, it can be difficult to circumvent this.
Some would argue that a strict, always changing algorithm is just a way for the platform to manipulate businesses into putting more money into useless promotions. This is true for some brands who do not take insights and analytics into account.
But for a discerning marketer, paid promotion can be highly beneficial
Promoted posts can target audiences according to age, interest, location, and much more. These posts can reach people that organically they would not. With the right distribution of budget, attention to analytics, and proper assets and copy, paid promotion can work wonders for a business that’s struggling to see a return on its digital marketing efforts.
One of the best ways to start with promoting posts is to begin with a small budget and target a specific area of the target audience. Perhaps the brand is trying to grow its visibility in the city in which the newest brick and mortar location has opened up. Try targeting users in that area and ensure that the posts have an interesting copy, good imagery, and have an engaging call to action.
Often paid promotion requires a bit of trial and error. A new business may not succeed on its first promotion—and that’s ok! Don’t be afraid to change tactics and also to give campaigns enough time to gain traction before making changes. With a bit of adjustment and acclimation, social media can be a great tool for any business looking to grow its audience and reach.