Social media works as a marketing tool because it encourages Engagement. Engagement means real interactions – clicks, comments, Likes, Shares, Favorites, Retweets, +1s, etc. Without Engagement, your posts are flying out into the universe, but no one cares about them. If no one cares what you’re saying, your marketing strategy isn’t working. The whole point is to get people talking about your product and organization.
As I wrote about in an earlier column for ValpoLife.com, many business and organization owners became very frustrated with Facebook earlier this year because they had many Likes on their page, but their Reach and Engagement virtually disappeared. Why did this happen? As I explained there, “It’s not your Page Likes that matter on Facebook; it’s how many people are Talking About You.” Facebook claimed they were encouraging “quality content” and minimizing spam. Facebook also had another motive. It wanted to encourage organizations to pay to promote their Pages and Posts. To do this, they modified the algorithm that displays posts in users’ feeds, and currently, it really doesn’t matter how many Likes your page has. Facebook still awards the organizations that have high engagement with more views, and penalizes those that don’t. It also gives preference to those that pay.
So is it worth it to pay to promote accounts and posts on social media platforms? Absolutely – IF you have something quality to say that people will respond to. Facebook isn’t the only platform to allow promoted posts. Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and several others all allow business owners to promote posts. If you have something distinct you’re trying to accomplish, paying for marketing on social media is the same as it is with any sort of marketing. If you’re looking for more people to see you, you have to pay for it. It’s not even very expensive. Even at $5.00 a day on Facebook, users will see a huge difference in their level of exposure.
Allow me to offer this caveat, though. Don’t boost your posts or Page indefinitely. Facebook especially has a very fine-tuned data system to help you target who sees your material. If it runs out of people in your target demographic, but you’re still paying for it, Facebook will start showing your ad to people outside of your demographic. You’ll know it when you see it: users from Africa and Asia will start following your small businesses from the upper Mid-west.
Is that bad? Might not seem like it, but remember – Facebook doesn’t care how many Likes you have. It only cares how many people interact with your material. If you have 2,000 followers, but only 10 comment on a regular basis, you are not doing your average Engagement any favors. That looks bad. Engagement is what makes social media work. You can have followers all over the world, but if they don’t actually care about you or what you’re doing, you’re not engaging anyone. I’m using Facebook as an example here, but that Engagement is key across all social networks. They’ll take your money. What are you getting in return?
I urge my clients not to boost just any old post, or to boost their Pages indefinitely. Short, targeted boosts are far more effective at increasing Engagement. You are trying to capture the attention of people who will actually interact with your material, not just to increase the number of Likes you have. You want to convert social media marketing into actual customers, and that’s far less likely if they’re on the other side of the world.
Have more questions about how to use Paid Promotion effectively? Give us a call. Our consultations are always free.