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Why You Have To “Pay to Play” on Social Media

social media specialist extraordinaire Jen Aquilino
Jen Aquilino

They say the best things in life are free; that is, except when it comes to social media marketing. Yes it’s true that you need to post relevant, interesting content on a regular basis. And yes, you do need to continually grow an engaged, localized audience for your business.

These efforts, however, won’t yield much in the way of leads and traffic unless you amplify them with a robust advertising budget. Just like with any investment scenario that involves a winning outcome, you have to put some skin in the game to experience positive results.

Will You Get Zero results with No Social Ad Budget?

The short answer is no; you still can get some limited results if you don’t have a social ad budget. The longer answer is: Having a presence on social media these days is compulsory, but managing your brand’s presence the right way is a must.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post for LeadBuilder®, your social media presence is like a seatbelt. If it isn’t used correctly (or at all), then you won’t get the outcome you desire. Social media marketing is capable of becoming a key component in your company’s advertising plan, and maintaining a consistent social presence is a crucial factor in making this happen.

You probably figured this out already because you’re a smart business owner, and maybe you’ve even seen some results in the past without having to run ads. In fact, just a handful of years ago, you could have gotten ahead of your competitors simply by posting regularly on your Facebook wall.

But unfortunately, smarty pants, you aren’t the only one who’s come to this realization. Most of your competitors have figured it out, too. After all, Facebook now boasts more than 50 million small business pages, and 70% of small businesses are on Twitter.

So that’s the bad news. The good news? Many brands and businesses haven’t yet figured out the secret to true social media success and real, measurable results. You have a chance to get ahead of the game, but you have put your money where your proverbial social media mouth is.

How Much Money Should You Spend?

Sometimes the truth hurts, and in this case, would you like some ice for that burn? Just kidding, but the reality is that you can get good results by strategically investing your ad dollars; however, there’s still a minimum barrier to entry.

In a perfect world, we’d suggest throwing unlimited funds at your social media campaigns and “making it rain,” as it were. However, we understand that isn’t realistic for most cases, so your social media investment is going to depend on your company’s budget and growth goals.

What we can tell you is that there’s a minimum investment for every platform. As recently as last November, Facebook increased the daily minimum budget amounts for most campaigns. For example, a website clicks campaign (which sends direct traffic to your landing page and website) has a minimum of $5 per day. Again, this is the minimum amount, so you can expect moderate results as compared to doubling or tripling that amount.

However, even if you only can afford the minimum daily amount, you’re still leaps and bounds ahead of those who aren’t backing up their social strategies with any Benjamins at all. And obviously, if you’re marketing to a national or regional audience, you should be prepared to make a proportionately larger investment.

How to See Big Returns for Your Investment

Even if you don’t have a huge pile of cash to roll around in (and throw at your social media marketing campaigns), it’s still possible to win big and make the online impact you want. But you have to know which ad units to use and how to set up the targeting to achieve your goals and avoid running lossy campaigns.

This is where having a highly experienced, dedicated social media marketing expert becomes even more important. You need someone who can achieve the best return for your budget and generate impressive paid campaign results combined with outstanding organic results.

You can’t have peanut butter without jelly, you can’t have macaroni without the cheese, and you just can’t have a successful social media marketing campaign without an ad budget and someone who knows how to manage it. You’ll need both to see any kind of measurable success.

Are you trying to see better returns from your social media presence? The Mediagistic social media team can help. Contact us and let’s get started planning a social media marketing plan for your business today.


Jennifer Aquilino is Mediagistic Social Media Specialist. Connecting people and businesses everywhere, one hashtag at a time. Social media marketing OBSESSED. Caffeine-dependent. Dreamer. Online extrovert, real life introvert. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

 

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