When Should You Pay for Social Media?
The perception that promoting and advertising your content doesn’t cost anything holds some truth – starting a Twitter or Facebook account is free, and you can post content to your pages without paying. But in reality, advertising on social media was never free.
It’s true that you don’t need much investment to set up social media accounts, but you do need someone to create the content, build an audience, engage followers in conversations, monitor social media activity and more. And now with new algorithms, news feed updates and just the sheer volume of content on social media, businesses are finding that they have to pay out in order for their message to be seen.
So how do you know when you should pay for social media? Here are the top line items to include in your social media budget.
Promoting Content to Increase Your Reach
Content is the most important element of any social media campaign and most social media platforms reward companies that pay to boost content. Sponsored posts and paid advertisements will help your business rise above the fray and drive the reach of your content.
A bigger reach means your content is being seen by more people, so make sure that what you’re promoting is high-quality, interesting and remarkable. Don’t just pay to promote any old post. Spend some time developing content that will inspire the people who see it to click and interact – whether it’s a like, a share or a comment – all interactions are opportunities to further a potential customer relationship.
Holding Contests and Giveaways
Holding a contest on your page is a great way to increase your number of page likes and followers, while also boosting engagement. The thing is, effective contests cost something. Have some money set aside for really great prizes for giveaways and contests throughout the year. People aren’t likely to enter contests for prizes they could get just anywhere, so $500+ gift cards, getaways, big electronics, close seats at concerts and sporting events are all ideas of prizes that would entice someone to jump through the hoops of liking your page and entering your contest.
Filtering, Analyzing and Monitoring Conversations
Your social media presence is your online reputation, so if you’re not engaged and participating in conversations in a helpful and knowledgeable manner, the backlash could ruin your PR. Leaving the task of monitoring and answering questions and comments to an afterthought or someone who isn’t very invested in the company, isn’t a recipe for success. Consider making it a responsible, experienced employee’s job to keep up with every single thing that comes in via your social media platform. There are also several tools you can use – some free and some for a fee – that can help you keep a check on conversations.
Hiring a Social Media Agency
As mentioned earlier, your brand identity and the online reputation of your company can’t be left in inexperienced and unprofessional hands. If you can’t allocate an internal employee to maintain your pages and execute a strategy to grow and delight your fan base, you should look into hiring professionals to take over your social media management. A social media agency can ensure your content is optimized, promoted and monitored, as well as help you develop an effective strategy to make the most of your social media efforts. Many agencies have social media packages that cater to different budgets and businesses, so it’s worth looking into getting some outside help.
Being on social media is a given for businesses these days. And the reality is that so is paying for it. Make the most of your social presence by including this valuable asset in your advertising budget. If you’re unsure where to start, one of our social media experts can help figure out a plan that works for you. Request a free consultation here.