With more than 2.1 billion users, social media is one of the largest markets the world has ever seen. It doesn’t matter if you’re a small e-commerce business or a large corporation operating in multiple locations. Social media offers up plenty of real estate for you to utilise.
But, here’s the problem: social media moves at lightning speed. Facebook tweaks its algorithm constantly; Twitter updates its character limit; organic reach is shrinking; Instagram turns into Snapchat, and the list can go on forever.
With so many changes happening almost overnight, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a lot of businesses have a difficult time understanding how they should use it. Perhaps the most important concept that needs clarification is the balance between organic and paid media. (Shaoolian, 2017)
Organic reach on social media refers to the number of people who come across your post without boosted distribution. These are people who happened to be on Twitter when you posted about your sale and saw it organically. Unfortunately, social platforms like Facebook use an algorithm to prevent business posts from inundating people’s feeds, making organic reach very limited (Teller, 2017)
Paid media refers to external marketing efforts that involve a paid placement. Paid social media includes PPC advertising, branded content, and display ads. Paid media is an essential component of revenue growth and brand awareness for online businesses.
You can also add a paid component to your organic posts if you want to get your message to a wider audience. Facebook, for example, can calculate how much it will cost for you to reach up to 1,000 people by boosting your post with some media spend. (Teller, 2017)
In this example, Facebook calculates that for $5 they estimate up to 1000 people will see this post.
Simply put, if you want your brand, products, and services to be noticed quickly, then paid social media provides an excellent platform to get your message out to an ideal audience. Below are some of the benefits of running a successful social campaign.
The most obvious opportunity is to generate revenue. This can be done through building a community or advertising your products or services within the social media platform. If you choose to advertise in social media, the ads can either link back to your business' social media page or sometimes to your website. This can mean that you're able to benefit from social media without needing to have a channel.
Using social media allows your customers to connect and interact with your business on a more personal level. If you already have an established brand, social media might be an opportunity to further develop your brand and give your business a voice.
Social media can be a good way of attracting new customers. For example, when considering social media campaigns, you could try to attract followers with promotions or giveaways. Once you have a good following you can focus on more personalised social media campaigns to encourage them to stay.
Even if you think social media is not suited to your business or that you don't have the time, simply logging on to see what your competitors are doing in this space, or finding out what your customers are saying about you might be a valuable exercise.
Networking can be a valuable way to exchange ideas with like-minded people to improve the way you do business. Using online networking sites can also be valuable to your business, often for knowledge sharing and word-of-mouth referrals.
Some organisations use social media to advertise vacant positions at their company. Job networking sites like LinkedIn are dedicated to the job market and can help you use networks to attract skilled people.
Your website's ranking in the search results of various search engines can sometimes be affected by the size and influence of your social network. As your social following grows, your visibility in search engines may also increase. This is a common Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy (Department of Industry, 2017).
The graph below illustrates the expected media spend in the US on social media based on current analysis. These trends usually take a few years to flow down to the Australian market.
Closer to home, let's take a look at the Australian market and where companies are deciding to put their marketing budget. The below is taken from a marketing survey of over 500 business from Sensis.
As we can clearly see, there has been a massive shift in budgets into social media with over 50% of the entire marketing budget of large organistions now being put into social media. There will be a ripple effect down to medium and small business as we can see the appetite for investment is there considering the results of the following Sensis survey (Sensis, 2017).
The below survey results illustrate the % of Australian businesses that are spending or has spent money to advertise on social media (Sensis, 2017).
In a survey of over 500 businesses in Australia, the current statistics show that the organic social media component is typically managed in house by the marketing department (Sensis, 2017).
However, when it comes to paid social media the results tell a different story.
The advantages of outsourcing your paid social media are as follows:
Digital Marketing agencies manage several social campaigns, so they have the skills and processes in place to make sure your brand, products and services are getting the exposure in a matter of hours rather than in a matter of days or weeks when compared with trying to launch it in-house.
While hiring a third-party service provider means you'll be required to fork out some cash, it's worth it when the third-party service provider are experts in managing budgets via social media. Typically, agencies and third parties fund the training and development of their social media team in order to keep them on top of the latest changes. This allows them to manage your budget more effectively as they are trained to understand the algorithm and how to position your brand so that it receives maximum exposure in the most cost-effective manner. Trying to absorb this training cost into your in-house marketing budget can really eat into the bottom line.
A successful paid social campaign typically has the following characteristics:
Trying to recruit, employ and manage a team like the above is just not feasible for a lot of small and medium sized businesses.
An agency will have access to hundreds, if not thousands of social media campaigns and therefore will have accrued a lot of data and insights derived from their campaigns. They know what works and what doesn't so less time is spent on trial and error and more on growing your audience. They know how to get your ad in front of more people whilst maintaining budgets.
An agency may be managing social media campaigns in the same industry or a similar one to your business. This enables them to have benchmarks and measurements in place to know if a campaign is successful or not. They will know the Cost Per Lead that can be achieved in the platform and will strive to make sure your campaign is optimised for that. They may have tested certain ad sets with another client and know what works and resonates with your target audience. This type of experience is invaluable as it prevents you from wasting resources and time on ad sets that will never work.
At Rocket, we have managed over 80 social media campaigns. We have a dedicated team in-house that will provide you with a complete social media strategy. If you want to chat more, feel free to get in touch or book a consultation today.
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