Is Social becoming Pay to Play?





Social Media Channels are constantly expanding their services, especially with the need to stay in the game, to adapt to consumer needs and to constantly being a platform reaching its frequently growing audience.

If we think back to early stages of Facebook, where liking a page would have increased your business activity. Is that still as effective? Content Marketing has now become a key part of maintaining your brand presence. How that Content is promoted be it organically or to pay to give it that extra boost. Which is proving to be most effective?





Social Platforms by Content


Social can be stripped down into 2 routes, considering visual content, predominantly imagery and to consider direct conversation content with your audience, some will always interlink but defining them can help to tailor your content better and to integrate them.


Instagram – The recent development of promoted Ads from Instagram makes this a competitive channel. If you have images or products you need people to see, consider the 57% audience that is now constantly engaging on Instagram (Jennstrends: 2014)

Snapchat – More brands and celebrities are using this to create exclusivity with their audience. 60 Million Current users and now the introduction of SnapCash payments. (Digitalinsights:2014)

Pinterest – Fashion brands in particular are utilising the full extent of Pinterest boards and promoted Pins. A great way to sell a product and to expose the product within your audience. 84% of women stay active on Pinterest & 50% men ( :2014)

Facebook – a 48 to 74 hour window on Facebook creates the speed for people to view rather than read. Cadburys are great at creating visual social content that people are constantly engaging with.

Twitter – The inclusion of visual integration from Twitter now allows Photos to be viewed in your feed, 46% of Twitter users tweet at least once a day and 78% are active on mobile (Digital insights: 2014)

Youtube – With 1 Billion total users and 40% accessing through mobile, visual advertising in Youtube and viewer engagement is one of the largest. (Digitalinsights: 2014)


Twitter – Conversation built on Twitter is now becoming embedded in almost every brand. Taking TV shows example creating Hashtag conversion e.g. #MIC #TheXFactor

Snapchat – A thin line of visual conversation and a great way of creating conversational campaigns with a personal approach.

Facebook – Conversation on pages and statuses still stand, but with the volume of content constantly updating, is it still as effective?

Linkedin – Tailored for professionals, niche conversations on Linkedin is constantly on the rise. Linkedin reaches 200 countries geographically (Digitalinsights: 2014)

Google + – Great for building communities, linking with Google Ads.

The Power of Social Engagement

Hand holding a Social Media 3d Sphere sign on white background.



Social Channels are the key platform to access your real audience. These are the people that are likely to buy your products that express a voice and an opinion that can shape your brand. Brand engagement through these channels is becoming a competitive market. If we take a look at some of the key brands where social is a key aspect of their online strategy for example, Innocent, Just Eat and Tesco Mobile, they are constantly in the limelight for online engagement through channels such as Facebook and Twitter.





3 Tips for Social Engagement:

1. The voice of your brand should reflect your brand image both offline and online

Integration is key – consider what other brands are doing and to explore what works well. This isn’t research to be copied, but to allow you to define your brand tone and to work on that online.

2. Approach your audience on social channels differently.

Linking your social accounts together is not always a great idea. If you consider how each channels works, the way people behave on each channel is different and therefore utilising this along with the social accessibility is important. For example, Facebook works better visually. It is a lot easier to view picture content than text content. Twitter is an engagement platform, so tailor your content in a way your audience can join in. Define your aims and behaviour.

3. Build an integrated social strategy that will help you build your brand community

Interact your channels together. More than likely your audience will be across all so utilise each audience to gain new on others. Build a community, create a conversation across what your users are interested in such as Twitter Chats.


Increase in Paid Ad Mediums


Paid Ads are now a platform accessible from all social channels from new developments such as instagram promoted Ads, Promoted Pins on Pinterest and the possibility of Snapchat moving on to promoted Snapchat Ads. With millions of people present on social, how do you compete with the big names?

Paying for your ads allows small businesses to make an impact to relevant audiences. Social Ads can be targeted and is an option to directly approach your audience. For example Linkedin is a platform that would allow business individuals, products and services to be tailored to those likely to buy. If you want to create conversation and engagement for an upcoming event for example, promoting a Twitter Hashtag can help you build a brand community.

3 Tips for Social Paid Ads

1 Define your goal.

What do you want your Ad to do? It is a simple question but many get roped into wanting to be at the top of their visibility. Defining your goal of your Ad, be it exposure or a link to buying a product can help you tailor your spend and length of time you want to display the Ad.

2.Good Ad Copy.

Make sure your text appeals to your audience and with many that use a visual approach, use this space to appeal. Studying working Ads to begin with will help in creating your own.

3. Spend on the relevant channel.

If you define your audience and your goal, you will soon realise where to spend your money. Your audience may be 9-5 office workers, use the channels that will help give you maximum exposure eg. Linkedin. A wedding planning service for example, might work better on something like Pinterest and Instagram where visual ideas for your customers will help attract them to your service and engage.

Engagement Vs Paid for Conversion

paid-vs-organic-185x114Research suggests Paid mediums are working better to convert customers then organic. AOL Platforms studies demonstrate a 25% lead in conversions in Paid over Organic. Promoted Tweets for example lead to 3 X higher conversions than non Promoted.
The power of paying for your place in social is slowly taking over. However the two must integrate together. Paid Ads are great way for acquisition of new customers.

If people do not know your brand, promoting an unknown brand tweet/name/Ad will give you that exposure. Maintaining your brand will need the organic support, no matter how many times you run an Ad. Therefore the organic skill of creating engagement and a brand community goes hand in hand while paying for your position. Defining your strategy and using both options will help you achieve your goal.

Paying for your Ad isn’t a cheat sheet!

If you need support in your social strategy from engagement to paid, get in touch!

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