Paid social media doesn't have to cost your small business a fortune

Read about how your small business can increase its reach and exposure by using a combination of paid social media and organic social media in its marketing campaigns. 

There's something in that phrase, "the best things in life are free" that is true in social media marketing and branding. I know what you're thinking, what about "nothing is free" or "there's no such thing as a free lunch"? It depends on what you consider a cost. For some businesses time is a major cost that they want to eliminate wasting. For other businesses time is easy to give but spending is more of a concern. The most successful businesses can afford to spend their budget on social media. However, that doesn't mean that they will have the best social media brand campaign or program.

"The best things in life are free" refers to the important things in life like family, friends, loyalty, and love. In social media, the best things for a brand or business are being considered a thought leader, being a brand that has followers that engage with the brand and share its content without hesitation. The best things for a consumer or a brand follower is having a brand that is helpful, that has a personality of its own, and a brand that engages them and responds to them.

What Money Can't Buy

Money can buy most things, but in social media it can't buy real quality followers or real engagement. Money can't even buy influence or reputation, although it might work in the beginning. What rings true lasts through (just made up that proverb on the fly). To have a strong social media marketing and branding campaign you need to create and curate quality content, engage with potential customers and those who engage with you. Above all, be true to your brand's voice. 

Organic social media is how you build your online presence as a thought leader in your industry or field, but it's also how you demonstrate your authenticity and worth in being a brand to follow, to share about, and ultimately a brand to purchase goods and/or services from. Organic means you are not paying for ads or publicizing your posts or content, you are simply creating and putting them out there to be viewed and shared. 

The trouble for brands and businesses that can't afford to spend a lot on social media is that their content doesn't reach as many eyes as the brands and businesses who can spend more on paid social media. Paid social media is where a brand or business pays to publicize their content or their promotions through paid ads or sponsored messages. Depending on the platform, you can control your paid social media budget in several ways.

First, decide how much your business can afford to invest for a given time period. Next, choose whether to pay-per-click, pay-per-view, or some other form of engagement on the ad or sponsored message. Next, decide how much your business will elect to pay per engagement (per click on the ad, etc.). Most social media platforms tell you how many people you'll potentially reach once you've added in all the numbers.

What Money Can Buy 

Paid social media is necessary for increasing exposure of your brand or business, but organic social media is not dead. In our industry earned media is still a big deal. Earned media is where a brand or business earned publicity free, without using advertising or paid marketing means. It shows that either the business or their social media marketer understood the audience and the content engaged with them in such a way that the content was widely shared. Spending on viral marketing can be costly, but when the content goes viral organically that's a combination of luck and strategy. 

It is wiser for a business to invest in a social media marketer or team that can help with creating and executing a strong social media campaign or program that fits your budget, using both paid and organic social media strategies.

If you just want to use social media to increase exposure and reach for short periods of time, it's worth while in contracting a social media marketer who can better advise you on how to allocate your budget in paid social media. 

Here at Geoffresh, we work with our clients and develop successful social media strategies for their campaigns and programs based on their budgets and goals. We're here to help, please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions. 

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