Social advertising is a powerful next step

(This is a cross-post from my Company blog.)

If you’re a marketer, the decline of organic reach on social media channels should concern you. Facebook is the poster child for this decline, thanks to the constant changes to its algorithm—and its recent announcement that brands would be able to reach only a small portion of the huge audiences they’ve amassed over time. But no matter where you do business, it’s much harder to grow social channels organically than it was a few short years ago.

A smart editorial calendar was once the golden ticket to success. Companies showed they “got” social media by planning ahead and creating content that provided consistent value to their followers and would-be followers. The brands with editorial calendars and content creators that lined up to fill in the slots quickly gained reputations for being committed to social media success.

Today, the calculus is different. An editorial calendar is table stakes. It’s merely the ticket that gets you in the door.

We know that having a content system in place, providing value and actively engaging is a winning combination for steady growth. But we also know it isn’t enough for anything beyond that. Steady growth is just one goal within a social media analytics framework—and since social media goals should mirror company goals, it wouldn’t be a success metric at all for a company with goals centered on rapid growth.

Enter social advertising.

From Facebook’s display ads to Twitter’s promoted posts and accounts, we’ve never been able to target consumers as narrowly as we can today. If you’ve got the right content for the right audience, giving that content a boost with some paid advertising to reach even more of that audience can be more beneficial than you might think.

We recently compared the growth of a client’s Twitter account pre-advertising to its growth during a three-month advertising campaign. The results were mind-blowing. Before sharing the results, the client was considering reducing the media spend or stopping the campaign altogether. After seeing a 6,000 percent increase in media clicks, a 2,000 percent increase in followers from tweets and more than a 446 percent increase in impressions, backing off was no longer a topic of discussion.

That growth happened during a crucial time for our client – just before it launched a new product line. It positioned the company for even more success and allowed us to incorporate more aggressive success metrics into the analytics framework associated with the product launch.

The message here is simple: Social advertising is a wise investment for brands that have already put in the work to establish a strong social presence, grow an audience and provide valuable content. Moving beyond organic growth on social media is the next logical step for those who fit the mold but have yet to take the plunge. When done right, it’s well worth to cost of admission.

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