Paid Social, Social Media

Maximize Your Reach With Paid Social


We already know that social media plays an important role in the marketing mix. Social media is a great tool for connecting with consumers, building relationships and sharing content, but what if your engagement rates aren’t nearly as high as you hoped they would be?

It may be time to invest in paid social.

Paid social is when you pay for the placement and visibility of an ad on a social media network. For many social media sites, like Facebook, you set a daily budget and then the cost is incurred depending on the type of ad planned. Many ads incur a cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM).

When you use paid social, you are leveraging your ads to drive traffic to your website by backing your posts with money. Paying for the ad or ‘boosting’ a post allows you to target a specific audience and increase your reach. Put simply, your paid ad will reach more people than a regular social post would.

But it’s not all about reaching more people. You can set up your ad to reach a specific audience, which will lead to it being seen by the right people at the right time.

“Building a paid social strategy can solve declining engagement and help actually quantify the value of social media. Paid social allows you to strategically target consumers, track the cost and ROI of each click, and see clear across every touchpoint in the funnel all the way through to conversion.” Denise Chan, Bitly

You are probably thinking “what’s wrong with my organic (free) posts?” Because of the algorithm that Facebook uses, organic content is not seen by your entire community, or by all your ‘likers.’

If you don’t believe me just look at your past posts (on your business Facebook), underneath each post it will say how many people it reached. For example, the real estate page that I manage has 235 likes, but our post from yesterday only reached 63 people. If I wanted to reach more people, I could ‘boost’ the post set a low budget, maybe $2 a day, and then my post reach would increase dramatically.

So now that you have decided that you need to integrate paid social into your marketing strategy, how do you determine which social network to use? Ask yourself these three questions.

  1. Who’s My Target Market? Determine who you are trying to reach. Each social media network has its own purpose and audience. Choose the channel that your ideal customer uses.
  2. How Much Can I Spend? You don’t have to pick just one. Look at the cost of advertising on each network and decide how many channels you should advertise on based on your budget. Choose the ones that will have the best ROI.
  3. What Type of Content Am I Sharing? Align content type with the correct channel. For example, visual content with relevant images get 94% more views then content without on Facebook.

Let’s breakdown few social networks that offer paid advertisements:

With over 1.19 billion users, Facebook has an enormous audience. Which means advertisements on Facebook have the possibility of giving your business great visibility.

Two types of advertising options:

Facebook Ad – Offers many advanced options for advertisers. The type of ad you choose to use will depend on what the goal of your campaign is. These options include likes, clicks to website, app installs, app engagement, website conversions, event responses, offer claims, video views & local awareness.

Boosted Post – Increases the reach and exposure to your ad. Boosted posts are typically used when the goal is to achieve audience engagement such as post likes, shares and comments.

How to advertise:

  • Open the Ad Manager Tool.
  • Pick Your Marketing Objective. There are three categories; awareness, consideration and conversion. Within those categories you can create an ad that generate brand awareness, website clicks, engagement, lead generation, etc. Choose the objective that aligns with your objective.
  • From there you can start setting up the logistics of your ad. Facebook allows to you to set a customer audience that is based on location, age, gender, languages, education, workplace, relationship status, interests, and connections.
  • After your audience is set, you then set your budget and how long you want to run the ad for. When I run ads on Facebook I usually run them for two weeks. After the two weeks is up, I analyze the performance, make any necessary alterations, then run it for another two weeks (if the ad is performing well).

Twitter allows you to target people based on their interests. Each time a person sends out a tweet with a hashtag, you have the ability to target them with your paid social.

Three types of advertising options:

Promoted Accounts – Will increase your accounts exposure and help you gain followers by promoting your account as the one to follow.

Promoted Tweets – Will amplify one of your current tweets.

Promoted Trends – Are topics and hashtags that are moved to the top of the Trending Topics list.

How to advertise:

  • Click on the Advertise with Twitter link.
  • Choose which specific advertising options is right for you.
  • Select your target audience. Twitter allows you to target by city, state, region or country.
  • Set your budget. You can set your budget by either cost-per-click or cost-per-impression.

A major pro of advertising on LinkedIn is because of its business, professional audience, ads generally see higher conversion rates.

Two types of advertising options:

Sponsored Content – Attract new followers and boosts your content across all devices.

Text Ads – Meant to generate leads. Gets your business in front of your target audience.

How to advertise:

  • Go to the LinkedIn Ads login page.
  • Choose the campaign option that aligns with your objectives.
  • Start creating your ad. Assign a name to the campaign, set the language, media type, ad destination, ad design and variations.
  • Determine who you want to target. LinkedIn allows you to target your ad based on demographic characteristics as well as job title, employer, industry or skill/interest.
  • Set your budget. Like the other social networks, there are two pricing models; cost-per-click and cost-per-1,000 impressions.

Four benefits of social ads compared to traditional poster ads:

  1. Social ads don’t look super promotional. Users are more likely to view or interact with a social ad because it’s not blatantly obvious that it’s an advertisement.
  2. Advanced targeting options. You can make sure the people you want to attract are seeing the ad.
  3. Easy to manage. If your ad isn’t performing the way you had hoped it would, you can always change it or stop running it.
  4. Consumers can engage with it. They can like, share, or leave a comment on the post.

Who does it well?


GoPro’s strategy is to look externally for user-generated content. GoPro encourages its customers to send in/share photos that they have taken with their GoPro product.

This makes the content very original but also shows the product in action.

GoPro uses Facebook ads to increase the reach of their user-generated photos, videos, and to generate traffic to its website. They have reported that they are getting roughly 10% of traffic to their website from Facebook.

GoPro has utilized Facebook ads to drive their online sales. They have said that they are seeing direct sales on as a result of their Facebook activities.

Supplemental Resources:

3 Things Content Marketers Need to Know About Paid Social

Get Your Fans to Share Their Love: What Every Brand Can Learn From GoPro

Visual Guide to Understanding Paid, Owned and Earned Media


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