When your business decides to build a social community, it can be intimidating to look at a competitor and notice the amount of fans and followers they have. This may tempt you to outdo them by using paid ads and promoted posts to grow your audience and establish a fan base quickly.
That brings up an important question: Do social ads turn users off? The short answer is that brands must constantly evolve their social growth strategies to ensure that they are not being perceived as spammy or annoying. Providing valuable content for users is critical whether it’s seen organically or via a paid advertisement.
Want to pay for social media success?
By 2017, social media ad spending is predicted to reach $11 billion. With so much money being invested into reaching and attracting social media users, it’s important that marketers know how to successfully and efficiently reach their target audiences. Although the social media advertising ecosystem is constantly changing, there is industry intelligence to better help marketers find the right people.
Social media platforms are currently scurrying to find the most effective ad format for a happy medium between advertiser ROI and user satisfaction. Facebook’s Sponsored Posts and Twitter’s Sponsored Tweets allow advertisers to place their messages in the actual feeds of network users. This tactic has resulted in lower cost per clicks for many advertisers and as much as a 200% higher ROI than traditional Facebook sidebar ads. Creative brands are crafting their sponsored posts so they feel natural and non-obtrusive to the user.
With more than 90% of US marketing agencies plan to use Facebook ads as a part of clients’ digital marketing campaigns in the next 12 months, it’s important to understand the options brands have to communicate their message. Sponsored posts can take many forms including traditional posts, photos, videos, links, offers, etc. Some of these perform better than others because they provide value to the user and/or drive interaction. For instance, paid photo posts on Facebook average around 2.8% more engagement than organic photo posts, and alternatively, paid video posts have half a percentage point less engagement than organic video posts.
An organic following demands creativity and consistency
Paying for bloggers, ads, and publications to promote your product may create a buzz about what you’re selling, but that one- to two-weeks of momentum will eventually fade. Once people discover new products, they move on and forget about what you’re selling because they haven’t established a connection with it. Contrarily, people who find your product organically may develop a passion for it and share their thoughts about it even if other competing products are on the market.
Successful organic growth strategies for social media must use creativity, integrate trends in a timely manner, and most importantly, be consistent. Brands must utilize multiple types of media to keep their audience captivated. As we mentioned earlier, different types of posts are more effective at achieving different types of results. For example, as much as 48% of users connect with a brand to take advantage of sweepstakes and promotions. Once they are connected to your brand, posts with images on Facebook have a 37% higher engagement ratio than posts without images.
Once you’ve developed your community, it’s time to work harder to develop valuable content to keep them engaged and continue incremental growth. After all, people like to share content because they oftentimes want to appear insightful, smart, or funny on their social media platforms. Remember to stay patient and allow your fan base to develop and grow on its own. Once that happens, people will buy into your product and it’ll get more shares.
The bottom line
Whether it’s using smartphones or desktop computers at home, people don’t want to feel like they’re being spammed or forced to like or share content. About 40 percent of accounts and 8 percent of messages on social media sites are spam, which means people have their guard up when it comes to paid content making its way to their social media timelines and feeds. This places great importance on developing an organic following and helping it grow.
However, even though paid social ads can be pricey, proper strategy can yield great results. The key is establishing a concise list of goals and creating captivating content to drive interaction and maximize your investment in the ads. Forcing yourself or over-playing your hand will lead to your business being known as one of the spammers. When using social media, you should be engaging and not selling.
The most important factors when using social media to market to and engage clients, customers, and consumers, is to stay patient and consistent. Do you feel that brands should focus their efforts on organic growth, paid ads, or a mixture of both?