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When Likes Aren't Enough: The Evolution of Paid Social Tactics

May 5, 2014 By Jessie Lambert
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Today, people are using social media to share their most intimate moments. From engagement and baby announcements to vacation photos, touting accomplishments and boastful check-in locations, the list of social shares goes on and on. In a society dominated by these social shares, being able to stand out from the crowd requires something exceptional.

I recently blogged about the future of Facebook and the offline social opportunity. The post explored how brands can embrace the new social landscape by capitalizing on offline opportunities with an integrated social strategy to provide an increase in earned media search results. This article will examine how the same changing social landscape effects paid media results and will shape a new market.

While banner ads and good ad copy will remain standard tactics, real-time strategies and content amplifiers will be the area where you can make the most impact. With social networks becoming even more targeted, paid media will be able to further refine target audiences and reach those who are most interested. In this ever-changing social market, how can brands embrace what many define as "paid social" in a manner that falls in line with the natural progression of things?

Looking at Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+, we can examine how paid social campaigns have developed over the years. Social users consume content for hours and demographic data is abundant. With the current market encouraging brands to be publishers, the value of investing in social campaigns is undeniable and sometimes even a necessity. Even the New York Times has made an announcement that paid posts will be the only ads available in the new NYT Now app.

In addition to brands being their own publishers, social networks are now being pushed to monetize in a larger capacity, creating an environment where advertisers and social networks can work collaboratively to generate appealing content and brand engagement that can  benefit both.

1. Facebook
Previously in most social landscapes, collaborating and engaging with your earned audience was enough to generate leads and meaningful interaction—with paid campaigns enhancing and amplifying your brand reach. Facebook, however, has become an outlier; meaning, if you are not engaging in paid campaigns, you are truly limiting your brand presence. Facebook has declared, "We expect organic distribution of an individual's page post to gradually decline over time," literally restricting reach to force payment.

 

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