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How Much Do You REALLY Know About Social Media Marketing?

Cup O Content regularly discusses the role of posts and ads with clients. Over and over, we find that many business marketers have an incomplete understanding of how social media posts and ads impact KPIs. To help clear things up, we've created this short quiz.

True or False: Social media posts are free to companies, so it's a cost-effective way to reach customers.

Answer: False.

First off, let's address the question of "Free." There is no charge to create a business account or post to it. So, in that sense, it is free. But creating relevant and attractive content takes a lot of time and skill, and that's usually not free. In fact, even if you assign this task to an existing employee, you set aside a portion of their salary to create content. And if you want to hire someone experienced or skilled to post, you will incur additional out-of-pocket costs. Few companies are creating social media posts for "Free."

Next, let's address the question of whether unpaid social media posts on business accounts (regardless of the investment in creating them) are an excellent way to reach customers. There's a large body of research that shows that social media platforms actually suppress a company's unpaid social media reach (presumably to take away a free marketing option and force them to use paid ads to reach customers.) In fact, some studies show that less than two percent of your page's followers will see any given post. And approximately 0% of non-followers will see them.

If your company relies on unpaid social media posts alone to deliver any KPI, you're bound to be disappointed. Without exception, you need to use paid ads to reach your audiences online consistently.

True or False: You won't need to run ads if you create really good content for your company's social media feeds.

Answer: False

Some people are amazed at how well their personal posts do and assume they can apply those rules to business accounts. However, the algorithms for individual accounts are entirely different from company account programming. As mentioned above, fewer than two percent of your page's followers will see any post. Social media platforms intentionally suppress the reach of your organic posts, no matter how interesting or relevant they are.

The only way to create reliable reach to your best customers on social media is with ads.

True or False: Social media ads alone can't drive sales.

Answer: False

Social media ads can be used as a stand-alone marketing effort. However, to schedule ads, you will need to create a business page or account.

True or False: You don't need ads if you get enough followers for your social media page.

Answer: False

You're probably seeing a pattern by now. No matter how many followers your business page or account has accumulated, even if they are in the millions, only a tiny fraction will ever see any single unpaid post.

You may be asking yourself, "Why am I working on creating followers then?" While posts don't provide reliable reach, they are an effective tool to satisfy other digital marketing objectives. Increasing your number of company page followers is great for credibility (a page with followers tells users/potential customers that you have a fan base.) Accumulating more followers will translate to more views and clicks (even if it’s only a few.) And even a few clicks to the website from social media are tagged as inbound links by search engines. That's good for your website's SEO/search engine ranking.

However, building your number of followers is not an effective stand-alone tool for reach or brand awareness.

True or False: Once someone follows your business page, they will start seeing your posts.

Answer: False

Followers rarely, if ever, see posts from a business page they've followed. However, you can target page followers with ads to ensure they see messages from your organization.

True or False: If you post highly relevant content on your business social media account, the algorithms will make sure the right people see it.

Answer: False

Social media platforms have absolutely no incentive to show business account posts to consumers, let alone prospects. The system is deliberately rigged to prevent free reach to any company. Remember that every social media platform depends on ad revenue to survive, so they work hard to ensure no business gets a free ride.

True or False: Social media ads can be inexpensive, even for very small businesses.

Answer: TRUE!

Here's the good news. You can reach hundreds, even thousands, of your best customers for relatively little monthly investment. Even a very small ad budget can make a difference to your bottom line.

Want to Know More?

If you're interested in incorporating paid social media ads into your digital marketing program, contact Cup O Content to learn more.

Read these articles to learn more about digital marketing.

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