Paying for traffic to a website or other online destination is a practice that was borne out of a number of online marketing tactics that have been around as long as the Internet, including SEO and paid search results. With the proliferation of social media, more and more companies then began to see the value in going viral across networks that contain billions of users, such as Facebook. With this came the practice of paying for content promotion on such sites, and many companies today still engage in this practice … but should they?
The Advantages of Paid Promotion on Social Media
Most social media sites that allow publishers to promote content provide the ability to drill down into user demographics when deciding where the content should be placed and who should see it. This opens up a whole new world for publishers wishing to promote content as it provides for focused targeting of people who are most likely to engage with the content and share it. In addition, the sheer number of users on some social media sites makes it difficult not to attempt to promote content, especially due to the fact that branded content can spread across the world within a matter of hours. When things work, they really work.
The Disadvantages of Paid Promotion on Social Media
Unfortunately, when things don’t work, they often really don’t work. One of the major drawbacks to promoting content on social media is the potential for a backlash. Many companies pay for content promotion through social networks in an attempt to manage a reputation or to manage or build a brand image. What often happens, however, is that the comments section on paid content that has been promoted becomes a playground of ridicule from site visitors. If you’re an existing brand, this can hurt, but it can really tear down a new brand as commenters are quick to mention potential trust issues and make comparisons with your competitors. In addition, paying to promote content may come across as saying, “Our content isn’t good enough to garner attention and shares on its own, so we had to pay to get people to see it.”
So, Should You Pay to Promote Content on Social Media?
While there are pros and cons to paying for promotion on social media, the truth is that you need to know how to wield your power well. As demonstrated above, posting too much salesy material can draw the ire of web-savvy consumers in the form of comment reviews and negative shares, making your company look bad. All the while, ignoring paid promotion can leave your company in the dark when it comes to billions of potential consumers. Do you have a game plan?
Partner With a Professional
In order to get your online marketing plan straight, whether it includes paid social media promotion or not, you should consider partnering with a social media content specialist. These professionals will be able to analyze your current efforts and offer solutions that will not only save your company money, but also that propel it and its content to the forefront of social media sites with minimal expense.