If you were used to the days when you could hop on Facebook, send out an update on your business page, and expect everyone to see it, think again; those days are gone.  Organic reach is not what it used to be and you need to be prepared to invest in social and make smart choices in order to improve social media marketing ROI.

Many people have become accustomed to social media and now use it to find recommendations, review companies, and connect with their long-lost family and friends.  And businesses have been using social media as a way to connect directly with their customers to promote products, build brand loyalty, and conduct market research.

But, how can any social media site be 100% free and continue to operate and not run out of money? The answer is ads; your ads.  The more popular the platform, the more money they can extract from businesses who want to make sure their product or service reaches their prospective customers.  Facebook sells a lot of ad space and in return, they make a lot of money.  As of September 2017, Facebook had an average of 1.4 billion daily active users.

These days, it’s not uncommon to see ads floating all over Facebook. In fact, those sponsored ads that you see are just that – paid for.

Nowadays, you must pay to play, and Facebook has incorporated this idea along with many other large social media platforms.  For your posts to be seen, you must pay for ad space on Facebook, budget for your posts to reach your followers and invest in order to have your content appear in people’s newsfeeds.

However, if you accept that you must pay to play, social media platforms can be a very effective way to reach new customers and spread the word about your offerings.  Here are some ways that you can get the best results from your paid social media efforts and improve social media marketing ROI.

Make Your Ad More Story Focused

Social Media Marketing ROI - Story

One of the most important things that you need to keep in mind is that a story will always win in the minds of the consumer.  Since social media allows you to be personal with your customers and prospects, it is vital that you take advantage of this and genuinely connect with your followers.

In fact, many companies have become wise to this trick and they get personable with their ads.  When it comes to advertisements on social media, you do not want your ad to be a distraction or an interruption to your consumer’s browsing. Many customers and prospects who see a distracting or obnoxious ad will simply pass it by. Studies have shown that 71% of consumers prefer their ads to be personal and tailored to their interests.

Take some time to find out who your customers or prospects are and then make the ad personal by playing to the interests and behaviors of the group.

 Use Quick Visual Representation

Social Media Marketing ROI - Visual

Quick visual representations are going to draw your customers in and will land you more sales.  When you pay to play in social media, you need to make sure that the avenue you choose to utilize is the best option and you need to grab your prospects’ and customers’ attention immediately.

If you have not started, do make use of quick visual representations to ensure that your users know and understand what your product is, what it does, and how it can help them.


Take Facebook Zero into Account

Social Media Marketing ROI - Facebook Zero

The Facebook Zero news feed update is one that has really rocked the entire social media market.  Facebook has implemented an algorithm that is meant to prioritize person-to-person interactions, especially between friends and family over posts made from businesses or business pages.  This means that this will result in fewer organic business page updates and videos on your feed.

You have likely seen your liked or followed businesses telling you to comment on their post or else updates from them will be lost forever.  It is happening.

Facebook wants to make their platform more about people and their personal interactions with the ones they care about.  The news feed will focus on content that is shared and talked about among friends.  Posts that don’t aspire interaction among friends will be seen less.

How does this news feed ranking change impact paid ads?  Although this change does not directly impact Facebook ads because the Facebook ads are served up by a separate system, there are predictions that the Facebook ads price will go up due to less ad real estate supply on Facebook.

Pay to Play comes into effect here because businesses that pay are able to tailor ads to show up in their customer or prospect feeds.  The goal here is to make sure that the content posted from businesses is shared and discussed among friends and family.  In fact, you will likely see more recommendations about pages based on what your friends and family like and share.


Pay to Play and Improve Social Media Marketing ROI

Social media is now pay to play, and it is something that you will have to get used to.  You will now need to include money in your budget to advertise on your social media accounts.  Fortunately, with billions of users on Facebook alone, you will be able to reach many individuals with your ads and you can tailor them to reach a specific audience too.  With this investment, you can target new customers, reconnect with existing customers and improve social media marketing ROI in the process.

Reaching your ideal market is important and can be done quite effectively through social media.  The cold hard truth is that social organic reach is no longer valid, and businesses only reach about 6% of their users this way.  That is a hard thing to accept, but it is true. Take some time to learn more about creating content that is meaningful for your community to interact with and how you can pay to play and then join in and take advantage of the power social media marketing can bring. Invest in social media and in the future of your business.