Four reasons you should pay to play when it comes to your social media strategy

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The joy of social media is that it’s free, right? Well, when it comes to your business pages, this isn’t always the case. But that’s not a bad thing. Sometimes paying to play is the best way to win!

Maintaining a free, organic social media presence is important to establish your brands’ voice and personality, share information about your products and services, and authentically engage with and offer customer support to your audience. However, it also comes with its limitations.

For example, traffic can take days to build around platform algorithms, meaning if you’re running a time-sensitive campaign, it can cost you important factors like visibility and leads. Even then, content shared organically across platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and even YouTube, is often seen by only approximately 5.5% of your following.

As a result, increasing your reach, building your audience, and maintaining a return on investment (ROI) for your time creating and posting content can be slow going.

That’s where paid (or ‘sponsored’) social media posts come in, helping to round out your social media strategy even with a limited budget.  This allows you to:

  1. Amplify your brand reach
  2. Customise advertising goals to your business objectives
  3. Easily target key demographics
  4. Maintain an online presence at all times

Read on to learn why, when it comes to social media, you should always pay to play.


Amplify your brand reach

In a world that sees social media increasingly used to conduct business, paid advertising is an expected facet of a brand’s marketing strategies.

Plus, it’s everywhere, meaning that not advertising on social media means putting your brand at risk of falling behind. Around the world, paid social media accounts for almost 20% of total advertising spend, topping $47.9 billion USD ($67 billion AUD), in 2021 alone. Paid social media advertising is used by 37% of Australian small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) with a social media presence. Meanwhile, 80% of Australian SMEs consider paid social media advertising to be a beneficial advertising tool. For Australian SMEs, the average spend on paid advertising is 12% of their overall marketing budget, and 62% equate the success of social media advertising with a rise in sales, revenue, and profits.

While organic posts can fall to the wayside of the algorithms, paid advertising on social media guarantees you a place in the newsfeed. Think of your paid ad as a guide, appearing on your audience’s newsfeed, cutting through the noise, and leading them to a destination: your platform, website, or online shop.


Customise to your business objectives

Paid advertising can take several different forms, meaning you can pick and choose to find what works best for your business, services, audience, and budget! Different types of paid social media advertising include:

  • Pay-per-click (PPC) branded advertising, where you only pay if a user takes the action you want. For example, subscribing to your email newsletter. On Facebook, the average PPC cost per result is $1.72. On Instagram, this cost increases to $6.70 per post, but also boosts more engagement on average (particularly with advertisements which are visually captivating).


  • Influencer-generated content is where you pay a relevant social media influencer to advertise your product to their own following. This gives your brand heightened exposure. While only 5% of Australian SMEs report using influencer marketing in the past few years, 61% who have done so reported success via this tactic.


  • Display ads, are advertisements automatically recreated by Google for traditional online banner placement (i.e. in an online article). It gives your brand cross-channel reach without reformulating your advertising creative or copy. This method has proven particularly useful for retail, fashion, and travel brands.


Easily target key audiences

One of the drawbacks of organic social media is the limited audience targeting that can be applied. The big data and machine learning involved in curating social media algorithms means your ads can find, target, and reach your audience with ease.

While step one of targeting your audience remains conducting the research required to know them, paid social media advertising platforms equip you with the ability to apply this data in the most effective way possible for your brand online. Each social media platform is designed to help facilitate your business objectives and strategies and uses this to target audiences further.

For example, you can select your advertisement’s purpose as:

  • brand awareness
  • lead generation
  • website traffic
  • engagement (i.e. comments/shares or page likes)
  • any many more!

Targeting can even be taken a step further by directing your ads to an audience based on age, gender, interests, groups, employment, or geography. Facebook even allows you to retarget individuals who have already visited your website or engaged with your products – known as ‘remarketing’.

With so many options, the depth or breadth of your audience targeting is entirely up to you and how you want to spend your budget!


You can be ‘Always On’ social media

Paid social media is set to a schedule of your choosing, meaning you’re not required to be online in order to push content towards your audience. Social media ads are also optimised for phone and tablet screens, a significant benefit considering that 80% of time spent on social media is done so via mobile devices.

Having content popping up on audience’s newsfeeds 24/7 boosts your brand awareness. Recognition equates to credibility and enhances purchasing behaviour. Considering that the average person spends almost two and a half hours on social media a day, this almost guarantees effective brand saturation.

💡Pro tip: Effective ads emulate organic social media posts, and the penetration of paid social media means these reach audiences in the moment they most want to see your brand or product.

As a result, with even a modest budget, paid social media advertising can launch your content far beyond its current reach and engagement.


Are you interested in incorporating paid social media advertising into your social media or marketing strategy? At Purple Giraffe, we offer a range of social media packages to help your business get across paid social media. Chat to our team today to discover which approach is best suited for you.


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Alice Kerr

Alice is a young marketing and communications professional with a passion for writing and content creation. After completing her Bachelor of Arts and majoring in English and History, Alice spent two years working within the communications and creative industries. She is now enhancing her skills by completing further study with a Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communications and is excited to continue extending this knowledge and passion within her work at Purple Giraffe.

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