You Can Get In For Free, But The Drinks Will Cost You

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paying for social mediaWho doesn’t love free? People flock to free drinks, free samples, free events, free anything, really. But, as the old saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Don’t believe me? Remember those social media sites you thought were free, well technically, they still are, but as time goes on they’re going to start charging you more to play. And, guess what? Because they’ve gotten your business so addicted to their “free samples,” you’ll more than likely fork over the cash.

Take Facebook for example, businesses have grown to love and even heavily rely on Facebook to connect with everyone from potential to devoted customers. However, you may have noticed that recently it seems like fewer fans are engaging with your page. You aren’t imagining things, they really aren’t. That’s because Facebook has changed the game to entice you pay to play (they did just have an initial IPO, remember). To increase fan engagement, Facebook Pages will have to purchase promoted posts and advertising campaigns. For now you can still decide just how much you’re willing to spend on Facebook, but to increase your views and keep Facebook as a viable part of your social media strategy, you will have to think about paying in the future.

And, even though you may be griping about the new fees, if you do it right, most businesses can rest assured that their money is being well spent. New statistics show that 16 percent of fans are reached organically on average per post on the site, while promoted/sponsored posts increases reach to 40 to 150 percent.

An example of a business taking full advantage of the new paid posts is our Atlanta Real Estate Forum page. For the past few months we have been promoting our weekly radio show posts on Facebook to a defined audience for $10 a day for three days a week. The results? Our radio show downloads have almost doubled during this time, we’ve seen a significant increase in our number of page likes and our promoted radio posts are reaching more than 50,000 people, a far cry from the average of 100 on the rest of our posts.

Facebook isn’t the only site that is cashing in, Twitter is now prompting users to pay to promote their tweets and Tumblr charges for pinned and highlighted posts. Just why are they doing this? Well, they’ve already got you in the door and hooked to their free drinks, so now they’re going to make a profit of your latest addiction. After all businesses are in the business of making money.

If your business needs help setting up a social media marketing strategy, let us know. We can build an effective program for your business  that includes a sound organic strategy as well as pay for play, Contact us at Marketing RELEVANCE.