3 Great Reasons to Use Paid Social Media

Mary Donné
3 min readNov 4, 2022

When you consider that nearly 33% of shoppers discover new products directly via paid social media, not taking advantage of it for your own brand is crazy.

Most small businesses are still wary of investing in paid social media.

While about 75% will have tried running paid traffic at some point. For many, this will be boosting posts (bad idea!) Some will try running a few ads with varying degrees of success. Most will not see the results they had hoped for and give up.

This is a shame because a great ads campaign can massively raise your brand awareness and … the Holy Grail … increase your sales and profits. Here’s how:

Is Paid Social Media Worth It?

Yes, yes, yes!

Like most things, ‘free’ will only take you so far. In 2022, it’s pretty much impossible to get attention with just organic content.

Social media algorithms are funny things. Just when you think you understand them, they change. Meta (Facebook) alone has had approximately 70 changes since 2006. The fact is that no matter how well you optimise your posts with brilliantly researched keywords, metadata, Google-friendly alt-tags etc, there is no guarantee that anyone outside of your network will see them. There is simply too much traffic out there.

Even if your network is large, only about 5% will still see your posts and even fewer will likely engage with them. The average IG post disappears after 2 hours.

Paid social media ensures that your campaigns will get reach and eyeballs as you are paying for an audience’s attention.

Paid Social Tells You Soooooooo Much About Your Target Audience

Most native data sources e.g. the Instagram analytics tool, aren’t that great. They’ll give you an overview but that’s about it.

The insights from paid social, on the other hand, get granular. Apart from the ‘normal’ male/female/location/age type demographics, you can learn, for e.g, what types of posts and promotions get you the best engagement, and how your ads are performing versus your organic. Remember, your audience won’t actually be seeing a lot of your organic content in the first place without ads, so this is useful!

Why is This important?

The more you know about your audience, the more you can pinpoint your general marketing towards targeting them. Creating content without knowing who you are serving with it, is the same as printing up a flyer saying, ‘Buy My Widgets’ and standing outside the bus station handing it to anyone who passes by. Which approach do you think will be the more effective?

Paid Social Lets You Target and Retarget the Customers You Want

And just to develop the last point, a good ads campaign will allow you to get very specific with your ads targeting. For most businesses (some are restricted) this means you can hone right in on, for e.g., people who love 80s music, own a cat, are vegetarian, earn more than £40K a year, enjoy travel, and read newspapers*. If these unicorns visited your website but didn’t ‘add to cart’, you can then retarget them on your next round. (*Please note my lack of age references in that description! Please don’t use ever age descriptors … ever … !)

This means that very little of your advertising budget will ever be wasted and you are only ever putting it before people who are most likely to be seriously interested in your product.

So, there you are, three really good reasons to be using paid social.

Now tell me why YOU aren’t using it?

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Mary Donné

Media Buyer | House Stark 🐺 | Slytherin 🐍 | ENTJ | Gen X 🎸