Paid social media marketing has completely transformed recently. First, there’s been an explosion of new channels outside of the traditional Facebook ads and Instagram ads. Now, paid social media marketers often need a few years experience in LinkedIn advertising, Twitter ads, TikTok advertising, Snapchat advertising and more.
Second, the privacy-first web means smaller attribution windows and less powerful targeting capabilities on social media platforms, reducing a paid social media marketer's ability to guarantee return on ad spend (ROAS).
But paid social media marketing initiatives are crucial for most brands. In industries from SaaS and tech to e-commerce and DTC, companies rely heavily on paid social media marketing to drive sales or even capture emails. It is a way to cast a wide net and earn the eyeballs and clicks of potential customers. It is also a way to retarget users who have already been to your site and move them closer to conversion.
Paid social media marketing today would be unrecognizable to a time traveler from even two years ago. But one thing stayed the same: It’s far from a marketing strategy nice-to-have.
Facebook has 2.8 billion monthly active users, as of Q1 2020 — and Facebook advertising revenues have grown with its user base. From Facebook groups to ads to managing the Facebook pixel and Messenger automations — and don’t forget Instagram advertising — Facebook marketing requires a subject matter expert. The platform's worldwide ad revenue for 2021 is projected to reach $94.6 billion — nearly 12 figures!
It may be the biggest social media platform, but it’s not alone. Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, Snapchat, Reddit, LinkedIn and more all offer advertising options to get in front of millions of users on those platforms. It’s worth stepping outside of the Facebook news feed to reach them. Better yet, they all offer different types of audience targeting, and can reliably get your message in front of very specific customer segments.
That’s the big benefit of working paid social media marketing into your digital marketing strategy and paid media strategy –– at the top of the funnel to drive awareness and clicks, and mid-funnel to encourage customers to return to the site.
Which social channel’s paid advertising works best for your business may vary. For B2B, SaaS and tech companies, LinkedIn and Twitter are often most effective. (Though don’t discount TikTok’s advertising platform, where business newsletters, for instance, are seeing success.) For e-commerce and DTC companies, social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and even Pinterest are highly effective for driving awareness and sales.
In many respects, paid social media marketing is how a brand gets off the ground, develops a lead generation strategy, launches a new product or grows a new channel. If your problem is that you need more traffic in a new target market, a paid social media expert can work with your budget to do just that.
Now, paid social media marketing works best within a balanced system. You don’t want 100% of your traffic coming from the Facebook app or Facebook pages, for instance. You need to complement your paid social strategy with content marketing and an organic social media strategy overall. That said, you can get great consumer insight from paid social media marketing, and drive significant sales – not just when you launch, but over the lifetime of your brand.
A good social media marketer will A/B test creative, use an ads manager to track bids and spend, understand the fundamentals of copywriting, and work to ensure that what you spend on paid social goes to good use.
With more social networks and fiercer competition, it’s much harder to break into social media advertising today than it was 17 years ago — when the only option was targeting Facebook users. It’s not enough to understand your target audience and demographics. You also have to understand the social media platform you buy ads on. The world’s greatest Facebook advertiser might flop on TikTok, even after applying everything they know.
Still, apart from channel expertise, every paid social media marketer needs a handful of core skills:
Not sure if it’s the right time to hire a paid social expert? There are several telltale signs that you need to get your social media advertising up to speed.
First, if you are relying primarily on word of mouth, and that word of mouth is slowing down — it’s time. Word of mouth game-changing number of new customers when you’re starting out, but after a while, your growth will start to plateau. As your company scales up its operations, its marketing efforts and customer acquisition efforts need to follow suit.
Second, if you’re spending more than 20% of your paid social media budget on retargeting or remarketing –– it’s time to level up. There’s no shortage of advertising “rules,” and most of them merit those air quotes. But one rule of thumb in paid social seems to really hold water: the 80/20 rule. Maybe it’s worth departing from it sometimes, but if your paid social lead ignores it completely, it’s time to hire someone who won’t.
Third, if you aren’t regularly testing your ads — yikes! Social media advertising may seem like a field for creatives, but it also takes quantitative skills. Frequent A/B testing, a form of user testing where two variations of the same ad are shown to similar audiences to see which version converts better, is a big part of the paid social job description, and an ideal candidate will have a vision for testing and analysis. This lets them fine-tune your paid ads for your audience, iterating towards the most effective designs, fonts and call-to-action phrasing.
Building your own marketing department with a team of paid social media can cost your business hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. This can be expensive, wasteful, and for most smaller businesses, downright impossible.
That’s why many small businesses consider hiring marketing agencies to outsource their social media advertising needs. Unfortunately, many of these marketing agencies are pricing their services optimistically — and in reality, most agencies are hiring freelancers themselves to complete tasks for clients.
Working with a freelance paid social media marketer gives you the expertise you need and the attention your social media presence deserves — affordably. The trouble is, being able to source and hire quality freelance talent used to be difficult — until MarketerHire. We take the headache out of finding the right freelancer with pre-vetted, personalized matching based on your project.
This saves you time, money, and sleepless nights — you’ll have peace of mind knowing they’ll get the job done efficiently and effectively.