Paying to Play: The Modern Marketer’s Guide to Social Media


Need help with your social strategy? Sammii, our Paid Social Executive, is here with the latest best-practice advice and knowhow.

When recently watching an episode of Carpool featuring Ed Sheeran, I learnt that the chart-topper has ditched his mobile phone and said goodbye to social media (although a quick search on Insta reveals he does have an official account).

His superstar-level of fame means that his social media activity makes the press, with national papers carrying the story of his Twitter exit. However, very few individuals or organisations can claim to have this kind of impact, and must use a lot of effort and cash to stand out from the crowd on social media.

So, what does this mean in business terms?

With 2 billion users spending an average of 135 minutes on social platforms a day, social media is an ideal marketing arena for businesses. Twitter, Facebook et al can be a cost-effective marketing option compared to more traditional offline advertising methods.

If you want your business to succeed online, it’s important to approach it with a well-planned and cohesive Social Media Marketing strategy (SMM). In today’s market, businesses have to go above and beyond to generate likes, clicks and custom. Endorsing your products/services/activity in the form of poorly-written posts will not reflect positively on your brand, and will not generate the anticipated ROI.

Paying your way in the social media sphere

Few things in life are free, but many businesses seem to believe SMM should be.  Because there are no initial set-up costs to start a social media page, these businesses think that publishing content about their products will generate sales. However, it’s becoming ever-more difficult to be heard and seen anymore without paying to play.

Paid social is now a vital element in any online marketing campaign, but it’s not as simple as throwing cash at Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Social media marketing is a nuanced discipline, requiring strong business acumen, technical know-how and a sophisticated understanding of your target audience.

So, to help you navigate the tricky world of paid social media, here is my modern marketers guide to the paid strategies you should consider.

Social media marketing | Banc


Facebook is by far the most valuable advertising platform you can invest in. It uses a range of sophisticated algorithms, designed to target the right customers and can perfectly align with many marketing goals. Some digital marketing experts would agree it’s smarter than AdWords. The benefits clearly outweigh any downfalls.

Promoted Video – Video is one of the most cost-effective ways to grab users’ attention and is the preferred media format to absorb content. You are charged per view and this can cost as little as £0.01. Set up a remarketing audience and use this traffic to send them to your website.

Sponsored Engagement – This method is a great way of executing content and inspiring visitors to take action, especially if you’re reaching audiences that will be less likely to know or follow your brand. Sponsored posts deliver engagements at a very low cost. This is another great way of building rich audience data to send to your website.

Drive Traffic to Site – This is a great way to start building your website traffic. It’s recommended that you should adopt this strategy for a minimum of three months. You can upload your own data or explore Facebook’s audience interest suggestions. A few examples include job titles, travel and popular brands.

Twitter Ads

Since launching the advertising platform eight years ago, Twitter offers a product suite that is similar to Facebook and can help your business by raising awareness, gaining engagement or driving traffic to your website.

Website Clicks – Direct traffic to your website and collect this data for remarketing. The more traffic you can drive, the better chance you have at building robust remarketing audiences who are more likely to be further down the purchasing funnel, and more likely to convert.

Sponsored Engagement – Promote a powerful tweet and we guarantee you’ll amplify your audience reach. You don’t need to put a budget behind every tweet but promoted activity, coupled with a well-executed SMM strategy, will help ensure you’re on top of your game. Carry out A/B testing to find out how you can reduce the cost per engagement and maximise your ROI.

Follower Activity – This is all about growing your community. Run an ‘always on’ approach and you are more likely to acquire a steady growth of active users but remember, they won’t stay for long unless you give them something in return. Let them be the first to know what is happening at your company. If you look after them by offering great content, then they should become valuable customers.

Social media marketing | Banc


If your business operates in B2B, it’s important to get to grips with your LinkedIn marketing plan, as the platform offers a unique opportunity for B2B brands to gain the attention of business leaders and decision makers. LinkedIn report that 80% of B2B leads come from its platform.

Sponsored Content – Use an ‘always on’ approach and you’ll quickly learn that this will help to become the building blocks of a great LinkedIn strategy, helping to shape your community. LinkedIn’s self-educating audience is becoming more and more drawn to video media so it’s vitally important that you use the power of video to execute brand awareness and establish thought leadership.

Lead generation – Have you got something to offer your customers? Perhaps a brochure? Set up a lead form campaign and collect your users’ details who request more information about your products. This is a cost-effective avenue for converting customers.

If you want to increase your return on investment online, one thing that we can learn from SMM is that it is important to invest in the right channels and learn to spread your time and investment across different platforms.

If you’d like to add a more cohesive and effective social media plan to your online marketing efforts, get in touch on 0161 896 0425.

Avatar for Chris Balme
Chris Balme