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Social Media Online Advertising Customer Image Credit: Entrepreneur
Social Media Online Advertising Customer Image Credit: Entrepreneur

Should I Spend Big On Social Media?

Paid ads on social platforms can get your business in front of a lot of eyeballs. But don’t overlook the many other (and cheaper) ways to grow your customer base online.

Adam Bornstein

Q When it comes to customer acquisition, how important is paid social media compared with other digital channels?

—JOHN L., HOUSTON

Social Media has created a beautiful opportunity for entrepreneurs: It’s never been easier to get your message in front of hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people. But if you want to reach all those people, it’s going to cost a lot.

It’s a simple case of supply and demand, and social media platforms are limiting the supply. Organic reach— that is, your ability to speak directly to the audience that chooses to follow and interact with your business— has dwindled to almost nothing. On Facebook, for example, organic reach touches less than 5 percent of your audience on average. Facebook simply doesn’t show your posts to most of your followers…unless you pay for the privilege. That’s one of the reasons why advertising inside social media has become increasingly expensive, as brands outbid each other in a competition for users’ attention.

Suddenly, social media isn’t such a great deal. If you’re on a budget, all of this can brutally limit your growth and acquisition opportunities.

That’s not to say you should stop using digital platforms altogether. Paid social is a hotbed of marketing insight. With just a small amount of cash, you can easily test headlines, imagery, and offers on different audiences


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