Why Paid Social Media Will Be Essential in 2016

Once we start receiving something for free it’s pretty awful to have to start paying for it again. Imagine being told you have to pay full price for every album you listen to on Spotify, even that Kanye West album you hate-listened to.

As consumers we always seem to find a way to get what we want for free. As marketers of our businesses though, we have to pay the price to succeed and it’s becoming increasingly hard to find the free workarounds.


In the traditional sense, social media is marketing. We’ve gone from paying for billboards and tangible ads—to free social media—to being told we have to pay again.

We have to pay primarily because Facebook cut organic reach as a way to make a buck off of businesses using their platform for marketing. Makes sense.

Facebook wants to make money just like the rest of us. The honeymoon’s over: paid social media will be essential in 2016 and we have organic reach to thank.

Organic Reach

Organic Reach is defined as the “total number of unique people who were shown your post through unpaid distribution.”

We’ve blogged a few times warning you about the death of organic reach on Facebook, but how does it really affect the distribution of your content in 2016?


“The average organic reach for posts from Facebook pages in March was 2.6 percent of a brand’s audience. This percentage dropped to 2.3 percent for pages with more than 1 million likes.”  -1to1Media

We haven’t met a staffing company with 1 million likes on Facebook yet. This means if you’re relying only on organic reach (posting on Facebook without paying to boost), your reach (depending on your # of followers) is very like well below 1%.

What About Twitter?

In 2014, Twitter released a new dashboard for brands to measure insights on how their organic Tweets perform, namely paid Promoted Tweets, which target a specific audience.

Twitter found brands that tweet two to three times per day can typically reach an audience size that’s equal to 30% of their follower base during a given week. While Twitter is better than Facebook, it’s only a matter of time before Twitter kills organic reach, especially with no growth its first quarter since it went public.

We Can Prove It

Taking into account a known decreased reach, we can look at data from posts to prove that paid social is essential.

Look at these two Facebook posts we created and posted for a client. We see it happen with so many of our social media clients: the clients who have a budget for paid promotion end up with the most engagement and even some leads.

The first example we did not boost. You can see the reach is only 190 users.


It’s OK for a post like this to only have a reach of 190. The objective is retention and overall engagement, not necessarily leads or conversions.

On the post below, we boosted the content and used paid promotion for our client. The post reach was 2,935 people and the had 77 actions vs. 6 actions (or clicks) for the unpaid post.


We used these examples because they were very similar posts — one promoted and one not.

Check in next week for another blog post about paid promotion of content like blog posts on Facebook and how you can increase page clicks and leads.

We can increase your reach and get candidates to your website from Facebook but you have to contact us today! 

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