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Q & A

Paid social media: Q&A with Aydin Moghaddam

Aydin Moghaddam, Head of Paid Search & Social at digital agency ROAST, explains the business benefits of paid social media

What is “paid social media”?

Aydin Moghaddam (AM): “Paid social means paying to amplify your social media posts. It allows businesses to reach a wider social media audience, and in turn grow their business.”

What benefits does paid social media potentially offer?

AM: “On average, organic social media posts reach less than 10% of a business’ followers. Paid social allows businesses to reach existing and new audiences that would not otherwise have seen their posts.

“You can target audiences based on signals such as location, demographics, interests – even job title, household income, etc. Remarketing is another option, which means targeting people who’ve already visited your website or have engaged with your content. Businesses can also upload customer or prospect email addresses and tailor offers and ads to these segments specifically.”

Does organic social still have a place?

AM: “It does, businesses can still use organic social to build a social community and communicate with their customers. Organic posts can also help to improve brand recall for existing fans and, if done correctly, turn them into ‘raving’ customers. However, organic reach alone is not something that a business should rely on.”

How much does paid social cost?

AM: “It varies. Each platform commands a different price. This is because ads are usually bought in an auction. Different audiences within a platform will vary in price based on competition and seasonality, while each ad format is priced differently too.

“On average, video views can cost £0.001-£0.07 per view; post engagements £0.15-£1.25; and clicks to a website £0.10-£5.00 per click. However, businesses should be less concerned with vanity metrics and more concerned with ultimate business value. They can do this by measuring ROI [return on investment] and marketing effectiveness.”

How can success be measured?

AM: “Social media platforms provide advertisers with basic insights and ‘soft metrics’, such as how many people watched a video, how many engaged – liked, shared or commented – and how many became a follower after seeing an ad. However, actual behaviour offers greater insight.

“More savvy marketers now include social in their attribution modelling [ie the method used to measure the monetary impact a piece of communication has on sales, customer retention, profit, etc]. In digital marketing, usually the last thing a customer did or was exposed to gets all of the credit for the sale. But attribution modelling lets us move away from the bias in last click measurement, by allocating value to all exposures leading up to a sale. This enables a better understanding of the ROI of channels such as paid social, irrespective of the role it plays – whether it’s brand awareness,
consideration or response.”

What three key paid social media tips do you offer?

AM: “Firstly, more than 90% of social media takes place on mobile devices. So, video must be easily viewable on a mobile screen and the message must be clear. You should also be able to understand videos without sound. If your aim is to drive people to your website, make sure your website is responsively designed, so it looks good on all devices.

“Secondly, users are in a different mindset when checking their social media feeds when compared to when they are using a search engine. Good social media should feel ‘native’ [ie natural] to the platform.

“Thirdly, the most important thing is to have a consumer-centric approach. Think aboutwho your target audience is and what value you can offer them.”

Read more:

Understanding social media marketing

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Use social media to market your business

How to create an effective social media profile