Hatchett PR

creativity, culture, community

Money Can Buy Friends On Facebook

Money can buy you friends. At least that’s true on Facebook.

PAY FOR PLAY

Recently I had an opportunity to collaborate on a project with a social media team who work with high-profile clients, and charge accordingly. I thought it would be an enlightening experience. It mostly reinforced what I already knew, but what I did learn is that money can buy friends.

The team agreed with me that having good content and creating a plan of consistent posting is important. moneyBut they insisted that even with excellent content, good video or beautiful photos, and regularly scheduled post, you cannot be successful unless spend ad dollars on your social platforms.

I noticed over the last year that it was harder to get likes and responses on Facebook since their new algorithms limit how many people see your posts. I think I was in denial about how much it affected reach and engagement.

ADS VERSUS BOOSTS AND SPONSORSHIPS

A few years ago I placed ads for clients on Facebook. Back then an ad looked like an ad. Ads quite clearly asked you to buy something. For instance, an ad might feature a CD cover and say “buy here,” or include the logo of a theatrical production or concert and say “Tix” so you click to purchase tickets. Now instead of straight-forward ads you have the options of boosts and paid sponsorships. How often are we are consuming advertising that’s called something else?

Boosted posts are a regular part of today’s social media strategy and planning. I have to admit, this reminds me of infomercials. To boost a post, you create regular content and pay to have more people see it.

Page sponsorships have also become popular. Back in the day, colleagues or companies would simply invite you to like their page. A few still do. Now you mostly see sponsored pages instead of invitations. In order to get people to visit and like your page, it’s become the norm to pay for page sponsorship.

DON’T PANIC, IT’S ORGANIC

The days of organic growth may be coming to an end in the current pay for play climate. I’m not saying that you should pay to have people “oooh and ah” over your personal photos from the botanical garden. But for the biggest majority of users, if you want to spur engagement and increase the audience on your page, you’ll probably need a boost.

Pay for play is not only happening on Facebook. Twitter will serve your tweets to a broader audience with AdWords, YouTube offers AdWords for videos, and LinkedIn gives you options of creating text, photo or video ads in addition to paying for sponsored content.

Unless you’re a celebrity or have something quite unusual to announce, you will probably have to pay if you want a lot of new friends on Facebook.

***Here’s a great article in the San Jose Mercury News by Queenie Wong about the new changes at Facebook in terms of “pay to play.” : http://bayareane.ws/1HtLV0X

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