Paid Social Media: Worth The Investment?

June 11, 2021

What is paid social media?

Paid social media is a method of displaying advertisements or sponsored marketing messages on popular social media platforms and targeting a specific sub-audience.


Paid social media includes pay-per-click advertising, branded or influencer-generated content, and display advertisements. When you see the words “sponsored” or “promoted” beside a post, you know it’s paid social media advertising.

Every social media platform is unique. Short-form content is available on Twitter, Instagram focuses significantly on visual content, Facebook provides a marketplace for shoppers, and LinkedIn is the place to be for networking professionals.

Here, we’re going to explore some quick strategies that will help you decide how to use paid social to the benefit of your brand.

Platforms for Paid Social Media

Each paid social media platform has unique features that set it apart from competitors. However, there are three key characteristics of a converting paid ad that you’ll want your platform of choice to support: visual content, easy access to lead capture forms, and enough space to include enticing ad copy.

Paid Social Media Strategy

A paid social media strategy leverages external marketing activities on social media channels that support PPC advertising. It involves using the ad tools native to those social media channels to create, schedule, and post targeted ads that will reach a specific market. The objectives of a paid social media strategy may include awareness, consideration, or conversions.

To start creating a sponsored social media plan, you’ll need two things: a budget and an objective.

Paid Social Media Strategy Budget

Paid social media advertising is one of the most cost-effective advertising options available in both the traditional and digital markets. The pay-to-play strategy for these channels allows you to target only the individuals your company wants to reach, so you only have to pay for the ones you can reach.

Paid social media ads can start as low as $1 because of the bidding model and lottery system some platforms use to bring ads onto users’ news feeds. Spending for this type of advertising is virtually unlimited, but you can set a limit that will stop the campaign from spending more money than you’ve allowed.

Paid Social Media Strategy Objective

Setting the objective for your paid social media strategy gives your subsequent tactics a direction to work with and a goal to achieve. Think of this strategy as a road trip. You start your journey at your house intending to make it to your destination by a certain time. Paid social ads work the same way — your audience is starting their journey with your brand on their newsfeed and your goal is to lead them to the destination — a content offer on your website, an email subscription form, or even your social media profile itself.

Once you have your starting point, it’s time to define your destination. Different social media ad platforms have their conversion tools, but the end goal is almost always the same — get people to share their contact information with your business. You might do this with a form fill or a visit to a landing page on your website. Either one works to reach the destination, but depending on your business’s needs, you might prefer one or the other.

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