paySocial Media, Pay to Play. In order for your status updates to be seen by more people, you are going to have to pay.

Social Media networks are free to use but the big players are showing less and less of your content to your audience. While this irritates most business owners, it is important to keep in mind that paying for social media advertising or even “boosting” some posts on Facebook, it is still significantly less expensive than the dollars that used to be spent on Yellow Page advertising.

Social Media, Pay to Play.

Why? The biggest reasons that Social Media, pay to play has become the norm is simple – profit and overcrowding – neither can be controlled by businesses. Considering that greater than 85% of businesses will use social media in 2014, the amount of content being pushed to the audience has grown significantly. With companies like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter going “public”, they are looking for the value proposition to continue to add profit to their bottom line.

To better understand where to spend your dollars, start with the goal. This is similar to the first step in creating a Social Media Strategy: Goals & Objectives. Do you want to grow your audience, promote your brand, announce a new product or service, drive traffic to your website or maybe increase the attendance for an event. Social Media advertising can be an effective tool to achieve any or all of these goals.

How much to spend greatly depends on your budget and bandwidth. You don’t want to spend hundreds a day to generate leads if you are a solo-preneur and can’t handle the volume. You don’t want to spend a dollar or two and barely scratch the surface of reaching people. The guaranteed answer is spending $0 isn’t going to work. The best answer is to start with a spend budget of $10-15 per week, analyze the results and determine if that number is too small or too large. Like everything in the online marketing space – always be testing.