To generate good exposure for your brand, the social media world has become pay-to-play.

Creating good content is an integral part to any digital marketing strategy. The issue many brands face is how to generate exposure with that content they've developed. While quality content can sometimes stand alone and reach the right audience organically, paid social advertising helps align the right users with the proper content and ensure visibility at the ideal time in the customer lifecycle. Social platforms have evolved to meet consumer demands and handle the surge of digital content, and paid advertising has become a necessity in order to be seen and generate engagement. Today, brands big and small are being forced to pay-to-play—or be left behind.

Trends in Social Content

Recent updates to Facebook have changed how content is delivered by showing fewer user engagement stories in news feeds. This is a trend that affects brands by limiting the exposure for content that users engage with through “likes” and comments. What this means is that brands that wish to remain visible must rely on quality, sharable content and paid advertising amplification. This trend can be seen across social platforms and will continue to develop and push paid media to the forefront of social interaction.

Top content trends for both organic and paid have shifted to offer quick, visual, and engaging content. Users expect instant gratification at a glance to stop them from scrolling through news feeds, and to influence them to engage. Accessibility and mobile focused content also dominate social channels and drive the highest levels of user interaction. Within the restaurant industry, a mobile-focused strategy is essential, as 75 percent of smartphone users access restaurant information on-the-go.

Evolution of Social Advertising

With the birth of social media dawned a new way to connect with users. Even in its early days, social advertising allowed unique ways to connect with consumers based on their interests and online behaviors. Today, social advertising allows highly specialized targeting options and a variety of platforms to deliver content. Ads can be used to promote pages and websites in side banner ads or sponsor content directly within news feeds among the content users already want to see. This allows brands to focus their content and deliver a more effective and engaging experience.

Content can either be shaped for engagement or conversion, but both forms should be amplified with advertising to develop more visibility. Facebook has pioneered the social ad space, and has introduced a variety of new ways to deliver ads and acquire new customers. Most recently, their new “Product Ads” allow brands to showcase an assortment of products to offer users variety, interaction, and a more complete story. Restaurants can leverage these ad platforms to showcase new promotions, customer reviews, and stimulating visual content.

Pay for Visibility

Advertising has become a necessity to be seen. Your brand needs to identify its target audience segments and how they behave online. Create content based on user interests and leverage paid media to deliver that content on the ideal social platforms used by each segment. Targeting features can help isolate niche groups and deliver your content at the right time. Experiment with different ad features across platforms to find what combination generates the highest ROI and user engagement.

Recently, major social media giants have announced big plans to improve the reach and targeting features of paid platforms, showcasing the demand by users and brands alike. Don’t get lost in the noise of digital content—amplify your digital reach with paid social advertising.

The opinions of contributors are their own. Publication of their writing does not imply endorsement by FSR magazine or Journalistic Inc.


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