Social media used to be a super accessible, free way to promote your business. Practically anyone with an account had a chance of getting seen and going viral.

These days, complicated algorithms and crowded spaces make it hard to get found…without investing a little bit of cash.

Here’s why.

You want better targeting.

When more businesses use social media, it decreases your ability to get organic reach for free.

Luckily, sites like Facebook help you boost posts to the audiences you choose. But ads and pay-per-click campaigns are the best way to choose a specific target audience, based on:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • And more

It’s easy to understand your ROI.

Online advertising lets you measure the impact of every dollar.

Most social media channels have easy-to-read reports on your investment. You can see how many likes, clicks, calls, even purchases you get when you pay to play.

Once you know what’s working and what’s not, it’s easy to adjust. Take that, billboards.

The social giants are cashing in.

Instagram just announced they may remove public “likes” on posts, which would hugely impact user marketing strategies.

Today, businesses use “likes” to partner with the most popular accounts (for a fee) and get noticed. Without seeing “likes”, it’s hard to know which accounts get good engagement and are worth paying for promotion.

This could be Instagram’s way of taking back control of advertising on the platform. And they’re not the first to do it.

Want more social media advertising tips? Here’s How to Stand Out Using Social Media.