Are Sponsored Social Media Posts Worth It?

The world of social media is changing at rapid rates. Popular networking sites, such as Facebook and Instagram, are realizing that they can maximize their profits by forcing brands to expand their social media budgets and pay to promote content.With algorithms and terms of service changing every day, content creators and community managers are always trying to find new ways to get their message seen.
Many professionals are choosing to bite the bullet, and shell out the extra bucks to make sure their content reaches the maximum number of audience members. However, recent studies show that the difference between engagement with sponsored versus non-sponsored or promoted posts may not be worth the extra headache and budget allocation.
PR Daily recently published findings from a HubShout study that surveyed social media users and asked them to recall details of the content they encountered. Of all surveyed, 68 percent claimed to have seen a sponsored or promoted post, but 62 percent of that 68 also said that they could not remember who posted it, or what the message was.
Does this mean that audience members are finding less value in content that marketers pay to have pushed in front of them? No, not necesarily. The HubShout study also stated that 51 percent of those surveyed find equal value in sponsored and non-sponsored content. It was not an issue of there being money behind the message, it was all about the message being relevant to the reader.
This study could be a huge wake up call to marketers and community managers who believe the message on the top is the message audience members engage with the most. This simply isn’t the case; you have to do more than get the message in front of the viewer’s eyes. As social media changes, messages need to be visible, and highly tailored to meet the needs to various audience members. Rather than shelling out extra bucks for a sponsored post, it may be a better idea to throw that funding in the direction of thorough market research.
Do you believe sponsored social media posts are necessary? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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