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With COVID-19, Social Media Ads are a Bargain
COVID-19 is reshaping the social media landscape.
Stay at home protocols are driving users to spend more time on social networks than ever before. People are posting updates, scrolling feeds and using messaging tools to stay connected in a socially distant world.
At the same time, advertising on social platforms has taken a plunge.
Social media advertising spending dropped by 50 percent in the first quarter of 2020.
Cost-per-click and other digital advertising tactics have seen similar declines.
While platforms are attracting record levels of users, companies are pulling back on advertising to those users. Travel companies and movie studios, which make up an estimated 30 percent of Facebook’s ad revenue, have slashed their social budgets due to coronavirus.
Paid Social Media Budgets Go Further
For many brands, particularly in the B2B space, that spending drop creates a strategic opportunity.
Social ads work like an auction. Brands set a budget to bid for audience engagement – clicks, views, impressions, etc. The more brands that bid, the greater the competition for those clicks or views, and the more expensive the ads get.
With some brands cutting their social budgets, there are fewer bids for impressions and less competition. That means, given what we know about social media habits during COVID-19, it’s actually possible to reach more customers with less spend than just a few months ago.
An Uptick in Organic Social Posts
But just because ad spending is down doesn’t mean brands have gone silent on social. Organic unpaid posts are up as companies use social media to share key updates on how the pandemic is impacting their operations.
Organic posts have a limited reach – they’re good for staying connected with loyal customers and individuals seeking out your brand. Expanding that reach takes good content that users will feel compelled to like or share. Social platforms use algorithms that make it tough for organic brand content to compete, so the quality of those posts has to really stand out.
Social platforms use algorithms that make it tough for organic brand content to compete, so the quality of those posts has to really stand out.
As for brands with budget, the ongoing pandemic and decreasing social ad costs offer a chance to get more value out of every social dollar spent.