The Costs of Marketing on Social Media

By Linda Binklage

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Social media makes marketing easier than ever before. When the internet didn’t connect the population of the entire planet, reaching people and finding a demographic was a lot harder. With all of the data that social media platforms collect about their users, you can send your message directly to your extremely specific demographic with just a few clicks. It’s a panacea, but how much are you really paying for it?

How Much Should I Expect to Spend?

How much you should set aside depends on two things: how far you want to go, and how long you want to run your campaign for. Any advertising campaign that has a very broad reach will inevitably lead to wasteful spending – if you can’t guarantee that the kind of people seeing your ads are the kind of people who are going to want to spend money with you. The duration of the campaign will also extend your costs.

If you’re looking to get the best return on your investment, running a medium length campaign that’s highly targeted is most likely to bring in new customers. Depending on which social networks you use, you might find that the price is very reasonable for the potential results.

On Facebook

Facebook is incredible for social media marketing. Their tools allow you to pay per click if you need the comfort of knowing that every advertising penny is working for you. Billions of people use Facebook, and the network collects a lot of demographic information.

Unlike other social media networks that allow people to fib on their profiles, Facebook wants real names, ages, and locations. These people “like” their interests and tag the places they visit, which adds another layer of accuracy. You know you’re getting people that actually fit your demographic, rather than people who merely appear to.

This makes Facebook one of the most inexpensive avenues for social media marketing when it comes to costs versus the quality of results.

On Twitter and Instagram

Twitter and Instagram both use the promoted or sponsored post options for advertising, as well as ad inserts into feed. You’re allowed to target your demographics, but these targets have limited power. You don’t need to submit a lot of personal information to use either platform, and they both use the hashtag system to target interests, rather than a direct connection.

These platforms are a little more expensive when you’re looking to reach people. If your content is highly visual, Instagram is likely to be beneficial. Twitter’s userbase isn’t as large as Facebook or Instagram, but it’s great if your marketing campaign utilizes a lot of witty, short quips.

Backing it Up Through Email

If you aren’t currently running email marketing campaigns, you need to start. The data you collect through your social media marketing campaign may not immediately lead to conversions, but by inviting people to sign up to your email list for a discount, you can retarget them. If they aren’t customers by the end of the first wave, you’re likely to make them customers by the end of the second wave if you can pop up and remind them to buy in their inboxes. This is a relatively low-cost way to maximize your efforts and see real results.


Remember to adjust your campaigns midway through if the first half isn’t bringing you the results you want. It’s better to experiment with something new than to watch your advertising dollars drip away with little return. Always monitor and make changes.


About the author:

Linda Binklage is a Content Manager at She enjoys blogging about entrepreneurship, online marketing, career development and freelancing. In her spare time, she loves catching up on the newest technological trends and finding new places to travel to.

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