What is paid social media advertising?

21 May 2023
Paid Social: All You Need To Know

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What is Paid Social?

Increasingly important for businesses growing their visitor base and reaching new audiences, that’s what paid media is. No really, organic social is great for engaging with regular followers, but it won’t give you the reach that paid social can offer. Today we’ll discuss why paid social is important and what you should be aiming for, along with success tips and creating a paid social plan. 

If you’re a business with social media, you’ll have seen it. The little boost button on your posts, the promoted content and targeted advertising. These are all some of the most effective ways to use paid social media. But when you don’t know what you’re doing, it can feel like a bit of a minefield to Navigate, particularly when you’re chucking hard earned money at it. 

Photo by Jakob Owens
Photo by Prateek Katyal

Everything You Need to Know About Boosting 

Your spend for boosting varies based on your audience size, but as a minimum, £50-£100 per boosted post spread over a few days is recommended.

To boost posts on Facebook or Instagram, you should have administrator or manager access for your page or profile, plus a Facebook Ads Manager account with a current payment method.

Once you've logged in, find a post to boost, click on the "Boost Post" button at the bottom of the post, and choose a goal for your boosted post. Simple! 

Target your audience by specifying demographics and interests, or let the platform target your post to the most interested people. Finally, set a budget and duration for your boosted post and monitor the results, adjusting spend based on clicks if the desired outcome is conversions, and engagement if it's reached. And that’s it, you’ve done it.

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Paid Social Vs Paid Search

Consistent paid social media advertising works hand in hand with paid search engine advertising, with most clients spending 90% of their budget on a combination of Google and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) advertising. By linking these advertising activities together, you ensure you capture the widest range of new audiences.

Whilst the ROI on paid social media isn't as strong as on paid search, it can provide more defined targeting, enabling you to effectively reach the new audiences you want to speak to. You can also use paid social to retarget people who have previously visited your website in a more engaging way than paid search. Kenshoo (Skai) found that when social media advertising was combined with paid search, there was a 19% increase in conversion rates and a 10% decrease in cost per acquisition. So, combine the two for the most effective results.

Make Paid Social Work For You

To be successful with paid social media advertising, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, (say it with us) creative is crucial! Proper time and consideration need to be taken over your messaging through both imagery and copy.

Simple split testing for your ads can identify the best-performing creative and help to make data-driven decisions. Following tested best practices is also important to maximise results, but it's essential to balance checking performance frequently with not wasting time. It's easy to burn a budget without the right technical input, so ensure you manage the campaign and spend rate correctly at set-up. 

You need to create a paid social plan. That means you need to define your campaign goals, identify target audiences, and choose the right social media platforms that best align with your target audiences and campaign goals. You also need to set a budget, create a timing plan, and monitor the results to ensure you're achieving the desired outcomes (if you need a refresher check out our other recent blogs).


In conclusion, paid social media advertising is essential (just like the others) as a tool for businesses that want to grow their visitor base and reach new audiences. These tips can help you develop a plan that aligns with your paid search, allowing you to maximise your ROI. 

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