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Is Paid Social Media Worth the Investment? These Stats Illustrate.

Jeffrey Lambert
Nov 20, 2020 8:51:35 AM
paid social media hero


For more than a decade, a paid social media strategy has played a crucial part in every marketer's toolbox. With all the hype, businesses have crowded into the social media marketing space, with varying results.

During its infancy stage, social media marketing was nothing more than "post and pray." Now, we have sufficient data to create the best strategies based on your brand or industry. 

It is estimated that 52% of all online brand discovery happens on social media. To stay competitive with the algorithms, it's essential to understand that this includes organic and paid posts. Weak social media posts harm buyer decisions in literally one second.

With little wiggle room, we see why a paid social media strategy is something your business needs to put some serious consideration into.

Lightbulb of different digital strategiesPaid Social Media Works Great for Some Industries

Industries such as real estate, fashion, personal care products, and restaurants do the best on social media because they can reach prospects at various stages of a buyer's journey. Year over year, social media ad impressions rise by an impressive 20%. But, the average global social CTRs are down by 30% year over year. 

Brands that have aligned with a socially-conscious message excel on social media. A growing number of consumers view their support of brands as a "vote" with their money on critical social issues. Consider these statistics:

  • 86% say transparency on social media is more critical than ever before. Also, 53% of consumers say they are more likely to buy a transparent brand on social media.
  • 70% expect brands to take a stance on important issues, 47% expect the view to be made known on social media, and 55% say that a brand's statement influences their decision to buy.
  • However, 53% also believe that a brand can use a stance as a marketing ploy. So, it is essential only to support causes that your business truly aligns with and make it known from the beginning. 

Professional chained to social media weightBut, Not So Well for Others

Industries and brands that are highly niche often don't benefit much from social media marketing. Medical equipment manufacturers, biofuels, and other industrial businesses focused more on B2B have a more challenging time reaching their target audience with traditional social media campaigns. The decision-makers you need to reach might not be active on social media or easily identifiable by the targeting algorithms. 

Conversely, 72% of B2B marketers who use paid online channels, and their strategy incorporate social media somewhere along the way. Most of that is focused not on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, though. Instead, business-oriented social media platforms like LinkedIn or Xing for those who deal internationally. 

If your business is incredibly niche, one way to overcome the lack-of-engagement hurdle is to use videos to promote your products or services from an educational perspective. It may seem counterintuitive to incorporate non-selling aspects of your marketing strategy. But this approach can help you build a following that may indirectly result in increased interest. In this way, you can grow a following of people who may not use your service but share your videos.

Business person using a magnifying glassFocus on the Platform ROI

Each platform has a specific use in the minds of the people who use them. It's wise to deeply understand your target audience and focus on the most likely platforms to reach them. For example, if your marketing strategy focuses heavily on videos, marketers see a 49% boost in Instagram interactions. 

Here's a quick breakdown of social media marketing statistics that will help give you laser-focus on which direction to aim:


  • Potentially reach 1.95 billion people worldwide, nearly 32% of the world's population, and the right mix of demographics.
  • While that is incredible reach potential, it can also lead to oversaturation in competition. 
  • While ad prices decrease 5% year over year, ad reach only increased by 1% in Q4 2019.
  • Facebook finds itself continually marred in controversy over privacy concerns, and 42% of users took a break in 2019.
  • Despite that, 80% of e-commerce referrals came from Facebook ads. 

Twitter-icon Twitter

  • At 152 million users, it has a much smaller monetizable audience compared to Facebook.
  • 80% of users are international, accounting for 43% of the platform's revenue.
  • In Q4 2019, the cost-per-engagement decreased by 13%, and ad engagements increased by 29%.
  • Thanks to the platform's UI, Twitter users spend 26% more time viewing ads than other platforms. 
  • Tweets with hashtags often get 100% more engagement, so long as you don't overdo it. One or two hashtags is the magic number. 

Snapchat Logo Final Snapchat


  • They have 218 million active global users, comprising about 6.2% of the worldwide population (mostly aged 12-24 years old.) 
  • Snapchat videos are 7x more effective than TV ads, with revenue expected to hit $2 billion in 2020.
  • Snapchat picks up where Instagram leaves off with the younger demographic as 38% of Snapchat users do not use Instagram.
  • Snapchat is at the forefront of using innovative technologies to place branded ads in features like Augmented Reality.


  • This platform is the #1 paid and organic channel for B2B marketers, reaching 12% of the world's population and 62% of the US population.
  • According to Pew, the users of the platform are typically highly educated, earning top salaries. This makes it the best platform for B2B marketers to reach decision-makers. 
  • 89% of B2B marketers use the platform to generate leads. 
  • Estimates show sponsored InMail on LinkedIn messages more than double the open-rate compared to branded emails.
  • LinkedIn is also much more trusted among its users compared to other platforms.

Thinking outside the box in your marketing strategy will pay off. In some cases, your business may benefit more from having a presence on niche forums, groups, or platforms to interact directly with prospects. Answering questions, promoting new developments in the industry, etc., can help establish trust and show your business is a leader in your field. 

Online ad avenues illustration finalThe Big Picture Matters

Technically, paid social media marketing growth projects to slow down in the coming years due to a drop in new businesses emerging on the scene.

However, ad revenue projects to grow by at least 20%, thanks to the companies investing more in concrete social media marketing strategies. This news is excellent in terms of decreased saturation in the marketplace.

The key takeaway here is that it would be best for most companies not to think of social media marketing alone as your strategy's terminus. Unless you have hard data to focus your efforts on, it is best to view it as a complement to search engine advertising and other traditional paid marketing strategies. 

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Rizen Can Help With Your Paid Social Media Strategy

At Rizen, we know that the ocean of marketing options can be a little overwhelming. There's no reason to navigate it all alone. From research to planning, implementation to review, we've got you covered every step of the way. Please take a few moments to reach out to us to discuss your goals and vision for marketing success.

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