• http://www.send2press.com/ Christopher Simmons

    We’ve been using paid social as an extension of our press release service which makes a nice hybrid approach for our clients. So, far the cost to do a little bump on FB results in about 5,000 eyeballs per story, but it can end up being only 15-20 viral and organic shares. We’re still finding it tricky to track these promoted shares vs the organic shares, but we have worked out a thing with custom shortcodes to track the promoted posts separately. Interesting times :-)

  • http://thejakejordan.com/ baldjake

    Love this thought Tom – “Use paid social media to sow seeds then cultivate individual relationships.”

    We have incorporated this tactic to promote a holiday social campaign or big piece of noteworthy content for clients. Much like Christopher noted below- lots of increase in eyes, but not a ton of traction on shares or virility.

    That makes me wonder if the content was not that good, or FB stunted our shares somehow by when/where displays the promoted post.

    If sharing via promoted posts truly is just a new amplifier to pump your content through, then the quality of the content will play a big part in how successful it is!

  • StLaz_Habsfan

    OK …. Is Google’s punishing sites that sell links not hypocrisy?
    After all … Google Adsense is paid test links.

    Also … lets not forget about sites that buy links on other sites – not for SEO – but because the site’s demographics and target audience are similar to their own, and they want to reach more traffic?

    I think Google’s ‘witch hunt’ for text link sellers is a bit over zealous …..

  • TomSchmitz

    I like the way you think.

  • TomSchmitz

    It depends on your industry or niche, but my personal observation is that Facebook is great for quantity while low on quality. Twitter is in the middle — I think they can evolve promoted tweets better. LinkedIn is lowest quantity and highest quality.
    Still, for the purpose of SEO, paid social gets the snowball rolling. You still have to offer great content (or something great), ID respondents, and follow-up with people you want to have a relationship with.
    Here is a thought I just had, this is the collecting phase, not the enjoying fruits phase.

  • TomSchmitz

    Google is following the quality standards it set for itself. They want to count qualifying links and exclude non-qualifying links. It’s always been this way. The difference is Google keeps getting better at it.

    I do not expect paid social promotion, itself, to count as an SEO signal. I entirely anticipate search engines will not discover anything behind a login or disallow, will not crawl any nofollow links and will ignore disclosed sponsored placements. If the social media sites do not already, they should disclose all sponsored posts and nofollow all paid links.

    Google does plenty of things I don’t like. How they allocate screen real estate drives me nuts. The way they use uncredited images in their carousels and link them back to Google seems criminal. Separating good inks from bad links, though, I have no problem with.

  • http://www.send2press.com/ Christopher Simmons

    Agreed. The social stuff is “stimulus” … or to dust off an old chestnut (mixing the crap out of metaphors here…) … “incremental engagement” … :-) Now if FB would just come up with a proper billing platform for the promoted posts; getting several emails a day about “billing” and deducting from my bank acct. is a bit annoying. They’ve got the platform started but ways to go before they sleep.

  • http://www.coloradoSEOpros.com/ Chris Rodgers

    Great post Tom!

    We’ve been using paid social media (Twitter, Facebook, Reddit) to promote our agency content over the last 6 months or so and been pretty successful. I previously provided some real life examples but they were rejected for some reason.

    Paid social seems to be an effective way to promote content naturally right now and while super high value links are generally rare I believe there is an inherent value in promoting relevant branded content to the right audience. No, there’s probably not a direct SEO benefit from running the ads themselves, but there is in the engagement and traffic received from each piece of content.

    Our ultimate goal is to promote each piece enough to get it out there ranking on its own, then we pull back paid and focus on the next piece. We don’t do a ton of content so this works for us, at least for now.


  • http://www.lacksokning.com/ Energiläckage

    Great article, as usual – this one caught my eye right away. Here’s to quality content. I agree with everything you’ve said – thanks very much for articulating it so well.