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The Rise of Promoted Content, Decline of Organic Reach, and Future of Social Measurement

Social media is no longer a completely free channel. Promoted content has taken hold, we have a Facebook organic reach crisis, and social marketing has fully traversed earned, owned, and now paid media.

2003 to 2010 (2) 2This is both a challenge and an opportunity for brands taking Facebook’s 1.2 billion users seriously.

The stakes are higher! Your KPIs now have dollar signs attached. The convergence of earned, owned, and paid means more complexity when measuring performance holistically, but it also creates an opportunity for serious marketers who stay ahead of the curve.

How Did We Get Here? The Rise of Paid Media in Social Media

As social networks have become businesses, they have evolved to focus more on paid media and shifted the dynamic for marketers.

Social networks started as a place for consumer conversations and an earned media opportunity for brands. From there, brand profiles became available and a networks slowly started adding features and tools for marketers. Social became an owned channel where brands can create a presence, publish content, and build community. Now, promoted content has taken hold. As the value of engagement with a social audience has become concrete for most modern marketing organizations, and paid has proven itself as a tool for massive levels of engagement, social has crossed all three types of media.


What Does This Mean for Measurement?

Integrating paid data with your earned and owned is a big challenge, making measurement more complex. With three types of media, and constant updates to the types of content you can produce on each network, the data comes from many different places.

Not only that, with the integration of paid, there are dollar signs attached to your metrics, and the scarcity of organic reach means those dollar signs have bigger numbers after them, making them more important across your marketing organization. This means more analytical rigor is needed to determine which content works – both organic AND paid – and how your brand can stand out.

A Solution Has Arrived: Get the Complete Picture with Simply Measured

The biggest challenge with paid social media is that it doesn’t live in a vacuum. With other paid channels, a media buyer can manage activity without worrying about the impact of organic content. Your social channels are owned by the social marketing team, not the media buyer. Because of this, you need to see both components together to get the right insights and take the right action.

The new Simply Measured Facebook Insights with Ads Report gives you this ability, allowing you to see the complete picture and understand how your paid content and organic content perform together.

Screenshot 2014-04-15 11.58.41

As social marketing matures, and paid becomes a more and more integral component, having this complete understanding with all of your content in one report will become more and more important.

We’re excited about this integration with Facebook ads, and excited to bring more of the data you need together in one place. This is just the beginning.

To learn more about our social ad analytics, or to view a full Facebook Insights with Ads sample report, click the button below.

Learn More About Social Ads Analytics

Adam Schoenfeld

Adam is the Co-Founder and VP of Strategy at Simply Measured. In 2010 (aka the dark ages of social marketing), Adam joined Damon Cortesi and Aviel Ginzburg to found "Untitled Startup, Inc" with the goal of helping marketers and analysts use social data to do their best work. The company quickly evolved to become Simply Measured and the trusted leader in social analytics. Outside of Simply Measured, Adam is a golfer, breakfast enthusiast, and long-time data geek.

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