How brands and agencies are adapting to the paid social era

One of the most significant challenges for brands and agencies over the past year has been grappling with the end of free media on social platforms. That is, brands are increasingly needing to pay for the amount of reach on social platforms that they once generated for free, thus changing their platform strategies overall.

Digiday spoke to executives at some of the most prominent brands and agencies in digital media at the Digiday Platform Summit on Thursday about how they’ve adapted their platform approaches to the paid social era.

Emily Cloud, digital manager, Nestlé
We’re thinking about what the priorities are for our brands. If Facebook doesn’t make sense, we may start looking at other platforms for our content that are taking off, like Pinterest. We’re actually repurposing some content from Facebook for Pinterest.

Peter DeLuca, svp advertising, T-Mobile
We have always done paid with Facebook and Twitter. Now, it’s more about what share of our overall ad spend we’re going to put there. And now that organic reach is gone, they’re going to need to come to us more with new ideas and opportunities for bringing things to market.

Vita Lua, marketing analytics, Hewlett-Packard
We’re still spending more on paid search and display than we are on social platforms. It’s about the scale and return on investment (ROI). We’ve done some pilot tests for Facebook ads and the ROI was good, but the scale wasn’t there.

Paul Steketee, head of paid social and emerging media, Merkle
It’s allowed us to provide clients with a more definitive idea what a campaign’s will be going in versus the old create, pray and hope the campaign goes viral approach. It also allows us to target whoever we want. Now, we can exclude existing fans of a brand and reach new ones.

Gary Milner, global marketing manager, Lenovo
We’re starting to spend on Facebook and Twitter, but it’s going to be a test-and-scale model. These changes in reach happened overnight, but money decisions don’t happen overnight.

Joie Healy, senior manager of social media communications, Cisco
Our news team [The Network] produces stories and then we amplify them through social platforms. We recently teamed our news teams up with our marketing team to start spending to promote stories through Twitter and LinkedIn, and the paid plus organic reach is broader. The next step is trying to figure out exactly who it is we’re reaching.

Bryan Wiener, chairman, 360i
Our paid social team is now integrated with the content marketing team. That change was made this summer, because you need to have minute-by-minute collaboration between the people creating the content and distributing it.

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