Why Media Buyers, Not Social Teams Should Handle Social Ad Budgets

A new report from Forrester urges marketers to place their paid social budgets — which in many cases are growing sharply — with their media buyers. Currently, Forrester reports, over half of such budgets are handled by internal or external social teams.

That’s not a good idea, the researcher has concluded. For one thing, media buyers, which handle about a quarter of paid social budgets, according to the report, are more familiar than social teams with the array of ad models that social sites sell.

Also, social sites no longer promise relationships or engagement. Instead, they are pitching advantages like behavioral targeting and low cost-per-acquisition results. Media teams are more experienced than social teams at optimizing budgets for social platforms and offerings, Forrester argues. And they’re also more likely to know where to go for expert help.



Paid advertising is now the dominant form of social marketing, per the report, which notes that 80% of marketers’ 2015 social budgets are earmarked for ads on social sites. And more than two thirds of the 123 social marketers surveyed indicated that those budgets are up versus 2014.

“Marketers can no longer afford to isolate pieces of their media buying in swim lanes,” the report concludes. “Media buying is quickly becoming channel-agnostic and dependent on technology to allocate budget effectively across audiences in real time. Keeping social ad budgets with social teams creates inconsistency across audiences and fails to leverage real-time channel optimization technology.”

More on the report, “It’s Time To Separate ‘Social’ From ‘Media,’ can be found here.

2 comments about "Why Media Buyers, Not Social Teams Should Handle Social Ad Budgets".
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  1. Ted Rubin from The Rubin Organization / Return on Relationship, August 13, 2015 at 1:31 p.m.

    Sorry, but Duhhhh! Seriously, do Marketers STILL think ads on Social, ARE "Social Media." They are ads, plain and simple, being palced on Social Media Platforms. This is not rocket science people.

    Also, as long as we are addressing it, how about making sure those Media Buying teams have someone who understands advertising have something to say about where clicking on those ads lands someone, so all the amazing matchmaking (yes "matchmaking" not "targeting") capabilities of social platforms are not wasted by landing someone someplace they do not expect, or that does not accomplish "their" goal. 

    #RonR... #NoLetUp!

  2. Dan Ciccone from STACKED Entertainment, August 14, 2015 at 2:09 p.m.

    The best way to take advantage of "social" platforms is to identify the personalities and influencers that know how to speak to your audience on those platforms.

    And ad is an ad - regardless of where it runs.

    Time for mainstream advertisers to start embracing influener marketing and realizing that measuring "traditional" means of success are outdated.

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