You are wasting most of your social media budget, and you don’t even know it

Did you know that the quality of the content you share on your social media has an impact on the ROI? I know you did, but not in the way you think.

Socialbakers studied the paid activity within their database (over 3 billion dollars) and discovered that there is a price attached to the quality of your content. The results are pretty shocking.

70% of the investment you spend on content is wasted. 44% of content is poor quality, 25% is average quality, and only 15% is top quality.

– Moses Velasco, Chief Product Evangelist at Socialbakers

A little piece about the Facebook algorithm

Facebook prioritizes the stories that people like and pushes them to your newsfeed. So, the more engaging the content, the more you see from that brand.

When it comes to content quality, there are two KPIs that matter: reach and engagement. Socialbakers looked further at the relation between these two metrics because if you want your post to reach more people, you have to consider the engagement also.

The metric they used is called Post Reach Engagement Rate – the number of people who engaged (like, comment, or share) with your post, from the number of people who saw the post. This is what they came up with:

The more people engage with your content, the cheaper is to boost it!


CPC is 14x higher with 1% engaged users than 5-6% engaged users

– Moses Velasco, Chief Product Evangelist at Socialbakers

Where does the content quality come from?

You have a beautiful post, with a great image, and good copy, but if you serve it to the wrong audience, they might not necessarily like it. Thus, depending on who is looking at it, content is either good or bad.

44% of the promoted content is poor quality, and companies don’t know it

It is already hard enough to track the investment you make in social media and relate it back to your business KPIs and objectives. Spending budget on content that’s not engaging, generates even more costs in ads spending.

The cost of your ads depends on the content, quality, and targeting, so flooding the market with content that isn’t relevant, isn’t a good strategy.

How do you invest in content to maximize the results?

The 100% paid strategy doesn’t work.

You’ll end up spending more on content you shouldn’t invest on, than the content you should have invested.

Use relevance score to measure the quality of your content

Facebook assigns a score between 1 and 10 to your ad, after the first 500 hundred impressions, and looks at the engagement of your audience. As you see, it’s not only about how many people saw it, but how people engage with it. If there is negative feedback (people unfollow, hide, or report as spam) your relevance score moves closer to 1. But if you receive comments, views, shares, the score goes up. Seeing this as a positive signal, your ad gets served to more people.

Globally, ads with a very low Relevance Score have 40x times higher CPC

Good content means lower CPC, lower CPM, more interactions for the same reach (see again how engagement works with reach?), becomes more viral, and has less negative feedback (such as unfollow, report as spam, because Facebook looks at this also and lowers your relevance score, thus paying higher).


When you build up content to address it to a very broad audience, it will be very general – from the image, to copy, and call to action. Designing content for a certain segment, taking into consideration not only the demographics but also interests (Facebook has hundreds of targeting criteria); will change dramatically the relevance score, lower the cost and maximize the ROI.

A piece of advice on social media strategy

Organic reach is not dead

Mainly, there are two components of the social media strategy: the organic element, and the paid. Each has its own role and objectives.

Use the organic to impact the community, to build your fanbase, educate, build brand awareness. Furthermore, you can use the community to better know your clients.

When your posts do really well, promote them.

Monitor your content engagement before investing in it.

On the other hand, the paid activity has different objectives. Use it when you want people to take action: download whitepapers, give you information about them, take them to a landing page or e-commerce website to take further action.

There is a dramatic shift in social media departments. The skills are more business oriented, the expectations are higher, the pressure grows. It’s no longer a matter of placing fun content on the company page, but a demand of clear ROI directly related to the three drivers of any business – awareness, revenue, retention.

Good knowledge about your customers will lead to better segmentation, better targeting, quality content, more engagement, and visible impact on budget and revenue.