Since Facebook and Twitter started gaining a lot of traction, social media has been viewed as an important way of improving general and local search optimization. Even after Google’s Matt Cutts announced in May 2014 that using social media doesn’t necessarily mean successful search optimization strategies, Search Engine Journal points out that that while social media may not have a direct causal link to greater SEO, the correlation between smart marketing on Facebook, in particular, and success with SEO services cannot be ignored.

Social media can be especially important to small business owners. Current statistics show that 70% of social media users, over 1.5 billion people, according to Statistic Brain, follow at least one local business on their favorite platform. Almost three-quarters, or 74%, of those people rely on social media to better inform them about products and businesses before making a purchase. Most importantly, 81% of social media users say that when a friend posts a status about a company or product on Facebook, they’re many times more likely to make a purchase from that company as well.

Facebook Suddenly Changed the Game with Paid Marketing
There are 27 million pieces of content shared across social media platforms each day. Whereas before Facebook allowed quality and popularity of content, a marketing medium which more than half of all SEO marketing companies say is crucial to SEO, to be the deciding factor in whether or not users would see posts from businesses, now if you want the same or even greater level of exposure, you’ll have to pay for it. As Bloomberg Businessweek so accurately puts it, this is “the end of free Facebook marketing.”

The Million Dollar Question: Should You Invest in Facebook Ads?
One of the biggest questions facing SEO marketing companies and small businesses is whether or not they should bother investing in Facebook’s new paid ad scheme. At first glance, utilizing Facebook ads as part of general or local SEO strategies might not seem worth it, especially for small and medium-sized businesses with limited capital. Paying $5 a day for maybe a few hundred views doesn’t seem like a balanced equation for most small business owners.

For Inside Facebook, advertising on Mark Zuckerberg’s platform is still as crucial to SEO marketing companies and their clients as it ever was. That doesn’t mean you have to pay for the most expensive, $100-per-day ad budget, though. Instead, the source writes, you simply need to keep focusing on producing great content that speaks to the needs and curiosities of social media users. A $5-per-day campaign can be even more effective than if you were trying to promote your content with a high-rolling figure. Why? People share, like, and talk about content they love more than the chaff that accounts for the majority of the stuff on Facebook. No amount of money is going to earn you more clicks if your content is garbage.

Knowing that content is more important than a marketing budget, will you be investing in Facebook ads? Tell us why or why not in the comments below.