Various social media icons

The “pay-to-play” trend in social media (is it a bad thing)

Boosting your social media posts has almost become a necessity in ensuring you get your message across to your target audience. In the world where social media platforms make their money from advertising, it is no surprise that Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn want businesses like yours to pay for posts. While this was not exactly the case when these platforms first emerged, they’ve indeed all turned into pay-to-play platforms.

Most businesses now realize that growing their social media presence requires not only a good strategy and relevant content but also a solid budget to boost posts.

You may argue that creating a business page and posting doesn’t require a budget, but Facebook and other social media platforms are squeezing out more and more organic content, hence why so many businesses are seeing their impressions and engagement drop. Further proof that it’s becoming challenging to get your message across without paying.

Boosted posts are a great revenue stream for social media platforms, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that boosting content is strongly encouraged. In fact, you will frequently get notifications and recommendations to boost your content/posts.

Is Pay-to-Play Trend A Bad Thing?

Yes and no, if you plan to grow your business’ social media presence without any monetary investment, then the play-to-play trend is undoubtedly a bad trend. However, a more realistic view is to accept the fact that social media channels have reached maturity. In other words, there are no free lunches anymore.


Social media is still one of the most affordable and effective digital marketing channels, and the pay-to-play trend does not change that. For the vast majority of businesses, social media spend will still beat other forms of traditional advertisement when it comes to ROI and engagement.


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