With a new year upon us, there are endless predictions being made about the future of the web. Many of them are simply predictions with no real grounds to stand on. But other predictions are the real deal. One of them: You will have to pay to play in 2014.

What does this mean exactly?

At the end of last year, Facebook finally admitted that organic, non-paid reach for business pages had been on the decline, something that many brand managers weren’t surprised by. With so much content being shared on Facebook, it’s becoming more difficult for a business to break through the noise by sharing content organically.

The solution: Give brands more exposure if they pay. This is called pay to play.

Pay to Play: It’s Nothing New

Pay to play isn’t a new concept in marketing; it’s just one that hasn’t been fully grasped by marketers because many are caught up in the idea that social media is free (even though this isn’t exactly accurate). Still, a brand could set up a Facebook page, connect with an audience, build a strong follower base and market their image without paying a dime.

Social media is really just another set of tools, though, and some brands have been paying all along to make their presence stand out. Now, with all the content being shared on social media, more brands are going to have to follow suit if they want their content to be discovered. This is just advertising in its simplest form: If you want to be heard, you must pay the price.

Brands must understand that as time goes by, pay to play won’t be the only way to get noticed on social media. They will also require a well-planned strategy that directs content to a specific audience. In the meantime, don’t let the pay to play concept get you down. Leave room in your advertising budget to effectively market content on social media, and you’ll have a much happier profile.

To learn more about SEMGeeks’ social media marketing strategies, give us a ring at 1-866-772-4335.