Social media used to be a free for all – almost.

If you made a connection with people, and sent out messages, then they got those messages. Link to people and they were linked to you.

If you had 20,000 followers then you could be pretty sure that you would be able to get a message to all 20,000. Some businesses based their whole model on it, based their customer acquisition strategies on connecting to people, and using those connections to leverage sales.

But that didn’t make money for the media owners.

So it had to change.

So now, the people who run around chasing likes, chasing followers, chasing links, are largely chasing their tails. Having 10,000 followers means merely that a few of them will get your messages.

Companies who have only just got their heads around social media, and how to use it, are now having to change their approach. If they don’t then they will just waste more and more time being ‘popular’.

So, if you want to be successful on social media, and not just popular, you need to start from a different perspective.

You need to consider social media as a series of paid for channels, it is just like other media channels and you have to pay to play. If you want your message to get out to and audience then you will have to pay to do so.

So start your planning, your budgeting with that premise. Think about what you can promote through the channels, where best to apply your resources, and how you can measure it.

Once you start with this concept at the core of your strategy, then your day to day activity changes rapidly.