Stacey-Lee Gregory

Organic and paid social media landscapes are constantly evolving and weighing up the options on which to use can be time consuming, expensive and tiring. Could integrating both into your strategy be the answer?

As with most things in life, each have their pros and cons, so it’s best to view paid and social as playing two separate roles. Organic plays its part when building genuine customer relationships, whilst paid social media can be necessary to increase reach and generate quick sales.

The main thing to remember is social media should be used for the full journey, from customer acquisition to service, with remarketing and retention being imperative. So where does that leave you and your strategy? Let’s explore in more detail…

  • What is organic social media?
  • What is paid social media?
  • Paid Vs organic social media

What is organic social media?

Simply put, organic social media is free content shared by users, including businesses and brands, on their feed. Free content could include posts, photos, video, stories and much more! Posting organically is the best way to nurture a connection with your customers, create your tone of voice and can also be a great tool for your customer service team.

You may think you can simply post content and it will be seen and shared far and wide, and to an extent, you’re right. Organic posts have a chance of being shown to the following people:

  • A percentage of your followers (more on algorithms below)
  • Your followers’ followers (if people choose to share your post)
  • People following any hashtags you use

But of course, we can’t rely solely on organic for reach, and this is the biggest downfall of organic social media – ranking algorithms. Thanks (or no thanks in this case), to ranking algorithms, only a small percentage of your followers will see your organic posts. In 2021, The average reach of an organic post on a Facebook page was just 5.2%.

Ultimately, it is proving increasingly difficult to make sure your content is viewed by your own audience, let alone new customers or followers. This leads us nicely onto how paid social media can help.

What is paid social media?

Paying for advertising can seem daunting at first but it provides a whole wealth of opportunity and is arguably the best way for brands to target new audiences and convert them to customers. You may choose to use paid social media to:

– Raise awareness and reach new audiences – paid media ensures your campaigns are seen. You’re essential paying for you audiences’ attention. It’s a good way to introduce new customers whilst grabbing the attention of your existing ones without being restricted by the algorithm.

  • Gain higher and better-quality conversions
  • Increase click-through rates
  • Gain a better understanding of what audiences want – metrics for paid media are in-depth, so you can look at metrics which matter most to your brand.

But, with so many social channels available, it’s important to ask yourself which advertising channel is best suited to reach your target audience. So before investing your media spend across multiple platforms, consider the different channels and which one(s) would be optimal for your brand:

  • LinkedIn – suited to B2B industries, professional audience
  • Instagram – high engagement and fast actions. Well suited to B2C and e-commerce industries
  • Facebook – suited well to B2C businesses. Facebook has a typically high engaging audience
  • Other online paid social media platforms include Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat and Pinterest.

Try investing in social platforms you’re familiar with and have an established audience on, and invest in a single platform initially. If possible, try not to do too much at once.

Paid Vs organic social media:

As you can see, organic and paid social strategies each have advantages and disadvantages. Whilst organic social media is great to nurture a relationship with your customers or audience, it can be slow to contribute to your business goals. Meanwhile, a paid social media strategy gives a wealth of exposure to new customers but comes at a cost.

The answer is simple. In an ideal world, you’ll be able incorporate both paid and organic into your overall social media strategy. By using paid social media to immediately spread brand awareness and draw an audience to your profiles, you can use your active presence to retain your customers once they are on board.

If you’d like to know more about how we can help with your paid social media, contact us today.

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