You’ve probably heard of both organic and paid social media if you’re trying to expand your social media reach. There are accounts that use one or the other as their primary posting method, and examples of these accounts exist.
The simple fact is that you shouldn’t pick between organic and paid social media strategies. You can get where you want to go using either strategy. In fact, combining the two will only strengthen your case. You probably don’t realize how many people and businesses do this.
The year 2022 is expected to break all previous records for social media ad spending. Global advertising expenditure is anticipated to exceed 173 billion (sic!) dollars, according to research.
Simply put, that is enormous. And it shows that spending on social media advertisements is here to stay.
Of course, that coin has a reverse side as well. Often, developing an audience is only possible through organically raising brand awareness and winning people’s trust. It’s challenging to achieve that solely through advertising.
Let’s discuss the benefits and drawbacks of organic and paid social media strategies, and how you can make the most of both.
Organic social media: What is it?
Organic social media is the unpaid material that all users, including businesses and brands, share with each other on their feeds (posts, photos, videos, memes, Instagram Stories, etc.).
It’s the social media activity that is used the most frequently. It is used by users and brands to interact with their followers and display their personalities, including you and me.
You get your content in front of what is referred to as your organic reach when you post organically to your account. That is the likelihood that the post will be seen by that number of your followers.
People will also see your organic social media posts in the following other ways:
• People who follow the hashtags you use;
• Your followers’ followers (if people interact with or share your posts);
Organic social media is used by brands and regular users for a variety of reasons. Here are a few and some illustrations of how companies put them into practice.
1. Develop your personality
Nobody wants a company to behave professionally. We prefer them to have a personality, though. Some form of emotional expression that connects with us both as individuals and as consumers.
The best social media brands have a distinctive voice that they successfully employ. People begin to know what to expect from them at this point.
Merriam-Webster is acting in this instance exactly as you would anticipate from a dictionary. People are being captivated by words. The popular “Word of the Day” feature on the account frequently delights followers and gives them something to anticipate.
2. Engage in conversation
Directly speaking with your audience and getting their opinion on a topic is a great way to engage your audience. With this strategy, engagement is the main goal, and asking your audience a question is a good way to get it.
The magazine The Hockey News does a good job of retaining them because sports fans are among the most active users of social media. Despite claims to the contrary, The Hockey News has over 200,000 followers on twitter.
3. Assist customers
Customers occasionally contact brands on social media when they genuinely need assistance. Smart brands interact with those customers willingly and successfully.
On Twitter, Nike Service has amassed over 200,000 followers and is committed to assisting Nike users with any issues they may encounter. That is a clever approach to customer service.
Of course, there are drawbacks to using organic social media. For years, organic reach has been declining. Because ranking algorithms are used by all the major platforms, only a portion of your followers will see your organic posts.
For instance, on Facebook, non-promoted content is viewed by about one in every 19 fans. Getting your brand’s content in front of new eyes, let alone your own audience, is more difficult than ever these days.
Here comes the role of paid social media.
What is paid social media?
Paid social media is, to put it simply, paid advertising that is integrated into social media platforms. Integrated advertising platforms with sophisticated targeting capabilities are available on networks including Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, TikTok, and Youtube.
Paid social media can help you achieve objectives that many brands desire and can improve the visibility of your brand. Increasing website traffic, brand awareness, engagement, conversion, and other factors are a few of these.
The most popular paid content distribution strategy in Malaysia right now is paid social media. Yes, business-to-consumer advertisements are largely to blame for that. In contrast, the business-to-business market has also been booming. To connect and engage with their target markets, 46% of B2B brand marketers currently use social media advertising.
1. Increase brand recognition
Gaining new followers is the goal of every social media account, whether it belongs to a business or an individual. You must put your message in front of potential followers in order to accomplish that.
Depending on the industry you work in, different strategies will be used, but generally speaking, you want to give people a compelling reason to follow along.
2. Highlight the most recent offer, article, occasion, etc.
The Wall Street Journal tackles a topic that is well-liked but challenging to comprehend: household carbon footprints. The promise to simplify it will probably strike a chord with some readers. In order to increase its clickability, the tweet is also accompanied by an intriguing graphic.
3. Produce leads
An essential component of any paid social media strategy is the generation of sales leads. It’s critical to identify potential customers and work to attract them.
Obviously, not everyone will like mushroom gummies. However, the campaign’s click-throughs will give Lever Minds a clear picture of their target audience and serve as a solid foundation for targeted paid social campaigns with a conversion-oriented focus.
4. Drive Conversions (including e-commerce sales)
In that both are sales-oriented, generating leads and driving conversions are similar. Your chances of leading prospects down your sales funnel increase when you put your best foot forward and make your brand as appealing as you can. Eyeballs pass by and you only have a few seconds to make an impression.
Paid versus unpaid social media
At this point, it should be fairly clear that combining organic and paid social media strategies is the best way to manage a brand’s social media presence.
Despite a decline in organic reach, there are still many advantages to using organic social media. You have the opportunity to establish an authentic connection with potential clients. You cannot spend the entire day chasing after money. Additionally, you must project the image of a fully developed brand that can exhibit a distinct personality. That will assist your business or organization in getting people to interact with your brand more frequently than just by clicking on your paid advertisements.
How to develop a social media strategy that combines paid and organic content
Let’s talk about combining organic and paid social now that we’ve discussed what they are, as well as the best ways to use them. Here are some strategies for building your own dynamic duo that will put Batman and Robin to shame.
1. Boost your top-performing organic content.
It only makes sense to try and reach as many people as you can with an organic social media post that is performing exceptionally well.
And this is where combining tactics come into play. Organic posts on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn can be easily promoted. Additionally, it is a wise move. It’s inevitable that some organic posts will garner more attention than others. Thus, you should take advantage of them.
Consider it more like a trial run. Before developing a comprehensive ad strategy, you can experiment with some paid social media ideas with your organic posts and only set aside a small budget for boosting. As a general rule, use the best analytics you can to track each post you make.
2. Not all promotional posts must be paid.
The purpose of the majority of posts is to try to promote your business. Even though the word “promote” itself connotes spending money, that isn’t always the case.
For instance, it’s better to stick with organic social media if you’re announcing a pivot or a new product to your brand. Reaching out to your followers with that kind of news rather than the internet at large feels more genuine.
The media behemoth Sony announced the acquisition of anime production house Crunchyroll through spontaneous social media posts.
By using this technique, you’ll be able to connect with your followers more personally and engage in genuine conversation.
3. Use A/B testing to improve your postings.
An A/B test compares two versions of a message or other content to determine which version performs better. A/B testing, also referred to as split testing, entails changing one minor element at a time (such as a headline or graphic) to improve your results.
You can determine, for instance, whether an Instagram Story or a Reel more effectively and concisely conveys your message. Every social media post you make should be A/B tested, which is a common practice.
It helps to test out versions of an advertisement on smaller audiences to gauge their reaction before spending your entire social media budget on it.
Before spending more money, you can test it out among various audience demographics (age, location, etc.). In addition to trying to save some of your own money, you want to provide the audience with the best experience possible. Sounds wise, doesn’t it?
4. Use retargeting.
Retargeting users who left your site without converting is a simple and clever digital marketing strategy to use. Retargeting begins with a tiny tracking tag inserted into the source code of your website. Then, you can use social networks and other websites to target these prospects.
Have you ever noticed how advertisements for certain brands seem to follow you around the web? Yes, exactly. But surely it’s possible? Nobody would carry it out if it didn’t. Rather, it’s a significant trend.
5. Make use of information from one side to aid the other.
Your entire social media marketing strategy should function as a unit rather than just boosting the successful organic posts. implying, of course, that it should cooperate.
But you should be helping each other by making use of all the statistics and data you have from both sides. This entails aiming your paid social media posts at audiences that your organic content resonates with.
The majority of platforms can even generate audiences that look like your best clients. A lookalike audience will be made up of individuals with comparable characteristics and tendencies who haven’t yet been exposed to your brand.
6. Automate everything you can
Hey, why wouldn’t you try to reduce the amount of work you have to do? It takes a lot of effort to combine paid and organic social media. The bottom line is that.
But the advantage of having machines rule the world someday is that we can use them now to assist. Therefore, you should try to automate as much of your daily workflow as you can.
• Planning ahead for organic posts
• Streamlining the approval and copyediting process
• Creating customized triggers for promoted posts
And, to put it simply, managing paid and organic social media using a tool like Hootsuite rather than switching between different platforms. Work wiser rather than harder. That is ultimately the goal of combining these two approaches.