Based on the title, you may be assuming I’m about to give you a definitive answer on what’s more important – organic social media or paid content. Well, it’s not that simple. But don’t worry, I’ll be breaking down why they’re both important and how to seamlessly blend the two together.
Organic vs. paid social media strategies are like peanut butter and jelly. They’re both good on bread by themselves, but when you put them together you have a delicious classic. When you combine these strategies, you get a steady stream of both new and familiar faces. For a successful business, you need lead generation AND client retention – essentially, that’s what we’re talking about here.
Curalate did a survey and found that 76% of U.S consumers have purchased a product they saw in a brand’s social media post. 65% of those who went on to purchase something they discovered on social did so at a later date, either online or in-store, and over 20% of those people purchased in-store. Your social posts have the power to drive both online sales and in-store traffic. So, learning how to effectively use both organic and paid content is going to drive your business forward no matter what industry you’re in. Let’s break it down.
Organic Social Media Engagement
What qualifies as organic social media?
Organic social media involves your unpaid posts, and the engagement from your followers.
This is where you give your company a personality, build your brand and culture, and connect with your audience. Organic social media is about fostering relationships and connections. While these posts aren’t naturally far-reaching and may only be seen by the people already following your page, using relevant hashtags, tagging people and pages, and adding post locations can really help to put your posts in the path of potential customers. So, if you’ve been under the impression that this marketing strategy is no longer needed, you could not be more wrong. Even if your lead generation is on fire and you’re getting lots of traffic, ask yourself – what makes them keep coming back to your page?
Why use organic content?
It can be really tough to build your brand and persona without the use of social media, so use this opportunity to have a consistent stream of content to your followers that’s relevant to the lifestyle and attitude your brand represents. Make your followers laugh, inspire them, motivate them, charm them, and show off the lifestyle that goes along with your product or service. Give them some serious FOMO.
Look at your followers as friends and family. These are the people who already love your brand or social feed, so you want to make sure you’re connecting to them, and making them feel the love. Include posts that interact with your followers, or connect with a fun trend going around the internet. You can even give them a personal look into your company; show some behind the scenes action, or spotlight an employee along with a little backstory. When you give transparency and show the personal side of your business, you gain trust and personal connections with your audience which in turn promotes brand loyalty and encourages visitors to return.
Paid Social Media Content
Paid social media marketing is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It’s content with a defined objective that you pay for people to see. Paid content lets you set up posts that collect contact info, encourage likes or follows, or promote event tickets. Paid content can also send viewers to an external site that you choose. There are tons of ways to break down paid social content and there is a growing list of how to use it, but what makes it different is the “paid” part. You are “sponsoring” content. People can see that you’re sponsoring it, and it’s not something they’re seeing because they follow you already. Often, the very best organic posts become paid content because of their success – they’ve already been battle tested, and they survived.
Why use paid content?
Paid social content is a great tool to expand your reach and bring in new potential customers with an attention-grabbing promotion. Sponsoring a post gets it past your existing audience (although you can include them) and out into the uncharted territories of those who may not know you exist.
Social platforms have been competitive in their pricing for these types of advertising posts, and it’s usually pretty easy to fit social advertising into a marketing budget, no matter the size. Most platforms let you set daily, weekly, monthly, or overall budgets for your promotions, so you can’t spend too much (or more than you planned). Some platforms will also let you pay only when someone actually clicks on your post, while others only charge when your post is displayed, or makes an “impression.”
The ability to target demographics, regions, interests, and everything in between, is one of social advertising’s greatest strengths. Social media platforms collect enormous amounts of information on their users, and this translates into serious marketing insights you can use to your advantage.
What’s the takeaway?
It’s really important to make sure your brand’s personality pops in each post – organic or paid. This isn’t an entry in a catalog. It’s social media, and it’s meant to be shared and talked about! Make your posts personable, and attract the viewer to your brand. Social media users don’t want in-your-face advertising or sales pitches. They want connections! You can build those connections by making both your organic and paid content relevant, engaging, and authentic. You’ll get followers and KEEP them. Earn your likes and keep people engaged with consistent, relevant, and interesting organic posts, but don’t neglect to make room in your marketing budget to sponsor a few posts too.