Organic vs. paid social media

In an increasingly digital world, social media participation is a crucial part of any business’s success. There are two types of content on social media: paid and organic. Because the days of paid content are consistently increasing, social ecommerce is rapidly growing. With near-constant online social engagement, many consumers are driven to make purchasing decisions based on recommendations and content they find on social media.  

Businesses and organizations can use tools for social networks, such as TweetDeck, Hootsuite and SproutSocial, to help manage their social accounts. They can also share content, interact and engage with audiences, mingle with influencers and share posts using these platforms. 

You can elevate your social media presence by maximizing the benefits of both paid and organic content. 

What’s the difference between paid vs. organic?  

Organic social media is any interaction on social media that does not use paid promotional dollars. Most users are sharing more organic social media than paid social media. So, when you share content from your personal social media accounts, your friends are seeing your organic content.  

Paid social media, on the other hand, is online advertising, often called sponsored contentthat boosts your content in social media feeds and on pages. Have you ever been scrolling down your Facebook feed and noticed a post that said “sponsored”? Congratulations! You’ve been served – you were part of the selected audience for that specific adThese sponsored posts allow people to reach target audience based on demographics, geographic locations and more. All paid advertisements on social media will be clearly markedas defined by the FCC. 

Pros for Organic:  

Organic social is important for building a community with your audience and allows you to be active when they engage with your content. Your organic content is a way for you to build brand awareness online and share your company’s values and personality. Use this cost-effective opportunity to promote your products, people or services without paid promotional advertising. 

In addition, organic social gives your audience a more personal connection to your company through direct engagement with your audience by responding to inquiries or complaints. Organic content helps naturally build your loyal audience base via social media. When people see your content organically, they are more likely to follow, and continue engaging, with your content. Additionally, in B2C circles, they are very likely to share their positive brand interaction via social – this also creates great content for you to share with your followers. There’s nothing better than sharing positive content from your brand advocates! 

Pros for Paid: 

Look East_Facebook Sponsored Mock Up

By using social advertising tools, such as developing social ad campaigns across various social media platforms, you can multiply the impact of your organic content by allotting designated amounts of money behind a social postThis tool allows you to target a specific audience and, hopefully, gain greater engagement and following for your brand.  

Paid social is also ideal if you want to promote an important or killer piece of content. Have a great article or case study to share? Put it in front of new, and existing, audiences with paid social. Another way to use paid social to your advantage is for retargeting, which is an advertising tactic to target people who have already interacted with your website or feed. Get your content in front of people who’ve already shown interest for better engagement.  

Depending on the type of advertisement and social platform selected when setting up your ad campaign, the cost can vary, but it is usually determined on a cost-per-click basis. 

Get the Best of Both Worlds: 

It can be challenging to get your content in front of fresh eyes without paid advertisements on social networks, especially if your business is new and looking to grow. Paid social content can direct people to your website who may not have otherwise found itHowever, there must be a balance between using paid social and organic social  one cannot fully succeed without the other. Organic content allows you to better connect with your audiencepresent yourself in an authentic way and directly engage with your loyal followers. Organic content also helps keep your audience on your social pages and helps prevent bouncing once they are on your website content 

Simply having organic content can take a lot of time and attention and can seem discouraging when your reach and impression numbers are lower than what you expected them to be. There are many algorithms (link out) that social media implements today which can impact your content’s reachPaid social media increases your visibility and your reach quickly. So, paying to guarantee your brand is seen in your audience’s feed can drive traffic to your website and increase sales. It also saves time.  

Managing social media accounts is a challenging and rewarding role within your organization. To have a powerful social presence, you likely need someone dedicated to social networking, engaging with audiences, scheduling and monitoring success and growth analytics. This is a large time commitment, so it is cost effective to utilize both paid and organic content. You can find a balance between organic and paid content that exposes your best content to a wider audience at any budget 

Not sure how to create a social media marketing strategy for your organization? Look East can help! We offer services in social media strategies and monitoring