Paid vs Organic Social Media

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Back in the day social media marketing was an organic marketing tool with a focus on creating engaging and interesting content that people would want to read. Brands have spent the last few years working diligently in hopes that people would consume and then share their content.

Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram created forums of open conversation and free promotion for brands. It seemed too good to be true (especially for a small business) and maybe it was.

Paid vs Organic

Fast forward 3 years and now we have platforms where brands have created fan bases and loyal followings. They might even feel like they finally have a hang of this whole social media world. The only problem is now these loyal followings aren’t seeing your brands posts in their feeds anymore. Now these platforms that brands have built a marketing strategy around are now limiting when a brands posts will be seen and by whom.

The Days of Paid Social Media are here

The landscape of social media has changed and there is no going back. Brands not only have to continue creating engaging and interesting content but now they must learn how to maneuver through the many paid advertising options.

The strategy your brand created last week, last month or last year will not be as effective today. The question is why?

The answer is somewhat simple.

Social networks have exploded and with millions of users and these same platforms need and want revenue in order to continue offering a free platform for users. These platforms also have a responsibility to their users to deliver content that is relevant to them. With so many users logging in daily,  platforms simply can’t deliver all content to all users.

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The very premise of organic social media is based on “earning” your way into a user’s newsfeeds. Great content that people want to consume being delivered to their feed. In turn those same users share your content helping to increase its engagement. The more users interact with your content the more play it gets. The playing field is fair for all brands or atleast it was.

Paid social media is a whole other beast. Now brands have to create posts that grab people’s attention, stand out among the fierce competition and that fit within the parameters set out by each platform. Paid social media is about positioning your brand in front of a highly targeted audience and in many ways interrupting their daily dose of social media with your brands messaging. To be successful at this tactic you gotta be good and you gotta pay up!

When creating your marketing strategy a brand must have 2 buckets. 1 for organic and 1 for paid. Each approach requires different elements. What remains the same is the need for good content, relevant content and timely content. While the strategies are similar the execution is vastly different.

Things to consider:

  • Develop a paid and organic strategy for your brand
  • Develop content with a compelling call to action (you have limited space to make an impression)
  • Determine who your audience is and what platform they are on
  • Trial and Error – the paid space is new and ever emerging. Try a few different ads and see which performs and delivers results
  • Set a budget – There is no need to break the bank on a social media ad spend. Start small and increase your budget as you see results