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Let’s be blunt: Social-media marketing success involves a mix of organic social and paid social strategies.
Learn how to attract thousands of followers and launch successful social-media campaigns. We’ll cover:
Let’s begin by differentiating organic vs. paid social content: Organic social is posted for free. Paid social requires ad spend for the post to reach a broader audience.
Organic social content is usually shown on the feeds of your friends, subscribers and followers. Naturally, these posts require a high level of engagement and shares to go viral and get shown on the feeds of more people.
Here’s an example of an organic post from @japandailies that appears for followers.
In contrast, paid social-media marketing consists of ads or sponsored posts that pop up on the feeds of targeted audiences. You can target social-media users based on their age, location, gender, consumer behavior, interests, and many other options.
Here’s an example of sponsored content from the Love, Bonito fashion brand:
Paid social and organic social posts work the best hand in hand to maximize engagement for your social-media campaigns. You can bolster viral posts so they get more publicity and deliver better results.
Now let’s enumerate the benefits of organic vs. paid social media. This will help you decide the best way to utilize these posts for your business.
Organic social content is free of charge. It’s the primary means of reaching your existing followers and customers.
Although organic social is what brands strive for, it is usually less powerful than paid social content. According to SocialPilot, a provider of social-media marketing software, branded Facebook pages reach about 2% of fans with organic posts. Organic Facebook posts also have an average engagement rate of 3.91%.
While organic growth is more difficult to achieve, audiences that discover your brand through these means already are interested in what you have to offer.
Organic social-media ads also are effective for the following reasons:
Launching organic social-media campaigns will help you build a positive brand image and attract more consumers in the long run.
Let’s take a look at several ways you can integrate organic content into your social-media marketing campaigns.
Regularly posting new content lets your brand stay on the back of your customers’ minds.
Organic content can be used to share product updates, relevant content, and behind-the-scenes videos. Ultimately, this means you attract new followers and stay relevant to current customers.
Old Navy’s Instagram campaign features their latest fashionable apparel. The high-quality images let users visualize their appearance upon wearing their outfits.
They even take it to the next level by collaborating with influencers to generate more engagement.
When it comes to customer service, 84% of consumers state that customer service is a key factor in deciding their purchase decision, according to Zendesk, a customer-service software company. A bad experience can easily lead customers to never do business with you ever again.
To keep customers happy, use your social-media account as a channel for responding to complaints.
For example, Airbnb Help (@AirbnbHelp) features the latest company updates so customers can stay safe amid COVID-19. They also respond to user complaints and issues to keep customers satisfied.
Social media can be used as a platform for learning more about consumers through questions and answers. The responses you receive may inspire future blog posts, products, and campaigns.
So, what is paid social? Paid social is a form of advertising used to surpass the algorithm and reach social-media users that have never seen your content.
Hootsuite reports that 27% of internet users said that they found new brands and products through paid social ads. That’s exactly why social ad spending is estimated to increase by 20% to $43 billion in 2020, according to market research company eMarketer.
Paid social ads are effective for the following reasons:
These advantages make paid social a must-have in your arsenal of marketing strategies.
When launching paid social-media marketing strategy, you have a few options to consider:
Facebook and Instagram targeting capabilities provide brands the option to customize their target audience. Marketers can get their ads shown to users based on their gender, location, behavior, and interests.
Shaw Academy’s ad targets users that may have searched for blogging and content marketing information on Facebook. They also could target people that have visited the blog or website.
Paid social ads require payment based on the number of clicks and impressions. To maximize potential followers and conversions, promote content that’s already proven to be popular amongst your audience.
This sponsored post from Interaction Design Foundation features a high-quality video of its user-experience (UX) design course. The in-depth introduction to their services has garnered more than 1.3 million views.
Everyone loves sales and promotions that give them an opportunity to get more for less. Paid social is an effective means of promoting your latest deals and getting customers to spread the word to their friends and family.
Nivea’s social-media ad features their 1-for-1 deals, which will surely attract the attention of skin-care fans.
When it comes to forging a successful social-media strategy, it isn’t about pitting one type of media against another. Instead, utilizing the advantages of both organic marketing and paid social marketing will help you strategically build your audience and generate conversions for your business.
Here are some ways you can use these tactics side by side to improve your results.
Most social-media platforms are equipped with analytical capabilities that provide you with aggregated information about your audience’s profile.
For example, Facebook Audience Insights can provide a demographic overview of followers based on the results of your paid social and organic social campaigns. This includes the education level, job title, location, hobbies and relationship status of your followers.
The results enable brands to create organic content and launch a paid media strategy that will likely resonate with their audience.
The social-media algorithm favors organic content with high levels of engagement, shortly after its publication. Organic posts that get instant likes and shares are more likely to get shown in more news feeds. After all, this is a sign that the content is relevant for users.
How to generate more engagement? Social-media analytics tools enable marketers to determine the peak times and time zones of their audience. This allows you to post organic content and schedule paid ads at strategic times.
Instead of launching paid ads at random, experiment with organic content first. Examine the results of your organic social content to identify posts that will get the most clicks and conversions. Use popular posts as paid ads and promotions to get the most bang for your buck.
Paid social content is ideal for snatching new followers that are unlikely to discover your business otherwise. While you want to maximize every post, you don’t want to overdo your paid media strategy and get labeled as spammy.
Once you’ve attracted thousands of followers, the next step is to build a community through engaging organic social content. Create content that will make your brand seem trustworthy and relatable. For instance, this meme-able post from Denny’s might put a smile on your face, whether it's an organic or a paid ad.
Facebook and Instagram let users create shoppable posts that let users purchase within the app. These checkout features make it easy for customers to browse and buy from your social-media accounts.
To increase sales, you can even consider creating shoppable posts as paid ads so viewers can shop when they spot your post on their feed.
According to an Adobe digital advertising survey, 50% of Generation Z and 42% of millennials say social media is the most relevant ad channel. Sprout Social also reports 53% of consumers prefer to purchase from brands that are transparent (that is, honest and upfront) on social media. With numbers like those, it’s easy to see why combining organic and paid social strategies is crucial to your success.
Experimentation may be necessary before you find out what works and what doesn’t for your brand. But the results will definitely be worth it in the long-run.
The most important thing for implementing a hybrid social strategy is to:
As more consumers use social media to find brands that they can trust, sharing organic and paid social content will help you maintain relevance in the eyes of consumers.
If your social-media posts manage to attract thousands of likes and shares, you can attract more followers that may turn into long-time customers.