Whether you’re creating, growing, or revamping your social media presence, you’ve undoubtedly encountered an important question. Should you pay for social media promotions? The debate about the effectiveness of organic vs paid social media is a valid one. Each has its advantages. What’s the difference, and what’s the best for you?
What Is Organic Social Media?
Organic social media is simply what you share on your social platforms with your followers. It includes your photos, videos, memes, quizzes, stories, and anything and everything else that you post, with or without hashtags, hoping that people will see. While algorithms vary in how they present content, you can generally expect that your organic posts will be seen by,
- Your followers
- People who follow your followers
- People following specific hashtags
- People whose interests or post interactions match your keywords in a post
With organic social media, businesses can,
- Establish their brand’s personality and voice (see Wendy’s on Twitter)
- Build relationships by sharing industry-relevant content (see IBM on Instagram)
- Engage with the public through responses to other posts (once again, see Wendy’s on Twitter)
- Look for customer impacts and provide customer support (see Verizon on Twitter)
What Is Paid Social Media?
Paid social media includes any kind of posts you pay for a platform to promote. These may be ads you create specifically for promotion. It also includes organic social media posts that you later promote using advertising dollars. Who sees your ads and promoted posts depends on the specific platform and how they target ads. Promotions allow businesses to:
- Attract new followers
- Promote specific events or deals
- Generate new leads
- Drive conversions (for example by promoting e-commerce sales)
Should You Use Organic or Paid Social Media?
To quote a popular meme – why not both? Both strategies have their strengths and weaknesses for brands who want to expand their digital marketing into social media. At Media Components, we prefer the holistic approach to social media, using both organic and paid social media to help companies expand their digital presence.
How Does it Work?
Ads are a money-sink if consumers don’t feel like they know your brand or can trust you. Organic social media allows you to build an online presence on your social media. You can share articles, blog posts, and memes relevant to your business, your ideals, and that are of interest to your target audience. Your ads and promoted posts then target specific demographics to help bring attention to your brand.
Think about your brand and social media like a product in a store. Your organic posts would be equivalent to the packaging for your product. You have colors that catch the eye and match your brand. The packaging shows the product, either through clear packaging or with pictures. The package also contains information about the product and sometimes a testimonial, review, or celebrity endorsement.
While you can leave your product on the shelf and wait for consumers to pick it up, you run the risk that our product will be drowned out by the variety of other products on the shelf. How do you stand out, then? In our analogy, paid social media would be equivalent to a poster advertising your product on the store windows or a cardboard standup in the store. Paid promoted posts would be like your product being placed on the end-cap of the store, where it gets more attention and is more readily seen by customers.
Like with social media, the product in the store won’t sell, no matter how many posters you have up in the store or where it’s featured, if the packaging isn’t informative, eye-catching, and engaging. This is how Media Components looks at digital marketing, especially social media. It’s not an either/or between organic and paid social – it’s both.
Media Components Has the Digital Marketing Tools to Help You Succeed
Are you ready to build your organic and paid social media strategy? Contact us today to see how we can use our expertise to help your business succeed.