In the beginning, the idea of a free avenue for brands to grow and connect with their audience on a personal level was enticing. As you may know, social media is constantly evolving. What used to be a free platform to promote your brand and products organically transformed into a pay-to-play channel.
Despite the constant changes, many brands continue to adapt and compete for exposure on social media. Having an effective strategy is key to any brand’s success. Before we continue, let’s clarify the difference between the two strategies discussed in this article—organic and paid.
An organic social media strategy utilizes the free tools provided by each social media network to build a community through sharing content and interacting with users.
A paid social media strategy utilizes the ad tools available on each social media network to go beyond the confines of algorithms and competing content to place content in the center of a specific audience’s feed.
Both sound compelling, right? That’s because they’re both unique and benefit your brand in different ways. Don’t worry about choosing one or the other. To maximize your reach and utilize your budget efficiently, consider developing a hybrid strategy to reap the benefits of both.
Does an organic strategy even matter anymore?
The answer is absolutely! The success of your brand on social media begins with organic growth. Without an effective organic strategy, your ads will fail to reach your ideal audience or perform at their full potential.
Even with the constant algorithm bumps and the recent jump in paid ads, organic growth plays a vital role in your brand’s ability to grow and succeed on social media. The landscape has changed but your audience hasn’t gone anywhere, it’s just a matter of organically reaching them with content that they find interesting.
The key is to avoid spamming their feed with sales pitch after sales pitch and curate content to highlight who you are while providing value to your audience.
Save the sales pitch for your paid strategy and focus on establishing your brand in a way that consumers can relate to and gain from. We’ve listed a few ways organic growth on social media is valuable and prevalent below.
Brand awareness and validation
The most well known and sought after advantage of implementing an organic social media strategy is raising brand awareness. Your company’s social presence speaks a lot for your brand. Having the option to showcase who you are, highlight your personality and values, and engage with your audience are just a few perks of being present on social networks. Besides awareness, organic social also strengthens validity and trust among your audience by establishing your brand as an expert in your industry.
Organically increasing brand awareness doesn’t require flooding your audience with sales pitches and overly-promotional content. In fact, practices like that could cost you potential conversions down the road. Simply posting educating, motivating, and entertaining content can resonate well with your audience and help your brand grow.
Connect through customer-related content
Instead of relying on sales-heavy strategies, social media gives you the opportunity to share customer-centric content to better connect with your audience.
Companies like Pepsi and Dunkin’ incorporate customers’ photos into their strategy to relate to their audience on a different level.
Build relationships and engage with your audience
A key part of any organic presence is being available when customers reach out via social media. You’re not only building genuine relationships with your audience, but you’re offering a quick, free channel for users to get in touch with your brand directly.
When does it make sense to use a paid social media strategy?
Paid ads push your content above and beyond algorithms and competing content. Rather than waiting for a post to organically reach your ideal audience, you can put a little money behind it and place content right in front of the people you want to see it.
Organic growth is valuable, but we’ve listed a few instances when implementing paid ads would be just as beneficial to your brand.
Reaching a specific audience
Implementing a paid social media strategy allows you to be in control of the audience you want to reach. Facebook and Instagram’s ad platforms allow you to target a relevant audience based on location, age, interests, and so on.
Promoting killer content
Did you spend time creating awesome content to educate or entertain your audience or prospects? A paid social strategy will ensure it doesn’t get lost in the sea of competitors’ content. With paid ads, your content will be placed in front of the right audience and encourage visits from new and current followers.
Performing above organic capabilities
Organic growth is valuable, but don’t let it be the reason a limited-time deal or informative resource goes unseen. With the ability to target specific audiences, control when your post is active, and promote relevant information, a paid social media strategy can help your brand be more than just another face in the crowd.
Should I just boost all of my posts to reach more people?
Paying to get your content in front of the right people is beneficial. Hypothetically, boosting all of your posts should help you rake in the follows, likes, and conversions.
However, not all content is created equal. Some pieces of content relate better with your audience than others. Paying to push every post to the top of your audience’s feed won’t only exhaust your budget, but will also tire out your audience.
Instead of focusing all of your time, effort, and money on boosting every post on your feed, implement an organic and paid hybrid strategy to make use of both approaches.
How do I implement a hybrid strategy?
Combining your organic and paid social media strategy isn’t difficult. You already understand the difference between each strategy, just incorporate the pointers below.
Determine what content your followers enjoy seeing
It’s a given—if a particular piece of content performs well and attracts users to your brand, it might resonate well with others that have yet to see it. If a post intended for organic growth performs better than usual, you can quickly boost the post on Facebook and convert it into paid ad material to reach an even larger audience.
Keeping an eye on analytics is important, especially while implementing a hybrid strategy. Look for common trends in your content. What posts have the most engagement? Does one type of content generate more clicks than others? Take note of what copy, visuals, and call-to-actions your popular posts include and use this information as a benchmark for future paid posts.
Identify your target audience
The more time you spend growing your account organically, the better. Built-in tools like Facebook and Instagram Insights illustrate what your current audience looks like. A stronger following as a result of organic reach will give you a better understanding of your target market. You can use this information to spend less time and money picking your ad audience.
Bring interested users back
It’s inevitable, some users view your content but hesitate to take action—why not attempt to bring them back? Facebook remarketing is one of the highest converting social promotions. Through remarketing, you can specifically target former customers, website visitors, an email list, leads, and even users that previously engaged with your content via Facebook and Instagram.
That said, interactions and engagement you receive through a non-paid post could lead to conversions down the road.
Don’t forget—your paid strategy should complement your organic strategy on social. If you’re not sure where to start, our team would be happy to help. We’ll guide you through a hybrid social media strategy to obtain measurable results for your brand. Contact us to learn more.