Paid Social Media Strategy vs. Organic Social Media Strategy

Nowadays everyone and everything is online. In the times of Covid-19, consumer behavior has changed substantially. Online shopping has increased by  6 to 10 percentage points across most categories. Keeping this in mind is vital to creating a noteworthy online presence for your business. Once you have created the social media pages for your business, you will need to create a strategy to execute on these accounts. It is no longer enough to have pages and to post frequently. There must be thoughtful reasoning behind why you are creating and sharing each piece of content with your audience. There are two types of social media marketing strategies, paid and organic. Before we get into the intricacies of paid and organic strategy, we need to understand what an organic post and paid post each are. 

Organic Posts 

An organic post is a post that anyone with a social media account can publish and a percentage of the page followers will see on their feed. This kind of post gets additional views based on engagement rate, meaning the more people who like, comment and, share, the more feeds the post will appear on and the longer the post will appear on followers’ feeds.

Paid Posts

Paid posts can only be created by business accounts. Just as the name implies, marketers pay to show their posts on users’ feeds are not limited to reaching just their page followers. Based on the ad preferences such as location, age, gender, and personal interests, anyone with an account on the platform may have a paid post appear on their feed.

There is another paid post option: a boosted post. A business account may pay the platform to “boost” the reach of an organic post. These kinds of posts expand the range of your target audience to include both followers and non-followers. In addition, it is possible to set up predetermined target audiences to select from when boosting a post to get a more defined target audience. 

Now that we know the difference between paid and organic posts, let’s go over how to apply them to social media marketing strategies. It’s vital to a well-structured strategy to have both Organic and Paid plans in place. One will complement another. 

Organic Strategy 

The main focus of an organic strategy is to reach existing followers and build your business’s online engagement. The strategy should feature less direct promotion and more personality. Post about your business’s mission, vision, values, and products. Tell your story and learn about your followers. Content telling stories, educating, and delighting your followers works great as part of your organic strategy.

That is not to say that your organic strategy should include no promotions at all. The 80-20 rule may be a good starting place. 80% fun content for engagement and 20% promotional content. However, depending on what your audience is looking for, shifting these percentages is a valid strategy, as well. For example, if you are an ecommerce site, you may feature more product-related posts, especially during seasons of sales or new product launches.

The organic strategy is also a great mechanism for reinforcing your brand. Take a look at your social accounts and think about what you want your followers and prospective followers to see and know about your business. This is your opportunity to differentiate yourself from your competition. Going back to the ecommerce example, consider what makes you different from a competitor selling similar products. Also, consider your target audience and what voice and visuals they will relate to and respond to. This is how  you utilize your brand personality to create loyal followers. 

The organic strategy is the foundation of your social media marketing strategy. Everything starts there. Remember, consistency is key with your organic strategy. In order to take full advantage of organic reach, you need to be providing high quality and engaging organic content to your followers frequently, likely 3 or more times/week on Facebook and Instagram. Other platforms have higher or lower recommended posts/week. If it’s implemented well, your business is ready for the next step: paid strategy.

Paid Strategy 

The paid strategy is a fantastic way to generate sales, drive traffic to your website, generate leads, and build brand awareness.

You should maximize your call-to-action (CTA). Be direct and clear about what you want users to do next. “Buy now,” “Download now,” and  “Learn more,” are strong CTA options.

Keep things sweet and simple. Your ads will appear to people who might not know about your brand. Get their attention with a catchy but short text, a vibrant photo or graphic, or a well-made video. Videos are a trend right now on social media, nonetheless, it should be short for ads, between 15 to 30-second at the most because people have short attention spans, shooting for a 6-second video is ideal, even though it may seem like an impossible length to get your message across Remember, if you’re using video for your ad, always have captions included in the video as the vast majority of people will watch without sound. 

Another important practice for a paid strategy is to use the A/B testing technique to test your ads. Run them on a small scale at first to see how users respond to them. Format, copy, CTAs, targeting, video vs. still image. These are all factors to consider when running a paid social media strategy. Figure out what is and isn’t successful. If your paid posts perform well at a smaller scale, they’re ready for bigger budgets and more expansive audiences.

Paid Strategy and Organic Strategy 

A great way to integrate your paid and organic strategies is by boosting posts. Business accounts have the option to pay the platforms to show their organic content to more followers by boosting the post for a small budget and a limited amount of time. This is really helpful when a post has demonstrated strong  engagement, by boosting it, other engagements and impressions can be captured. Boosting can yield impressive results even on a smaller budget and make sure the best performing posts of the week or the month continue to be so. Remember, you can create specific targeting audiences in Ads Manager before boosting to ensure that you’re sending your content to exactly who you want to see it. 

Organic and Paid Strategies should be part of your business Social Media Marketing Plan, one delights and entertains existing followers and the other seeks for new ones and pushes traffic to the site and ultimately leads or sales.

A strong strategy is well planned, but adaptable. You should be frequently measuring KPIs including likes, shares, mentions, follows, profile visits, and website clicks to understand what type of content your audience responds to and what will be the most valuable and successful for your business. 

If you have any questions or need help creating your business’s social media marketing strategy, shoot us a message and we’ll be happy to meet and discuss your goals. Thanks for reading!

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