The ever-changing user behavior and social media algorithms means crafting an effective strategy requires constant innovation, which fosters trust and loyalty, and helps reach new audiences.
Though paid and organic social media marketing should work in consonance to achieve the same results, however, there are different approaches to maximizing their individual strengths.
Why organic social media is important?
The organic social media strategy lays the groundwork for its paid counterpart by building relationships with your audience via engaging content and driving valuable engagement. Organic gets really personal and therefore, and though the underlying motive is to sell to your audience, they should feel educated and informed about your products and service offerings first.
Communication is key in the organic social strategy; since the sole purpose of organic content is to draw reactions from your audience, the brand must ensure they are responded to in timely fashion, as this boosts confidence because the brand is perceived to be accessible and can answer their questions and solve their problems quickly and satisfactorily.
Benefits of paid social media
Once the brand is successful with cultivating a genuine connection with an audience, a paid social media strategy can ride that wave to persuade your loyal audience to pay for products/services, the value is already demonstrated and guaranteed. Therefore, the promotions, offers and sponsored content are not all in their faces, because let’s be frank – nobody likes to be sold to.
On paid social, your targeting strategy is the key to success. Users are intercepted based on their demographics, profiles, activities, and interests. While the targeting and impact of paid social can be similar to that of paid search, there is a nuance: On paid search, users are actively seeking information, while paid social passively intercepts them. For this reason, it’s important to illustrate the payoff in your paid social ads. What are the unique benefits of your products and services? Why should users give you their business?
Other opportunities that abound with paid social include retargeting, which is essentially crafting ads for users that made it to your product pages on your website but got distracted and never converted. Retargeting is a constant reminder for users that were merely considering your solutions and needed more time to make a buying decision.
Why Do You Need Them Both?
As we have established that one cannot be entirely successful without the other, an organic strategy will cultivate and nurture winning relationships, but reaching a new audience and growing users is an uphill task.
As social networks push paid advertising to monetize their platforms, organic reach is declining. According to Hootsuite, organic reach on Facebook dwindled to about 5.5% in late 2019, representing a continued downward trend. Algorithms have also shifted to no longer display posts in chronological order, making relevancy essential. Social networks now prioritize posts they expect users to find interesting, meaning the more these users engage with your account, the more often they’ll see your content. While paid social can’t — and shouldn’t — compensate for declining organic reach, it can complement it.
Likewise, throwing your resources behind ads means users who click through and visit your social media profile would not find enough content to connect to your brand, which essentially means they can’t trust you enough to pay in exchange for value they can’t perceive.