Organic social is when a company posts on their social media account organically to highlight their personality and values. Paid social, on the other hand, is when a company pays to reach out to new customers and audiences.
Organic social brings people together to form a community and a following. Which is why organic social is so important for brands in this era, in order to build brand awareness, you want to attract loyal followers.
Organic social media includes posts that live on your company’s profile page and can be seen by your audience without paid promotion. Followers of your page may see updates within their feeds, but evidence shows that organic exposure is limited because of how top social networks prioritize users’ feeds based on past behavior and preferences. To use Facebook as an example, only about 2% of your followers may be exposed to your organic posts.
Social media provides authenticity
Social media users know when they see an ad and someone is trying to sell them something. However, through non-paid updates, brands can provide a genuine look into what defines the organization and build authentic relationships with their audiences in a way that makes them feel connected.
Social media fosters your creative voice
Organic social media updates are a fantastic forum for exploring your brand’s voice and creativity. Before you invest hundreds or thousands of dollars in an digital marketing ad campaign, use your non-paid channels to build a solid foundation.
Social media builds engaged communities
While a social media ad may catch a user’s eye, it’s not going to turn that person into a brand advocate overnight. However, by seeing a variety of your business’ updates on a regular basis, they’ll begin to learn more about your company and slowly become loyal to your organization.
In addition, when one of your followers interacts with your brand and their social media contacts see it, they’ve endorsed your company. A smaller community of users that interact with your business’ social channels is so much more important than hundreds of disengaged followers. Over time, engaged communities build on themselves in ways that ads simply can’t.
Paid Social differs from organic social in the sense that there is money behind a post to allow brands to promote it. So, when you see a post on your social media feed that has “promoted” underneath it, this is the work of paid social. The social media platforms that allow promoted posts are pretty much the same as organic social, with the use of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn being the main four.
Paid social media includes boosted posts or ads that can be targeted by a variety of demographic and behavioral factors, depending on the industry.
You can boost either a post that has already been posted on the platform organically to push for further reach, or you can design your own ads to connect to specific audiences by choosing a campaign objective that best fits your KPI. This style of marketing can not only boost brand awareness but also boost sales for a brand. For example, if a brand had a specific product they wanted to push for more sales, they can look to paid social.
By boosting a post or creating a whole new campaign, they can reach a bigger audience and generate the extra sales they need.
You Need Both
There are two ways to sell kitchen appliances: The first salesperson goes door-to-door trying to get an audience to make their pitch. The second salesperson puts on a lavish display at the town center giving all the passers-by an entertaining cooking demonstration with the All New Ronco Never-Stick Frying Pan. When finished, they easily sell what they have just-so-ably demonstrated.
Organic and paid social media are two sides of the same coin. One simply does not work without the other in an integrated digital marketing campaign.
Your organic content is all of your tweets on Twitter, posts on Facebook, or pins on Pinterest. It’s the foundation of your social media efforts. It’s the driver behind community engagement. When you take away that strategy, you eliminate a large piece of your social media activity. And when you do that, your ads suffer.
You’re probably wondering how that might be, especially if you’re implementing audience targeting and bidding for ad placement. Aren’t people supposed to see my ad, click, and keep coming back? Sure, people may see your ad and click, but if they discover that you have a minimal organic social presence, they won’t stick around.
Brands get it right by integrating their organic and paid media strategies seamlessly into an overall social media plan.
The organic content builds interest and trust and a following. Once the people are assembled and are milling about on your channels, then you can make your pitch.