Paid vs. Organic Social Media: Finding the Perfect Balance

Organic social media and paid social media both play an important role in getting the highest return on investment (ROI) in social media marketing. Some businesses decide to focus on one or the other, but the truth is that using a combination of both is where you will find the most success.

What is Organic Content? 

Organic social media is at the top of the funnel for brand awareness and trust-building. 

Think of it this way: let’s say you want to buy a new sweater. You are scrolling through Instagram when you see an ad for the perfect sweater. You click on it, and the Instagram page has only 10 posts and 200 followers. There are no comments or likes on any of the posts. No testimonials, or proof anyone has ever shopped there. Would you still buy the sweater? 

This is a bit of a dramatized example, but the point still stands. According to Sprout Social, 80% of consumers say that brand familiarity makes them more likely to invest in the product/service.

Hence why you need to have an online presence to build trust and a relationship with your customers in order to be successful. 

How do you build an online presence? Organic social media

Not All Organic Content is Created Equal

As important as frequency is to a successful organic social media approach, the quality of content might be even more important. 

When people use social media, they are looking to connect with others, a place to escape, and a space to be inspired and gain knowledge. If you make it your goal to do one of those things in each of your organic posts, then half of the battle is already won. 

The other half is simply keeping in mind who your audience is and what they would hope to see. In fact, 72% of consumers feel more connected to a brand whose employees share information about it on social media according to Sprout Social. 

At the end of the day, your audience will be the deciding factor on whether your organic social media performs well or not. Make sure they are at the front of your mind while you are creating content. 

What is Paid Social Media? 

Paid social media is simply tracking sales by putting money behind advertising across social media platforms. 

Three-fourths of all marketers run paid social campaigns. If you are not paying for ads on social media, you’ve already fallen a bit behind.

We are not going to sugarcoat it; paid ads are the fastest way to get a positive return on your investment. Anyone who has a business and is on social media, has access to creating paid ads on any of these platforms. 

Paid social media can either be creating a unique ad that is solely used for advertising or “boosting” an organic post that you have already shared. Both of these methods have similar benefits. 

What are the benefits of Paid Social Media? 

Paid social media allows you to reach people outside of your current followers and audience. This is where you will increase your reach, bring more followers, and get sales. 

Sprout Social reports that 28% of consumers discover new products directly through social media.

The main thing to keep in mind is making sure you are picking a relevant audience and creating intriguing content when crafting an ad.  

Organic + Paid Social Media = The Dream Team

Organic and paid social media work best when they are done together. 

You want to utilize your organic content to create a place for your followers to interact, learn more about your product, and understand your brand and its goals. You want your paid social media to target your exact audience and reach the masses. 

“All in all, paid and organic campaigns complement each other to drive results, so brands that don’t combine these strategies risk missing out on new customers, lead generation and conversions” according to Social Media Today. And we couldn’t agree more.

Written by: Elyse Merbach

Sources: Forbes; Social Media Today; Sprout Social; Sprout Social 2