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Organic vs. Paid Social Media Marketing

If you’re venturing into the world of social media for the first time, you’ve probably come across the terms organic social media and paid social media. And if you’re unfamiliar with the terms, it can be very overwhelming.  

This post will give you insight into both approaches to social media marketing and help you decide how you can use them for your business. Ideally, paid and organic social media are two different beasts, that should be used for different goals. While the best social media strategy incorporates both types of marketing, you will need to decide where you spend most of your time and resources. For that, you need to know the pros and cons of both types of social media marketing, which we will get into here.

What Is Organic Social Media?

Organic social media marketing refers to any free content that all users can share. Businesses, brands, and individuals can all create organic social media content. It can include text-only posts, photos, videos, memes, and much more. 

Brands that post organically can usually expect three different groups of people to see the posts. These include, a percentage of your followers (which is also called “organic reach”), your followers’ followers (if your post is shared), and people following any hashtags you use.

Organic posting is easy and is in fact the best way to nurture a relationship with your customers. This type of approach is excellent if you want to:

  • Establish your brand personality and voice
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Support and retain existing customers
  • Engage customers at every stage of the buying journey

And of course, the greatest upside of organic posting is that it is entirely free! Coming up with the ideas and creating the actual content will cost you time, but not money.

There is one major downside to organic social media marketing, which you’ve probably heard about. The ranking algorithms all platforms use mean that only a small percentage of your followers will see these posts. For example, a Facebook post’s average organic reach is about 5.5% of a brand’s follower count. And typically, the larger the following, the lower this gets.

Don’t panic if you have lower reach than you would have expected, it is just a fact of the industry for the last few years. This is largely because social media platforms are reaching saturation and attention spans are shortening. Ultimately, this has made it harder than ever to get your content seen not only by your own audience but by new people as well. Luckily, this is precisely where paid social media marketing comes into play!

What Is Paid Social Media?

To put it simply, paid social media is essentially just another term for advertising. It is when businesses pay social media platforms in order to have their content shared with specific new audiences who could be interested in the product or service. Typically, this is done in two ways. Businesses can either “boost” their organic posts, or they can create new, unique advertisements.

In today’s market, paid social media is the best way for businesses to target new audiences and convert them into customers. This approach is excellent if you want to:

  • Target your ideal customers
  • Raise brand awareness and attract new customers
  • Promote your newest sale, event, product, or service
  • Drive leads and conversions
  • Reach business goals faster

Perhaps the greatest benefit of paid social media marketing is that you can target a very specific demographic. You can create audiences that are segmented by location, age, and even occupation. Plus, you can create multiple audiences that might enjoy specific types of content.

A lot of people think that paid social media is out of reach for small businesses, but this isn’t the case. Most social media platforms charge on a pay-per-click basis, meaning you only have to pay when users interact directly with your content. You can also easily set limits on how much you want to spend, so you never go over budget.

The Best Approach Is a Combination of Organic and Paid Social Media Marketing

A common misconception is that it is nearly impossible to create a presence on social media for smaller brands. In reality, consumers today are making it easier than ever for smaller brands to compete against large corporations. Their desire for transparency, authenticity, and personal connection and direct contact with companies is often better met by smaller companies.

Social media is a great way to give customers a place where they feel like they are a part of a community. You can establish the feeling of being a part of a community with organic social media and then reinforce it through paid social media. The question of organic vs. paid social media is really quite unrealistic. Today, the strategy that will pay off is one that combines both approaches in a way that makes each stronger.

Do Both With 98 Buck Social

Whether you need help with one social media approach or both, 98 Buck Social is here for you. We have packages for organic social media content as well as paid social media ads, so you can combine both to achieve the best results for your business. Our team of savvy content curators will help you establish your brand online, leading to increased brand awareness and trust.

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