Organic VS Paid Social Media

The Importance of Integrating Paid and Organic Social Media

So, you’ve created a social media page for your company and maybe even amassed a decent following. You post regularly, share funny and engaging content, and promptly respond to any messages and comments. Good to go, right? Not exactly.

Don’t get us wrong – if you have a social media page with decent activity, you’re already miles ahead of most businesses. However, what many people don’t realize is that most social media platforms, including Facebook and LinkedIn, use algorithms to prioritize and select what content a user sees. According to recent Hubspot research, organic reach on Facebook is declining rapidly – from 15% of your audience in 2012 to just 2% of your audience in 2016.

Although there are various strategies to improving the reach of your social content, paid posts give you the opportunity to immediately supplement any organic strategy.

When to Use Paid Versus Organic Social Media

In addition to reaching different audiences, organic and paid social media can serve entirely unique purposes.

The goals of organic include growing and maintaining an online presence, establishing social credibility and developing long-term brand awareness. While organic social activity is free, building an audience can be a painfully slow process. Think of organic efforts as a cross-country race whereas paid media is more of a sprint. Additionally, the people that choose to follow your brand/company may not reflect an ideal customer or influencer.

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Paid social uses various formats of display advertising to target a much more specific audience than the one you reach organically. The cost incurred from paid social can vary depending on your goals and the type of ad used, but cost-per-click is one of the most common payment models. Paid social ads allow you to serve sponsored posts and messages to select users based on characteristics like location, interests and job titles. Aside from targeting certain audiences, paid campaigns can help grow your social following, drive traffic to your website and generate sales leads.

Paid Social Media is Effective and Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

Your social page followers chose to like your page for a reason – they want to see your updates. Organic social posts have value because they speak to an audience that knows and likes your company. But what about all the potential customers who haven’t followed your page and may not even know your page exists? How do you reach those people?

The answer is paid social posting. Despite many marketers believing paid social is more effective than organic, only a small percentage of that group has seen fit to invest a higher level of resources into paid versus organic. The question is, “Why?” If we believe in its importance, why are we so resistant to invest in paid social efforts?

From our research, the most common reasons seem to be money (not surprisingly) and lack of expertise. So many people don’t know where to start when it comes to paid social, and this simple fact can be very intimidating.

Don’t Be Afraid of Paid Social Media

For those with no digital marketing experience, paid social posting can be intimidating. Although it’s true that this strategy can be implemented at varying levels of complexity, most social media platforms have intuitive ad programs that allow both beginners and pros to quickly and easily create and launch ad campaigns.

As with any paid media, the number of people you will reach is somewhat dependent on how much money you are willing to spend, but if you are strategic and create engaging ads, you can get a lot more bang for your buck.

If you’re already creating content and sharing it on social media platforms – and we hope you are – even a small investment can grow your reach more than 10 times what it would be if you shared the post only organically.

Getting Started with Paid Social

As an Ohio digital marketing firm, we understand that getting started with social media marketing can be overwhelming. However, it’s important to remember that launching a paid social campaign isn’t difficult. Most social media networks provide step-by-step instructions for creating a paid social post. The truth is, the hard work isn’t in the set-up, but in identifying the right audience, crafting an engaging post and developing graphics that help sell your message.

If you would like some extra help reaching new potential customers through digital marketing, like paid social media, drop us a line. We’ll tell you more about ourselves, learn more about you and see if Proximity could be the right agency for your business.


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About the Author

Beth Kereszturi

Beth is our VP of Digital Marketing Strategy who, besides drinking a ridiculous amount of coffee, helps clients generate more business. Whether they’ve partnered with Proximity Marketing for a decade or just joined the family, Beth helps clients achieve success and achieve measurable results.