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Organic vs Paid Social Media: New Year, New Strategy

Social media as part of your digital marketing strategy is crucial, there’s no getting past it. But running a brand social account is nothing like running a personal social media profile. It's not about organic vs paid social media, you need to always be thinking about organic and paid for your business. 

But before we tell you about using both strategies on your social media platforms, it’s time to learn…

Our digital marketers use a hybrid of organic and paid social for our clients to engage existing customers and raise brand awareness for potential customers. They know that both approaches are needed to reach the right audience, but what’s the difference between the two?

Organic vs Paid Social Media: What’s the difference?

Organic posts are what people see if they already follow your brand online. If existing followers engage with your content, the more likely a larger audience can be reached. 

Your organic socials are great for nurturing your online community through brand awareness. It’s also where you can build relationships with your customers, and use the right tone of voice to show off your personality. Your organic social media strategy should help foster brand loyalty. This is where you can create content to convert your customer base. 

For paid social, these posts show up on the feeds of your targeted audiences. These can be defined however you like. Whether you’re looking to reach a certain demographic, or a customer with a particular interest. 

Paid social media campaigns are where you can make a statement with content that cuts through and converts. You can also use it to boost your organic reach by putting ad spend behind a post that resonates with your audience.

Succeeding in organic socials

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The amount of analysis needed to succeed in organic socials can go under the radar. Platform algorithms can change overnight, meaning you need to put trust into your social team to define their own strategy. It takes a lot more than daily posting to succeed in organic socials, audiences want to feel part of a brand’s community. 

"The number one reason why organic social is so important? Brand awareness. Organic social is the perfect way to build new relationships with your target audience while also nurturing your existing ones! 

"Taking the time to establish and grow your brand’s online presence with a strong organic social strategy ensures you are creating relevant content and staying interactive with your online community.”

Ella Redden, Senior Digital PR and Social Media Manager, seventy7

There’s also less need to sell, sell, sell online when paid ads can do that job for you. Instead, focus on letting your brand’s personality reach an audience that wants to engage and feel engaged with. If you feel that brand has a social responsibility, tell your customers online. The more they trust in you through organic socials, the more likely they are to become passive brand ambassadors. 

An often overlooked aspect of brand organic socials is the customer service you can offer instantly to your audience. 71% of consumers who have a positive experience with a brand online are more likely to recommend that business to their nearest and dearest.

Succeeding in Paid Social ads

While organic socials can be more passive, paid media is where you can be a little more aggressive with your approach. Paid social ads are where you can drive people to your website and generate sales.

"Paid social allows us to reach new and inspired users as well as engage with loyal customers to increase brand awareness, traffic and sales.

"The many detailed targeting options available make it a key channel to reach defined audiences at every level of the conversion funnel."

Charlotte Knight, Paid Media Manager, seventy7

The best thing about paid socials is targeting! Finding the right demographic for your brand and ensuring your message cuts through can be the difference maker for your ROI. Paid social posts can also beat the algorithm, meaning your content is always seen by the right people. 

Our experts know how to target relevant personas. They want you to thrive, not just survive online, find out more here

With 64% of consumers using socials to find inspiration while shopping online, paid social gives your business such a good opportunity to snatch those conversions from the competition. But it doesn’t have to stop at sales, use paid socials to strengthen the messages you’re putting across on your organic channels. Brand recognition is important everywhere!

Organic vs paid social media: optimising them to work together

Graphic showing Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram paid ads

Paid and organic social media are made for each other, here’s how our experts team up online:

Testing, testing, testing 
Your paid socials can help you a/b test CTAs and conversion content much quicker than organic socials. 

Real-time analytics are your best friend, and can help support and decide on a post’s success. The quicker you can see a post’s performance, the more you can learn from audience behaviour. 

This also works the opposite way. If you don’t want to waste your marketing budget on testing paid ads, experiment with organic social content. 

And the best thing is, the delete button is just a click away if something doesn’t quite resonate with your audience!

Give your posts a leg up 
If you’ve gone viral, make your top performing organic posts go further by putting a little paid budget behind them. You know they already resonate with your existing audience, but why not use a little targeting to reach people you know will love your content?

Beat the algorithm 
Even the highest-reaching organic posts are seen by a fraction of your audience. It’s more common than you’d think for your followers to completely miss content. Paid socials retarget your organic posts to customers who may not have seen it the first time round means you can strengthen your brand message.

Keep your audience’s eyes on you
Use the power of organic and paid media to drive your audience to other parts of your marketing funnel. It’s not just about conversions, brand awareness or building your business voice. Why not encourage email signups, website visits or blog scrolls with your socials? It’s just as important to strengthen every part of your funnel than focus too much on hard sales. 

Want more digital expertise from seventy7? We bring brands online in the most effective way. Our digital specialists create measurable online results for your business, get in touch to find out more.

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