In today’s ever-modernising, technological world, creating an online presence for your business through social media is just as important as having a website. Additionally, consumers demand more and more content as time passes and expect businesses to be consistently active on social media.
Besides the expectation from your customers, social media is actually an incredibly useful tool that offers businesses a number of benefits, such as brand exposure, audience reach and potential lead generation. However, every social media channel has its pros and cons, and not all will be right for your business. Apart from deciding which channel will prove most fruitful for your business, you also need to decide if you will be utilising organic or paid social media.
What’s the difference? Let’s find out!
What is Organic Social Media?
Organic social media comprises all of the content (be it image-, video-, audio- or text-based) that you upload to your business’ social media profile or account. The aim of organic social media is to create and upload content that will naturally gain traction over time. This gradual build in momentum will help you create exposure for your brand while informing your growing following of who you are and what you offer.
One important element to remember about organic social media is that you don’t always have control over who may see your content. For this reason, every post you make, image you upload, or every time you add a video to your story, you need to ensure that your content is quality, is consistent, is in line with your brand and company identity, and that it will entice your audience to engage with your business, organically.
Primarily, organic social media is to build your brand and audience while distributing custom content. Organic social media can thus:
- Communicate brand identity
- Build brand awareness
- Reach new audiences
- Nurture leads and potential customers
- Foster loyalty amongst existing customers.
What is Paid Social Media?
Much like other forms of paid advertising (e.g. Google Ads or print advertising), paid social media allows you to directly target your audience with custom content (ads) and promote your product or service. At this stage in time, most social media networks provide in-depth ad tools that allow you to make your ads extremely specific, setting everything from the location you want your ads to run in, to the age of the people you advertise to, and even to specify the interests of the audience you are targeting.
Unlike organic social media, paid social media usually directs potential customers to complete an action. For example, this may be signing up for a seminar or newsletter, becoming a member at a club or gym, or making a purchase.
Additionally, paid social media requires an advertising budget. This budget has a large influence on the success of your campaign, as a limited budget can limit your campaign and cost you important clicks, while too little control over your budget could cost you thousands in wasted clicks from customers with low intent.
Paid social media takes considerably less time to provide results (when done correctly!) than organic social media. This is because the content you create and use in your ads reaches your target audience immediately. Additionally, tools like Facebook’s retargeting ads allow you to target potential customers who have already engaged with your content and who may, thus, be more likely to engage with your business.
Paid vs Organic Social Media
The greatest difference between paid social media and organic social media is the way in which your content is delivered to your potential customers.
Organic social media is like walking past a car dealership; the vehicles on display all look shiny and new, but ultimately the choice to enter the dealership remains yours.
In contrast, paid social media is like a car salesman who will approach you to assist you in finding the car you want.
What many businesses don’t realise is that the car salesman and the car dealership go hand in hand!
Paid vs Organic Social Media? Why Not Both!
Imagine walking past a car dealership and, on display, is a great looking car that you’ve always had an interest in. You want to find out more about the car, but you aren’t really sure.
Suddenly, a friendly and knowledgeable car salesman shows up and helps answer all the questions you have about your potential new vehicle.
It wasn’t the car salesman that caught your interest – it was the car itself.
This is why organic and paid social media work so well together. Organic social media serves as the perfect way to build your brand an online social presence while retaining authenticity and creating a direct, meaningful relationship with your customers. Paid social media equips you with the tools to turn all that organic content into a converting funnel.
If a social media user comes across your content, appreciates the themes and concepts it communicates and enjoys what you post, they are more likely to start engaging with your brand.
Key to social media marketing is understanding that the choice to engage remains the customer’s decision to make. 2020 online shopping trends in Australia have shown that more and more consumers are taking to online platforms to make purchases. Trends have also shown that most consumers do their own research before deciding on a product or company to buy from.
This is what makes organic social media so important!
Customers want authenticity. Your product or service could be cheaper, faster or better in any way than that of your competitors’, and your target market may still not choose to engage with your business if they cannot trust it.
Organic social media provides the foundation for paid social media to perform well. Ideally, you shouldn’t choose between one or the other, when your business’ best chance lies in utilising these tools together.
Let’s Get Social!
We know social media! We specialise in combining a fantastic organic social media strategy with a paid social media advertising plan that will have your brand and your business booming. Get in touch and let’s get social!