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Which is right for my business, paid or organic social?

In a world where businesses are fighting for traffic, social media is one of the most fruitful places to operate. However, in recent years, the goalposts are moving more and more. Getting eyes on your products is more challenging than ever before.

We understand the restrictions placed on businesses due to budgets, time and people power. In this blog, we’re giving our readers a better idea of where and when you should be spending your time and money on socials. To do that, we will crack open the puzzle regarding paid and organic posts and shed some light on which is best for your business.

For years it has been believed that paid social is the way to go when it comes to driving sales. However, that isn’t always true. In this blog, we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of both paid and organic social depending on your end goal. Hopefully, we will help peel away the falsities and allow your business to build a successful and manageable plan of its own.

So let’s get on with it!

What is organic social?

First thing’s first, it’s best to assess the terminologies to fully understand what they mean. We will start with organic socials as this is the lifeblood of many businesses. Whether you elect to spend big on paid or survive on a shoestring budget, you should still be building organic content.

The beauty of organic social is that in the long run, if it’s done correctly, it provides something to those who interact with your business. It builds brand awareness and shows that you are active and functioning, this was particularly important during the pandemic as brands were closing down or taking breaks left, right and centre.

Something here about organic socials giving people something to look at if they see your ads.

What is paid social?

Paid social is what it says on the tin! In theory, your business can deliver whatever message it desires to a predetermined demographic by paying the social platform for that delivery.

Paid social can come in many different formats and varies depending on which platform you are using. For example, on Facebook, you may elect to boost a previous post so that your chosen audience views it, or you can build a brand new advert from scratch. Whereas on LinkedIn, you may want to deliver messages with your marketing to the inbox of your target demographic.

If you run a paid social campaign well, it can create hit the right audience and get them interested and aware of your brand. Poorly built ads, the wrong target market, the wrong visuals etc, can leak money and fail to drive conversions altogether.

How do I align my goals with my chosen social media approach?

Let’s get something straight; unless you fully understand what it is you are looking to achieve, you’re going to waste money trying to find out.

What really matters is the granular information of the social media platforms. For example, building lots of imagery and posting on Instagram multiple times a day won’t help your business if your demographic isn’t active on Instagram. Of course, this is the case for every platform. Having knowledge of who you want to attract, where they are and what attracts them is essential when planning a successful social media campaign.

If you are looking to target professionals in a certain sector, having lots of brilliant imagery on Facebook may not particularly help. Having a well-written copy on LinkedIn most definitely will!

Here is a brief overview of what goals align with either paid or organic social media:

You want to target a really specific demographic… Paid!
Your business wants to reach a large audience quickly… Paid!
You need to start building brand loyalty… Organic!
You want to reach and engage with an audience over a long period of time… Organic!
You strive to reach a demographic that is entirely new… Paid!
You would like to keep your existing customers in the loop on your business… Organic!
You want to leverage your best content… Paid!
Your business wants to provide support to your customers… Organic!
You want to build brand awareness in your sector… Organic!

With the above goals in mind, think about what currently means the most to your business before embarking on paid, organic or both.

Create8 and social media

No matter what your goal, at Create8, we build social media management and marketing campaigns so that you don’t have to. Our team of forward-thinking marketers can help grow your social following and develop stand-out content for your business to leverage. If you are looking for someone to come on board and offer you a helping hand, or if you want a talented agency that can run your socials entirely, reach out to us today!

Once I have an approach, how do I choose a platform?

OK, so you’ve decided on what you want to achieve with your social activity, now it’s time to evaluate the platforms available.

Paid ads

Historically Facebook was the chosen platform for paid ads due to its varied audience and ease of use. However, LinkedIn has emerged from the shadows in the paid social world in recent years. This is largely down to the B2B access that comes with LinkedIn; that being said, it isn’t advantageous if you are looking for the B2C market; in fact, it’s pretty much a chocolate fireguard.

Instagram is quintessentially B2C, and if you have some awesome imagery, it’s worth putting your adverts out across the platform. Although, if you are looking to run paid ads through Instagram itself, you’re reasonably stuck with only being able to boost posts. If you head into the Facebook Business Manager platform, you’ll be able to build targeted ads with much more flexibility.

On Twitter, you can promote a tweet, a trend or an account to gain more traffic to whatever it is you are saying or whoever you want people to follow.

When it comes to running paid social, it’s pivotal you know how to build an ad and maintain it whilst it’s running. If you don’t know the back end, you can waste lots of money in a flash! We suggest hiring an expert and letting someone with experience build your perfect paid solution. Make the most of the money you’re paying to these social media giants or they will easily spend it for you in potentially the wrong places.

Organic

It kind of goes without saying that all social platforms are great for organic content; after all, that’s the reason they were built. We’re guessing that if you’ve made it this far, we probably don’t have to go into too much depth here.

So, Facebook is great for sharing pretty much anything. Its open character limit means your posts can be as informative as you like, and the people who are active there, love to get involved in anything and everything on the platform.

Twitter, on the other hand, is great for sharing blog posts and snippets of your written content. When it comes to imagery, the people of Twitter are obsessed with memes and quirky twists on photos; if you’re able to work any of those into your organic social offering, you’ll be in with the Twitter crowd.

Instagram is the home of the photo; anything aesthetically pleasing, get it out there, and the ‘instagrammers’ will lap it up like a cat does milk. Text often goes missing on Instagram, so save it mainly for your pretty looking stuff.

Pros and Cons of Paid and Organic Social!

So that your final decision is as informed as possible, let’s briefly assess the pros and cons of both paid and organic social.

Pros (+) Cons (-) of paid ads

+ Ability to reach your audience.
+ Instant results.
+ Flexibility to optimise for specific goals.
+ Expansion of your audience.
(-) It is only a temporary solution
(-) Potentially high cost
(-) Needs constant monitoring

Pros (+) Cons (-) of Paid Social

+ Long term brand recognition.
+ Build a community and loyalty.
+ Maintains an active online presence.
+ Allows you to gauge audience feedback.
(-) Algorithm changes have a say on effectiveness.
(-) Time-consuming.
(-) Primarily targets those who currently interact with your business.

The truth is, when it comes to building a lasting social media presence, working in a combination of both paid and organic social media is almost always the best approach and it’s one we recommend to our clients.

Paid and organic social media work hand in hand to bring new people to your brand and then keep them there. You want to attract people to your brand, once they’ve found you, you need to keep incentivising them to stay and interact.

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When deciding which form of social presence and marketing will work best for your business, speaking to a digital marketing expert can be beneficial. At Create8, we build and maintain social media platforms for several companies across various sectors. Therefore, we have the knowledge and technical ability to put your business where it needs to be and create a tone that resonates with your audience.

Understanding how social platforms work is a significant facet of our business and is something that your company can leverage when you hire us for a project. So, whether you are looking for social media management, blog writing, or marketing strategy, contact Create8 today!

Send a message, give us a call or even pop in our HQ for a brew and a biscuit!

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