Paid Vs. Organic Social Media: Which Works Best?

Social Media Marketing

Social media has evolved tremendously over the years, from giving customers a platform to share their stories through photos and videos to morphing itself into a marketing tool that businesses use to promote their products and services. This advancement raises the question, which strategy, between paid and organic social media, should brands use to increase their brand awareness? In this blog, we will look at what each of these marketing elements brings to the table for businesses interested in using them in their online strategy campaigns.

What is Organic Social Media Marketing?

Organic social media is about creating valuable content that can help educate and build a brand’s online community without having to spend any money on advertising. In a world where building meaningful connections is key, this is a fantastic way for brands to:

  • Establish their brand personality and presence
  • Formulate relationships with their followers by sharing engaging content
  • Ensure effective communication at every touch point of the customer buying journey

Achieving success with organic social media marketing requires brands to choose one social media platform that they will focus their efforts on. Doing so can allow them to foster an effective long-term connection with their online audiences. Let’s have a look at five key advantages of organic social media marketing.

Benefits of Organic Social Media Marketing

According to Adroll, brands who are looking to undertake this marketing strategy have a great chance to:

  • Build a community of followers who relate to their company values by listening and engaging with customers who comment on their social media posts.
  • Use custom hashtags when developing campaigns to steer customers in their direction. Hashtags can also help locate conversations or topics that brands can get involved in.
  • Demonstrate trust and transparency by directly replying to customers when they have queries thus elevating the brand’s reputation.
  • Have the opportunity to listen and create content that caters to the needs of their audience.
  • Encourage user-generated content that serves as social proof for customers to trust your brand.

The success of organic social media marketing is measured by how many likes, shares, and positive comments a post receives, therefore it is important to provide content that is humorous, valuable, and in line with the latest trends. This allows customers to not only interact with the brand’s content but also help extend its reach to other potential prospects who are likely to be interested in it. Nike is an example of an international brand that has effectively used organic social media marketing.

Brand: Nike

Paid vs organic social mediaSource: Instagram

Nike has grown to be a household name in athletic footwear and has accumulated many Instagram followers over the years that they average over half a million likes per organic post.

💡 Top Tip: Research on social media algorithms can help brands gain insight into their potential customers and the content they would like to interact with.

Related Content: Social Media Algorithms, Everything You Need to Know

What is Paid Social Media Marketing?

Paid social media marketing refers to the advertising budget that brands use to extend their insightful content to a wider audience base. It entails targeting specific audiences by factoring in demographics such as gender, age, location, interests, and behaviour for a tailored paid promotion that will allow brands to convert new leads into customers. In addition to this, the cost-effectiveness of paid social media marketing allows brands to either allocate a daily budget for their online advertising or set a fixed amount for the duration of the paid campaign.

Benefits of Paid Social Media

There are many benefits of paid social media marketing including:

  • Increases brand awareness – Customers follow brands on social media to learn more about their products and services therefore brands will gain traction if their posts appear more often on social channels.
  • Delivers targeted reach – Brands who are looking to convert leads into customers can tap into the right audience base by gaining clear insights into their target audience’s demographics and interests.
  • Supports content marketing efforts- By using customer insights, brands can advertise their finest content to the right audience for a better return on investment.
  • Enhances organic efforts – Paid social media can help drive a brand’s organic content to customers who find it meaningful and educational thus increasing its online presence through frequent interactions.

Brand: Toyota Gazoo Racing

Paid social media examples

Source: Instagram

The above post from a Toyota Gazoo Racing showcases the power of social media. This page usually has 5000 to 15 000 likes per organic post but with paid social media advertising it managed to gain 96 373 likes on one post.

So, one can understand why paid social media marketing is one of the most cost-efficient ways to reach your target audience, and with most online channels offering specific customer data, it is easy for brands to advertise to the right prospects. Furthermore, brands need to choose the right social media platform based on their strategy and desired goals for maximum rewards.

💡 Top Tip: When it comes to paid social media marketing, spend money on the channels where your customers spend the most time.

Read on here: The Power of Paid Social Media

Integrating Organic and Paid Social Media Marketing Tactics

Now that we have covered each social media marketing dynamic in-depth, it is time to expand more about how they work as a collective.

While organic social media marketing is centred around strengthening the relationship that brands have with their current followers, ensuring that the content reaches as many customers as possible is key and this can be achieved through paid social media. The following three tips explain how these two strategies can be integrated:

  1. When looking to allocate funds for a brand’s online advertising campaign, it is important to optimise the paid posts by using relevant hashtags and SEO keywords in the captions to boost its organic performance.
  2. Use the brand’s organic following to determine who their paid audience is, what type of content they enjoy engaging with and where they live. This will help tailor your content to both existing and future customers.
  3. Brands should track their paid and organic campaign results for a better understanding of the type of content they need to invest more money and time into. An understanding of what posts resulted in higher profile visits or what type of content led to a rise in new followers can assist brands in getting the best out of these strategies.

Still not sold on the idea of integrating these two marketing tools? The following video provides more details on each of the following methods and how they work best when combined as one.

Brand: Animoto

Source: YouTube

In Closing

What is the key takeaway on this topic? Brands should not have to choose between organic and paid social media marketing. Instead, they should combine both marketing tactics to ensure diverse and engaging social media marketing campaigns.

The Core Principles of Agile Marketing

Gone are the days when marketers could afford to take months to turn their ideas into marketing campaigns. The combination of technological advancement and evolving customer expectations is propelling brands to embrace agile marketing techniques. This is an approach...

Podcasting: A Game-Changing Marketing Tool for Brands

The popularity of podcasting and audio streaming has skyrocketed over the past few years. An increasing number of influencers, content creators, and brands are jumping on the podcast wave to connect with their audience in new and engaging ways. With this advent of...

Interactive Marketing: How to Engage Your Customers

Are you looking to take your content creation to new heights, connect with customers like never before, and differentiate your brand from competitors? Then it’s time to implement an interactive marketing strategy. Through this approach, brands can personalise messages...

Relationship Marketing: The Key to Longevity

Did you know a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a 95% increase in profit? With statistics like that, there is no denying the importance of building and nurturing your brand’s relationships with its customers. The best way to create these strong,...

Incentive Marketing in a Nutshell

The interconnected world we live in has widened customers’ choice of brands. How can you stand out amongst local and global competitors? One way is with incentive marketing. Incentive marketing is a strategy in which businesses...

Content Strategy: What All Marketers Should Know

Content strategy is something that is often spoken about in the social media and marketing space. But have you ever stopped to consider what exactly is meant by this term? Understanding this concept and knowing how to create an impactful content strategy is a core...

How To Get Paid Social Media Right: Top Tips and Tricks

Did you know that more than half of the population uses social media? With people taking to social networks to research more about their interests and interact with businesses, this presents a fantastic opportunity for brands to increase their reach and drive online...

Marketing to Gen Z: 5 Things Marketers Should Know

Generation Z, also known as Zoomers, is the generation born between 1996 and 2012. While they share many characteristics with the Millennial generation that comes before them, Gen Z has some truly unique behaviours. Growing up with a wealth of information at their...

Business-to-Human Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide

In a world where marketers rely on technology to communicate with customers, taking a step back and implementing a business-to-human (B2H) approach is a strategic way for companies to increase trust and confidence in their brands. We examine the importance of this...

Digital Marketing: Everything You Need to Know

What comes to mind when you hear of January 1, 1983? That’s when the internet was born. Fast-forward 39 years later, it has grown to envelop every part of our daily lives. Think about the last thing you bought online. Perhaps it was a new washing machine or a printer...