Social media platforms and their respective reach are constantly evolving. Social media is an integral tool nowadays to promote a brand/business online. With the influx of new technologies, social media has become more real-time and accessible to a wider audience. It is a very good time for marketers to leverage this to promote their brands/business aggressively on social mediums. As we have already discussed, the importance of social media and its benefits for small business.
It is hence, important for brands to gauge the difference between Organic vs Paid Social media and understanding synergies between them. One thing that is very common today is the disproportion in sync between paid and organic media. Since social media growth has been gigantic over the last few years, there’s been a dearth of quality content that is being posted online. Also, with popular social media giants wanting to promote there paid platforms, organic growth is becoming timid by the day.
Defining Organic and Paid Social Media
Organic Social Media:
Any media that is being posted on a social medium to reach its audience without paying the platforms is termed as organic media. If a business page posts an update on their page and doesn’t ‘boost’ or ‘sponsor’ the post, then that post can be termed as organic social media post. Organic posts don’t get the label ‘Sponsored’ (Fig. 1) on their posts. In a way, organic reach matters a lot for the brands as it shows the number of people genuinely interested in the brand. An organic activity happens when an individual visits a brand page they are interested in and perform an activity (like, comment, share) without any external trigger.
Paid Social Media:
Paid social media is any content that is posted on social medium to promote the post to reach a wider audience. In paid social media, a post gets ‘Sponsored’ tag when the promotion starts running. Basically, it is the premium a brand pays to the platform to make sure the content reaches a wider audience, who probably don’t like your page yet. Paid social media can give a brand an instant boost to reach a larger population as compared to organic media. In some scenarios, if a business is coming up with a time-bound scheme or an offer, then paid social media is ideal for such business to grow their sales.
Which strategy is best for the brand?
This is possibly the biggest debate right now on social media regarding organic vs paid social media. Is it really necessary to use both the routes or should brands focus on only organic reach? The answer to this is quite simple but complicated for marketers have totally misunderstood both the concepts. On one hand, there is a fear that inorganic reach might kill the credibility of the business page, while on the other hand content on social media has been so populated that it is devoid of its target audience. Gone are the days when posting on Facebook would reach almost all the organic followers. Facebook, over the last couple of years, has been aggressively trying to promote is paid advertising tool in order to generate more revenue. To narrow it down, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or for that any social medium are based on the algorithm. These algorithms are based on user interests, psychographics, demographics etc. and hence users tend to see the most relevant content. If you see Fig. 1, the brand is trying to reach out to a maximum audience since its promoting a new line of collection. Hence, a paid boost is advisable since paid advertising will initiate awareness, which will result in sales. Organic content on Facebook now reaches only 2% of your total followers. More recently after Facebook announced changes in its algorithm, it is said organic reach will be 20% lower on average. Organic reach has its own benefits in terms of brand loyalty and reputation. If a user has shown interest in your page without any external trigger, that user is bound to be a loyal customer. It definitely helps brands when a user interacts with them organically. User reviews also help brands to maintain a good and healthy reputation online.
In a nutshell, Organic vs paid social media are both necessary and important for brands to gauge maximum coverage online. While, organic paid media increases brand reputation and loyalty, paid social media increases reach and brand awareness. Hence, it is very important for marketers to devices a strategy that has a good combination of both the media. I will be discussing more how to use paid social media for your brands in my future posts. Still not sure? If you are looking for someone to grow your social media presence, contact us here.