When Facebook hit college campuses in 2005, it is safe to say no one could have ever predicated how integral social media would become in our day-to-day lives, much less what a huge impact it would have on marketing.
As more channels developed, brands took to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and even Snapchat to reach their audiences. There was suddenly huge competition for the attention and engagement of the hundreds of millions of users on these platforms, and organic reach began to decline due to ever-changing algorithms. As a result, paid social media has become a critical part of reaching those key audiences.
But how do these two practices fit together? And what kind of impact can a few dollars have on your social engagement? Let’s dive in:
Organic social media
For most of our clients at MBB, organic social media posts help them build an online presence and ongoing relationships with their audiences, particularly when it comes to reaching a millennial audience. Our work in this arena includes:
- Maintain a brand presence: providing a constant source of information
- Building brand loyalty: listening to, learning from and engaging with your audience
- Community management: joining in on the conversations being generated by your audience to help solidify the brand personality and voice
While all of these tactics help build strong relationships with your engaged audiences, finding those potential users to connect with is a tough battle. Studies show that organic reach is continuing to rapidly decline and that putting even a small amount of advertising dollars behind your posts can help the brand’s overall success on the platform.
Paid social media
Paid social media posts have many of the same benefits and goals as organic social media, but with the opportunity to test messaging and creative against a variety of audience types. Paid social media proves these channels are no longer just about conversation and content—they’re established channels for customer acquisition, remarketing, and customer retention. Leveraging advertising dollars for sponsored posts ensures your social content is aligned with business goals and objectives, and lands in the right people’s newsfeeds.
Paid social media ultimately serves to:
- Extend digital media tactics
- Amplify organic content to reinforce core messaging
- Increase awareness, reach, traffic, engagement, video views and lead generation
- Generate purchase intent through content offers and retailer targeting
Why we like it
Clearly paid social media can bring you significantly higher results, but we have a few other reasons we love it:
- More bang for your buck: With very small minimum spends, paid social media is a great option for brands that are tight on marketing dollars. A little bit goes a long way!
- Targeted reach: Both geographic and behavior-based targeting help you reach the right audience.
- Specific goals: Optimizing your social media ads for your specific goals (website traffic, post engagement, video views) can give you an even better value and help boost ROI for your campaign.
Two is better than one
Depending solely on organic social media for reach and relevance is a thing of the past. Without paid support, your followers will see less than 20 percent of the content you post. By aligning paid and organic social media strategies, both sides should see a lift in reach, engagement, and follower acquisition.