Build it or buy it? 

You’re handling your brand’s social media account, constantly posting new content and actively engaging with your audience. But there’s just one problem – your organic posts are not reaching out to anyone. Perhaps back in 2013, your organic post can be reaching up to 13 percent of your page’s audience. But in 2023, that same number is very likely to be smaller than 5 percent. Meaning for every 100 fans on your page, the post will, on average, reach to about 5 or fewer people!

As organic reach on social media continues to fall, and Meta’s continuous push for businesses to start running ads, you can expect to see more brands hopping into paid social media advertising. Afterall, by putting some money behind your organic posts, we can get more results for the objective chosen. But this begs the question that has been a hot debate topic between marketers: If my brand is using paid social media advertising, do I still need to prioritize to build a following for my profile? Or is that now just another vanity metric?

Read on as we compare paid and organic social media postings at a glance, and how you can integrate advertising for your brand.

What is Organic Social Media?

Starting off with the definition of organic social media, it essentially refers to any form of free content (posts, photos, videos, stories etc.) that your brand shares on your feed. It is the basic functionality of a social media platform where your content will only be shown to people who follow you.

It may sound pretty simple, but organic social media is the foundation of every digital marketing strategy today. It creates relationships with audiences by providing them with valuable and engaging content and using organic tactics, your brand establishes an authority by creating value for them. Therefore, you are drawing in new potential audiences with the quality content that they want to see. 

From awareness, engaging to converting and advocating, an organic social media marketing strategy will use contents to carry their potential audience along every stage of the buyer’s journey and give them a push to encourage them to make a purchase.

However, with the growth of paid advertising, there is a downside to organic social. The reality is, with all of the major platforms using ranking algorithms, only a small percentage of your followers will see your organic posts. Declining organic reach has been the fact for the past years and it is harder than ever to get your brand’s contents to stand out from the crowd, let alone reach new eyes.

What is Paid Social Media?

And this is where paid social media steps in. 

With organic social media postings, you post and hope for the algorithm to bless your post with engagement. But with paid social media, you are guaranteed that your contents are being pushed out to your target consumers. Whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter or YouTube, all these major platforms have their own advertising platforms with advanced targeting features. Brands will then pay money to have their contents advertised either through ‘boosting’ their organic contents or designing new and unique visuals.

Helping brands rise to the top and stay afloat in the competitive market space, paid marketing reaches out to customers who you didn’t even know existed. As compared to long waiting months for organic social media to gain enough traction, the immediate effects of paid marketing is another attraction plus point. 

The Difference Between Organic vs Paid

While organic and paid social are implemented through the same social media platforms, there are also significant differences in terms of the opportunities they offer for your brand. 

  1. Cost

The biggest difference between organic and paid social media – Cost.

With organic being (technically) free, you will have to take into consideration the time and effort it takes to update your profile regularly. Whereas with ‘boosting’ of current posts where it requires an ad spend, this often has the potential to hold greater value for your brand. While there are no guarantee of returns, you will definitely expect to see results. 

  1. Audience Reach

When it comes to audience reach, organic social media gives you no control over who will see your brand’s contents. This can come from a fraction of your fans to any users who specifically go to your page or even fans that the algorithm decides might like to see the contents. 

On the other hand, paid social media gives you a fairly precise control over who sees your content and this is where its value comes in. You are able to target your audience based on factors like their location, behavior, demographics, interests and more, which essentially increases your brand’s likelihood for more conversions. 

  1. Results Timeline 

You can devote as much time into the creation of your contents and energy into posting. But without control over your target audience, there is no definite time over how long it will take for your contents to get results. You can achieve good results: positive brand loyalty, referrals or even sales – or maybe nothing at all. 

With careful planning, A/B testings, well-written CTAs, along with the support of social media advertising experts, you can reliably build an audience and further cut down the time it takes for good results. 

The Dynamic Duo  

At this point, the answer to a successful social media marketing strategy for your brand is fairly obvious, which is – the hybrid strategy of combining organic and paid social media. 

According to an Adobe digital advertising survey, about 50 per cent of Generation Z and 42 per cent of millennials site online advertising to be the most relevant channel for advertising. With the dynamic duo combination, it effectively utalizes the advantages of both and helps your brand strategically build you audience and generate greater conversions. Afterall, the foundation of majority integrated social media strategies is the use of organic contents to serve and delight your existing customers, while attracting new eyes with paid ads.

  1. Not all promotional posts needs to be paid 

Get this straight: You should always only pay for ads that will actually help you hit your KPIs. Ads are not the powerhouse answer of social media. Whether you’re announcing something new – be it a partnership, pivot, a new product – a creative, organic and original content will create a buzz on its own. 

For instance, Orchard Central had a newly launched burger place. Hence this was launched as an organic post on Facebook. With its compelling visual, it is no surprise to see comments swarming in with their opinions. 

  1. Boost your best organic content 

Probably the easiest way to dip your toes into the pool of paid advertising – You can simply identify content that has resonated with your audiences and pay to show it to new eyes. Boosting an existing post is generally low in risk and you do not need to come up with an entirely new ad, let alone an ad campaign. 

Start by allocating a small budget on a weekly or monthly basis for boosting posts. While this may be hard, don’t just pay attention to likes. You should also study the conversion rates and profile views etc. Taking Crocodile International as an example, the brand has taken a small budget on a monthly basis to boost existing posts that resonated well with their audiences, hence seeing a growth in terms of profile views, engagement rates and brand outreach. 

  1. Analyze content and audience behavior

For all contents posted up, it is always good practice to analyze their behaviors and results. Investigate behaviors that have lower motivations for paid campaigns and behaviors that have higher motivations for organic strategy. With these insights, it helps to leverage your paid strategy in the most valuable and cost-effective way for future campaigns. 

With the use of social-media analytics tools, you can determine your audience demographics and psychographics based on the results of your social campaigns, effectively guiding your brand to steer away from audiences who might have no interest. 

Wrapping Up 

As more consumers use social media to find the brands that they can stay loyal and trust, sharing organic and paid social media content will help your brand maintain relevance in the eyes of consumers. While the odds and ends of social media can be tricky to maneuver through, the Dynamic Duo social media strategy has been a game changer in businesses. 

Whether you’re a team of fifteen or a lone-wolf, handling a brand’s social media account isn’t exactly the simplest task at hand, not without the professional support, like a social media marketing agency, to help you out. And quite frankly, if you can limit the amount of work you have to do, why wouldn’t you? 

From handling your brand’s social media accounts to curation of your contents and sourcing the best creative freelancers from various fields for the creation, Plexxie is an excellent choice to achieve your marketing goals. 

Work smarter, not harder. Drop us an email if you’re keen to discuss further! 


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