There is no denying the importance of social media marketing, and this falls into two categories. Paid social media and organic social media can both be effective ways of spreading the word about your business and boosting your online presence, but which should you be focusing on?
What is Paid Social Media?
There are two types of social media marketing, one of which is paid social media. This refers to the practice of running advertising campaigns on social media platforms by paying to promote specific posts. It’s a way to reach a wider audience, and it allows businesses to target selected demographics. Instead of simply posting standard posts on social media and hoping for the best – as is the case with organic social media – paid social media involves allocating a budget to boost the visibility and reach of social media posts. This is usually done via advertisements or sponsored content.
What is Organic Social Media?
Along with paid social media, organic social media is also an option for businesses. This refers to creating and sharing content on social media platforms without paying for advertising or promotions. Organic social media focuses on building a business’ online presence by engaging with the audience and growing a following through authentic efforts, and not through paid posts. This can be done by posting written content, images, videos, infographics and polls. Using relevant hashtags and participating in trending conversations is also a key part of organic social media, as this can help to increase the visibility of organic content.
The Pros and Cons of Paid Social Media
PRO – Reach a New Audience – Paid social media allows you to reach a larger audience that goes beyond your existing followers. It helps to extend your businesses visibility and attract new customers who may not have been aware of your business otherwise.
CON – Needs a Larger Budget – As the name suggests, paid social media requires a budget and the cost of paying for ads can quickly add up. The exact cost will depend on the platform, target audience and campaign type, but having a large budget is usually needed to truly make a mark.
PRO – Can Easily Profile an Audience – Social media platforms offer a lot of targeting options, allowing you to narrow down your audience based on demographics, interests, behaviours and location. This precise targeting allows you to target the right people, those who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer.
CON – Cost Per Acquisition is Important – To ensure that you are spending the right amount on each lead, you need to work out a suitable cost per acquisition. This refers to how much you are paying for each lead or sale. If this is too high, paid social media is not a good ROI.
The Pros and Cons of Organic Social Media
PRO – It’s Cost Effective – Unlike paid social media, organic social media does not require a big investment. While it does take time and effort to create and distribute content, organic social media can be a cost effective way to reach and engage with an audience.
CON – Takes Time to Develop – Building a strong organic presence requires consistent effort and time, and posting once or twice a week is unlikely to be enough. Creating high quality content, engaging with your audience, and managing social media accounts can be time consuming, especially for small businesses with limited resources.
PRO – Potential for Huge Growth – When organic social media is done well, the potential for growth is impressive. Businesses with a good organic social media strategy are able to reach a wide audience, get a lot of likes and comments on posts, and have their content go viral. There are very few limitations as to how big a business can get on social media.
CON – No Guarantee of Audience Reach – Organic reach on social media platforms has significantly declined over the years due to regular algorithmic changes, meaning that reaching a wide audience can be a challenge. A lot of the time, paid social media posts are prioritised by the platforms, making them more likely to be seen.
Which One is Best for Your Business?
As a business, you need to decide whether to focus your attention on paid social media, organic social media or a mixture of both. This can be a difficult decision to make, as it’s important to use your budget in a way that’s going to bring in leads, conversions and sales. There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to this question, and a lot of it will depend on what your business has available. If you have a wealth of resources and expertise, you might be able to dedicate equal time and energy to both, but being limited may mean that you need to choose the route that is more likely to be successful. For example, paid social media often requires knowledge and experience of various paid social media techniques, which you may or may not have access to.
You also need to think about your available budget. If you have a big social media marketing budget, you could try a variety of techniques and see what works. However, if you are working with a smaller budget, you need to focus on the type of social media marketing that has the best ROI. This is where we come in.
At Profici, we have a lot of social media marketing experience, and we are experienced in all techniques, tools and approaches. It doesn’t matter if you want to focus on paid social media or organic social media, we can help you to achieve impressive results. Contact us today to find out more.