Organic vs Paid: Each Needs to Play a Role in Your Social Media Strategy

Organic vs Paid: Each Needs to Play a Role in Your Social Media Strategy

As we all know by now, social media can be an effective and strategic way to build and reach customers, grow your brand and influence decision making.

This is not just a fact for consumer based companies. In fact, per a recent report, more than 84 percent of U.S. B2B businesses named social media as a marketing tactic they used to acquire new customers, following just behind email marketing.

Marketing channels for B2B marketers

Furthermore, as seen in the graph below, social networks including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have become major news sources for B2B marketers, making it essential for your business to be using these platforms to share brand content and news. Despite these startling statistics and facts, integrating social media and aligning it into a B2B overall marketing strategy is often still not made a priority for businesses.

News sources for B2B Marketers

To put it bluntly, it’s time to embrace social media and add it to your marketing strategy. Previously on the blog, I’ve discussed how to determine the best platforms to focus on for your business and integrating those into your social strategy. Now it’s time to talk about the strategy itself and ensuring it is effective.

So, what is your strategy comprised of? How do you develop a social media marketing campaign that achieves your goals, reaches new and current audiences and converts?

As we say here at Commexis, it takes two to tango. In the case of social, it takes organic and paid social to have an effective strategy.

So, what is the difference?

Organic

Organic social media consists of freely posting and sharing content, imagery and links on social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc. This can be done through the platforms themselves or on free publishing tools such as Buffer, Hootsuite and more. There are many benefits to social media as we’ve discussed and organic social is where you build the foundation for your voice, community, network and fans. It allows you to directly communicate with current and prospective clients and building your brand awareness. As mentioned, it’s important to adapt and learn from your organic social so you can finetune what copy, messaging and posts are resonating with your followers. Other benefits include sharing others’ posts and engaging in conversations and comments.

Paid

Simply put, paid social media is paid advertising through social media channels. Types of paid social include sponsored posts or messaging, boosted posts or retargeting ads, videos and more. Typically, the cost is based on a CPC, cost-per-click or a CPM, cost-per-thousand basis, but prices do vary depending on the network, budget and type of ad you are looking to push. What is unique with paid social is the ability to specifically target your audiences and differentiate them based on demographics, categories, industry, interest and even job roles. As we all know, there is so much competition in this space, so paid social does allow your brand to get through the crowd to spread their content and reach a broader audience, specifically chosen by them.

Why You Need Both

Once you know which content does well, it’s time to consider paid. Amplifying organic content to a larger audience and reach is a major benefit and resource that paid social advertising provides. However, it is important to know WHAT content to put that money behind, which is where paid relies on its’ mate, organic, to provide the path. By testing, modifying and dissecting your organic content, your business can ensure they are spending their resources wisely on the proper messages to market, thus justifying the cost.

If your social media strategy does not have these two types, you are lagging behind. Research shows that the usage of social media advertising in B2B has risen from 37 percent for 2015 to 47 percent for 2016, leading with Facebook and LinkedIn at 58 percent and followed by Twitter and YouTube with 39 percent and 14 percent respectively.

Effectiveness sorted by social media advertising platform

Plus, for 2017, advertisers intend to invest even further, according to a report that came out yesterday. In fact, just about two-thirds of marketers plan to increase their investment this year. Just take a look at the chart below, and you’ll see the investment growth for Facebook especially as well as LinkedIn and Instagram. This is most likely due to the expanded offerings on these platforms for advertisers including Sponsored InMail’s for LinkedIn, and the ad business growth of Instagram.

Ad spending trends sorted by social media platform

No need to fret if your business stills seems lost in the social media world or lacks the resources; Commexis is here to help! We understand how to develop a strong, consistent and compelling social media strategy that includes the marriage of organic and paid content. We stay abreast with the evolving technologies to ensure our clients see success and take advantage of all that social media marketing must offer for their business.

Melissa Shaine

Manager of Branding & Social Media

Emails you will look forward to.

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