Does your social media audience’s lack of attention have you feeling like the nerdy kid at school, sitting all by yourself in the cafeteria? If so, maybe it’s time to take a look at your paid and organic social media strategies.
There’s been a lot of press lately about the decreasing reach of organic social media posts, and many companies are unhappy about it.
For example, the organic reach for a typical business Facebook post has fallen dramatically over the years and currently sits at around 2% or less for many businesses.
That means that if you have 1,000 fans, on average only about 20 of them will see your organic post updates.
This decrease in organic visibility may have you wondering why you should bother with organic social at all.
The truth is, organic social media serves an entirely different function from paid social media. And without a strong organic social presence, your paid social campaigns will more than likely struggle to succeed.
Paid Social vs Organic Social
Paid Social Advertising is where you pay money to display ads in front of people on social networks. Anytime you see a post on Facebook that says “Sponsored,” that’s a paid social media ad.
Organic Social Media is just the opposite. It’s any social media post that you don’t pay for. Anytime you post an article on Facebook, an image on Pinterest, or a link on Twitter, these posts fall into the organic social bucket.
The Purpose of Paid Social Advertising
What’s the purpose of paying money to advertise on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, or any other social media channel?
For one thing, it allows you to get your message and your brand in front of thousands of targeted prospects—even if they aren’t currently following you.
Using the detailed demographic and interest targeting in Facebook, you can reach an enormous audience of people who are liable to be a good fit for your product or service.
It’s a great way to implement retargeting. And by using lookalike audiences, you can use Facebook’s algorithm to go out and find even more people who are similar to your existing customers.
Paid social advertising allows you to reach a wide new audience of people using detailed targeting options.
But simply reaching a new audience isn’t enough to achieve all your business goals.
Once you connect with new people, you’ll need to continue to engage them to convert them into customers. That’s where organic social comes into play.
The Purpose of Your Organic Social Presence
If the goal of paid social advertising is to grow your reach, the purpose of organic social media is to connect with and engage those people who are already following you.
Organic social is where you build and foster a positive community around your brand.
This is the place to answer questions, deal with criticism, and graciously accept praise. It’s a place to share news and updates, and to reward your customers and followers for taking the time to engage with you.
And if you don’t? You could end up being mocked and taken advantage of by your competitors who do maintain a strong organic presence. Take Wendy’s, for instance: the sassiest fast food chain on Twitter:
But organic social is about more than relationship building. It makes sense from a business perspective, too.
A 2017 survey showed that over 50% of people tend to follow a brand on social media before making a purchase—and that includes Millennials, Gen Xers, and even Baby Boomers:
What do you think will happen when a person sees one of your social media ads, then clicks through to your profile to discover the online equivalent of a ghost town, with no organic presence or community engagement to speak of?
Users will lose interest in your product or service and move along to the next eye-catching ad in their newsfeed.
The solution is clear: keep your social media profiles updated and optimized for better engagement and credibility with your customers.
How to Improve Your Organic Social Presence
Social media has its own form of SEO. But instead of rewarding inbound links like search networks do, social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter reward engagement and positive user experience.
Your goal for your social media presence should always be to engage your audience with content they’ll love.
The first step to doing that is to make sure you’re on the right networks for your brand! It won’t matter how well you optimize your Pinterest profile if all your customers are using Snapchat instead.
Do a little research. Ask your customers which networks they use. See where your competitors have a presence. And make sure you’re on the networks where your customers like to hang out.
Here’s more tips for keeping an effective social media presence:
- Optimize your profiles. Be sure to include pictures, videos, and links to your website and other social media profiles.
- Post high-quality content on a regular basis. (Oh, and try to strike a balance between free, useful content and promotional posts.)
- Be responsive! Answer questions and respond to criticism in a friendly and respectful way.
If maintaining your social presence sounds like more work than your team is able or willing to take on, our social media experts at BKMedia are ready and willing to take on the task.
If you’d love to see results like that in your own company, then get in touch. And in the meantime, learn more about our social media marketing services >