Social media has become a big part of how businesses of all sizes market themselves today. But not all ways to use social media are the same. Businesses often choose between free and paid social media. Organic social media is when you make and share content on social media sites without paying for ads. On the other hand, paid social media is when a business uses paid advertising to get its content seen and shared more. In this article, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of both organic vs paid social media marketing. We’ll also look at an example of a successful campaign to help businesses figure out which method will work best for their social media marketing.
What Is Organic Social Media Marketing?
Organic social media marketing means making content and sharing it on social media sites without paying for ads. This content can be text posts, pictures, videos, and other types of media. Organic social media marketing aims to build a following and connect with potential customers by naturally sharing real, helpful content. This can include making posts, responding to comments and messages, and giving all of your social media profiles the same voice as your brand. The main benefit of organic social media marketing is that it can be cost-effective, builds trust and authenticity, and can reach a larger audience because the content you post is seen by your followers and can be shared by them, which can increase your reach.
What Is Paid Social Media Marketing?
Paid social media marketing is when a business uses paid ads to get its content seen and shared more on social media platforms. This can be done through display ads, sponsored posts, and promoted posts. Through paid social media marketing, businesses can target specific demographics, interests, and behaviours with their ads. With paid social media, businesses can also use the analytics provided by the social media platform to track and measure the success of their campaigns. The main benefit of paid social media marketing is that it lets you advertise to specific groups of people, get results faster, and track and measure success. On the other hand, paid social media marketing can be expensive and not seem real. It also depends on the advertising platform.
Advantages of Organic Social Media
Organic social media has several benefits that make it a good choice for businesses that want to build a strong presence online.
Organic social media marketing doesn’t cost anything other than the time and energy spent making and sharing content. This makes it a good choice for small and medium-sized businesses that might not have much money to spend on marketing.
It helps to build trust and credibility
Organic social media lets businesses make and share real content that their target audience responds to. Businesses can build strong relationships with their audience by giving them useful information, answering questions, and interacting with their followers. This can lead to more brand loyalty and trust.
Reach more people for less
Organic social media, which relies on word of mouth and sharing, can reach more people. When a follower likes, shares, or comments on a post, their other followers and friends can see it. This can help a business reach more people and get more attention.
When a post is promoted naturally, it reaches people who are more interested in it. On the other hand, paid promotion can reach a larger audience but with less interest. This makes it more likely that people who see your post will buy your goods or services since they are more likely to be interested in them.
Organic social media takes time and work to grow, but it can benefit a business in the long run. Businesses can build a solid online presence and keep getting new followers if they regularly create and share useful content.
A strong organic social media presence can also help a website’s search engine optimization (SEO). This is because it can increase the number of backlinks to a website, which can help it rank higher on search engines like Google.
Advantages of Paid Social Media
Paid social media has several benefits that make it a good choice for businesses that want to improve their online presence and reach their target audience.
Paid social media lets businesses use their ads to reach people with specific demographics, interests, and behaviours. This can help businesses reach the right people at the right time, increasing the likelihood of making a sale.
Paid social media can give you results faster than organic social media, which can take time to build up. When businesses pay for advertising, their reach and visibility go up immediately, leading to more website traffic and sales.
Tracking and measuring success
Paid social media platforms give businesses detailed analytics that let them track and measure how well their campaigns are doing. This can help businesses figure out what works and what doesn’t so they can change their strategies.
Paid social media campaigns can reach a much larger audience than organic campaigns, especially if the business has a small following. Paid advertising lets you reach more people, including those who aren’t already following your page.
Freedom of Choice
Paid social media campaigns give businesses the freedom to choose the kind of advertising that fits their goals and budget the best. There are many choices, such as sponsored posts, promoted posts, display ads, carousel ads, etc.
Paid social media campaigns can help build a strong online presence and raise brand awareness. You can make your brand more visible to potential customers and make it easier for them to recognize it by advertising it often and in the same way.
Disadvantages of Organic Social Media
Organic social media has some benefits, but it also has some drawbacks that businesses should consider before deciding to use it.
Organic social media has a limited reach because it is based on word of mouth and sharing. This can help a business reach and be seen by more people, but it also means that an organic social media campaign can only reach as many people as the business’s followers and their friends. This can make it hard for businesses, especially ones with a small following, to reach a large audience.
It takes time and work to make and share valuable content on social media. Businesses need to keep making and sharing content that their audience likes if they want to see results. This can take a lot of time and be challenging for small businesses that have few resources.
Lack of control over the audience
Businesses need to have a say over who sees their content on organic social media. Because of this, it can be hard to reach the right people at the right time, which can hurt conversions.
Targeting options are limited
Since organic social media campaigns are not targeted, your content is seen by a wide range of people, even those who aren’t interested in your product or service. This means that even if you reach more people, you have less chance of getting them to agree with you.
Dependence on Algorithm
Organic social media depends on the algorithm of the social media platform, which can change at any time. This can affect how many people see your post or page.
Disadvantages of Paid Social Media
Paid social media has a number of benefits, but it also has some drawbacks that businesses should think about before deciding to use it.
It costs money
One of the worst things about paid social media is that it costs money. Paid advertising can be expensive, and for a business to see results, they need a big budget. This can make it hard for small and medium-sized businesses to compete with bigger ones.
Lack of authenticity
Paid social media campaigns may not feel as natural to the target audience as organic campaigns, so they may not work as well. As increasing reach and visibility is the primary goal of paid campaigns, authenticity may need to be recovered in the process.
Targeting options may be limited
Even though paid social media advertising can be targeted; the targeting options may be limited. This can make it hard for businesses to reach the people they want to work with. Businesses may not have complete control over who sees their ads and how often they see them. This can make the audience less interested, which can hurt conversions.
People can get tired of seeing the same ads repeatedly, which can make paid social media campaigns less effective over time. This can make conversions go down and force you to come up with new ads and strategies.
What Do Free Social Media and Paid Social Media Have in Common?
Even though organic social media and paid social media are different in some ways, they are also very similar in other ways. Businesses can make a complete social media strategy that uses the best of both worlds by understanding these similarities and how to use them well.
Both organic and paid social media have some things in common. For example, both are used to;
- Spread the word about a brand and build a solid online presence.
- Get the audience’s attention and build a relationship with them.
- Make people like and trust a brand more.
- Get the word out about a product, a service, or a cause.
- Make the audience feel part of a group and get them involved.
- Text, pictures, and videos are all types of content used by both.
- Both use the same social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
What Are the Differences Between Organic and Paid Social Media Marketing?
There are several differences between free and paid social media. The table below gives a detailed comparison between organic vs paid social media marketing.
|Organic social media||Paid social media|
|Cost||Costs no money, but it takes time and effort to create and share content.||Businesses must pay to get their content seen on paid social media.|
|Reach||Word-of-mouth and sharing make organic social media work, leading to a bigger audience and more visibility.||Can reach a much larger audience, especially if the business has a small following.|
|Targeting||Campaigns are not targeted, the content is seen by a wide range of people, including those who aren’t interested in the product or service.||Lets businesses advertise to people based on their age, gender, interests, and behaviours.|
|Control||People who see your content and how often they see it are out of your hands.||Businesses have more control over who sees their ads.|
|Measurement||Difficult because metrics are limited to impressions and engagement metrics like likes, comments, and follows.||Give businesses access to detailed analytics that let them track and measure how well their campaigns are doing.|
|Algorithm||Your post or page’s reach depends on the algorithm of the social media platform, which you can change at any time.||Not affected by the algorithm. Instead, the campaign’s budget guarantees that the post will reach as many people as possible if the ad is approved.|
An Example of a Successful Organic Social Media Campaign
Burak Ozdemir is a Turkish chef who owns the cuisine CZN Burak, famous for outlandish dishes and several viral Instagram posts. He posts videos of himself making food in unique ways while smiling cutely to the camera. Celebrities in sports and music have visited his restaurant – he documents these visits with Instagram videos.
He has grown his Instagram account to over 40 million followers using his videos. However, the growth has plateaued, and followers know what to expect from him – cook while smiling. When followers on social media find out their favourite content creators like this, they unfollow them. However, CZN Burak has kept his followers engaged using techniques;
1. He collaborates with sensational content creators, influencers, or anybody who is currently viral. For instance, the ‘dumpling wrapper prince’ went viral in china for his reaction at a game in the world cup. CZN Burak caught up with him and made a video which he posted on Instagram.
2. He started a campaign where he corrects people who waste food in the name of content. For example, some people posted themselves making a hamburger with someone’s head in place of the beef patty. CZN Burak corrected this by making up to 500 hamburgers and distributing them to needy people. Similarly, someone posted a video about a sport where people skate with watermelon as shoes. CZN Burak corrected this by posting a video where he shared watermelon with kids from a country in Africa (or the Caribbean).
How to Use Both Free and Paid Social Media Together
Combining free and paid social media can be a great way for businesses to build a strong online presence and reach their target audience. Here are some ways to use both free and paid social media together: Businesses can find a balance between building a strong online presence, increasing brand awareness, and reaching a larger audience using free and paid social media. When using both methods, having a clear plan and set goals is essential. You should also measure the results to change your strategy as needed.
Use free social media to get people to follow you.
A business can build a solid online presence and a following by consistently making and sharing useful content on social media. This can help paid social media campaigns reach and be seen by more people.
Use paid social media to reach more people.
Paid social media can help a business’s content reach more people and be seen by more people. This can help businesses reach more people and increase the number of people who buy from them.
Use free social media to interact with people who follow you.
Businesses can get to know their followers and build relationships with them by replying to their comments and messages. This can help build trust and loyalty to the brand.
Use paid social media to reach out to specific groups.
Businesses can target specific demographics, interests, and behaviours through paid social media ads. This can help businesses get in touch with the right people at the right time.
Use organic social media to create a consistent brand voice.
Businesses can build a solid online presence and raise brand awareness by giving their brand a consistent voice across all social media profiles.
Track and measure success with paid social media.
Paid social media platforms provide businesses with detailed analytics that let them track and measure how well their campaigns are doing. This can help businesses figure out what works and what doesn’t so they can change their strategies.
9 Helpful Tips for Social Media, Both Free and Paid
Here are some tips for using both free and paid social media well:
- Before starting a social media campaign, whether free or paid, it’s important to know what you want to achieve. This will help you make a content strategy that fits with your goals.
- Both free and paid social media campaigns need helpful content that speaks to the audience. This can include blog posts, infographics, videos, and pictures.
- Paid social media campaigns let businesses advertise to people based on their age, gender, interests, and behaviours. Use this to your advantage so that you can reach the right people.
- Use social media platforms’ analytics to track and measure your campaigns’ success. This will help you figure out what is working and what isn’t, so you can change things as needed.
- Create a consistent brand voice across all of your social media profiles. This will help you build a strong online presence and raise brand awareness.
- Respond to comments and messages, and get to know the people who follow you. This will help build trust and loyalty to the brand.
- Test different types of content, targeting options, and ad formats to find out what works best for your business.
- Use images, videos, and other forms of visual content to get more people to see your post. Images and videos are more likely to be shared and are more interesting than plain text.
- Use paid social media to supplement your organic strategy. Paid social media can help your organic content reach and be seen by more people, spreading your message to a broader audience.
Work With a Social Media Marketer in Nigeria.
If you want to build a strong online presence and reach your target audience in Nigeria, you should work with a freelancer specializing in social media marketing. These experts can help you make a complete social media strategy that fits your goals and budget and uses both free and paid social media. By working with a freelancer specializing in social media marketing, you can find a balance between building a strong online presence, making more people aware of your brand, and reaching a larger audience.
Don’t wait to contact me today if you want to take your social media marketing to the next level.