Paid is the new organic.
It was not too long ago that social emerged as a free platform brands and businesses started taking seriously and leveraging to increase their sales and brand recognition — essentially seen as free advertising. Even a couple years ago, it may have seemed foolish to pay for a social media marketer to manage your business’s social content, let alone pay the platforms to boost your content.
But that is the reality of social media today. It is simply not enough to hire a social media marketer to curate, schedule, and post content if you are expecting a certain percentage of return on investment (ROI). Social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, also soon realized that they can make a pretty penny off of a business’s need to reach their consumer. So they started to offer more opportunities for you to do so…as long as you pay up.
Social Media Messaging Overload
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The average person will spend approximately five years and four months of their life on social media — the same amount of time it could take a person to go to the moon and back 32 times. Needless to say, that is quite a bit of time consuming social media. Any social media manager will look at the data and know that organic postings are simply not enough any more. Consumers are inundated with messages by spending so much time (9 hours a day for teens!) on these social media sites, with new platforms popping up every day.
4% of your Facebook followers are actually seeing your brand’s organic posts…yikes! Fewer eyes are seeing your content to begin with because of the cutthroat competition for these consumer’s attention, the thousands of messages scrolling through their feeds, and the platform’s algorithms blocking organic postings out. Having a consumer find your organic posting, read it, and then engage with it is almost like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Not going to happen.
That is where paid social media has the slight edge.
The Battle Between Organic vs. Paid Social Media
Organic social is simply postings using the platform’s free tools to schedule and publish your content. The reach with organic depends on the platform you are posting on, but generally the number of consumers you are reaching is small and can come with challenges. For example, a study by Sprinklr found that, “Facebook’s new algorithm filters newsfeeds using 100,000 different factors to decide which posts will get prime real estate on timelines and which ones will fade into the background.” Meaning that even if you try your best with organic posting, you still may come up short due to factors beyond your control.
Whereas, paid social is when you utilize sponsored content to boost your messages and shell out some cash to get more eyes on your content, which hopefully leads to a higher conversion rate. The theory is that paying for targeted content to a specific group of consumers you are attempting to reach will help overcome the hurdles. More of the correct eyes on your content through paid social, the higher your ROI will be.
Add Paid Social to Your Marketing Toolbox
The US digital ad spending is over $72.09 billion, about 37% of total ad spend. Paid social media is a necessary expense your business can benefit from. Start by developing a great digital strategy that is inclusive of robust paid social media tactics. Your strategy can and should include organic posting tactics too, but understand that those serve a different purpose now in the social space. Creating and executing your social media strategy, with the right balance of organic and paid, isn’t easy. And the game is constantly changing. If you need help navigating, get in touch with us.