How to Pair Organic and Paid Social Media Strategy

As paid advertising on social media becomes more and more popular, the algorithms deciding how content is delivered on social media platforms have evolved. Content is prioritized based on the perceived relevance of the content to the user, rather than being presented in chronological order. As a result of these changes, brands are seeing lower organic reach on social media than ever before. Brands used to be able to reach a much larger percentage of their follower base, but in recent years, the percentage of a brand’s followers that will see an organic post has dropped to under two percent. 

This decline in organic reach makes it more important than ever to utilize an updated social media marketing strategy to avoid losing out on prospective consumers. Building an organic strategy in tandem with a paid strategy is important to keep the brand visible and relevant on social media.

Below are some tips to ensure that your organic and paid strategies will complement each other to create an effective, unified social media strategy.

Organic Social Media

Although organic posts are not reaching as many people as they used to, they are still far from useless. There are multiple ways that the use of organic social media can be a great cost-effective way to develop community, build brand loyalty, and draw valuable insights about the audience.

Tip #1: Use Organic Social Media to Make More Personal Connections

While paid media is going to be the most effective way to get your ad in front of the most people, organic social media is a great tool to create meaningful interactions with your consumer base. Many consumers prefer to view organic posts showcasing the personality of a brand, rather than one that is overly promotional. Using organic social media as a platform to interact with customers on a more personal level allows the consumer to feel a sense of community, not only between the brand and their self, but also with the other like-minded consumers that interact with the brand. This sort of community can perpetuate brand loyalty, stemming from a feeling of belonging with the brand.


Tip #2: Nurture Existing Customers

Organic social campaigns can be used to effectively manage relationships with existing customers to maintain as many loyal customers as possible. While it is always important to be mindful of how to attract new customers, those that already participate with the brand are very important, and should be attended to as such.  Maintaining good relationships with those who already interact with the brand regularly can drive their loyalty towards your brand.  Even though a single interaction may not drive a conversion from these consumers, tailoring your organic social media presence towards these consumers can help ensure that your brand stays top of mind, which can lead to lifelong purchases from the brand, increasing their customer value.


Tip #3: Learn from Organic Posts

The way that people interact with and respond to your organic social media presence can provide valuable insights on how people would interact with similar paid media. Take note of which demographics are interacting with your organic posts the most. These demographics will likely be key targets within your paid strategy as well. 

It can also be beneficial to test what types of content get the best reaction on your organic page. Utilize different versions of content, and observe what consumers respond the best to. This will allow you to draw insights on what content works best before using up your budget.


Paid Social Media

While organic social media can be utilized to create meaningful interactions with the consumer base and to test content, paid media is critical to widen the reach of your content. As mentioned above, the reach of organic posts has gone down significantly over recent years, but many people do not know just how small of a percentage of their audience these posts get delivered to. With recent studies showing that less than two percent of an account’s following will actually end up seeing the post, advertisers have had to shift their strategies. While these posts can be impactful for the consumers who do see them, the number of people that will not be delivered this content is still exponentially higher than those who will. This is where paid media comes in. With the right audience targeting, a paid media campaign can vastly improve the visibility of an ad and drive conversions. Here are a few key points to keep in mind while building a paid media strategy. 


Tip #4: Use the Correct Objective for your Goals

One key difference between a paid ad and an organic post is that a paid ad can be optimized for a certain objective. These objectives can be to drive the most conversions, impressions, clicks, or more. Pairing the right paid objective with your organic presence should be a crucial focus when building out your social media campaigns. Check out our blog Reaching Business Goals With Social Media Objectives to learn more on this topic and implement your social media strategies.


Tip #5: Be Intentional about Audience Targeting

During the process of placing your ads in front of as many consumers as possible, it is still important to choose target audiences carefully. By doing so, you will be able to reach the most relevant consumers for your ad and get the most of your budget. There are three main targeting strategies many advertisers focus on with paid media: 

  1. Interest-based targeting is one of the most popular ways of selecting a target audience. Interest-based data allows you to pick specific interests to target, prioritizing your spend towards consumers that are identified to have these interests.
  2. Retargeting can be a very useful paid strategy to drive conversions. Use retargeting to reach consumers that have visited your website and did not convert, or to serve ads to loyal consumers that have converted in the past and will continue to do so. Since the majority of customers that have visited the website have some interest in the product or brand, a remarketing ad can help give the consumer that final push to convert.
  3. Lookalike audiences are similar to retargeting audiences, but these consumers have not visited your website. Rather, these audiences are created by using data from consumers that have engaged in a conversion, and targeting consumers with similar virtual habits.

Being intentional about who your ad is delivered to and why it will help improve the performance of your campaign to get the most from your budget.


Tip #6: Use Metric Goals that Align with the Campaign Goal 

Social Media publishers offer many metrics on the performance of paid social campaigns. These paid metrics can provide more details on how consumers are interacting with your ads than you may have access to in organic social. Each metric offered to measure performance has its own intricacies and importance within a campaign, so it is important to set goals for the metrics that are the most relevant to your campaign and prioritize the optimization for those. For example, your primary focus for an awareness campaign may be total impressions, cost-per-1,000 impressions, or Click-Through-Rate, while a conversion-based campaign may have main goals for Cost-per-Action or Conversion Rate. Utilizing the right metrics can help test the effectiveness of your campaign based on the campaign goals. 


Using Organic and Paid Social Together

There is a lot that goes into building out a social media strategy effectively. Utilizing the tips above will help ensure your paid strategy lines up with your organic strategy to create an immersive social media presence to reach prospective customers, grow the audience base, improve customer loyalty, and drive conversions.


About the author

Paid Media Intern, Tailwind

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