In the world of digital, there are many methods to grow your audience, reach your target audience and engage with consumers – including paid and organic social media strategies. However, in order for a social media campaign to be successful, marketers must integrate both methods in their efforts.
As more platforms push their admins to spend more money, more marketers feel pressured to create budgets for paid social media campaigns. While these paid campaigns allow marketers and organizations to reach a far broader audience than you would with organic content, simply put, it won’t create a connection with the end-user. As Social Media Today puts it, “if you want to show customers your true values and culture, while also learning about the values of your customers, organic social media marketing is the best way to do so.”
- Long-term benefits
Unless you’re a millionaire or a multinational brand, chances are, your paid social strategy can’t run forever. As marketers, we all set budgets and quarterly approaches to those paid strategies. The great thing about an organic social media campaign? It’s FREE! An organic social media strategy does not have dollars attached to it, and social media marketers can easily develop weekly or monthly content for an organization.
Sometimes, the most effective social media accounts for brands are those who create the most clever, transparent and attention-grabbing content – not necessarily the biggest spenders. One of my personal favorite campaigns is the Netflix Spanish Lessons, which won an award at this year’s American Advertising Awards for “Best of Show.” The award-winning ad agency, Alma, saw a need for the hit Netflix series’ audience, monitored online conversations and sought to develop video content around what the audience wanted.
Engaging your social media audience through organic efforts and developing a campaign around a need or a desire for content makes it easier for your brand to develop a strong voice and tone that’s viable in the long-term.
- First and foremost, invest in time vs. money
As digital guru and CEO of Vayner Media, Gary Vaynerchuck, puts it – “no amount of paid media is going to turn bad creative into good content.” The reality is, as mentioned above, that quality and consistency matters more than one paid ad. For instance, if I were to see an ad for Crocs, and let’s say, it follows me around the Internet because they’re retargeting me. The flaw in that strategy is I highly dislike Crocs (especially people who wear them with socks, JUST WHY?). Regardless of the number of dollars the brand pumps behind that ad, guess what? I’m still not going to buy those Crocs!
Social media marketers and organizations must grow their audience organically first – by using hashtags, sharing your usernames, answering questions, following other users and generating quality content. If you put good content out there, the impressions and engagement will follow. As Gary Vaynerchuck says in his article, “the impression you get when someone comes directly to your page is a much more qualified lead and potentially a more valuable customer than someone you got through an ad buy.”
- Brand loyalty
At the end of the day, businesses want traffic and ROI – and paid ads can deliver those results. But social media marketers must analyze and test campaigns. Agency executives must always ask ourselves: Are my client’s customers returning? If the answer is no, it’s not surprising either. To counteract the flakiness of your paid customers, you must supplement your paid ads with an organic social presence.
More often than not, customers will look at an organization’s social media before going to their website. If your organic content is engaging and represents the organization’s values, users will follow your account and become a loyal customer.
In conclusion, there must be synergy and an integrated approach to your social media marketing strategies for all campaigns. Only a balanced approach – one that uses paid intelligently – along with organic content – will get you great results.
Daniela Otero | Senior Account Executive