Pay to Play or Post All Day: Why Organic and Paid Social Media Matters for your Business

It’s no secret that the Facebook and Instagram Algorithm no longer loves unpaid posts. These once, fun and free platforms have gone full throttle in swallowing up your hard earned ad dollars and leaving you to wonder… am I doing it right? Did anyone even see me? Are you interested in what I have to offer? Anyone?

On average, less than 2% of your total social media audience ends up seeing your content and typically, those people are already your fans. The other 98%? They’re ready and waiting to be served up something delicious that in turn, will transfer them over to the organic side of your reach. Before you decide to forget about organic content all together, there are some key differentiators of why you still need both organic as well as paid social media advertising.

Let’s start with Organic Reach

At the beginning of any brand’s social media life, the primary goal should be to tell the brand’s story through thoughtfully curated content (videos, images, graphics, testimonials etc.) to a loosely targeted community. Think of what you put out online like casting a huge fishing net in an area you know has the type of fish you want. When you bring in the net, you’ll catch a handful of the ideal fish, as well as a handful of others that just so happened to be in the area. The more you talk about and provide value to your ‘ideal fish’, the longer they’ll stick around and tell their friends about you. Stop providing them any value and they'll swim away and over to some other marketer’s net.

To increase your Organic Reach, it’s best to utilize the free features Instagram and Facebook offer while they’re still available such as: Tagging other accounts as well as using hashtags to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for it. The more discoverable you are, the more opportunities your brand has to grow organically. Also, don’t forget about tagging locations, other brands, and specific hashtags in your Instagram and Facebook Stories. Lastly, the share button is still a very valuable tool to use so, encourage your followers to share your content out in every way possible.

You’ve got their attention, you’re engaging regularly, but you’re still not seeing the growth you’d like? It’s time to get serious about Paid Social Media.

Word on the Social Street is that Facebook and Instagram are doing a crap job at delivering your organic ads on purpose. How rude! Whether you believe this or not, the Facebook (which owns Instagram) Ad Industry grossed $13.2 billion in revenue in their second-quarter earnings last year (2018). So, there’s that. Simply put, if you’re not paying, don’t expect to be playing.

The great thing about Paid Social is that rather than casting a big wide net and catching a big wide range of weird fish, you can get ridiculously specific about who you’re serving ads to and how you move them through your sales funnel (re-targeting). The greater clarity you have around the people you’re targeting, the better your ads will deliver, and the happier you’ll be.

Paid Growth

Are you sold on Facebook Ads yet? Here’s a few more reasons why you should be. Once you know who you’re speaking to, you can show up everywhere and remind them of your brand, product and services loudly and proudly.

  • You can measure literally everything

  • The targeting capabilities are endless

  • You can split test/ AB test your messaging to see which one is getting more engagement

  • You can deliver ads based on your specific goal

  • You can adjust your budget or duplicate ad sets if something is working really well

  • You can use these insights to create better ads in the future

  • You can get more eyes (the ones you truly want) on your business’s offerings

Getting Started

While paid growth is not going anywhere, the method to getting it right is not always easy. Try to not get discouraged if your first few ads are a bust. It’s all data that can be used to improve your online marketing in the near future.

Want to shout to the masses that you’re open for business? Create a ‘Reach’ Facebook/ Instagram Ad and design your messaging around creating awareness. Use an eye catching video or image and copy that sparks interest. They probably haven’t heard of you, so why should they care? Serve and educate them on how you’re making their life better/ more enjoyable/ less painful/ simpler/ more fulfilling and they may begin to listen. Tell them about how you’re solving something important to their lives. Reach is just the beginning of being top of mind.

Once you’re brand is in their stratosphere, it’s time to serve them ads that will help them consider you as an option. How? Encouraging them to engage with your posts, watch a video, and even better: send them to a location off of Facebook (such as your website or an app) to educate and interest them further. Two major things need to be in place: One, that wherever you’re sending them has more value than where you’ve lead them away from and two, let’s go back to that fishing analogy on this because, why not.

You know what type of fish you want to catch, what type of bait they like to eat, when you can best fish for them (Go explore your Facebook and Instagram Insights), you’ve caught some of their fish friends already, and you’re ready to cast. What’s going to get them on the hook (onto your site, giving you contact info or permission to contact them if you’ve already got that in the bag)? Compelling Copy. You’ve got seconds to capture their attention so don’t waste it with extra words or a paragraph of your brand’s features. Get to the point, but do so in your words and in line with your brand.

Finally, you’ll get here. It’s time to convert your leads to customers! For some businesses this will take place entirely online. You’ll work through this ads funnel again and again sending potential customers to your online store with an irresistible offer in hand. The cooler and more recognizable your brand is, the less you’ll need to giveaway (Reason number 1,000,000 why clear and concise branding makes everything easier). For others, this is where your sales team will takeover and phone those fresh leads who are now aware, educated and excited about your products and services. Smile and dial, baby.

So, do we really need Organic and Paid Social Media?

Hopefully by now, you’re understanding how both Organic and Paid Social Media are vital to any brand seeking success. Organic sets the tone for how you’re wanting to show up in the marketplace and Paid makes sure the marketplace gets the message. Budget is a whole other animal I’ll touch more on soon but let's get the systems in place first, cool?

Until next time, go forth, create beautiful ads, and serve the internet (and people) up you’re very best. Your conversion rates will thank you. Still wanting more on this? Schedule a workshop or one-on-one session with me today.

Amy LaVallie