The Benefits of Organic and Paid Social Media Advertising
Creating a social media presence allows you to target the exact audience you want to reach. There are a couple of ways to go about marketing on social platforms, including both paid and organic efforts. The best approach for your promotional needs is typically a hybrid one where you incorporate both ads and viral posts to reach as many people as possible.
Statista predicts 3.43 billion social network users by the year 2023. Each year, the number of people online and on social platforms increases. Your ability to reach new leads online aligns with how well you utilize this medium.
Social media allows you to reach your target audience and drive them to your website. The more on-point your message is, the more likely they convert from site visitors into leads. There are benefits to both organic and paid social media advertising. Ideally, the two work together, but let’s break things down a bit and look at the ways you can use each to gain new business.
Paid Advertising on Social Media
Ads have become more specific and targeted over time. Giants in the arena, such as Facebook, have come under fire for collecting personal data from users and serving up ads that match the criteria. While there is a fine line between intrusive advertising and targeted advertising, all the information social companies have on users benefits you.
Use Paid Ads to Throw a Wide Net
Paid advertising should be in the first stage of your sales funnel. The awareness stage is the point where you try to make people aware of your brand or product. An example of this type of ad might be an offer for a free webinar series or a complimentary guide on a topic related to your business.
Choose Geographical Locations
You can narrow your social media ads down to specific towns near you. The more specific you are with your audience breakdown, the more likely it is you’ll reach those who are motivated to buy from you. Combine this method with business mapping software to figure out which areas are underserved in your location or where you feel you can compete with other businesses offering the same products.
Go Where Your Users Spend Their Time
With social media ads, you aren’t just limited to Facebook. Take your marketing budget to the platform where your customers are most likely spending their time. If you sell a home improvement product, you might find your best audience match is on Pinterest, for example. If you cater to fellow business owners, LinkedIn makes the most sense. Think about the purpose of each platform, study how active people are on the platform and choose one to throw your promotional dollars at.
Keep in mind you aren’t tied into an advertisement forever. You can stop a campaign at any time and change the ad itself or move to a different platform. Most social media sites even let you tweak your audience as you go along to improve results.
Organic Social Media Marketing
Getting your posts to go viral isn’t an easy endeavor. You can create amazing content, present it to your followers and still not get any attention. The key to successful organic social media marketing is figuring out what your audience wants and then consistently delivering it. Not every post will get shared or liked, but the ones that do will expand your reach.
Highlight Your Brand’s Value Proposition
Your organization’s unique value proposition (UVP) is what makes you stand out from your competitors. Perhaps you offer personalized service, and none of your competitors do. Whatever makes you stand out from the crowd needs to be communicated to the general public.
Organic social media marketing provides an opportunity to present your value to your audience. Highlight stories showing your UVP. Post a video with the founder explaining your company’s mission. Think outside the box on how to present your value to the world.
Build a Community
Social media offers you a chance to develop a community. Those who are interested in your content will likely follow you. Encourage them to invite others to join in the fun as well. A following gives you a chance to interact with people and get to know them on a more personal level. Engaging with users benefits you beyond simply generating new leads, as you’ll learn about the struggles they face and be able to come up with solutions.
Reward Loyal Fans
Every business has a handful of customers who rave about their products and services. These people will share nearly any post you put up, tell family and friends how great you are and be your cheerleaders. Reward your loyal fans by hosting contests. Give a prize to the person who shares your content and gets the most likes. Ask them to take a picture using your product and choose a winner. Help them become your online brand ambassadors.
Organic social media marketing may sound cheaper than paid advertising, but it requires a lot of planning and work to gain traction. You’ll still spend money on this form of promotion, but it will grab a different level of user. Typically, organic traffic comes from those a bit more committed to your mission. They are more loyal from the beginning and more likely to help with word-of-mouth efforts.
Your Hybrid Mix
Finding the perfect combination of paid and organic advertising takes time. Pay attention to which campaigns bring the results you desire. Over time, you’ll see where to spend your time and money. Results often come from unexpected places. Remain creative, too, because the campaign that gained leads last month may not bring any this month. Try new things, track the results and expand your efforts where it makes the most sense.
Lexie is a digital nomad and web designer. When she’s not traveling to various parts of the country, you can find her at the local flea markets or hiking with her goldendoodle. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.