How organic and paid social media should fit into your marketing strategy

Posted on
June 11, 2024
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Digital Marketing
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Social media can be a powerful tool to help businesses grow – in fact, global media giants Forbes say that 90 per cent of users follow at least one brand, highlighting the increased trend of direct and engaged relationships between consumers and companies. 

So, how do businesses, particularly those with limited marketing expertise, develop strategies to exploit this opportunity? 

Their thinking will certainly need to encompass both organic and paid social media marketing. 

But what do these terms mean and how can each – or a combination of the two – help companies achieve their goals? 

There are two main types of social media marketing: paid and organic. While they differ, both are crucial to your marketing strategy, and many marketers find that combining them often yields the best results. 

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What is organic social media?  

Organic social media refers to using free tools provided by social media platforms to build and engage with an online following.   

This includes creating and sharing posts, responding to comments, engaging with followers, and participating in relevant conversations. 

Key characteristics: 

  • Content creation: Sharing posts, photos, videos, stories, and other content that showcases your brand’s personality and values. 
  • Engagement: Interacting with followers through comments, likes, shares, and direct messages. 
  • Community building: Growing your follower base by providing valuable content and fostering a sense of community. 
  • Long-term strategy: Building trust and loyalty, encouraging followers to become advocates for your brand.  

If you’re looking for tips on optimising your organic social media efforts, check out our essential social media checklist below.  

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What is paid social media?  

Paid media refers to content promoted through paid placements, such as PPC, pop-ups and paid social media to promote content, products, or services.  

Paid social media is a form of advertising that takes place on channels such as Meta, LinkedIn and X and is typically used to reach a broader audience than organic content alone, as it appears in feeds of users who are not necessarily already aware of, or engaging with, your outputs. 

Key advantages:  

  • Expanded reach: Promote your content to people not currently following your brand, attracting new followers and increasing brand visibility quickly. 
  • Targeting: Target specific demographics, interests, and behaviours to ensure your content is seen by the right people, leading to higher engagement rates. 
  • Boost engagement: Promoting content to a larger audience increases likes, shares, and comments, improving reach and engagement quickly. 
  • Re-engagement: Provides a way to re-engage with users who have already interacted with your business in some capacity.

How organic and paid social media can work together  

The choice between organic and paid social media depends on your business goals, audience, budget and the resources you have available.  

  • Organic social media is best used for building long-term relationships and trust with your audience. 
  • Paid social media is ideal for reaching a broader audience quickly and targeting specific demographics, interests, and behaviours. 

A combination of both organic and paid social media may be the most effective way to achieve your marketing and social media goals. It can help: 

  • Maximise reach: Using both strategies allows you to reach a wider audience. Organic social media helps build a loyal following, while paid social media reaches new audiences and increases conversions. 
  • Address all goals: Combining both approaches creates a comprehensive social media strategy that addresses all aspects of your marketing goals, from brand awareness to lead generation and sales. 

How to integrate organic and paid social media 

When integrating organic and paid social media, here are some things to consider:  

1. Remember your purpose

For each piece of content you produce, whether paid or organic, always keep the purpose at the forefront of your mind. This could be directing your audience to a new product, signing up for emails, or encouraging them to get in touch.

2. Ensure your messaging is aligned

Maintain a consistent look and message across all content. Paid ads should resemble your organic content but aim to attract new customers, ensuring a cohesive brand experience. 

3. Utilise your data and insights

Leverage analytics from both organic and paid campaigns to refine your strategies. Use insights from organic engagement to inform your paid campaigns and vice versa.

4. Use retargeting

Use paid media to retarget users who have engaged with your organic content, reinforcing your messaging and nudging interested users down the conversion funnel.  

5. Repurpose high-performing content

Repurpose well-performing organic content for paid ads, as this has been tried and tested with your target market. Additionally, repurpose content across different platforms to expand your reach. 

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How we’ve helped others  

At Purpose Media, we can help you with both organic and paid social media strategies to ensure a comprehensive and effective approach. 

Recently, we helped our client S O’Brien Heating Solutions with a paid and organic social media marketing strategy, supported by other digital marketing outputs.  

In the last nine months, our combined social media efforts generated more than 1.75 million impressions and reached over 200,000 people in Derbyshire. 

Speak to us today  

If you’re looking to build brand awareness, promote key services or products and maximise reach, speak to us today. 

Get in touch today if you’re looking for support with your organic and paid social media strategy.