Organic vs paid social media

Organic vs paid social media: myths vs truths

Social media functions are much more than just a platforms for communication between friends and there are many social media benefits for your business. So regardless of whether you have a startup or a huge corporation, social media marketing should be among your concerns. As there are many misconceptions in this area, let’s burst the most common myths about organic and paid social media to reveal the truth, and figure out what is the difference between them.

What is paid social media?

Let’s first give a definition of “paid social media” to clear up a bit about the main notions, discussed below. Paid social media is a form of external marketing, when social media platforms are used by advertisers for paid placement. It can be Facebook ads, Linkedin ads, promoted tweets, YouTube sponsored videos, etc.

What is organic social media?

Organic social media refers to organic marketing aimed at organic reach through users that come to your social profiles, not artificially via boosted posts, but naturally.

5 myths about organic and paid social media

Myth #1: You can only use either organic or paid social media

Truth: The best social media strategy is to use the benefits of both to complement one another. As each marketing method helps achieve different goals, utilizing only one would be not enough.

Using organic social media alone means your efforts on generating social content can’t be used to the max, because without paid social media not many users will see your posts, no matter how good they are.
On the other hand, using paid social media alone can’t provide brand credibility, because when users get interested in your social advertisement, they want to learn more about you. So if they come to your official business social profile, but it looks like a fake page that lacks information, then you have little chance to keep your audience’s attention.

That’s why you should use paid social media for creating brand visibility and boosting conversion rates in short periods of time.  Organic social media should be used to complement paid social media to nurture relationships with the audience and establish your reputation as a company that cares about the needs of its customers.

Myth #2: Organic social media reach grows as social footprint grows

Truth: Posting as much social content as possible doesn’t guarantee you will automatically reach a wider audience. Any social media, be it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or whatever, doesn’t show content chaotically, but uses certain algorithms, which can be an obstacle for your organic business posts. Wremainhat is more tricky,  as those algorithms are continually changing, aimed to improve user experience with more relevant content.

If you want your struggle for newsfeed space to be successful, don’t expect an increasing social footprint to ensure you an increasing reach now that your content is appearing in users’ algorithms. This is where paid social media reach comes into play to deliver your content to more people and help you win a competition on the social media battlefield.

Myth #3: Paid social media is earned social media

Truth: Organic social media, like organic website traffic, is genuinely earned media. All earned followers and brand advocates are loyal and are less likely to vanish in the near future, because their interest in your products and services is doesn’t need additional stimulus.

Paid social media, in turn, is effective and helps get more likes, reposts, followings, subscriptions, etc. — even more than organic. However, obtained results mostly last as long as you pay.

Myth #4: Organic social media can’t generate high quality leads

Truth: Organic social media is pretty capable of getting you quality leads, because it enables social listening. Knowing what your audience thinks about your brand, what they like and hate about your products, and what problems need to be solved, is essential for guiding your SMM strategy accordingly.

You can either do social media monitoring manually or use different online services and tools that allow you to find mentions about your brand in social media posts and user conversations, and even to reply to them in real time.

Myth #5: Paid social media is less effective because it’s less authentic than organic is

Truth: The lack of authenticity isn’t a big obstacle. As paid media is always targeted based on user persona, then sponsored posts and ads reach a certain group of people who need them most. Paid media gets straight to the point by offering a solution to a problem, whereas organic media is about nurturing relationships with the audience.

Final words

There are many other myths about organic social media as well as myths about paid social media that people still believe in. There are also many arguments about which one is more effective, but, as we explained above, both have its own benefits and complement each other. That’s why you shouldn’t limit yourself with only one type of social media. Combine them to achieve balance and get the most effective result for your business. We hope this article helped you learn more about organic and paid social media, so that you can improve your SMM strategy.

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