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You’ve heard it before: your company doesn’t need social media marketing if you just have a good organic social strategy. However, you might not know what a good organic social strategy looks like, or even what the difference between the two options is. Does organic social mean being online 24/7 and constantly talking to people? Is social media marketing effective without an organic social strategy? Which one do you really need? Here’s a breakdown of what each is and what makes them different.

What Is Organic Social Media?

When you want to see something on social media, there are two ways to make it happen. Either you subscribe to it so it comes up in your feed, or you search for it, and it comes up in the results. As a business, you want your social media to accomplish at least two things: a) provide an experience your audience will want to see in their feed, and b) make it easy for your business to be found in search results.

Organic social targets both of these success factors and, if done well, it can make you a big hit with audiences both familiar and unfamiliar with your brand. Your organic strategy is made up of what you post, how frequently you post, and how often you engage with your audience, but it doesn’t have to be complex or ultra time-consuming.

When Is Organic Social Media Right For You?

The short answer here is: always. Start today, no matter how new your company is! There is never a downside to building your brand and engaging with your audience on organic social media. There is some nuance to this, though, as not every social media channel is the right channel for you. For example, a company that conducts mostly B2B business will do well to post frequently on LinkedIn, while an ecommerce company that sells custom-painted shoes will find the most success posting on Instagram.

To figure out which social media channel will work the best for your brand organically, consider on which platform your ideal customer spends their social media time. If they are young, TikTok and Instagram will be most effective for targeting them. If they are older or part of a specific group you want to target, Facebook or Twitter may be the best. Do thorough research, then get to posting! The key to a great strategy is to post consistently, so while you don’t need to spend every second online, don’t shy away from posting 3-5 times a week. 

What Is Paid Social Media?

Paid social is the opposite of organic marketing. Rather than putting content or social posts out there in the wide-open internet and hoping users find it on their own, paid social means creating advertisements and paying to have them put in front of the users. Similar to things like banner ads and Google AdWords, social ads put a link to your web pages where your audience is already spending their time—their social network of choice.

Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter all have complex algorithms that enable them to target your ideal customer and to steer your ads away from people who wouldn’t be interested in what you are selling. You can also run video ads, still image ads, and text-only ads that look similar to regular, organic social posts on each platform which makes it easy to reach your audiences without disrupting their time on social media. 

When Is Paid Social Media Right For You?

Paid social media is an especially great marketing option for ecommerce businesses and businesses that have a strong customer base or online presence. While it can work to build brand awareness for your business, posting organically and engaging with your audience in a natural way first is always the best option before paying for ads. Paid ads work particularly well when you are ready to up your sales and push customers through your website funnel, and have proved to be particularly effective at retargeting previous customers and solidifying brand loyalty. 

One thing to keep in mind when starting to run paid ads on social media is to keep your organic social side up to date and consistent. Even without being aggressive with your strategy, people will still click on your profile when they see an ad, and it’s important for them to see an established brand on the other side. Posting organically will also give your paid ads a boost on Facebook and Instagram, and more exposure is never a bad thing. 

Finding The Best Strategy For Your Business

Whether your business is well established or you are just starting out, now is a great time to start investing in your online presence. You can start by just posting a few times a week. Don’t be afraid to show your company’s personality what makes you different from the rest! 

Additionally, if you’d like to learn more about whether or not paid social media or organic social media is the right option for your business, request a free consultation with a Set Fire Creative client strategist. We’ll bring our expertise to the table and help you decide which tool will be the most effective for you!