Digital Marketing Strategy: Paid vs Organic Social Media

Social platforms are now moving from the era of engagement to the new era of acquisition and conversion known as Social Commerce. Social Platforms now are just for conversation and content posting, it’s now an established channel for customer acquisition, remarketing, and engaging existing fans/customers to support retention programs. Many retailers have experienced a bigger percentage of their retail traffic derived from social channels. It may be relatively immature when compared to search and email marketing but has witnessed ramped-up investment (people and tools) by eCommerce.

Jump to the following section :

Defining organic and paid social media marketing
Do people really buy from social channels?
Learning, Listening, and responding
A unified thread for all conversations
social media for content marketing
Sharing content is free but getting an audience is a skill.
Targeting based on interest
Paid social campaigns for Micro Targeting
Remarketing through Social channels
Lookalike Audience

With this new role for Social Platforms, Both organic and paid social media landscapes are also continuously evolving. New networks are adding up and rising to prominence (TikTok). Increasing user participation, real-time content, and enhancement of platform and product by networks (e.g. ‘buy’ buttons on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram) has changed the landscape completely.

In 2022, the trend is a continuous shrinkage in organic reach as the leading networks have ramped up their paid social media channels to monetize platform investment. Marketers now need to research and optimize the right organic and paid media options to achieve their goals.

Facebook, the leading social media platform, with 2.9 billion active monthly users is a prime driver of the rise of social commerce. It is predicted that in 2022, one in three users on Facebook will make purchases from this platform.

This article will help you leverage organic and paid social media in developing your social media strategy.

Defining organic and paid social media marketing

Organic social media

Building and interacting (sharing posts and responding to customer comments) with the social community by using free tools available on each social network. Twitter doesn’t charge for publishing your tweets.

Paid social media

Paid targeted display adverts (e.g. textual and visual content) or sponsored messages based on user profile e.g. demographic to the social network. Cost mostly incur occurs cost per click (CPC). The pay-per-click model on social platforms is the same as on search engines but the path to conversion may not be the same.

Though paid social is more targeted than search engines, The challenge lies in understanding the mindset of social users which will be different than a user conducting a transactional search query. Messages should be tailored accordingly.

Do people really buy from social channels?

According to research from Crowdtap Social channels influence inspiration for shopping for 64% of 3,000 people surveyed. Prior year the percentage was up to 51%.

The increase is due to targeted personalized offers and deals by retailers on social networks:

  • Nearly half (46%) of social media users are already using social platforms while thinking about a purchase.
  • 40% of users’ purchase decisions are actively influenced by the brand’s reputation on social platforms. They actively look for reviews and recommendations about brands.

This establishes the existence of social commerce which is expected to increase only in the future.

We have a wealth of marketing tools and skills to develop strategy and planning resources to achieve better ROI using social ads. Through our reporting system, you can confidently track and adapt the result-oriented digital strategy which is integrated across multiple channels.

let’s see how organic and paid social media activity support 4 key social media marketing activities.


Learning, Listening, and responding

Organic social is the best choice to know what people are saying about you through community management. An organic approach to social media can be used for listening and learning elements by being actively involved with your community. Poor response to personal inquiries and complaints can compound the criticism of the program also. For example, the information shared with people who contacted you can be used as a wider educational marketing Program with paid ads to extend the message reach.

A unified thread for all conversations

Social platforms are the right choice to engage with groups of people based on a shared interest/passion. While Social platforms provide the opportunity for one-to-one communication mass communication on social platforms is equally important, especially due to its impact and efficiency.

Hashtags are good examples of mass communication on social platforms. Hashtags are free and you can also dovetail with any hashtag to target a relevant audience to your message.

Hashtags unify all posts into a searchable thread. It helps individuals to be part of the conversation and follow what others are saying. It also strengthens your community and can connect new like-minded people with shared interests/passions.

According to Michael Patterson, Hashtag can achieve the following for you:

  • Can connect you to relevant service specialists.
  • Can build a community to share knowledge and learning.
  • People can share interesting news and ask questions/share information with the hashtag
  • Can help to get new connections and collaboration
  • Can increase your followers

Therefore hashtag is a time-efficient and cost-effective to create a highly engaged mini-community on Twitter.

Social media for content marketing

There should be an integrated content plan for all marketing channels, defining the key stories and their timing. These stories then can be posted through one-off announcements (e. g. Facebook posts), or can be built over time through a series of short posts.

Organic can be used to increase audience engagement with your content through one-to-one communication on social channels. For example, a ticketing website for sporting events can connect with its followers (or influencers) personally through their preferred social network to talk about its new blog related to sports events. It helps to spread the word of mouth through social channels.

It needs a pragmatic approach to decide a number of people you can contact individually and depends on organic marketing competency.

Sharing content is free but getting an audience is a skill.

The impact of your content will depend on your community member unless otherwise, you have influencers who can share your posts to a larger audience.

Paid social campaigns for Micro Targeting

Targeting based on interest

You can experience higher CTR and conversion for social ads by targeting people based on self-identified interests. For example, you can promote your BandB by specifically targeting social media users who have expressed an interest in tourism.

Remarketing through Social channels

Remarketing is promoting relevant content/offers to people who have already visited your website based on the context of their visit.

Facebook Custom Audiences is a good example of it. Facebook supports email targeting based on customer email addresses with tailored ads. This helps you micro-segmenting your existing customer database. Few applications of micro- segmenting are customer loyalty marketing and promotional offers to existing high value users via Facebook ads. A good CRM database with meaningful segmentation of records will be the prerequisite for the success of targeted social media advertising.

Lookalike audiences

As social platforms allow the import of segmented customer lists you can use this customer profile to create lookalike audiences that are closely watching your existing customers for further targeting. The marketing on social platforms is also based on the core acquisition marketing principles to develop core audience profiles and then targeting to others matching those criteria.

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