Organic Versus Paid Social Media: What Works for Small Businesses?

Businesses understand the value of a robust online presence.

According to The Manifest, social media is the top advertising medium that small businesses plan to invest in this year. For many small businesses, one challenge is to find the right balance of paid and organic efforts. Each approach to social media has its advantages. Aligning your goals with your approach will deliver the best results.

This article outlines the pros and cons of organic and paid social media for small businesses.

Organic Social Grows Your Brand

Organic social is the best way to grow and engage your audience. Sharing content that educates and entertains enables you to capture your audiences’ attention and drive interest and loyalty for your business.

According to The Manifest, the second-greatest challenge that social media marketers face is building followers, after lacking enough resources. A steady stream of valuable and relevant content is essential to growth and engagement. But so is your brand’s perceived trustworthiness.

To a large degree, your credibility on social media is determined by the size of your fanbase. Brands with a large following appear as a source of authority and find it easy to engage their audience. By contrast, a low follower count makes it harder to attract followers, drive engagement, and convert customers.

Prioritize authenticity and consistency in your engagement strategy. You can mix both evergreen and trending content to boost awareness and grow your social presence.

Organic Social Helps with Customer Service and Reputation Management

People talk about brands online, so it’s important to engage with the organic dialogue around your company.

You can use social listening tools to track your brand mentions and monitor these conversations. Doing so allows you to respond to customer feedback, defuse any negative comments, and collect data to improve your customer experience and content creation.

Social media is also a key customer service channel. According to Conversocial, 54% of customers prefer to social customer service to phone and email.

Social users expect a quick response to their queries and are inclined to share their negative brand experiences. Listening tools are critical to replying in a timely fashion and avoiding any damage to your reputation.

Monitoring organic engagement helps you to preserve your reputation, capitalize on positive interactions, and foster engagement.

Paid Social Amplifies Key Content

As much value as organic social content can provide for your company, organic reach for businesses on social networks has declined in recent years.

So, for increasing reach and impact, leaves paid social is the best recourse for driving engagement and ROI for organic content.

If your follower count is low, promoting content helps you to grow your following and develop brand awareness. Paid social can also extend the reach of key content assets, such as big announcements, top-performing blogs, or PR management content in a crisis.

A combination of paid and organic social is the best way to ensure your content is seen widely. Be sure to track your ROI to discern which content is performing best and where to tweak your targeting strategy.

Paid Social Promotes Conversions

People look to their friends, influencers, and brands on social media to inform their purchasing decisions.

According to SproutSocial, 60% of people seek out new products and services via social media, and 73% want to see posts about discounts and promotions.

Paid social is an effective way to maximize your reach and drive conversions for your organic campaigns. The targeting capacities of social networks allow you to find the late-funnel prospects who are most likely to respond to your promotions.

A targeted approach to conversions can augment your organic campaigns, so experiment with the targeting parameters and which types of content perform best.

Organic and Paid Social for Small Businesses

A blend of paid and organic social media is most effective for small businesses.

The best way to grow and engage your audience is with consistent and authentic organic content. Paid social is effective in supporting your organic efforts, whether to acquire or engage followers for a conversion.

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Grayson Kemper

Senior Content Developer at Clutch
Grayson Kemper is a Senior Content Developer for Clutch, the best place for B2B servicesto gain visibility and engage with business customers. He focuses on marketing and emerging technologies research.
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