Paid Vs Organic Social Media Marketing: Truths & Myths

June 12, 2023
Talk Agency
Paid vs. organic social media marketing — It's a topic that has sparked serious debate among marketers and business owners for years. Some Swear by paid advertising, while others are more convinced that organic reach is the only way to go. So, what exactly is the deal when it comes to marketing for social media?

We've done our fair share of research and experimentation in the social media marketing world, meaning we know what works and what doesn’t. We're here to debunk some of the most common myths, and uncover the truths when it comes to Paid vs. Organic Social Media Marketing — helping you avoid any costly rookie mistakes as you get started.

Whether you're a seasoned marketer  or just starting out, get ready to learn everything you need to know about Paid vs. Organic Social Media Marketing.

What is Paid Social Media Marketing?

Paid social media marketing is a way to advertise your business or product on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, etc. Basically, you pay the platform to show your ads to a specific  audience based on their interests, demographics, behaviours, and other factors.

Think of it like this - social media is a huge party, and your ads are the cool party favours you bring to share with everyone. But just like at any real-world party, you don't want to hand out your favours to just anyone. You want to make sure they go to the people who will enjoy them the most, right? That's what paid social media marketing does.

With paid social media marketing, you can target the people who are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer. For example, if you're selling organic dog food, you can target people who have dogs, care about their pet's health, and are interested in organic and natural products. You can even narrow it down by location, age, gender, and more — and it pays to pay for instantaneous reach.

What is Organic Social Media Marketing?

Just like the name suggests, organic social media marketing means promoting your brand through non-paid content on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, etc. It's all about creating content that resonates with your target audience with posts that are not only visually appealing, but also provide value to your followers. Think of it as a way of building relationships with your audience by giving them something that they want or need.

One of the coolest things about organic marketing for social media is that it allows you to showcase your brand's personality and voice. You can use humour, inspiring quotes, memes, and other creative forms of content to connect with your audience and build a loyal following. And hey, it's free. You don't have to pay for ads or sponsored posts to get your content in front of your audience. 

However, it's important to note that organic reach on social media is becoming more and more difficult due to algorithm changes and the sheer amount of content being posted. That's why it's essential to create high-quality, engaging content that resonates with your audience and is share-worthy,  value-loaded and evergreen.

Myth #1 Paid Social Is The Only Way Forward

Reality: It's true that the reach of organic social media has decreased over the years, due to various factors such as algorithm changes and increased competition. This means that it's more challenging for brands to get their content seen by their target audience without paying for advertising.

However, that doesn't mean that organic social media is dead or irrelevant. In fact, it still plays a crucial role in building a brand's presence on social media and engaging with its audience. Organic social media provides an opportunity for brands to share their story, showcase their personality, and build relationships with their followers. 

Paid social media, on the other hand, is a great way to increase reach and conversions by promoting content to a specific target audience. With paid social media, brands can leverage targeting options to reach the right people at the right time with the right message. This can lead to increased visibility, traffic, and sales for the brand. However, it's important to note that paid social media shouldn't be the only strategy a brand relies on. 

Myth #2 Paid Social Media Is Expensive

Reality: It's true that paid social media campaigns can come with a cost, but the investment can pay off in terms of increased brand awareness, website traffic, lead generation, and conversions. In fact, paid social media advertising can be one of the most cost-effective advertising methods available, especially compared to traditional advertising methods such as television or print advertising.

One of the benefits of paid social media is the ability to target your ideal audience based on demographics, interests, behaviours, and other factors. This means that you can reach people who are more likely to be interested in your products or services, which can result in higher conversion rates and a better return on investment.

Additionally, many social media platforms offer various ad formats and bidding options that allow you to set a budget that works for you. You can start with a small budget and test different ad formats and targeting options to see what works best for your business. As you refine your strategy and see positive results, you can increase your budget accordingly.

Myth #3 You Have To Choose Between Organic Or Paid 

Reality: Some businesses believe that they have to choose between either an organic or paid social media strategy. However, the reality is that both strategies can be used together to achieve your social media marketing goals.

Organic social media marketing is all about creating and sharing content on your social media channels that your audience will find interesting and valuable. It includes things like posting regular updates, sharing user-generated content, engaging with your followers, and building relationships with your audience. The primary goal of organic social media is to build brand awareness, create engagement, and foster a sense of community around your brand.

On the other hand, paid social media marketing is about using social media advertising to target specific audiences and drive conversions. Paid social media includes running sponsored posts, ads, and promotions on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. The primary goal of paid social media is to increase reach, generate leads, and drive sales.

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Myth #4 Social Media Marketing Doesn't Work For B2B 

Reality: It's a common myth that social media marketing is only effective for B2C companies, but B2B companies can actually benefit greatly from social media marketing too. One of the most powerful social media platforms for B2B companies is LinkedIn. With over 740 million members, LinkedIn is the largest professional networking platform in the world. 

Here are a few ways that B2B companies can use LinkedIn for social media marketing:

  • Company Page: B2B companies can create a LinkedIn Company Page to showcase their products and services, share company updates, and build brand awareness.
  • Content Marketing: LinkedIn is a great platform to share thought leadership content such as blog posts, whitepapers, and case studies. This content can help establish your company as an industry leader and generate leads.
  • Advertising: LinkedIn Ads can be used to target specific job titles, industries, and companies. This makes it a powerful platform for B2B lead generation.
  • Groups: LinkedIn Groups provide a forum for professionals to discuss industry topics and share knowledge. B2B companies can join relevant groups to engage with potential clients and establish thought leadership.

If you're a B2B company and you're not already using social media marketing, it's definitely worth considering. With the right strategy, social media can be a powerful tool for generating leads, building relationships, and establishing thought leadership within your industry.

Myth#5 Social Media Is Only For Younger Audiences

Reality: While it's true that social media was initially more popular among younger generations, its use has grown and evolved to include people of all ages. In fact, according to a recent Pew Research Center study, over 72% of adults in the United States use at least one social media platform. That's a significant increase from just a few years ago. Additionally, the report found that Facebook is the most widely used social media platform among adults of all ages, with the fastest-growing demographic being users OVER the age of 65.

This trend is not limited to Facebook either. Other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn also have users from a wide range of age groups. Social media provides a way for people to connect with others, stay up to date on news and events, and engage with brands and organisations that they care about, regardless of their age.

Businesses that ignore older demographics on social media are missing out on a potentially valuable audience. It's important for brands to understand their target audience and to create content and campaigns that resonate with all age groups. By doing so, they can reach a wider audience and build stronger connections with their followers.

Myth #6 You Need A Huge Following To Be Successful

Reality: While having a large following can provide social proof and increase the reach of your content, it's not the only factor that determines success. Here are a few reasons why having a large following isn't necessary for social media success:

  • Engagement Vs. numbers: Having a small, engaged following can be more valuable than having a large, disengaged one. When your followers engage with your content, they're more likely to share it with their own networks, which can lead to increased visibility and growth.
  • Niche audiences can be more valuable: If you have a niche product or service, having a smaller but more targeted following can be more valuable than a large, general audience. When you have a niche audience, you can tailor your content to their interests and needs, which can increase engagement and conversions.
  • Quality over quantity: Creating high-quality content that resonates with your followers is more important than posting frequently or having a large following. By focusing on creating quality content, you can build a loyal following that trusts your brand and is more likely to convert.
  • Building relationships: Social media is all about building relationships with your followers. By engaging with your followers, responding to their comments and messages, and building a community around your brand, you can create a strong and loyal following that will help you achieve your business goals.

Myth #7 You Don't Need A Social Media Strategy.

Reality: A social media strategy is essential for success on social media. It helps you define your goals, target audience, messaging, content strategy, and metrics for measuring success. Without a strategy, your social media efforts may be ineffective and unfocused, resulting in missed opportunities and wasted resources.

Here are some key reasons why having a social media strategy is essential:

  • Defines Your Goals: A social media strategy helps you identify your goals for social media marketing and outlines how you will achieve them. It ensures that all your efforts are aligned with your business objectives, such as increasing sales, building brand awareness, or generating leads.
  • Identifies Your Target Audience: A social media strategy helps you identify and understand your target audience. This includes their demographics, interests, and pain points, enabling you to create content that resonates with them and meets their needs.
  • Outlines Your Messaging: A social media strategy helps you define your brand messaging and voice, ensuring consistency across all your social media channels. This helps build brand recognition and trust with your audience.
  • Develops Your Content Strategy: A social media strategy helps you plan your content in advance, ensuring that you have a consistent stream of high-quality content that resonates with your audience. It also helps you determine the best types of content to use, such as videos, images, or blog posts.
  • Sets Metrics for Success: A social media strategy helps you measure the success of your social media efforts by defining metrics such as engagement rates, click-through rates, and conversions. This enables you to track progress, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions.

Make Your Marketing Matter More

At Talk Agency, we know that creating a data-driven social media marketing strategy can be challenging, especially if you're new to the game. But that's where we come in! Our team of social media experts can help you develop a strategy that delivers on all fronts, from building brand awareness to driving conversions and everything in between.

Using the latest tools and techniques, we can help you identify your target audience, develop a content strategy that resonates with them, and track your progress using key metrics. Our approach is tailored to your unique needs and goals, ensuring that you get the results you're looking for.

So, what are you waiting for? Let's Talk!

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