One of the main pieces of the social media puzzle that seems to confuse and overwhelm businesses the most is whether social media ads are more efficient than straightforward organic content. Many feel that if they throw money on an advertisement it will automatically bring up the number of followers and in turn translate into business conversions. However, if it were that easy social media would be flooded with ads and businesses would be booming. The fact of the matter is that if a consumer sees one of your social media ads and it is weak it will devalue your brand and hurt potential conversions. So, let’s dive into the world of organic content and paid advertising on social media.  

Organic content is just about anything you post on social media. This includes status updates, photos, videos, and even blog reposts. Gaining followers through organic content can be a time-consuming process. It is very unlikely that you will increase your fan base by the hundreds overnight by only posting content consistently. However, that is part of the social media game. Some people think you have to have a clear understanding of the algorithms each social media platform uses in order to post productive media. That’s not necessarily the case. Don’t get me wrong, knowing some algorithm strategy is helpful when making social media plans. But realistically if you only remember one word… remember engagement. This alone is a large percentage of what social media looks for when placing content. At the end of the day, just about every social media platform is trying to promote the best content to the most relevant people.  

With that being said, if your business does not have a marketing budget to work with, you can still be successful by ramping up your engagement. There are a few things to keep in mind if you prefer to stick with organic content. First of all, no one will engage if you have boring content. As you can probably see for yourself, the most intriguing posts are usually visual. Photos and videos do much better in capturing attention than any straightforward text content, so keep that in mind. A smartphone is a powerful content making machine. All you need to do is download a few apps, shoot a quick video, edit with those apps, and post. You don’t need a professional photographer or videographer to make exciting content. Don’t forget that you have Google at your fingertips. Search what makes great content on social media and try it. Just don’t forget about that word we discussed earlier. Make sure you are engaging with everyone that comments on your page or posts.  

Paid ads seem like an easy way to increase traffic and turn conversions. In fact, a lot of people still believe in the old adage, “build it and they will come”. So, make an ad and customers and clients will flock to you with ease. I hope you know that is simply too good to be true. Granted, paid ads can and will increase who sees your page, that’s ultimately what they’re built for. However, conversion making content will be the determining factor as to whether someone follows you, likes your page, or even attends an event. The really neat thing about paid social media ads is that they usually have different campaigns that will allow you to create an ad tailored to your needs. That may be brand awareness, just to get a jump start on visibility in your industry. Website traffic, to get your followers from your social media page to browse your website. Or perhaps you have a special offer you ‘d like to put out there. All of these things, plus more, is available on the ad platforms. 

No one wants to invest their hard-earned money only to get less than expected results on any given ad. Though the creation process is fairly simplified and straight-forward, something you may want to prepare yourself for is knowing your audience. This could make or break a successful ad. You will want to make a list of people you want to target or that may be interested in your product. If you’re selling a BDR solution, 18-year-old females interested in cosmetics will not yield the results you hope for. That one is a bit obvious, but this is the section that takes the most time. How many miles from your business would you like it to reach? What are some of the interests and behaviors your target audience has? What is their age range? Are you targeting males and females? All of these things make a huge difference in your results. Be sure to do your research before you throw money at an ad. Then finally, as mentioned with organic content, DON’T BE BORING. Your ad means nothing if it’s not visually appealing or its content isn’t compelling enough.  

At the end of the day, there is no “one size fits all” social media strategy. Each business is unique and will need to go through some trial and error before really understanding what tactics help. The key is to monitor and pay attention to the results you are getting, regardless of whether it’s from paid ads or organic content. You will need to understand what your audience finds interesting and what types of content is keeping them coming back. Through all of this remember engagement and you’ll be off to a great start!